More than 680,000,000 people live in Africa, and the population of this continent is rapidly expanding. Even so, the peoples of Africa currently make up only 10% of the world's population. Although it is the second largest continent, its population density in some regions is rather low. This is due in part to the Sahara Desert, which occupies one-fourth of Africa's landmass and is not suitable for habitation. In those areas that can support agriculture, the population density is higher and is closer to the world average. In the African countries with a more developed economic base, the birth and death rates are lower. In less developed countries the birth rate is high, but so is infant mortality as well as the death rate. Famine, diseases, and wars over the last few decades have also affected population growth. Nevertheless, the continent as whole currently has a population growth rate of 3%.
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