Image Credit: Independent Probe

When businessman and political leader of the opposition Movement for Progressive Change (MPC), Simeon Freeman, appeared on OK FM on February 27, he made several claims.

Freeman is rallying support for opposition collaboration as the country’s Presidential and Legislative Election is in October.

According to him, a-one opposition can defeat President George Weah, who is seeking re-election for a second term.

Freeman has contested two elections, mainly in 2011 and 2017, and results show that he didn’t make the top five.

We look at the claims made by Freeman during his radio appearance.

1.       Liberia has the highest capacity population density in Africa

a.       37 percent of the population lives in the capital city.

b.       Monrovia population is 1.6 Million

c.       All other African countries have 10-15 percent of their people in the capital city.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development 2022 report, there are two categories in which African cities are clustered: size or density.

Some clusters are dense, having cities near one another, although they might not have many cities. Some sets include a similar number of cities but may not be as thick due to the cities’ slightly greater separation.

There are a few vast, dense groups. They have a large number of nearby cities. A compact city cluster is where at least 2.5 million urban dwellers reside in towns with more than 30 000 inhabitants no more than 100 road kilometers apart.

A sizeable urban cluster is defined as a region where at least 10 million urban residents live in cities with more than 30 000 inhabitants within 250 kilometers of each other. An expansive city cluster can include one or more compact clusters.

The report named Egypt the largest cluster of cities along the Nile and within its delta. It is one of the few examples of a compact city cluster with a vast population. It is home to more than 80% of Egypt’s population, with 82 million urban dwellers.

Egypt also contains six more cities with more than one million population.

In addition to Cairo, the second-largest compact city cluster consists of cities in Nigeria and Benin, specifically Lagos, Ibadan, and Cotonou. According to the African Development Bank, it boasts 33 million urban dwellers, despite having no other cities with populations greater than one million.

While the largest expansive city cluster covers West African cities from Kumasi (Ghana) in the west to Kano (Nigeria).

The Business Insider Africa said Lagos, Nigeria, is the most populated city in Africa, followed by D.R. Congo and Egypt.

In 2021, Mauritius was named as having the highest population density by Statista, while World Bank named Guinea Bissau in 2020 and DR Congo in 2021.

Conclusion: Liberia does not have the highest capacity population density in Africa.

1a. No, 37 percent of the population does not live in the capital city. Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, was founded in 1822 by formerly enslaved people from the United States of America and was named after US president James Monroe.

It is located on a hilly peninsular between the Mesurado river and the Atlantic Ocean on the West Coast of Africa. The Mesurado River separates the mainland from Bushrod and Balli islands.

In 1986, the population of Monrovia was estimated at around 572,000 inhabitants. This number peaked at the height of the civil war; between 1990 – 2004, the people of Monrovia were reported to have doubled to over 1,000,000, according to City Alliance.

Monrovia is considered a primate city, although it is more accurately a census district comprising the city of Monrovia, the city of Paynesville, eight townships, and one borough in the UN Habitat 2020 report.

With a population exceeding 1.3 million, representing nearly 29 percent of the national population, Monrovia is the hub of the country’s administrative, economic, and transport activities.

The World Bank reported Monrovia’s population at 30 percent in 2021.

1b. Exaggeration, the population in Monrovia is not 1.6 Million; the UN-Habitat 2020 report puts the number at 1.3 million, while the World Bank 2021 report says 1.5 million.

The Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) announced the provisional results of its 2022 National Population and Housing Census.

Acting head of LISGIS, Lawrence George, said: “The de facto Population in Liberia on Census Night [November 10-11, 2022] was 5.2 million (5,248,621). The total population increased by 1,772,013 (50 percent) [when] compared to the 2008 census.

George said the provisional results show Montserrado County accounts for 37 percent of the total population enumerated, but there has not been an official percentage for Monrovia.

1c. All other countries have 10-15 percent of their population in the capital city. No, it’s incorrect. The World Bank named seven countries below 10-15 percent of its population residing in its capital cities.

Percentage of Countries below ten percent that citizens are living in its capital


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