The chart above shows the population of each urban area with a population over 500,000. The urban areas have been normalized so as to avoid any inconsistencies with how cities and their metropolitan areas are defined by their governments. Each urban area has similar characteristics making this the definitive method with which to compare cities across various countries. Egypt has the largest urban area by population by far.
- The difference between the urban area with the greatest population, Cairo, and the urban area with the least, Tetouan, is 18,872,000 people.
- Cairo has 38.74 times the population that Tetouan does.
- The median population of urban area with a minimum population of 500,000 in Africa is 1,128,500 people and the mean 2,229,669.35 people.
- Data is from 2020.
- The methodology for how these urban areas have been defined can be found in the source link below. As of this writing this is the most reliable way to compare urban areas throughout the world.
- Some of these urban areas span several states, and the state that is being used here is the one where the core of the urban area is located. For instance, Milan's urban area spans both Italy and Switzerland, but since the core of the urban area is in Italy it would be listed as an Italian urban area and not a Swiss one.
- All figures are rounded to the nearest whole.
Only 43 of the 58 African states have urban areas with at least 500,000 people. Of these, Nigeria has 24; the Democratic Republic of the Congo has 13; Morocco and South Africa each have eight; Egypt has seven; Angola has four; Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Tanzania, and Zambia each have three; Benin, Burkina Faso, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Kenya, Libya, Malawi, Mozambique, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, and Zimbabwe each have two; and Burundi, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Togo, and Uganda each have one.
Of the 124 urban areas with a population over 500,000, 71 have a population of over 1 million. Eleven have a population of more than 5 million, and three have a population of more than 10 million.
Ethiopia has the largest mean population in its urban areas over 500,000 people with a mean of 5,320,000 people distributed among its one urban area. Uganda has the second largest mean population in its urban areas over 500,000 people with a mean of 4,862,000 people distributed among its one urban area.
Botswana, Cape Verde, the Central African Republic, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mayotte, Namibia, Reunion, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Swaziland, and Western Sahara do not have any urban areas with a population over 500,000 inhabitants.
Demographia. 2021. "Demographia World Urban Areas: 16th Annual Edition." Accessed March 9, 2021. http://demographia.com/db-worldua.pdf.