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How do the populations of Europe and northern Africa compare?

How do the populations of Europe and northern Africa compare?
african vs european
(Last Updated On: November 2, 2023)


Regarding geography, Europe and northern Africa are two distinct regions. Europe, which is part of the continent of Eurasia, is located north of the Mediterranean Sea and is composed of 50 countries and numerous territories and dependencies. North Africa, on the other hand, is located in the northern part of Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, and comprises several African countries, including Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia. Sub-Saharan Africa encompasses all African countries south of the Sahara desert, while North America is across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe. Regarding human population, Europe’s population is estimated to be over 740 million people, and its population density is much higher than that of North Africa. North Africa’s population is estimated to be around 160 million people, and its population density is lower than that of Europe.

Regarding genetic structure, Europeans have more European ancestry than African ancestry, while North Africans have more African ancestry than European ancestry. Additionally, certain ethnic groups in both Europe and North Africa have more significant representation than others. For example, the Jewish population in Europe is greater than that of North Africa, while the Eastern population in North Africa is greater than that of Europe.

africa vs europe
europe vs africa


European countries have been around for centuries, with each nation having a distinct culture and identity. The roots of the European population can be traced back to the earliest known inhabitants of the region, who were believed to have migrated from Africa. Europe has seen several migrations, invasions, and imperial expansions throughout history. This includes the Roman Empire, which was one of the most influential forces in shaping the continent. In addition, various cultural influences from North Africa, Asia, and South Africa have also shaped the European population and its culture. This includes the introduction of Christianity, Arabic language, and Islamic culture, among others.
In more recent times, Europe has been influenced by the rise of globalization and immigration. This has led to an influx of people worldwide, including in northern Africa. Consequently, this has affected the demographics of the European population and its culture.


Europe is home to over 740 million people, making it the world’s third most populous continent. Around 70% of the population is estimated to live in urban areas. On the other hand, Northern Africa is home to around 230 million people, making it the eleventh most populated region in the world. The population of northern Africa is more evenly distributed between urban and rural areas than Europe’s, with a higher concentration of people living in rural settings. Most of the population in northern Africa is Arab or Berber, with a minority of other ethnicities. The population of Europe is diverse in terms of language, religion, and culture. While Christianity is the dominant religion in many parts of Europe, Islam is the main religion in northern Africa. Arabic and French are the predominant languages in northern Africa, while English, German, and Russian are significant European languages.

how does the population of europe compare to that of northern africa
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Europe is home to a diverse mix of religious beliefs and practices. The predominant religion in the region is Christianity, with around three-quarters of the population identifying as such. Catholicism is the largest branch of Christianity and is particularly popular in western and southern Europe. Protestantism, an offshoot of Catholicism, is widely practiced in northern Europe. Other religions, such as Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and Hinduism, are also present in Europe but comprise a much smaller percentage of the population. In northern Africa, Islam is the dominant faith and makes up most of the population. Sufism is also widely practiced in some countries, such as Morocco and Algeria. Christianity is found in several northern African countries, such as Egypt and Sudan, though it is not as widely practiced as Islam. Judaism is present in the region, though the number of practitioners is small. Other minority religions include Hinduism, Buddhism, and Baha’i.


The languages spoken in Europe and northern Africa are vastly different, though a few have overlapping influences. In Europe, the primary language families are Indo-European (which includes the Romance, Germanic, and Slavic languages) and Turkic. French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian Romance languages dominate the west and south of Europe. Germanic languages such as English, German, and Dutch are concentrated in the north and northwest. Slavic languages like Russian and Polish are spoken in eastern Europe.

Meanwhile, the Turkic languages of Turkish, Azerbaijani, and Crimean Tatar are spoken in parts of southeastern Europe. In northern Africa, the primary language families are Afroasiatic (which includes the Semitic, Berber, and Chadic languages) and Nilo-Saharan. The Semitic languages of Arabic, Hebrew, and Maltese are spoken throughout northern Africa and the Middle East. The Berber languages are primarily concentrated in Algeria and Morocco. Chadic languages like Hausa and Kanuri are found in parts of West Africa. Finally, Nilo-Saharan languages such as Dinka and Songhai are spoken in parts of East Africa. Despite the vast differences between Europe and northern Africa regarding language families, there is some overlap between them. For example, Spanish is derived from Latin, spoken in parts of Europe and North Africa in ancient times. Similarly, Arabic is derived from Ancient North Arabian and was spoken in parts of North Africa and Southwest Asia in ancient times.


The culture of Europe and northern Africa has long been intertwined. Over centuries, travelers, merchants, missionaries, and conquerors have traveled back and forth between the two regions, bringing their cultural influences. Today, this cultural exchange can be seen in the two regions’ art, architecture, music, and language. In Europe, the predominant religions are Christianity and Judaism, with Islam, also making up a significant portion of the population. In northern Africa, on the other hand, Islam is the primary religion. Arabic is widely spoken in North Africa, while European languages such as French, German, and English are also used in some areas. The traditional music of northern Africa is very different from that of Europe; it often combines Islamic and conventional African music. It has a distinctive sound that incorporates heavy use of percussion instruments such as drums and cymbals.

In contrast, European music has its roots in classical music, such as opera and choral music. Europe and northern Africa also differ in their visual arts. While European art often features lifelike figures and detailed renderings of landscapes and objects, northern African art typically has a more abstract quality. It often uses bright colors and geometric patterns to depict religious or spiritual themes. Ultimately, there are many cultural differences between Europe and northern Africa. However, centuries of shared history and cultural exchange have left a mark on both regions, and their cultures remain deeply connected today.

Frequently Asked Questions

As of 2021, the population of Europe is approximately 747 million, while the population of northern Africa is around 244 million. This means Europe’s population is roughly three times larger than northern Africa’s.

The largest country in Europe by population is Russia, with approximately 146 million people. In northern Africa, the most populous country is Egypt, with a population of around 104 million. Regarding population size, Russia is more significant than any country in northern Africa.

Fertility rates are generally higher in northern Africa than in Europe, with an average of 2.7 children per woman compared to 1.5 in Europe. Life expectancy is also higher in Europe, with an average of 81 years compared to 72 years in northern Africa.

There are significant migration patterns between Europe and northern Africa, with many people from northern African countries migrating to Europe for better economic opportunities and political stability. However, there has also been an increase in migration from Europe to northern Africa, particularly among retirees and ex-pats.

Economic factors and development levels significantly impact population size and growth in both regions. Generally, higher levels of development and economic stability are associated with lower birth rates and slower population growth. However, other factors, such as cultural norms and access to healthcare, can influence population growth rates.

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