Zambia Population 2019

18,080,210

Zambia, officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa bordered by Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Angola. The estimated 2019 population of Zambia is 17.86 million, which ranks 65th in the world.

Zambia's estimated population is 17.86 million, based on a 2012 estimate of 14.3 million and a high 3.3% annual growth rate.

Zambia Area and Population Density

Zambia is the 30th largest country covering 290,587 square miles (752,618 square kilometers) but is not nearly as large in terms of its population. It is located towards South Africa, and although its border touch a few lakes it is otherwise landlocked, touching Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, DR Congo, Tanzania, and Angola. Calculated with the 2019 population of 18,128,078, the population density of Zambia is 62.38 people per square mile (24.09 people per square kilometer), making it the 160th most densely populated country in the world.

Largest Cities in Zambia

The capital and largest city is Lusaka, with a population estimated at 1.7 million in 2010, which is estimated as of 2018 by the World Factbook to be currently at 2.5 million residents in the metropolitan area of Lusaka. Much of Zambia's population is concentrated around Lusaka in the south and the Copperbelt Province in the northwest. Zambia is one of the most urbanized countries in sub-Saharan Africa with 44% of the population in a few urban areas while rural areas remain sparsely populated.

Zambia Demographics

The original inhabitants of Zambia were the Khoisan people. The region was eventually colonized during a Bantu expansion in the 13th century. There are now 72 ethnic groups in Zambia, most of which speak Bantu.

Nearly 90% of Zambians belong to one of 9 ethnolinguistic groups: Nyanja-Chewa, Bemba, Tonga, Tumbuka, Lunda, Luvale, Kaonde, Lozi, and Nkoya. The ethnic composition of Zambia in 2003 was: Bemba (22%), Tonga (11%), Lozi (5.2%), Nsenga (5.1%), Tumbuka (4.3%), Ngoni (3.8%), Chewa (3%), white (1%), and others (45%).

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Expatriates, most of which are from South Africa and the United Kingdom, are mostly in Lusaka and the Copperbelt. While there were 70,000 Europeans in the country in 1964, most have left. There is also a small population of Indians and Chinese. It is estimated that 80,000 Chinese live in Zambia, with 13,000 Indians.

There are about 89,000 asylum seekers and refugees in Zambia, most of which came from the Democratic Republic of Congo (47,000), Angola (27,000), Zimbabwe (5,000) and Rwanda (5,000).

The median age in Zambia is only 16.8 years of age, with a total life expectancy of 52.7 years. This ranks Zambia's population as the 6th youngest for median age in the world. In addition, Zambia also ranks at number 8 for its fertility rate of 5.63 children per woman.

In terms of access to clean drinking water and improved sanitation facilities, the Zambia population is seeing a considerable struggle. Approximately 65% of the population has the ability to gain clean drinking water, while only 43.9% have access to improved sanitation. Risk of infectious disease is high here, and HIV/AIDS is quite prevalent as well, currently affecting 1.1 million people in Zambia alone.

Zambia Religion, Economy and Politics

The Zambian constitution written in 1996 declares Zambia as a Christian nation, but also provides for religious freedom within the country- however, all religious groups are required to register with the government. 75% of Zambians are Protestant,20% are Roman Catholic, and the rest of the population largely practices indigenous beliefs.

Zambia is considered a middle-income nation but has been experiencing a lot of economic growth in recent years. Unfortunately, any surpluses have not been distributed to low-income people, making it one of the countries with the highest economic inequality in the world, with 58% of the population below the poverty line. Zambia's biggest industry is in copper production.

Zambia Population History

Zambia was solely inhabited by indigenous people until the arrival of Portuguese explorers in the late 18th century. There was over a century of general instability because of migration and slave-trade happening with the Portuguese and Arabs.

Britain took control of the country in 1889 and in the 1920s, huge copper supplies were discovered in Zambia, causing an influx of Europeans. Zambia finally became an independent nation in 1964. In December of 2000 60,000 refugees from the DR Congo sought refuge in Zambia in less than one week. The overall health of the nation has been steadily decreasing since the 1970s, largely due to AIDS.

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Zambia Population Growth

Zambia is currently growing at a rate that is unsustainable and placing a serious burden on housing, water, sanitation, healthcare, and energy. The country is large in terms of area but is not equipped to handle growth rates like the annual 3% raise they are experiencing, which is largely due to extremely high fertility rates. Efforts are being made to bring more education to young people about family planning, but it has yet to make much of a difference.

Zambia Population Projections

Like many Sub-Saharan African countries, Zambia is experiencing out of control growth that is expected to continue for years to come. In fact, the United Nations predicted that the population of Zambia will increase by 941% by the end of the 21st century- a larger increase than any country in the world is expected to have. The annual growth rate is expected to slow somewhat, but the change in population will still be huge. Current projections say that the population of Zambia will be 18,679,273 in 2020, 24,859,376 in 2030, 32,326,616 by 2040, and 41 million by 2050.

Components of Population Change

One birth every 50 seconds
One death every 5 minutes
One net migrant every 65 minutes
Net gain of one person every 1 minutes

Zambia Population in 2018Source: By Lighton Phiri [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Zambia Population Pyramid 2019

Zambia Population by Age

There are 8,641,449 adults in Zambia.

Census Years

Year Date
2020October 2020
20105 November 2010
200025 October 2000
199020 August 1990

Zambia's population is currently growing at a rate 3.2% per year. The country has one of the highest fertility rates in the world at 6.2 births per woman. While the HIV prevalence in Zambia has declined, it is still at 13.5% among adults.

Official NameRepublic of Zambia
Languages SpokenEnglish
Is LandlockedYes
Latitude/Longitude-15.00, 30.00
Currencies UsedZambia Kwacha
DemonymZambian
BordersAngola
Botswana
Dr Congo
Malawi
Mozambique
Namibia
Tanzania
Zimbabwe
Name Population Location
Lusaka1,267,440Map
Kitwe400,914Map
Ndola394,518Map
Kabwe188,979Map
Chingola148,564Map
Mufulira120,500Map
Luanshya113,365Map
Livingstone109,203Map
Kasama91,056Map
Chipata85,963Map
Kalulushi66,575Map
Mazabuka64,006Map
Chililabombwe57,328Map
Mongu52,534Map
Kafue47,554Map
Choma46,746Map
Mansa42,277Map
Kansanshi40,705Map
Kapiri Mposhi37,942Map
Monze30,257Map

Zambia Population Clock

The population of Zambia (as of 12/4/2019)?18,080,210
Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2019)17,861,030
Births Per Day1,740
Deaths Per Day313
Net Migrations Per Day-22
Net Change Per Day1,405
Population Change Since January 1st473,485

Zambia Population Estimator

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Estimate as of December 4th 2019 is: 18,084,527

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
201917,861,03049.51%50.49%23.73652.94%
201817,351,70849.51%50.49%23.06652.96%
201716,853,59949.50%50.50%22.39683.00%
201616,363,45849.49%50.51%21.74693.05%
201515,879,36149.48%50.52%21.10693.14%
201013,605,98449.38%50.62%18.08702.79%
200511,856,24749.43%50.57%15.75712.62%
200010,415,94449.58%50.42%13.84732.75%
19959,096,60749.67%50.33%12.09802.51%
19908,036,84549.84%50.16%10.68813.03%
19856,923,14949.85%50.15%9.20823.42%
19805,851,82549.75%50.25%7.78863.43%
19754,943,28349.73%50.27%6.57893.42%
19704,179,06749.69%50.31%5.55943.20%
19653,570,46449.69%50.31%4.74963.06%
19603,070,77649.75%50.25%4.08973.03%
19552,644,97649.75%50.25%3.51992.74%
19502,310,44249.78%50.22%3.071020.00%
Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
202018,383,95549.52%50.48%24.43650.00%
202521,196,80149.54%50.46%28.16632.89%
203024,325,50549.56%50.44%32.32612.79%
203527,721,89649.56%50.44%36.83602.65%
204031,338,48349.55%50.45%41.64572.48%
204535,149,03849.53%50.47%46.70562.32%
205039,120,91749.49%50.51%51.98532.16%
205543,241,55149.46%50.54%57.46502.02%
206047,485,57949.42%50.58%63.09461.89%
206551,834,55449.38%50.62%68.87441.77%
207056,230,03349.35%50.65%74.71421.64%
207560,635,51049.31%50.69%80.57391.52%
208065,014,87549.28%50.72%86.39391.40%
208569,338,81649.25%50.75%92.13381.30%
209073,554,12549.23%50.77%97.73371.19%
209577,631,91649.22%50.78%103.15321.08%
  1. Central Statistical Office of Zambia
  2. World Population Prospects (2019 Revision) - United Nations population estimates and projections.

    Total population: Estimated to be consistent with the 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010 censuses adjusted for underenumeration, and with estimates of the subsequent trends in fertility, mortality and international migration.

  3. GeoNames Gazetteer