Sauders 2 Zambia

About Zambia

Geography

Area: 752,612 sq. km. (290,585 sq. mi.); slightly larger than Texas.

Cities: Capital--Lusaka (pop. approx. 1.7 million).

Other cities: Kitwe, Ndola, Livingstone, Kabwe.

Terrain: Varies; mostly plateau savanna.

Climate: Generally dry and temperate.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Zambian(s).

Population (mid-2009 est.): Approx. 12.9 million.

Annual population growth rate (2009): 2.9%.

Ethnic groups: More than 70 ethnic groups.

Religions: Christian, indigenous beliefs, Muslim, Hindu.

Languages: English (official), about 70 local languages and dialects, including Bemba, Lozi, Kaonde, Lunda, Luvale, Tonga, and Nyanja.

Education: No compulsory education; 7 years free education. Literacy--women: 60.6%; men: 81.6%.

Health: Infant mortality rate--70/1,000. Life expectancy--38.63 years. HIV prevalence (15-49 years of age)--14.3%.

Work force: Agriculture--75%; mining and manufacturing--6%; services--19%.


Zambia's population comprises more than 70 Bantu-speaking ethnic groups. Some ethnic groups are small, and only two have enough people to constitute at least 10% of the population. Most Zambians are subsistence farmers. The predominant religion is a blend of traditional beliefs and Christianity; Christianity is the official national religion. Expatriates, a majority of whom are British (about 15,000) and South African, live mainly in Lusaka and in the Copperbelt in northern Zambia, where they are employed in mines and related activities. Zambia also has a small but economically important Asian population, most of whom are Indians. The HIV/AIDS epidemic is ravaging Zambia. Approximately 14.3% of Zambians are infected by HIV. Over 800,000 Zambian children have lost one or both of their parents due to HIV/AIDS. Life expectancy at birth is 38.63 years.

Economy

About two-thirds of Zambians live in poverty. Per capita annual incomes are well below their levels at independence and, at $1,500, place the country among the world's poorest nations. Social indicators continue to decline, particularly in measurements of life expectancy at birth (about 39 years) and maternal mortality (101 per 1,000 live births). The country's rate of economic growth cannot support rapid population growth or the strain which HIV/AIDS-related issues (i.e., rising medical costs, decline in worker productivity) place on government resources. Zambia is also one of Sub-Saharan Africa's most highly urbanized countries. Over one-third of the country's 12.9 million people are concentrated in a few urban zones strung along the major transportation corridors, while rural areas are underpopulated. Unemployment and underemployment are serious problems.

HIV/AIDS is the nation's greatest challenge, with 14.3% prevalence among the adult population. HIV/AIDS will continue to ravage Zambian economic, political, cultural, and social development for the foreseeable future.

* Taken from US Department of State Website