If you would like to learn more about white people in Africa, make sure to read this list of 12 African countries with the largest white population.
Although there is a widespread misconception that 99% of Africa consists of poor and undeveloped countries, the truth is a little bit different. In principle, Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Algeria, and Tunisia would definitely be exceptions in this regard and are far from this definition of poor African countries. On the other side, Kenya and Senegal also showed some progress, while the countries in the far south, South African Republic, Botswana and Namibia, being former German, English and Dutch colonies, developed in an incredible manner and their cities resemble the colonial cities of America and Australia.
Considering the people living there, again, there are certain stereotypes regarding the white population. Contrary to some general beliefs, it is very important to note that the census from 2011 showed that there were about 4,586,838 white people in South Africa. This is around 8.9% of the country’s population, which is an increase since the 2001 census. Of course, don’t expect to find the whitest country on earth in Africa, since the country with largest white population is definitely America, followed by Russia, but make sure not to be fooled into misconceptions. For example, Namibia is a huge country, with around 2 million inhabitants, and out of that there are around 7% white Namibians, that is, people of European birth or descent. The similar thing goes with several other countries in Africa, as it will be seen from the list of African countries with the largest white population. The white population in Nigeria is also important to emphasize, since there are many people of British descent living there, and believe it or not, some Greeks too! White Angolans are also more or less numerous, making around 1.2% of the whole population.
Of course, if you want to know about the opposite situation, that is, about the number of black people that don’t live on this continent, there is also a list of 11 Countries with Highest Black Population outside Africa, so don’t forget to read it. There are some European countries on the list as well, being one of the main proofs that stereotypes don’t work in any direction. Nevertheless, making this list would not be possible without the official Census from 2011, although the census itself was very complex. We also checked the National Bureaus of Statistics for specific countries that were marked as countries with a significant number of white people. Our list will rank the countries according to the overall number of white people who live there. The more white people residing in a country, the higher it will be on the list.
So, let’s read about the 12 African countries with the largest white population.
White population: 28,732
The fact that Zimbabwe has a lot of white people living there should not be surprising, and it would be enough to go into the 19th and 20th-century history to find the reasons for their settlements. This country, that was also known as Southern Rhodesia was one of the main areas for British settlement, and many Europeans from that part of the world actually migrated here. They took the power and had control over the country (and over the black population) and it remained so until the original inhabitants gained official independence as Zimbabwe on April 18, 1980.
White Population: 40,000
We are continuing our list of African countries with the largest white population with Zambia that was in a very similar position to Zimbabwe, as it was also colonized by the British. During this period of colonization, many Europeans came to settle in Zambia. The official colonization started in 1888 and the territory was administered by Rhodes’ British South Africa Company. However, the interest in this country from their side was not very big, and they did not have any big plans for it, except using it mainly as a source of labour. However, the white population remains on the territory even today, and it is estimated that there are around 40,000 Europeans as descendants of 70,000 Britons who remained in the country after independence which occurred in 1964.
White Population: 41,000
Contrary to the previous two countries whose white population came from the Great Britain, Swaziland was actually first colonized by the Portuguese, and today’s white population mostly consists of descendants of Portuguese who originally settled in the country. It all started sometime in the 1840s, and the first contact with Europeans was actually with Dutch Trekboers, who reached the western hinterland of Swaziland. In the following several years, about 300 Boer families had settled, but it could not go without British since Swaziland also became a British protectorate afterward.
White Population: 63,834
Botswana also shares similar destiny as previous countries on the list of African countries with the largest white population, and as a consequence of all historical events which were not always pleasant for its residents, Botswana today is a home to around 3% of a white population. The settlement is basically a result of the Dutchmen who needed to escape the British from South Africa, and they did not have anywhere else to go. Of course, they could not be alone, so some Britons came after them, so the current white population emerged from the Dutch farmers and Britons.
White Population: 67,000
It seems that the United Kingdom had a really big plan for Kenya, as they occupied the country in the 1880s. They hoped to create fortune and to use some of the country’s natural treasures, as well as to use its residents for labor purposes. This, however, did not last long, and in 1903 the Government wanted to motivate Britons to settle in this country, offering many benefits, such as land leases and tax exemptions. So, even today, there are still descendants of the people who came to settle to Kenya from Europe, even though it gained the independence in 1964.
White Population: 82,600
Like Swaziland, Mozambique is a former colony of Portugal, however, it has a longer history in this regard, since the Portuguese first established settlements in the 16th century. Of course, the settlement was for the specific purpose of exploiting the natives of this country and using them as a free labor force for the Portuguese plantations in Latin America. However, the interest for this country remained quite big until its official independence in 1975, so current white people are actually descendants of the original Portuguese settlers. The 82,000 white people living there makes it one of those African countries with the largest white population.
White Population: 100,000
It is impossible to start with the history of Morocco and the settlement of white people since there is no way to say something in short. However, the most important thing to note is that this country was ruled by two countries, France and Spain, within a period from 1912 to 1956. During this long period of 44 years, thousands of Europeans from these two countries came to settle in Morocco, but the majority of them left after it gained independence in 1956. The current 0.3% of white Moroccans are, obviously, descendants of those who remained even after that.
White Population: 103,000
Next in line on the list of African countries with the largest white population is Tunisia. When it comes to the history of the white settlement in Tunisia, it can basically be divided into two main periods. The first period would definitely be the beginning of the 19th century when the Italians came to Tunisia to set up their communities, while the second period deals with the settlement of the French later in the same century. More precisely, France colonized Tunisia in 1881, but that did not stop Italians coming either, so together they make Tunisia’s white population, even after its independence in 1956.
White Population: 120,000
Madagascar also has a long history of colonization, being a logical answer to the question of “how come that there are so many white people there?” In this case, the French were the main actors, and they colonized Madagascar after invading it in December 1894. In the beginning, it was little by little, until 1896, when France officially annexed Madagascar as a colony and gained rule over the whole island. However, even though Madagascar gained independence in 1960, the white population today is a result of French settlers.
White Population: 75,000 – 120,000
Namibia is among the top three African countries with the largest white population and with a very complex history when it comes to white settlement and colonization, making it very hard to summarize it in few sentences. However, even though so many things marked the history, Namibia is a very young country, and white people made their first settlement in 1793. It was a German colony for the longest period, and it later came under South Africa’s rule. It was one of the most attractive countries for the settlement due to its fertile agricultural land and natural resources, thus this big number of white people living there even today.
White Population: 220,000
Similarly like many other African countries, Angola was a former colony of Portugal. As it was typical for Portuguese to make settlements, it is estimated that they occupied this area even in 1492, but the official colony was proclaimed in 1575 with the arrival of Paulo Dias de Novais with hundreds of families and soldiers. For centuries, it was a Portuguese colony, until it gained independence in 1975. These reasons are why it should not be surprising that the number of white people living in Angola is this big.
1. South Africa
White Population: 4,586,838
The first thing that comes to mind when mentioning South Africa today is definitely Apartheid, and this is probably the best indicator to portray how complex the history of this country actually is. It has started with the Dutch in 1692 and continued with the British in 1795. After that, there were some periods of giving the territory back to Dutch and taking it away from them again, and so many other events until 1961, when South Africa left the Commonwealth and became a republic. Of course, the story regarding the apartheid continued until the first democratic elections in 1994, when Nelson Mandela became president. This and many other things resulted to this number today, and in the fact that South Africa is number one when it comes to African countries with the largest white population.