The Africanization of Europe

A quarter of Europe’s inhabitants — more than half of them under the age of 30 — will be ‘Africans’ in 2050.” This is the startling conclusion Stephen Smith draws in his new book: La Ruée Vers l’Europe (The Rush for Europe). (1.)

The Professor of African Studies at Duke University has shaken France so deeply that President Emanuel Macron and National Front leader, Marine Le Pen, both referred to him in TV interviews in March.

A stampede which has already begun

Smith, citing numerous sources, says at least 150 million Africans will come to Europe over the next quarter century. He points out that their high birth rate and their communitarianism will change the face of Europe for ever.


The number one cause of this illegal migration, Smith writes, is demographic pressure: “40% of Africa’s population is under 15… while south of the Sahara 80% are under 30.” Smith stresses that, even if there were no corruption and the system functioned properly, there is no way economic growth can keep up with the population.

In all of sub-saharan Africa, you would have to create around 22 million jobs every year.” Moreover, the world’s food needs will increase by 70% in the next quarter century. Smith cites Keith Richburg’s 1997 book Out of America, A Black Man Confronts Africa,  in which the Washington Post reporter asks how long it would take today to fill a slave ship docked in a West African port with volunteers. (2.)

Smith’s book gives the impression there will be no way to stop the migration. Quoting Thomas Robert Malthus, Smith writes that when society has no need of their work and they have no right to demand food then the unwanted and un-needed will leave, even before being told to do so. (3.)

Those arriving are mostly uneducated and often illiterate fighting age males. “The obvious abuse of the right to asylum” Smith says is using the system to get into Europe. “In 2016 … 80% of Asylum Requests were rejected” which Smith uses to show these are economic migrants taking advantage of Europe’s laws.

Once in Europe, it is easy to order them to leave; it is nearly impossible to get them to go. Many countries simply refuse to take them back and won’t do the paper work. The cost is also colossal : “To repatriate all the illegal immigrants, Great Britain alone would have to spend nine billion euros … and turn the expulsion revolving-doors for 15 to 30 years.”

Studies have shown that each “asylum seeker” case can cost up to 100,000 euros by the time of expulsion.

More & more French politicians have joined Le Pen’s anti-immigrant bandwagon

Smith rejects the argument of those who say immigrants are needed and contribute to a country’s wealth: “massive immigration of young Africans is neither necessary, nor useful,” Smith writes. “Their arrival improves nothing … given their families who are, on average, more numerous, any gain for the retired would be offset by the costs to educate, train and care for their children.” 

Add to that, that those who are arriving are mostly uneducated. Economists predict that, over the next ten years, due to digitalization, up to 40% of today’s jobs in Europe will disappear. The EU is already burdened with armies of unemployed. I would add, that if there were a better distribution of the wealth created through labor, migrants are probably not needed at all: the value of labor productivity is more than twice what it was in 1970! (OECD click here)

Europe’s identity

But it is not just a question of economics. Many Europeans do not want to be “Africanized” as the migrants, through strong family, tribal and ethnic ties, not only bring their cultures and beliefs with them, but also impose them on the host countries: A sort of colonialism in reverse.

Smith lashes out at ‘do-gooders’ who blame colonialism for African migration asking how can centuries of African history be determined by 89 years of colonialism? Most African countries have been independent since the early 1960s any way. “The worst response that we could give African migrants is the policy of pity.” 

African migrants might be “throwing in the towel but they are not surrendering their arms” and this is where a real danger exists. What happens when their expectations of a ‘good European life’ are not met?

Countries like France, where there is no racial, ethnic or religious census, have no idea how many Africans, Franco-Africans or Muslims are in the country. It is estimated there are over 300 thousand Ivorians alone. Other countries like Germany keep better records of those who arrive. The Germans also naturalize far fewer than France or Britain.

In 1900, a quarter of the world’s population was European while today it is 7%. In 2050, a quarter of the ten billion people on Earth will be African. Food insecurity, lack of economic prospects, climate change, the desire for a better life, all due to unsustainable demography, will send tens of millions of them heading for the Old Continent.

Stephen Smith’s five Scenari :

  • EurAfrica gives a warm welcome to African migrants “in the hopes they will render the Old Continent younger.”
  • Fortress Europe, which Smith implies is a battle lost in advance but may be the only way to enforce the respect of the law, end asylum abuse and defend the right to asylum for those who deserve it.
  • The “Mafia drift” which Smith says could link African smugglers with European organized crime or lead to turf wars with Europe’s criminals.
  • Return to the Protectorate”—faced with an existential migratory threat, Europe may try to “cut the evil at its source” and could reach deals, which would entail money, with African leaders to stop their people from migrating by all means necessary and turn a blind eye to the consequences.
  • The odds and ends solution which would combine all the preceding solutions without ever accomplishing any.


  1. Stephen Smith, La Ruée Vers L’Europe: La Jeune Afrique en route pour le Vieux Continent, Grasset, Paris, 2018.
  2. Keith B. Richburg, Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa, 1997.
  3. Thomas Robert Malthus, An essay on the Principle of Population, 1798.