Zambia is one of the world’s largest copper producers. Although the country’s economy has grown stronger, Zambia’s population is still poor.
Key figures and facts
- Capital: Lusaka
- Ethnic groups: African tribes 85.9% (Including Bamba, Tonga, Chewa, Lozi, Nsenga, Tumbuka, Ngoni, Lala, Kaonde, Namwanga, Lunda, Mambwe, Luvale, Lamba, Ushi, Lenje, Bisa, Mbunda), others 14.2% (2010)
- Language: English (official) 1.7%, Bemba 33.4%, Nyanja 14.7%, Tonga 11.4%, Lozi 5.5%, Chewa 4.5%, Tumbuka 2.5%, others 23.2% (2010) (Zambia is said to have over 70 languages. Although many of these can be referred to as different dialects, they all belong to the bantu language family)
- Religion: Protestants 75.3%, Roman Catholic 20.2%, others (include Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and Bahai) 2.7%, none 1.8% (2010)
- Population: 17 094 000 (2017)
- Control Form: Republic
- Area: 752 610 km
- Currency: Zambian kwacha
- GNP per capita: 3 933 PPP $
- National Day: October 24th
In 2014, Zambia’s population is estimated at 15 721 343 residents (World Bank), which gives a population density of 21.1 per km2. According to the World Bank, life expectancy at birth is 56.3 for men and 60.0 for women (2014). Average annual population growth is estimated at 3.1%. By the mid-2000s only 1.7%, when Zambia was and is in part very severely affected by HIV/AIDS. According to the World Bank, 12.4% of the population in the 15-49 age group is infected with HIV/AIDS, and over 100,000 children under 15 are infected. Somewhere between 600,000 and 800,000 children have become orphans as a result of the epidemic.
The population consists of a large number of different Bantu people. The most numerous population group is bemba, which has its center of gravity in the northern province. At the 1983 census, they made up 35% of the population.
Eastern Province has four peoples groups: nsenga, chewa, kunda and ngoni. The latter came to its present territory from Natal in South Africa in the early 1870s. The southern province is dominated by the ilatonga group, with the exception of the area along the railroad between Maramba and the Copperbelt. The central province is divided between ilatonga, lenje, soli and lala-lamba people. The North West Province is sparsely populated by a number of peoples with strong historical ties to southern DR Congo (formerly Zaire): lunda, lovale, chokwe and kaonde. The western province is dominated by lozi.
Zambias approximately 45,000 Europeans are concentrated in the Copperbelt and in the major cities along the railway lines. About 12,000 are Indians.
More than 40% of the population lives in cities and towns. The most densely populated are the Copperbelt and the area along the railway line to Livingstone. The capital Lusaka is the largest city, followed by Ndola, Kitwe and Kabwe (Broken Hill).
Population of Zambia by Year (Historical)
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Major Cities in Zambia by Population
About 75% of the population of Zambia is considered Christian. Just under 25% are supporters of traditional, local religions. However, the distinction is unclear, as many Christians are characterized by African religions. Of the Christians, the Catholic Church has a support of approximately 26%, Protestants make up approximately 35%, the rest are Anglicans and African Christians. In the Asian minority, there are most Muslims and Baha’is, but there are also some Hindus.
English is the official language. The approximately Thirty African languages in the country belong to all the bantu languages. Seven of these are used in teaching, administration, newspapers and broadcasting: bemba, tonga, nyanja, lozi, kaonde, lunda and lovale. The first four are widely used as a trading language next to Swahili. Bemba has become a common language in Zambia’s industrial centers and mining areas.