According to current projections, Zambia will continue to experience rapid population growth throughout the rest of the century. Zambia’s current population of 18.38 million is expected to more than quadruple to 80.78 million people in 2099.
From 2019 to 2020, Zambia experienced a population growth rate of 2.93%. This adds about 523,000 people to the population. Although Zambia has some negative net migration, its fertility rate of 4.66 births per woman helps boost the population. In 2000, the fertility rate was 6.1 births per woman, which has helped to create more families today, leading to more births despite the fertility rate per woman being lower.
Zambia’s rapid population growth poses serious problems for poverty levels and resources. Additionally, public health programs will need to adapt quickly to the changing population, which is already a challenge within itself.
|Zambia Population (as of 8/24/2023)||20,652,567|
|Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2023)||20,569,737|
|Births per Day||1,902|
|Deaths per Day||355|
|Migrations per Day||-14|
|Net Change per Day||1,534|
|Population Change Since Jan. 1||360,490|
Net increase of 1 person every 56 seconds
Population estimates based on interpolation of data from World Population Prospects
|One birth every 45 seconds|
|One death every 4.05 minutes|
|One emigrant every 102.85 minutes|
|Net gain of one person every 56 seconds|
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.
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.
There are people over age 18 in Zambia.
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%).
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.
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.
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 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.