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Countries with the Youngest Median Age

Name the twenty countries whose residents have the lowest median age.
Source: CIA World Factbook. 2023 estimates.
Quiz by relessness
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Last updated: April 11, 2024
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First submittedDecember 16, 2012
Times taken37,281
Average score75.0%
Rating4.95
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Median Age
Country
15.1
Niger
16.1
Uganda
16.2
Angola
16.3
Mali
16.5
Chad
16.8
D. R. Congo
17.1
Benin
Median Age
Country
17.2
Mozambique
18.2
Zambia
18.2
Burundi
18.3
Guinea-Bissau
18.5
Burkina Faso
18.7
South Sudan
18.8
Cameroon
Median Age
Country
18.9
Tanzania
19.0
Somalia
19.0
Senegal
19.1
Sudan
19.2
Nigeria
19.2
Sierra Leone
+29
Level 56
Oct 4, 2012
This quiz is depressing... Being 16 years old is already considered "old" in some countries?
+76
Level 82
Nov 14, 2017
No that's not what median age means.
+54
Level 53
Nov 21, 2017
Well, it is, kinda... If you are 16 and less than half the population of your country is younger than you, you could be called "old "... Of course such median could be, e.g., a result of a colossal, unprecedent baby boom in the last couple years, but I assume all of us are educated enough to know what such medians truly means...
+22
Level 82
Jan 10, 2018
What do you think it truly means? It doesn't mean that you are old. And in fact all of these countries *have* had unprecedented booms in population. Not because people are having more kids- they are having as many as ever- but more because quality of life is improving (access to clean water, medicine)... but still not very good... in this state between being catastrophically impoverished and on the path toward developing, the death rate remains high while the infant mortality rate starts to drop precipitously. Whenever a country gets to this stage in development there is almost always a population explosion.
+15
Level 51
Jan 10, 2018
Might want to credit Kurzegsagt, but yes.
+15
Level 71
Jan 10, 2018
You mean Kurzgesagt
+2
Level 73
Nov 8, 2020
Part of the issue is the high percentage of orphans in these countries due to AIDS and other factors. So there is a high ratio of children to adults.
+24
Level 68
Nov 15, 2020
Fun fact: if you're 16 in a country with a very low median age, you'd be the exact same age in any other country.
+4
Level 75
Jun 21, 2023
I swear, quizzes about demographics provoke the most painful comments. This list is not "sad," "depressing," or "scary." It is a reflection of a phase in a demographic transition. That phase presents significant problems, for sure. These problems are similar in some ways to what was experienced in Europe during its own, similar, phase. (Of course, parts of Europe got to export surplus populations to - their own or others' - colonial outposts, mitigating those challenges.) Sixteen is not "old" in Niger, or anywhere else. We all (except for the Malthusians, I suppose) hope for continued declines in infant- and child mortality rates. Those are the biggest factors dragging down mean and (to a lesser extent) median ages. And while young populations present significant challenges, ask European and (especially) East Asian governments what their primary demographic challenges are these days. France, for example, might be able to address them with immigration. What does China do?
+2
Level 31
Nov 16, 2020
It's funny that all of these countries are in Africa.
+16
Level 65
Sep 11, 2015
Well this is depressing. All of these are starving African countries or poor countries ravaged by war. What's worst, many of these countries at the top (or bottom if you will) have both.
+45
Level ∞
Jul 26, 2017
The good news: in almost every measure, whether its GDP, life expectancy, fertility rate, or rate of violence, things are improving rapidly on the continent of Africa.
+5
Level 76
Jul 27, 2017
I guess fertility rate decreases median age
+1
Level 82
Nov 14, 2017
The "improvement" to fertility rate QM is referring to I think is that it is falling. Either that... or he meant to say infant mortality rate. Fertility and infant mortality are usually inversely correlated, and yes a high fertility rate decreases median age.
+10
Level ∞
Nov 8, 2020
Yes, in this case I mean that fertility rates are falling in Sub-Saharan Africa which is a good thing for them. Other countries, such as Japan, could use a higher birth rate.
+13
Level 89
Nov 9, 2020
The whole world could use a lower birth rate.
+4
Level 66
Aug 28, 2022
Not necessarily.
+9
Level 59
Jul 29, 2017
I'm surprised that all the countries on the list are in Africa. There is no any war-torn countries or autocratic countries in other continents on the list, like Syria, Afghanistan, North Korea or Haiti.
+8
Level 77
Aug 1, 2017
Because many of these are not only war torn, but also disease ridden. That lethal combination proves to be much worse for these poor African countries than other Asian/middle eastern nations that are only ravaged by war.
+6
Level 86
Oct 14, 2017
Keep in mind that the low median age basically means that there are many children per adult in those country. It's rather related to the high fertility and demographic expansion than to a low life expectancy.
+2
Level 82
Nov 14, 2017
It's both.
+1
Level 86
Dec 10, 2017
Yes, but rather because people don't breed much over 50...
+2
Level 73
Jan 10, 2018
Ongoing conflict, HIV, availability of health care, lack of social security and migration are all factors that remove the older demographics
+5
Level 67
Jan 10, 2018
You know the Syrian Civil War only lasted 6 years. Before that, Syria didn't have many issues.
+7
Level 74
Jul 18, 2018
Even though I understand what you are saying the word "only" saddens me....
+2
Level 68
Nov 15, 2020
Countries that are currently in wars won't have particularly low median ages, because wars both kill children and make people want to wait with procreation. The "sweet" spot is a few years after a war, when people start making children again, and older generations are still depleted.
+3
Level 71
Jun 21, 2023
Syria: 23.5

Afghanistan: 19.5

North Korea: 34.6

Haiti: 24.1

Afghanistan is very close to being on this list, and neither Syria nor Haiti are that high either. Not sure why North Korea is so high, but can you really trust their data?

+5
Level 77
Aug 1, 2017
The colonies strike back.
+11
Level 89
Jan 10, 2018
I just started by naming all the countries of Africa and suddenly i had a 100%. Tragic actually
+5
Level 64
Jan 10, 2018
In a way, yes, but it wouldn't be more or less tragic if there were countries from other continents on the list as well, right?
+1
Level 58
Jan 10, 2018
Not tragic at all, just means Africa and east Asia will run the world in a hundred years.
+4
Level 59
Jun 21, 2023
I don’t think you understand the implications of this
+2
Level 75
Sep 19, 2023
That is beyond delusional. China has been top in population for centuries if not millenia and it is not running the world even today. Numbers do not mean much if not backed by other factors such as resources, military power, scientific advancement and stability.
+6
Level 65
Jan 10, 2018
Some health care and birth control would go a long way
+1
Level 32
Jan 10, 2018
I guessed Afghanistan...oh well...
+2
Level 61
Jan 11, 2018
Every one of these are in Africa
+2
Level 89
Jan 11, 2018
Yeah...
+9
Level 63
Jan 13, 2018
After getting 18 African countries right, I was starting to notice a trend...
+10
Level 58
Jan 20, 2018
That moment when you press 'give up' and then have to conclude that you were wrong in thinking you had tried all countries in Africa south of the Sahara
+2
Level 84
Aug 8, 2018
My strategy of just typing every country in Africa worked like a charm. :)
+2
Level 79
Aug 3, 2020
I typed every single country in Africa EXCEPT Sao Tome and Principe, Mauritius and Seychelles!
+4
Level 66
Nov 16, 2020
Why did you guess the Mediterranean African countries? They are more developed than the rest of Africa.
+2
Level 75
Dec 13, 2021
The south is also doing reasonably well. In fact, Botswana and South Africa are doing better than Egypt and Libya in terms of HDI, and Angola and Namibia aren't that far behind.
+1
Level 64
Oct 20, 2022
That's a worldwide trend, really. The further away from the equator you live, the more affluent you are likely to be.
+3
Level 90
Nov 8, 2020
In reference to some of the comments above...

The country with the lowest life expectancy in Africa is CAR, at 52.8 years, and the highest life expectancy in sub-Saharan, mainland Africa is Botswana at 69.3 years. The overall life expectancy for Africa is 62 for males and 65 for females, versus the global life expectancy of 70 for males and 75 for females.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy

+6
Level 79
Nov 8, 2020
I was shocked C.A.R. wasn't one of the answers to the quiz. I even typed it out in full the second time I tried it, just to be sure it really wasn't an answer.
+1
Level 71
Nov 9, 2020
Damn, I feel old now. In some of these countries, I wouldn't even have 10 years left to live...
+1
Level 85
Nov 9, 2020
While some of us "should" have died decades ago!
+3
Level 60
Nov 9, 2020
Better name for the quiz: Try to guess random African Nations mostly Sub Saharan as fast as you can
+1
Level 67
Nov 15, 2020
It quickly became obvious that it was a question of type in any African country you can think of.
+1
Level 52
Nov 15, 2020
What about my micronation? Median age is what, 11, I think!
+5
Level 63
Nov 15, 2020
having a mid life crisis as you start puberty.
+4
Level 53
Nov 26, 2020
So basically, how many African countries can you name
+2
Level 78
Jan 6, 2021
Welcome to another edition of 'name as many African countries as you can in three minutes'
+4
Level 33
Feb 28, 2021
sad how all of these are in africa :(
+2
Level 22
Apr 24, 2022
This is so sad
+1
Level 59
Sep 18, 2022
i really forget niger and nigeria.....
+1
Level 62
Jan 22, 2023
The median age means that if you took all the people's ages in a country and divided them by the number of people living in that country, you would get the median age. It just shows that there are a lot of younger people in these countries and that their life expectancies are lower. It is sad though.
+1
Level 66
Oct 22, 2023
I think you are describing the mean, aka average, age. The median age is just the age of the 50th percentile individual. In other words, half the population is above the median age and half the population below it. Similar to, but not the same as, average age.

By itself a low median age does not NECESSARILY mean that life expectancy is low (although the two often coincide because poverty leads to both more children and shorter lives).

You could theoretically imagine a country where the median age is 15 but every single individual over 15 years old is also 100 years old. Then the median age would be very low but the life expectancy would be quite high indeed.

Statistics are fun.

+2
Level 76
Apr 24, 2023
not surprising, but also unfortunate that all of them are in Africa
+1
Level 60
Jun 25, 2023
It wouldn't be any more fortunate if some/all were in a different continent.
+2
Level 58
May 15, 2023
So the quiz is African Countries with the Youngest Median Age. Okay cool
+1
Level 53
Jun 21, 2023
the result of sending trillions of dollars in aid to africa. nature would keep their fertility rate in check if it weren't for endless funds coming their way to temporarily improve their helpless situation.
+6
Level 74
Jun 21, 2023
That is very cruel and also just wrong. Higher living standards are the reason of the higher populations, but also lowering the fertility rates in the long term. Every single advanced country in the world went through this development. It will balance itself out eventually, no need for extinction fantasies.
+1
Level 67
Jun 21, 2023
Just missed Mali
+1
Level 50
Aug 23, 2023
All in Africa
+1
Level 45
Feb 15, 2024
Basically, just name as many African countries as you can in the time given.