Here are the most populated cities on the African continent, ranked in terms of their respective population.
Lagos, Nigeria image – source: world population review
1. Lagos, Nigeria – 21 million
Lagos City in Lagos State is Nigeria’s largest city and its economic capital, located along the Atlantic Ocean. According to Heinrich-Boll-Stiftung (HBS) Foundation research it’s the 7th fastest growing city in the world, with a population of 21 million, according to a 2014 report by the National Population Commission of Nigeria.
Lagos surpassed Cairo in size in 2012 to become the largest city of Africa.
2. Cairo, Egypt – 20.2 million
Known as The City of a Thousand Minarets, Cairo is the largest city in Egypt, the second largest city in Africa, and also the largest metropolitan area in the Middle East and the 15th largest globally.
3. Kinshasa, DR Congo – 13.3 million
Kinshasa is the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital and the largest city in the country. It’s located next to the Congo River and after Paris, is the second largest French speaking city in the world, according to CNN.
Kinshasa’s population is estimated to be from 10 million to 12.3 million by various sources.
4. Alexandria, Egypt – 4.9 million
Alexandria is the second largest by population, and it is also one of the country’s largest economic centers. At last count, the population was nearing 5 million, exceeding 4.9 million at the end of 2016, with a population density of 4,800 people per square mile.
5 Abidjan, Ivory Coast – 4.7 million
Abidjan is largest city in ivory coast and the fourth largest in Africa, the city’s population is estimated to be around 4.5 million to 4.8 million. Abidjan is the 3rd largest French-speaking city in the world after Paris and Kinshasa.
6. Johannesburg, South Africa – 4.5 million
Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa and the provincial capital of Gauteng, it is also the wealthiest city in Africa and also one of the 50 largest urban areas worldwide.
According to various online sources, Johannesburg has an estimated 2016 population of 4.4 million, The city proper has a population density of about 2,900 people per square kilometer (7,400/square mile).
Johannesburg is projected to grow to 6.5 million by 2040.
7. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – 4.4 million
This is the largest city in Tanzania, also its population is the largest in all of East Africa. The total population of Dar es Salaam is over 4.3 million making it the 7th most populated city in Africa. The city is also the third fastest-growing city in Africa and the ninth fastest-growing in the world.
8. Giza, Egypt – 4.1 million
The eighth largest city in Africa by population is also the third largest in Egypt. Giza is situated on the Nile’s west bank, just three miles from central Cairo.
9. Cape Town, South Africa – 3.8 million
Cape Town is the second most populous city in South Africa behind Johannesburg and it is the provincial capital of the Western Cape.
The most recent census in South Africa was completed in 2011. At this point, the population of Cape Town was counted as 3,740,026, with a growth rate of 2.57% over 10 years. If this growth rate has sustained, it would put the 2018 population of Cape Town at somewhere around 3.81 million, which is a bit higher than the UN estimates.
10. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – 3.4 million
Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia and commercial hub. It is also the largest city in the country by population, with a total population of 3,384,569 according to the 2007 census. However, the city has through recent years seen a strong annual growth rate, and population counts as of 2017 are growing closer to 4 million. It is the largest city in the world located in a landlocked country.