Society of Swaziland



Population per sq km:  75

Life expectancy: 58 years

Net primary enrolment: 80% (2014)

Population: 1,286,000 (2015); 21 per cent of people live in urban areas; growth 1.4 per cent p.a. 1990–2015; birth rate 29 per 1,000 people (49 in 1970); life expectancy 58 years, having fallen sharply since the latter 1990s due to AIDS (48 in 1970, 61 in 1990 and 60 in 1997).

Swazis make up 90 per cent; the other ten per cent are of other African, European or mixed descent. Large numbers of Mozambicans fled to Swaziland to escape the civil war, but repatriation was completed in 1993.

Language: siSwati is the national language and English is widely spoken.

Religion: Christians about 60 per cent and most of the rest hold traditional beliefs. Traditional beliefs often coexist with Christian beliefs.

Media: The English-language dailies are The Swazi Observer/The Weekend Observer and The Times of Swaziland/Sunday Times.

Three national radio stations and television channel Swazi TV are public services. South African media is available.

Some 35 per cent of households have TV sets (2006). There are 37 personal computers per 1,000 people (2006).

Public holidays: New Year’s Day, King’s Birthday (19 April), National Flag Day (25 April), Labour Day (1 May), Birthday of late King Sobhuza II (22 July), Independence Day (Somhlolo, 6 September), Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Religious and other festivals whose dates vary from year to year include Good Friday, Easter Monday, Ascension Day, Umhlanga Reed Dance Day (August/September, date fixed at short notice) and Incwala ceremony (December/January, date fixed at short notice).