Dear User,
Settlement dynamics have profoundly reshaped the social and economic geography of West Africa over the past 60 years. Urbanisation and the development of dense urban networks are the most spectacular demonstrations of population redistribution. To better analyse and describe these dynamics at the regional level the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat / OECD has used new and homogenous urbanisation data and modeling.
The data presented here has been compiled from various sources, harmonised and further developed over the course of a two year programme on “Settlement, markets, and food security”. The final report concludes a series of studies on the West African settlement and market dynamics and presents key issues for policy makers. The report can be accessed through the OECD online library.

SMART — Statistical, Mapping and Regional Analysis Tool — data illustrates these dynamics and transformations. SMART allows you to map, follow and compare key settlement data for the 17 West African countries and country groups between 1950 and 2050. By linking this data with agricultural performance it also provides examples on how settlement dynamics change the way we interpret past trends and assess future potential. We consider SMART as work in progress and encourage users to provide feedback, ideas and suggestions to help us further develop and broaden it.
Enjoy using SMART!

Laurent BOSSARD, Director Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat
Urban Population
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Total Population in million
City size by population
20000 - 50000
50000 - 100000
100000 - 350000
350000 - 1 million
1 - 2 millions
> 2 millions
Urban Network Urban Network Urban Network Urban Network Urban Network Urban Network
About the data
The data presented in this tool illustrates how settlement dynamics have emerged and changed over time, and covers the period from 1950 to 2050. Further it helps to understand the region’s shift between rural and urban population and its effect on the ratio between agricultural and non-agricultural population. The research draws from multiple sources and the data has been harmonized by the authors to provide a coherent picture of the development in West Africa. For more details on the methodology for this harmonization as well as context information you can access the series of notes that preceded the report here.
For harmonizing the data used in SMART significant data on urban population on West Africa provided by Africapolis (2008) was used. Africapolis data is based on satellite and aerial imagery as well as census data to estimate the number of agglomerated people in 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990 and in 2000. Africapolis data used in this analysis dates back to 2009 and will be updated soon.

About the tool
This data tool was realised in cooperation with Thomas Ranker of Red Rooster Mobile who developed this tool and designed by Daniel Krüger of grand krü.

Data Sources and Methodology
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Urban Population
Total Population
Rural Population
Urban network
Total population
Urban population
Rural population
Level of urbanisation
Ratio urban/rural
Agricultural population
Non agricultural population
Ratio non-agri pop/agri pop
Rural non-agriultural pop
Urban agricultural pop
Population growth
Urban population growth
Rural population growth
Agricultural population growth
Non-agricultural pop growth
Agricultural production
Food imports
Imports per capita
Imports per urban
Harvested area
Area/agricultural pop
Agricultural productivity
Production growth
Import growth
Imports per capita growth
Imports per urban growth
Yield growth
Productivity growth
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some year
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