Society of Zambia



Population per sq km: 21

Life expectancy: 60 years

Net primary enrolment: 87.4% (2013)

Population: 16,211,000 (2015); 40 per cent of people live in urban areas and 11 per cent in urban agglomerations of more than a million people; growth 3.1 per cent p.a. 1990–2015; birth rate 40 per 1,000 people (49 in 1970); life expectancy 60 years; it fell from a peak of about 52 years in the latter 1980s, due to AIDS, but began to rise again in the early 2000s.

There are 73 indigenous ethnic groups of Bantu origin. The largest, representing about 18 per cent of the population, is the Bemba of the north-east and Copperbelt. Others include the Tonga of Southern Province, the Nyanja of Eastern Province and Lusaka, and the Lozi of the west. There are small minorities of Europeans and Asians.

Language: English is the official language and is widely spoken.  There are seven main African languages: Bemba, Kaonde, Lozi, Lunda, Luvale, Nyanje and Tonga.

Religion: Mainly Christians (denominations include Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Pentecostals, New Apostolic Church, Lutherans, Seventh Day Adventists); Christian beliefs are often blended with traditional beliefs; plus minorities of Muslims and Hindus.

Media: The daily newspapers are the state-owned Zambia Daily Mail and Times of Zambia, and independent The Post; all are published in English. Weeklies include the state-owned Sunday Times of Zambia.

Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation provides public radio and TV services in the main national languages and English; there are several private commercial and faith radio stations, mainly reaching the urban areas.

Public holidays: New Year’s Day, Women’s Day (8 March), Youth Day (12 March), Labour Day (1 May), Africa Day (25 May), Heroes’ Day (first Monday in July), Unity Day (Tuesday following Heroes’ Day), Farmers’ Day (first Monday in August), Independence Day (24 October) and Christmas Day.

Religious festivals whose dates vary from year to year include Good Friday and Easter Monday.