Home

Zimbabwe vs. Zambia

Demographics

ZimbabweZambia
Population
14,030,368 (July 2018 est.)

note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected

16,445,079 (July 2018 est.)

note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected

Age structure
0-14 years: 38.62% (male 2,681,192 /female 2,736,876)
15-24 years: 20.42% (male 1,403,715 /female 1,461,168)
25-54 years: 32.22% (male 2,286,915 /female 2,234,158)
55-64 years: 4.24% (male 233,021 /female 361,759)
65 years and over: 4.5% (male 255,704 /female 375,860) (2018 est.)
0-14 years: 45.95% (male 3,796,548 /female 3,759,624)
15-24 years: 20% (male 1,643,364 /female 1,645,713)
25-54 years: 28.79% (male 2,384,765 /female 2,349,877)
55-64 years: 2.95% (male 225,586 /female 260,252)
65 years and over: 2.31% (male 166,224 /female 213,126) (2018 est.)
Median age
total: 20.2 years (2018 est.)
male: 19.9 years
female: 20.4 years
total: 16.8 years (2018 est.)
male: 16.7 years
female: 16.9 years
Population growth rate
1.68% (2018 est.)
2.91% (2018 est.)
Birth rate
34 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
41.1 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate
9.9 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
12 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate
-7.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.64 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.68 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.87 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Infant mortality rate
total: 31.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
male: 35.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 27.7 deaths/1,000 live births
total: 59.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
male: 64.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 53.9 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 61.1 years (2018 est.)
male: 59 years
female: 63.2 years
total population: 53 years (2018 est.)
male: 51.4 years
female: 54.7 years
Total fertility rate
3.97 children born/woman (2018 est.)
5.58 children born/woman (2018 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
12.7% (2018 est.)
11.3% (2018 est.)
Nationality
noun: Zimbabwean(s)
adjective: Zimbabwean
noun: Zambian(s)
adjective: Zambian
Ethnic groups
African 99.4% (predominantly Shona; Ndebele is the second largest ethnic group), other 0.4%, unspecified 0.2% (2012 est.)
Bemba 21%, Tonga 13.6%, Chewa 7.4%, Lozi 5.7%, Nsenga 5.3%, Tumbuka 4.4%, Ngoni 4%, Lala 3.1%, Kaonde 2.9%, Namwanga 2.8%, Lunda (north Western) 2.6%, Mambwe 2.5%, Luvale 2.2%, Lamba 2.1%, Ushi 1.9%, Lenje 1.6%, Bisa 1.6%, Mbunda 1.2%, other 13.8%, unspecified 0.4% (2010 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
1.3 million (2018 est.)
1.2 million (2018 est.)
Religions
Protestant 74.8% (includes Apostolic 37.5%, Pentecostal 21.8%, other 15.5%), Roman Catholic 7.3%, other Christian 5.3%, traditional 1.5%, Muslim 0.5%, other 0.1%, none 10.5% (2015 est.)
Protestant 75.3%, Roman Catholic 20.2%, other 2.7% (includes Muslim Buddhist, Hindu, and Baha'i), none 1.8% (2010 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths
22,000 (2018 est.)
17,000 (2018 est.)
Languages
Shona (official; most widely spoken), Ndebele (official, second most widely spoken), English (official; traditionally used for official business), 13 minority languages (official; includes Chewa, Chibarwe, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Shangani, sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda, and Xhosa)
Bemba 33.4%, Nyanja 14.7%, Tonga 11.4%, Lozi 5.5%, Chewa 4.5%, Nsenga 2.9%, Tumbuka 2.5%, Lunda (North Western) 1.9%, Kaonde 1.8%, Lala 1.8%, Lamba 1.8%, English (official) 1.7%, Luvale 1.5%, Mambwe 1.3%, Namwanga 1.2%, Lenje 1.1%, Bisa 1%, other 9.7%, unspecified 0.2% (2010 est.)

note: Zambia is said to have over 70 languages, although many of these may be considered dialects; all of Zambia's major languages are members of the Bantu family

Literacy
definition: age 15 and over can read and write English
total population: 86.5%
male: 88.5%
female: 84.6% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write English
total population: 63.4%
male: 70.9%
female: 56% (2015 est.)
Major infectious diseases
degree of risk: high (2016)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever (2016)
vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever (2016)
water contact diseases: schistosomiasis (2016)
animal contact diseases: rabies (2016)
degree of risk: very high (2016)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever (2016)
vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever (2016)
water contact diseases: schistosomiasis (2016)
animal contact diseases: rabies (2016)
Education expenditures
7.5% of GDP (2014)
NA
Urbanization
urban population: 32.2% of total population (2019)
rate of urbanization: 2.19% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
urban population: 44.1% of total population (2019)
rate of urbanization: 4.23% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Drinking water source
improved: urban: 97% of population
rural: 67.3% of population
total: 76.9% of population
unimproved: urban: 3% of population
rural: 32.7% of population
total: 23.1% of population (2015 est.)
improved: urban: 85.6% of population
rural: 51.3% of population
total: 65.4% of population
unimproved: urban: 14.4% of population
rural: 48.7% of population
total: 34.6% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access
improved: urban: 49.3% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 30.8% of population (2015 est.)
total: 36.8% of population (2015 est.)
unimproved: urban: 50.7% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 69.2% of population (2015 est.)
total: 63.2% of population (2015 est.)
improved: urban: 55.6% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 35.7% of population (2015 est.)
total: 43.9% of population (2015 est.)
unimproved: urban: 44.4% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 64.3% of population (2015 est.)
total: 56.1% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - population
1.521 million HARARE (capital) (2019)
2.647 million LUSAKA (capital) (2019)
Maternal mortality rate
458 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
213 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight
8.5% (2015)
14.9% (2013)
Health expenditures
10.3% (2015)
5.4% (2015)
Physicians density
0.08 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
0.09 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
Hospital bed density
1.7 beds/1,000 population (2011)
2 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate
15.5% (2016)
8.1% (2016)
Mother's mean age at first birth
20 years (2015 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

19.2 years (2013/14 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

Demographic profile

Zimbabwe’s progress in reproductive, maternal, and child health has stagnated in recent years. According to a 2010 Demographic and Health Survey, contraceptive use, the number of births attended by skilled practitioners, and child mortality have either stalled or somewhat deteriorated since the mid-2000s. Zimbabwe’s total fertility rate has remained fairly stable at about 4 children per woman for the last two decades, although an uptick in the urban birth rate in recent years has caused a slight rise in the country’s overall fertility rate. Zimbabwe’s HIV prevalence rate dropped from approximately 29% to 15% since 1997 but remains among the world’s highest and continues to suppress the country’s life expectancy rate. The proliferation of HIV/AIDS information and prevention programs and personal experience with those suffering or dying from the disease have helped to change sexual behavior and reduce the epidemic.

Historically, the vast majority of Zimbabwe’s migration has been internal – a rural-urban flow. In terms of international migration, over the last 40 years Zimbabwe has gradually shifted from being a destination country to one of emigration and, to a lesser degree, one of transit (for East African illegal migrants traveling to South Africa). As a British colony, Zimbabwe attracted significant numbers of permanent immigrants from the UK and other European countries, as well as temporary economic migrants from Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia. Although Zimbabweans have migrated to South Africa since the beginning of the 20th century to work as miners, the first major exodus from the country occurred in the years before and after independence in 1980. The outward migration was politically and racially influenced; a large share of the white population of European origin chose to leave rather than live under a new black-majority government.

In the 1990s and 2000s, economic mismanagement and hyperinflation sparked a second, more diverse wave of emigration. This massive out migration – primarily to other southern African countries, the UK, and the US – has created a variety of challenges, including brain drain, illegal migration, and human smuggling and trafficking. Several factors have pushed highly skilled workers to go abroad, including unemployment, lower wages, a lack of resources, and few opportunities for career growth.

Zambia’s poor, youthful population consists primarily of Bantu-speaking people representing nearly 70 different ethnicities. Zambia’s high fertility rate continues to drive rapid population growth, averaging almost 3 percent annually between 2000 and 2010. The country’s total fertility rate has fallen by less than 1.5 children per woman during the last 30 years and still averages among the world’s highest, almost 6 children per woman, largely because of the country’s lack of access to family planning services, education for girls, and employment for women. Zambia also exhibits wide fertility disparities based on rural or urban location, education, and income. Poor, uneducated women from rural areas are more likely to marry young, to give birth early, and to have more children, viewing children as a sign of prestige and recognizing that not all of their children will live to adulthood. HIV/AIDS is prevalent in Zambia and contributes to its low life expectancy.

Zambian emigration is low compared to many other African countries and is comprised predominantly of the well-educated. The small amount of brain drain, however, has a major impact in Zambia because of its limited human capital and lack of educational infrastructure for developing skilled professionals in key fields. For example, Zambia has few schools for training doctors, nurses, and other health care workers. Its spending on education is low compared to other sub-Saharan countries.

Contraceptive prevalence rate
66.8% (2015)
49% (2013/14)
Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 79.5 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 74.4 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 5.1 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 19.7 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 91.9 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 87.1 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 4.8 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 20.8 (2015 est.)

Source: CIA Factbook