Demographics of Zimbabwe
This article is about the demographic features of the population of Zimbabwe, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.
- 1 Population
- 2 Vital statistics
- 3 Ethnic groups
- 4 Languages
- 5 Religions
- 6 Refugee crisis
- 7 Health
- 8 Demographic statistics from the CIA World Factbook
- 8.1 Ethnic groups
- 8.2 Languages
- 8.3 Religions
- 8.4 Population
- 8.5 Population growth rate
- 8.6 Birth rate
- 8.7 Death rate
- 8.8 Net migration rate
- 8.9 Urbanization
- 8.10 Sex ratio
- 8.11 Percentage of population malnourished
- 8.12 AIDS
- 8.13 Life expectancy at birth
- 8.14 Total fertility rate
- 8.15 Physicians density
- 8.16 Hospital bed density
- 8.17 Obesity - adult prevalence rate
- 8.18 Children under the age of 5 years underweight
- 8.19 Education expenditures
- 8.20 Literacy
- 8.21 Nationality
- 9 See also
- 10 References
The population of Zimbabwe has grown during the 20th century in accordance with the model of a developing country with high birth rates and falling death rates, resulting in relatively high population growth rate (around 3% or above in the 1960s and early 1970s). After a spurt in the period 1980-1983 following independence, a decline in birth rates set in. Since 1991, however, there has been a jump in death rates from a low of 10 per 1000 in 1985 to a high of 25 per 1000 in 2002/2003. It has since subsided to just under 22 per 1000 (estimate for 2007) a little below the birth rate of around 27 per 1000.
The high death rate is due to the impact of AIDS, which is by far the main cause of death. This leads to a small natural increase of around 0.5%. However, outward migration rates of around 1.5% or more have been experienced for over a decade, therefore actual population changes are uncertain. Because of the high number of unaccounted emigrants, the recent increase of emigration and the death toll from AIDS, the total population might be declining to as low as 8 million according to some estimates.
Historical data of Southern Rhodesia
Based on a 2010 revision of World Population Prospects, the population of Zimbabwe was estimated by the United Nations at 12,576,000 in 2010. About 38.9% comprised youths under 15, while another 56.9% grouped persons aged between 15 and 65 years. Only around 4.2% of citizens were apparently over 65.
|Total population (x 1000)||Population aged 0–14 (%)||Population aged 15–64 (%)||Population aged 65+ (%)|
Registration of vital events in Zimbabwe is not complete. The Population Department of the United Nations prepared the following estimates. 
|Period||Live births per year||Deaths per year||Natural change per year||CBR*||CDR*||NC*||TFR*||IMR*|
|1950-1955||144 000||52 000||92 000||48.3||17.4||30.9||6.80||115|
|1955-1960||167 000||56 000||111 000||48.1||16.2||31.8||7.00||105|
|1960-1965||197 000||61 000||136 000||48.2||15.0||33.3||7.30||97|
|1965-1970||229 000||66 000||162 000||47.5||13.7||33.7||7.40||90|
|1970-1975||271 000||72 000||199 000||47.6||12.6||35.0||7.40||83|
|1975-1980||320 000||76 000||244 000||47.6||11.3||36.3||7.30||74|
|1980-1985||363 000||78 000||285 000||44.9||9.6||35.3||6.74||64|
|1985-1990||381 000||83 000||299 000||39.5||8.6||30.9||5.66||56|
|1990-1995||390 000||108 000||281 000||35.2||9.8||25.4||4.77||55|
|1995-2000||381 000||176 000||205 000||31.5||14.5||16.9||4.05||65|
|2000-2005||372 000||220 000||152 000||29.7||17.5||12.1||3.74||68|
|2005-2010||370 000||190 000||180 000||29.4||15.1||14.3||3.47||59|
|* CBR = crude birth rate (per 1000); CDR = crude death rate (per 1000); NC = natural change (per 1000); IMR = infant mortality rate per 1000 births; TFR = total fertility rate (number of children per woman)|
Fertility and Births
|Year||CBR (Total)||TFR (Total)||CBR (Urban)||TFR (Urban)||CBR (Rural)||TFR (Rural)|
|1994||31,6||4,29 (3,5)||30,5||3,09 (2,6)||32,0||4,85 (3,9)|
|1999||30,8||3,96 (3,4)||31,3||2,96 (2,6)||30,5||4,57 (3,8)|
|2005-2006||31,0||3,8 (3,3)||28,5||2,6 (2,3)||32,0||4,6 (3,9)|
|2010-2011||34||4,1 (3,4)||34||3,1 (2,7)||34||4,8 (4,0)|
According to 2012 Census report, 99.7% of the population is of African origin. Of the rest of the population, the great bulk - perhaps 30,000 persons - are white Zimbabweans of European ancestry, a minority which had already diminished in size prior to independence.
The vast black majority has grown at a projected annual rate of 4.3% since 1980. Although present figures are difficult to ascertain, the white community once reproduced itself at an annual rate (under 1.5%) similar to that of most totals in developed nations. Of the two major ethnolinguistic categories, Shona speakers formed a decisive plurality and occupied the eastern two-thirds of Zimbabwe. Ndebele speakers constitute about 16%, and none of the other indigenous ethnic groups came to as much as 2% in recent decades. African speakers of nonindigenous languages included migrant workers from Malawi, Zambia, and Mozambique.
Three-quarters of white Zimbabweans are of British or British diasporan origin; at various times many emigrated from South Africa and elsewhere. After World War II, Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia) received a substantial influx of emigrants from the United Kingdom - a handful previously resided in other colonies such as Pakistan and Kenya. Also represented on a much smaller scale were individuals of Afrikaner, Greek, and Portuguese origin. After Rhodesia's Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965, Ian Smith's administration removed technical obstacles to immigration from southern Europe.
A heavily urbanised Coloured (or Goffal) population is descended partially from early unions between Rhodesian settlers and local African females. Many, however, can also trace their ancestry to the Dutch/Khoisan mulatto clans of the Cape. With the exception of a select few who were brought to Zimbabwe as railroad workers, most Asians in Zimbabwe arrived from India pursuing employment or entrepreneurship. An educated class, they have traditionally engaged in retail trade or manufacturing.
Zimbabwe has 16 official languages: Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa. English is also one of the official language of Zimbabwe and is widely used in administration, law and schools, though less than 2.5%, mainly the white and Coloured (mixed race) minorities, consider it their native language. The rest of the population speak Shona (70%) and Ndebele (20%) Kalanga (2%), etc. Shona has a rich oral tradition, which was incorporated into the first Shona novel, Feso by Solomon Mutswairo, published in 1956. English is spoken primarily in the cities, but less so in rural areas. Television news is broadcast in English, Shona and Ndebele though the local languages time slot falls out of prime viewing time, but radio broadcasts in English, Ndebele, Shona, Kalanga, Nambya, Venda, Suthu and Tonga. English, Ndebele and Shona are given far more airtime.
Sixty two percent of Zimbabweans attend Christian churches. The largest Christian churches are Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Methodist. However like most former European colonies, Christianity is often mixed with enduring traditional beliefs. Besides Christianity, ancestral worship (Amadlozi) is the most practiced non-Christian religion which involves ancestor worship and spiritual intercession. Under 1% of the population is Muslim, although many Zimbabweans are influenced by Islamic food laws.
The economic meltdown and repressive political measures in Zimbabwe have led to a flood of refugees into neighboring countries. An estimated 3.4 million Zimbabweans, a quarter of the population, had fled abroad by mid 2007. Some 3 million of these have gone to South Africa.
Aside from those who fled into the neighbouring countries, an estimated 570,000 people are displaced within the borders of the country, many of whom remain in transit camps and have limited access to assistance. Most of the displaced have been victims of the Operation Murambatsvina in 2005 and continuing evictions and violent farm seizures. Their plight is virtually impossible to assess, as there has been no national survey of people displaced since 2005.
According to the United Nations World Health Organization, the life expectancy for men in 2006 was 37 years and for women was 34 years of age, the lowest in the world at the time. An association of doctors in Zimbabwe have made calls for President Mugabe to make moves to assist the ailing health service. Since then it has recovered, and the figures for 2010 to 2015 were 53 and 54 for men and women respectively. Zimbabwe has a very high HIV infection rate. In 2001 it was measured at its highest level ever of 33.7% for people aged 15–49.
Demographic statistics from the CIA World Factbook
The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated:
African 99.7%; Whites, Asian & others less than 1%.
Syncretic (part Christian, part indigenous beliefs) 50%, Christian 25%, indigenous beliefs 24%, Muslim and other 1%.
13,182,908 (July 2013 est.)
Population growth rate
4.357% (2012 est.)
32.19 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)
12.38 deaths/1,000 population (2012 est.)
Net migration rate
23.77 migrants/1,000 population (2012)
There is an increasing flow of Zimbabweans into South Africa and Botswana in search of better economic opportunities.
- urban population: 3.8% of total population (2010)
- rate of urbanization: 3.4% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
- at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
- under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
- 15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
- 65 years and over: 0.70 male(s)/female
- total population: 0.95 male(s)/female
Percentage of population malnourished
Adult prevalence rate
- 15.3% (2007)
- 33.7% (2001 est.)
- 25% (1999 estimate).
People living with HIV/AIDS
- 1.3 million(2007 est.)
- 2.3 million (2001 est.)
- 140,000 (2007 est.)
- 200,000 (2001 est.)
- 160,000 annually (1999 estimate).
Life expectancy at birth
- total population: 51.82 years
- male: 51.95 years
- female: 51.68 years
- total population: 47.55 years
- male: 47.98 years
- female: 47.11 years
- total population: 37.78 years
- male: 39.18 years
- female: 36.34 years
Total fertility rate
0.16 physicians/1,000 population (2004)
Hospital bed density
1.7 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate
Children under the age of 5 years underweight
2.5% GDP (2011)
- definition: age 15 and over can read and write English
- total population: 90.7% (2003 est.), 85% (2000 est.)
- male: 94.2% (2003 est.), 90% (2000 est.)
- female: 87.2% (2003 est.), 80% (1995 est.)
- noun: Zimbabwean(s)
- adjective: Zimbabwean
- Statesman's Yearbook 2007, Palgrave Macmillan, New York
- CIA Factbook 2007, CIA Publications, Washington D.C.
- "The Independent". The Independent.
- "World Population Prospects, the 2012 Revision". United Nations.
- "Cambodia - Demographic and Health Survey 2010". worldbank.org.
- "Zimbabwe's only white minster says insults against whites continue at top government level". Fox News.
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. "Refworld - Zimbabwe: Dual citizenship". Refworld.
- "Teens assaulted in police raid on nightclub". newzimbabwe.com.
- Raeburn, Michael. We are everywhere: Narratives from Rhodesian guerillas. pp. 1–209.
- "Zimbabwe Population growth rate". indexmundi.com.
- Nelson, Harold. Zimbabwe: A Country Study. pp. 80–137.
- "The People of Zimbabwe". Retrieved 2007-11-13.
- Famighetti, Robert. The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 1996. p. 837.
- "The Land Act's Losers". postcolonialweb.org.
- The following languages, namely Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda and Xhosa, are the officially recognised languages of Zimbabwe. (CONSTITUTION OF ZIMBABWE (final draft)).
- Zimbabwe GAP Adventures
- Mother Tongue: Interviews with Musaemura B. Zimunya and Solomon Mutswairo University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- "MSN Encarta". Archived from the original on 2009-10-31. Retrieved 2007-11-13.
- Refugees flood from Zimbabwe The Observer
- Zimbabwean refugees suffer in Botswana and South Africa Sokwanele Civic Action Group
- Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), Internal displacement in Zimbabwe
- The World Health Organization. "Annex Table 1 - Basic indicators for all Member States". The World Health Report 2006 (PDF).
- Peta Thornycroft (2006-04-10). "In Zimbabwe, life ends before 40". Harare: Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2006-04-10.
- "United Nations Statistics Division". Retrieved 17 January 2015.