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How many countries are in Africa? 54 in short!

There are 54 countries in Africa. Algeria is the largest country by land area; and by population, Nigeria is the largest. There are also two additional states whose independence is under dispute: Western Sahara and Somaliland. Africa has the second-largest population in the world, with an estimated 1 billion inhabitants. This constitutes almost 15% of the world’s population (2009 census). Over 1 000 official languages are spoken across the African continent; and the largest religious group is Islam, followed by Christianity.

Countries of Africa

  1. Algeria
  2. Angola
  3. Benin
  4. Botswana
  5. Burkina Faso
  6. Burundi
  7. Cameroon
  8. Cape Verde
  9. Central African Republic
  10. Chad
  11. Camoros
  12. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  13. Republic of the Congo
  14. Djibouti
  15. Egypt
  16. Equatorial Guinea
  17. Eritrea
  18. Ethiopia
  19. Gabon
  20. Gambia
  21. Ghana
  22. Guinea
  23. Guinea-Bissau
  24. Ivory Coast
  25. Kenya
  26. Lesotho
  27. Liberia
  28. Libya
  29. Madagascar
  30. Malawi
  31. Mali
  32. Mauritania
  33. Mauritius
  34. Morocco
  35. Mozambique
  36. Namibia
  37. Niger
  38. Nigeria
  39. Rwanda
  40. Sao Tome and Principe
  41. Senegal
  42. Seychelles
  43. Sierra Leone
  44. Somalia
  45. South Africa
  46. South Sudan
  47. Sudan
  48. Swaziland
  49. Tanzania
  50. Togo
  51. Tunisia
  52. Uganda
  53. Zambia
  54. Zimbabwe
How many countries in Africa?

Why Western Sahara is not an African country?

Formerly the Spanish colony of Spanish Sahara, Western Sahara is a disputed territory which has been claimed by both the Kingdom of Morocco and the Popular Front for the Liberation of the Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro (Polisario Front). The latter is an independent movement based in Algeria.

Western Sahara is listed by the United Nations (UN) as a non-decolonised territory and is thus included in the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories.

Why Somaliland is not an African country?

Officially known as the Republic of Somaliland, it is a self-declared state and recognised internationally as an autonomous region of Somalia. The government of Somaliland regards itself as the successor state to the former British Somaliland protectorate which, after a brief independence period, united with the Trust Territory of Somaliland (formerly Italian Somaliland) to form the Somali Republic.

The disputed territory is governed by a democratically-elected government that self-proclaims its independence. However, Somaliland is not recognised by any country or international organisation as an independent country of Africa.

How big is Africa?


Africa is the second largest continent in the world in terms of land area and population. Africa covers a land mass of over 3 million square kilometres (11.7 square miles), which includes independent island states.

Africa is separated from Europe by the Mediterranean Sea and joined with Asia by the Isthmus of Suez. This is a 120 kilometre (75 mile) strip of land which lies between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. The Suez Rift runs beneath the Isthmus of Suez which divides mainland Egypt and Africa from the Sinai Peninsula.

Africa is surrounded by the Red Sea and the Suez Canal in the northeast, the warm Indian Ocean to the southeast, the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the icy cold Atlantic Ocean to the west.

The distance from the southernmost tip of Africa at Cape Agulhas to the northernmost tip at Ras ben Sakka in Tunisia is approximately 8 050 kilometres (5 000 miles). The distance between the most easterly point at Ras Fun in Somalia and the most westerly point in Cape Verde is approximately 7 400 kilometres (4 600 miles).

Africa straddles the Equator which passes through 6 countries: Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Kenya and Somalia.


Largest countries in Africa by land area

The Top 5 largest countries in Africa by land area are:

  1. Algeria: covers 6% of the Earth’s total surface area; largest country in Africa and the 10th largest in the world


  1. The Democratic Republic of the Congo: landlocked country in Central Africa; larger than the combined land area of Norway, Sweden, Germany, France and Spain


  1. Sudan: in North Africa, sharing a coastal border with the Red Sea


  1. Libya: in North Africa, sharing a coastal border with the Mediterranean Sea


  1. Chad: landlocked country in North-Central Africa


Largest and smallest countries in Africa by land area


The Top 5 smallest countries in Africa by land area are all island nations:

  1. Seychelles: an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean


  1. São Tomé and Príncipe: two main islands of the archipelago located in the Gulf of Guinea


  1. Mauritius: located in the Indian Ocean, includes the Mascarene Islands of Rodrigues


  1. Comoros: archipelago of three main islands and numerous smaller islands, located in the Indian Ocean


  1. Cape Verde: archipelago of 10 islands, located in the Atlantic Ocean


The smallest country in mainland Africa is the Republic of The Gambia. It is almost completely surrounded by Senegal except for its western coastline along the Atlantic Ocean.


Richest countries in Africa


Looking at the purchasing gross domestic product (GDP) of the countries in Africa, the Top 5 richest countries in Africa in 2019 were:

  1. Egypt
  2. Nigeria
  3. South Africa
  4. Algeria
  5. Morocco


Poorest countries in Africa


The Top 5 poorest countries in Africa in 2019 by purchasing GDP were:

  1. Burundi
  2. The Central African Republic
  3. The Democratic Republic of the Congo
  4. Eritrea
  5. Liberia


Most populated countries in Africa


Nigeria is Africa’s most populated country, followed by Ethiopia, Egypt, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

  1. Nigeria: 181 million inhabitants; almost 16% of the African population
  2. Ethiopia: 104 million inhabitants; one of the fastest growing populations with an annual growth rate of 2.6%
  3. Egypt: 89 million inhabitants; almost 8% of the African population
  4. Democratic Republic of the Congo: 77 million inhabitants; one of the fastest growing populations in Africa and the world
  5. South Africa: 55 million inhabitants; constitutes almost 5% of the African population with annual population growth of 1.6%

Least populated countries in Africa


Seychelles is the least populated country in Africa, followed by São Tomé and Príncipe, Cape Verde, Comoros and Djibouti.

  1. Seychelles: 97 000 inhabitants, 17th on the list of least populated countries in the world


  1. São Tomé and Príncipe: 194 000 inhabitants, the majority live on the island of São Tomé


  1. Cape Verde: 525 000 inhabitants; the majority live on the island of Santiago


  1. Comoros: 783 000 inhabitants, the majority live on the island of Nzwani


  1. Djibouti: 961 000 inhabitants; the majority live in and around the capital city of Djibouti City