According to Patrick’s proprietary model, Nigeria will experience dramatic economic growth over the coming three or four decades. The domestic population is expected to grow by 145% between 2010 and 2050 (compared with 34% growth for the entire world population) and the country has an export-driven economy led by their oil reserves. Of all the countries calculated with this model, the expected economic growth in Nigeria was the highest.
Nigeria also had the lowest median age and life expectancy of all the countries included. People don’t live very long in Nigeria and the median age is just 19. That spells political volatility. If you look at instances of social unrest around the world, they are very highly correlated with “youth bulges” and more than half of Nigeria’s population is younger than 20. Younger people are generally underemployed and financially frustrated, so they protest. Nigeria’s expected economic growth will moderate that volatility somewhat but the country can definitely expect some rough periods as they grow and develop.
Nigeria is approximately 50% Muslim and 50% Christian, and the fertility rate is high. Families have many children. At the same time, public health is still quite low so people don’t live very long. The net result is an extremely young population. And with a high fertility rate, all those young people will soon be having children of their own, resulting in dramatic population growth over the coming decades. The country also has an active import / export sector and an overall trade surplus which brings needed resources into the country.
The graphic below is quite dramatic. Compared with the rest of the world, Nigeria has far more young people and less middle-aged working and also older retired people. Moreover, the situation doesn’t get better as the years pass. It’s actually expected to get a bit more extreme by 2050. This is quite common throughout Africa. It will be interesting to see how Nigeria handles their exploding population and the expected economic growth and political volatility that will come at the same time.
Patrick is an award-winning author and keynote speaker who can speak about demographic trends affecting Nigeria at conferences and business events in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt or other Nigerian destinations.
DISCLAIMER: Projected results are NOT guaranteed. The forecasts for Nigeria above were calculated based on projected population data obtained from the World Bank website. The economic forecast used this demographic data along with adjusters for net exports, relative age distribution and per capita income projections. The political volatility forecast used the same demographic data along with adjusters for youth population percentage, projected economic growth and public government debt level. Please see the model methodology for more details.
Patrick Schwerdtfeger maintains a video blog entitled “Strategic Business Insights” and adds new videos on a regular basis. Some of the videos are ‘macro’ covering topics like global business trends and geopolitical dynamics. Others are ‘micro’ covering communication skills and your mental mindset. Access them here:
All of the countries covered by the economic forecasting model are ranked below. They are each linked to the country’s respective page, so please feel free to explore other countries you might be interested in.
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