According to current projections, South Sudan’s population is expected to grow throughout the rest of the 21st century. At 11.19 million people as of 2020, the population is expected to grow to 19.96 million people by 2050 and 31.74 million by 2100.
South Sudan grew 1.19% from 2019 to 2020, an increase of about 131,000 people. While net migration remains negative for the country, its fertility rate is still relatively high at 4.74 births per woman. This makes for a very young population.
South Sudan’s increasing population must face challenges such as an increasing population density, as much of the country is inhabitable and 33% of the population occupies 7% of the land. Additionally, economic growth struggles with the increasing population and environmental degradation will continue to worsen.
South Sudan Population Growth
As the distribution of wealth between Sudan and South Sudan at the point of independence was determined in part by their relative populations, the government in Khartoum had an incentive to manipulate the figures. Additional criticisms of the 2008 Sudan population census were that it excluded the South Sudanese diaspora, that poor weather and communication conditions had prevented some people from being surveyed, and that the Sudanese Government had refused to share the raw population data from the census with the Government of South Sudan.
Accurate South Sudan population statistics are difficult to obtain, a fact which is probably not surprising when you consider that it only gained independence from Sudan on the 9th of July 2011, and is one of the world’s newest countries.
A 2008 census showed that the population of South Sudan was 8,260,490. However, this figure is hotly disputed because the census was conducted by the Sudanese Government of the time and is believed by many to have been manipulated for political reasons.
South Sudan Population Projections
Fortunately, the growth rate in South Sudan has slowed significantly post Darfur conflict, and rates are expected to continue slowing in the years to come. However, the growth will still be enough to see the population double over the next 30 years or so. Current predictions believe that the 2019 growth rate of 2.66% will peak in 2020 at 2.75% before declining towards 2% by 2040. These projections say that the population of South Sudan will be 13,610,007 in 2020, 17,254,367 in 2030, 21,189,205 in 2040 and 25,366,221 in 2050.