Population Growth and Urbanization in Africa: Implications for the Environment

Population Growth and Urbanization in Africa: Implications for the Environment

Samuel Adams (Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, Ghana) and Eric Evans Osei Opoku (City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0187-9.ch014
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Abstract

This study examined the effect of population growth and urbanization on the environment (carbon dioxide emissions) for 37 sub Saharan African countries based on 1980-2010 annual data. Using the Pooled Mean Group estimation technique, the findings of the study show that affluence and industrialization have negative effect on the environment (increases carbon dioxide emissions) while urbanization does not have a significant effect on carbon dioxide emissions. The population variable is significant only in the long run but insignificant in the short run. Also, after controlling for the different age groups, the results show that the more active age group (15-59) is positive and significantly related to carbon dioxide emissions.
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Introduction

Recent reports indicate that though there have been significant changes in the demography of the world in the last 20 years, changes in the size of the population have been more significant (United Nations [UN], 2014a). For example, the population of the world increased from 5.7 billion in 1994 to 7 billion in 2011 and an estimated figure of 7.2 billion in the beginning of 2014 and is expected to reach a population of 8.1 billion in 2025 and Africa’s population growth is expected to contribute significantly to this.

Considering the limited facilities to support population growth in Africa, it is surprising to note that the region contributes 33 percent of the 82 million people added to the world’s population annually. It is also expected to account for more than 80 percent of the global increase in population by 2050 (UN, 2014a). These estimates are not farfetched considering the fact that Africa’s population size has grown from an average of 297 million in 1960-1964; 383 million in 1970-1974, 503 million in 1980-1984, 660 million in 1990-1994, 747 million in 1995-1999, 841 million in 2000-2004 and 944 in 2005-20091 (see Table 1 in Appendix).

Table 1.
Population, urbanization and population
YearPopulationUrbanEmissions
1960-1964297.3958.82171.37
1965-1969336.7274.97244.67
1970-1974383.0093.76355.06
1975-1979437.98116.57445.61
1980-1984503.32144.63587.71
1985-1989578.38178.08703.21
1990-1994660.41216.69728.42
1995-1999747.52258.94814.24
2000-2004841.42306.02926.96
2005-2009944.05360.711125.82

(Data source: Africa Development Indicators)

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