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Top 10 Most Populated Urban Cities in Africa (2020)

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The below cities are the top 10 most populated Urban cities in Africa.

An urban area, or built-up area according to Demographia, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment.

Top ten Urbanized cities in Africa 2020 ranking

1. Cairo, Egypt

population estimate: 19,372,000

Top 10 Urbanized Cities in Africa 2020 Ranking

Cairo is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world. Its metropolitan area, with a population of over 20 million, is the largest in Africa, the Arab world, and the Middle East, and the 6th-largest in the world. Cairo is associated with ancient Egypt, as the famous Giza pyramid complex and the ancient city of Memphis are located in its geographical area.

2. Lagos, Nigeria

Population estimate: 15,279,000

Top 10 Urbanized Cities in Africa 2020 Ranking

Lagos is the most populous city in Nigeria and the African continent. Lagos is a major financial centre for all of Africa and is the economic hub of Lagos State. The megacity has the fourth-highest GDP in Africa and houses one of the largest and busiest seaports on the continent. It is also one of the fastest growing cities in the world.

3. Kinshasa, Congo

Population estimate: 13,528,000

Top 10 Urbanized Cities in Africa 2020 Ranking

Kinshasa is the capital and the largest city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The city is situated alongside the Congo River.
The city is Africa’s third-largest urban area after Cairo and Lagos. It is also the world’s largest Francophone urban area (surpassing Paris in population), with French being the language of government, schools, newspapers, and public services.

4. Johannesburg, South Africa

Population estimate: 9,505,000

Top 10 Urbanized Cities in Africa 2020 Ranking

Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa, classified as a mega city, and is one of the 50 largest urban areas in the world. It is the provincial capital and largest city of Gauteng, which is the wealthiest province in South Africa.

Johannesburg is the seat of the Constitutional Court, the highest court in South Africa. Most of the major South African companies and banks have their head offices in Johannesburg.

The city was established in 1886 following the discovery of gold on what had been a farm. Due to the extremely large gold deposit found along the Witwatersrand, within ten years, the population had grown to 100,000 inhabitants. Today that population is over 9 million and many of the populace live in built-up areas.

5. Luanda, Angola

Population estimate: 8,417,000

Top 10 Urbanized Cities in Africa 2020 Ranking

Luanda is the capital and largest city in Angola. It is Angola’s primary port, and its major industrial, cultural and urban centre. Located on Angola’s northern Atlantic coast, Luanda is Angola’s administrative centre, its chief seaport and also the capital of the Luanda Province.

Luanda and its metropolitan area is the most populous Portuguese -speaking capital city in the world, with over 8.3 million inhabitants in 2020. Among the oldest colonial cities of Africa, it was founded in January 1576 as São Paulo da Assunção de Loanda by Portuguese explorer Paulo Dias de Novais. The city served as the centre of the slave trade to Brazil before its prohibition.

6. Khartoum, Sudan

Population estimate: 7,282,000

most Urbanized Cities in Africa 2020 Ranking

Khartoum or Khartum is the capital of Sudan, its metropolitan area is the largest in Sudan. Khartoum is located at the confluence of the White Nile, flowing north from Lake Victoria, and the Blue Nile, flowing west from Lake Tana in Ethiopia. The location where the two Niles meet is known as al-Mogran or al-Muqran. From there, the Nile continues to flow north towards Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea.

7. Dar es salaam, Tanzania

Population estimate: 6,698,000

Dar es-Salaam is the most populous city in Tanzania and the largest city in East Africa, with a projected population of 6,698,000 living in urban areas.It’s also the third-fastest-growing city in Africa The metro population is predicted to be as high as 76 million by the year 2100.

8. Onitsha, Nigeria

Population estimate: 6,269,000

Top 10 Urbanized Cities in Africa 2020 Ranking

Onitsha is a city located on the eastern bank of the Niger River, in Nigeria’s Anambra State. A metropolitan city, Onitsha is known for its river port and as an economic hub for commerce, industry, and education. It hosts the Onitsha Main Market, the largest market in Africa in terms of geographical size and volume of goods. In the 2006 Nigerian census, Onitsha had an estimated city proper population of over quarter a million people, and, as of 2020, had an estimated urban population of 6,269,000.

9. Nairobi, Kenya

Population estimate: 6,020,000

Top 10 Urbanized Cities in Africa 2020 Ranking

Nairobi is the capital and the largest city of Kenya. The name comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nairobi, which translates to “cool water”, a reference to the Nairobi River which flows through the city. The city proper had a population of 4,397,073 in the 2019 census, while the metropolitan area has a population of 9,354,580.

10. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Population estimate: 5,320,000

Top 10 Urbanized Cities in Africa 2020 Ranking

Addis Ababa is the capital and largest city in
Ethiopia. The city serves as the capital city of the Oromia Region. It is where the African Union is headquartered and where its predecessor the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was based. It also hosts the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), as well as various other continental and international organizations. Addis Ababa is therefore often referred to as “the political capital of Africa” for its historical, diplomatic and political significance for the continent.

Extra

11. Accra, Ghana

Population estimate: 5,138,000

Top 10 Urbanized Cities in Africa 2020 Ranking

Accra is the capital of Ghana with an estimated urban population of 5.2 million as of 2020. It is organized into 12 local government districts – 11 municipal districts and the Accra Metropolitan District, which is the only district within the capital to be granted city status.


Lagos And Onitsha Are The Most Populated Urban Areas In Nigeria


Top 10 Most Populated Urban Areas In Nigeria

1. Lagos

Lagos is the most populous city in Nigeria and the African continent. Lagos is a major financial centre for all of Africa and is the economic hub of Lagos State. The megacity has the fourth-highest GDP in Africaand houses one of the largest and busiest seaports on the continent. It is one of the fastest growing cities in the world.

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2. Onitsha

Top 10 Most Urbanized Areas In Nigeria 2020 Ranking

Onitsha is a city located on the eastern bank of the Niger River, in Nigeria’s Anambra State. A metropolitan city, Onitsha is known for its river port and as an economic hub for commerce, industry, and education. It hosts the Onitsha Main Market, the largest market in Africa in terms of geographical size and volume of goods.In the 2006 Nigerian census, Onitsha had an estimated city proper population of over quarter a million people, and, as of 2016, had an estimated urban population of 7,425,000.

3. Kano

Top 10 Most Urbanized Areas In Nigeria 2020 Ranking

Kano is the capital city of Kano State in North West zone of Nigeria. It is in the Sahelian geographic region, south of the Sahara. Kano is the commercial nerve centre of Northern Nigeria and is the second-largest city in Nigeria. The total area of Metropolitan Kano is now 499 square kilometres (193 square miles), with a population of over 4 million.

4. Ibadan

Top 10 Most Urbanized Areas In Nigeria 2020 Ranking

Ibadan is the capital and most populous city of Oyo State, Nigeria. With a population of over 6 million, it is the third most populous city in Nigeria after Lagos and Kano; it is the country’s largest city by geographical area. At the time of Nigeria’s independence in 1960, Ibadan was the largest and most populous city in the country, and the second most populous in Africa behind Cairo.

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5. Abuja

Top 10 Most Urbanized Areas In Nigeria 2020 Ranking

Abuja is the capital city of Nigeria located in the centre of the country within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). It is a planned city and was built mainly in the 1980s, replacing the country’s most populous city of Lagos as the capital on 12 December 1991. Abuja’s geography is defined by Aso Rock , a 400-metre (1,300 ft) monolith left by water erosion. The Presidential Complex, National Assembly, Supreme Court and much of the city extend to the south of the rock. Zuma Rock , a 792-metre (2,598 ft) monolith, lies just north of the city on the expressway to Kaduna.At the 2006 census, the city of Abuja had a population of 776,298 [8] making it one of theten most populous cities in Nigeria. According to the United Nations , Abuja grew by 139.7% between 2000 and 2010, making it the fastest growing city in the world.

6. Portharcourt

Port Harcourt is the capital and largest city of Rivers State, Nigeria. It lies along the Bonny River and is located in the Niger Delta. As of 2020, the Port Harcourt urban area has an estimated population of over 1.7 million inhabitants.

7. Benin city

Benin City is the capital, and largest city of Edo State in southern Nigeria. Benin City is the centre of Nigeria’s rubber industry, and oil production is also a significant industry.

8. Kaduna

Kaduna is the state capital of Kaduna State in north-western Nigeria, on the Kaduna River. It is a trade centre and a major transportation hub for the surrounding agricultural areas, with its rail and road junction. The population of Kaduna was at 760,084 as of the 2006 Nigerian census.Rapid urbanization since 2005 has created an increasingly large population, estimated to be around 1.3 million.

9. Enugu

Enugu is the capital of Enugu State in Nigeria. It is located in southeastern Nigeria. The city had a population of 722,664 according to the 2006 Nigerian census.The discovery of coal deposits on Enugwu Ngwuo farm lands down the valley, attracted people from all and sundry to the newly discovered wealth, in search for means of living, and as depicted in the map of the original plan for a government station, titled Enugwu Ngwo government station, this marked the core of the first urban settlement of what is today known as Enugu, started on Ngwuo land and it was called Enugwu Ngwuo until when it attained township status, the word Ngwo was removed for the convenience of pronunciation, thus a village of Ngwuo clan gave birth to a city which today has grown into a mega city, and still growing, engulfing the surrounding Nkanu towns of Nike and Akunino and stretching towards Neke and Emene.

10. Illorin

Ilorin is the state capital of Kwara in Western Nigeria. As of the 2006 census, it had a population of 777,667, making it the 7th largest city by population in Nigeria. today ilorin’s urban area has an estimated population of over 1 million inhabitants.

About Demographia

Demographia World Urban Areas (Built-up Urban Areas or Urban Agglomerations) is the only annually published inventory of population, corresponding land area and population density for urban areas with more than 500,000 population. Unlike some other regularly produced lists, Demographia World Urban Areas applies a generally consistent definition to built-up urban areas.Urban footprint data is reported without regard to political boundaries that are generally associated with metropolitan areas or sub-national jurisdictions. As used in this report, all instances of the term “urban area” are defined as “built-up urban
area.An urban area (“built-up urban area,”5 urbanized area or urban agglomeration)6 is a continuously built up land mass of urban development that is within a labor market (metropolitan area or metropolitan region). An urban area contains no rural land (all land in the world is either urban or rural). In some nations, the term “urban area” is used, but does not denote a built-up urban area.Demographia World Urban Areas is in its 15th year of publication. It was established for the purpose of bringing consistency to the subject of urban density, in hopes of replacing anecdotal comparisons between cities that are often grossly invalid. The built-up urban area is the only level at which there is sufficient data to estimate the densities of the urban organism at anything approximating international standards. Even with this data, the science of urban area density is in its infancy.MethodologyDemographia uses maps, satellite photographs to estimate continuous urbanization. Demographia also uses small area population data, where available, to match population estimates to urban land area.The current year population estimate is modeled from the base year population, adjusted by population projections between the base year and the current year. Most population projections are from the United Nations.



Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.

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