crowd of kids Niger

A first: Reuters mentions the sky-high population growth rate in a story about ‘hungry Mali’

DJIMEBOUGOU, MALI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Dust blows through the dry fields of Djimebougou village of central Mali as a dozen men, some in ripped jeans and others in traditional robes, dig into hard-packed sand to reinforce a dyke to channel scarce water onto thirsty fields.

The rainy season arrives in June but for now there is not much to do in this sleepy, drought-prone village halfway between Mali’s capital Bamako and the Mauritanian border.

Growing enough food has never been easy in Mali, but climate change is robbing West Africa’s Sahel region of already unreliable rainfall…

…”We still can’t produce enough food for the village, but we are getting there,” Maheta Sacko, the local chief, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the rest of the community watching with fascination.

Mali faces a range of problems to improve food supplies: widespread poverty, conflict, water shortages, the impact of climate change, and a fast-growing population…

…Across the Sahel, food production is not keeping pace with population growth, according to an October study from Sweden’s Lund University.

In 22 arid countries in Africa’s Sahel and north, the population has risen 30 percent in a decade to 471 million in 2010, one of the fastest growth rates in the world…

Mali is #2 in the world, in terms of number of children per woman. The following is a screenshot of those countries with a TFR of 5 or higher (from the CIA World Factbook).  Click to enlarge or use CWF link to see the entire list.


  • The__Hammer

    In countries like Niger and Mali the problem usually is not that there is not enough food. It is cost. People there are so beyond poor that even the slightest rise in food prices means starvation.

    • Frau Katze

      There’s too many people. You can’t keep growing at that rate.

  • Rosenmops

    Probably Routers will be accused of racism for pointing out the unsustainable growth rates in Africa.

    • Frau Katze

      They’ll be on boats to Europe as soon as they’re teenagers. At least, the males will be. From the pix, seems to be mostly young men.

      • Xavier

        So, a human plague of locusts.

  • Xavier

    If you feed them, they will breed.

    Bleeding heart liberals have given Africans the means to reproduce beyond the land’s carrying capacity. Anyone who has studied population dynamics knows how the cycle works.

  • Dana Garcia

    Feeding six kids in backward societies with poor farming resources sounds close to impossible.

    I see Somalia is near the top of the overachievers. Washington is crazy to be importing them as refugees at a rate of 800/month.

    • Justin St.Denis

      I have come to the conclusion that Somalia and Somalis are a waste of carbon.

  • Justin St.Denis

    Population growth in Africa has been artificially boosted well beyond the continent’s capacity by gazillion $$$$$ in foreign aid from everywhere. Western “charity” and “kindness” have created dependant national populations throughout Africa characterized by high birth rates. High birth rates are the LAST thing any African nation needs. Connect the dots, peeps. Africa’s natural continental balance will correct itself, but it will be both brutal and bloody.