Just The Facts

Colonial Aftershocks in the Congo

Why are D.R. Congolese protesting their government?

Credit: Andrew Fackler - www.flickr.com

Takeaways


  • DRC is the fourth most populous country in Africa today (and 19th in the world).
  • In 2050, DRC would also be the 9th most populous country in the world – several places behind third-ranked Nigeria.
  • By 2050, DRC is expected to be Africa’s second-most populous nation, with 195 million people.

1. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the second-largest country in Africa today in terms of geographic size. (Algeria, in North Africa, is the largest.)

2. In terms of population size, DRC is the fourth most populous country in Africa today (and 19th in the world).

3. With 77 million people, Kenya’s population is only 5% smaller than Germany’s and larger than that of the UK (by 18%), France (by 20%) or Italy (by 28%).

4. By 2050, DRC is expected to increase its population 2.5 times. It will then be Africa’s second-most populous nation, with 195 million people, according to the UN Population Division.

5. In 2050, DRC would likely also be the 9th most populous country in the world – several places behind third-ranked Nigeria.

6. In 1950, 10 years before independence, there were only 12 million people there.

7. The Democratic Republic of Congo is a former Belgian crown colony with an exceptionally brutal slave labor regime – to extract rubber, metals and diamonds – and a bitter post-imperial legacy of resource wars.

8. DRC is facing violent election-related protests this year, as it frequently does. President Joseph Kabila, son of the late rebel-turned-president Laurent Kabila, is trying to circumvent term limits.

9. The collapse of several neighboring countries, such as Rwanda, made DRC a regional battleground. Any armed faction with a grudge could take a slice of the country’s natural resource bounty and use that money to keep up the fighting.

10. Previously, Sudan held the top title for geographic size in Africa, but it was partitioned in 2011 into Sudan and South Sudan.

Sources: The Globalist Research Center, United Nations Population Division 2015 Revision, World Bank, BBC

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Responses to “Colonial Aftershocks in the Congo”

Archived Comments.

  1. On November 2, 2016 at 9:58 am Sara responded with... #

    Point three needs a revision as it mentions Kenya instead of the DRC.

  2. On November 2, 2016 at 10:01 am Sara responded with... #

    And the subtitle, too, because this list of facts hardly explains ‘why’ the people of DRC are protesting their government. It’s definitely not because it’s the second largest country in Africa.