Zambia Country Overview

By | December 29, 2022

Zambia, officially English Republic of Zambia [r ɪ p ʌ bl ɪ k əv zæmb ɪ ə], is a landlocked country in Southern Africa with (2019) 17.9 million residents; The capital is Lusaka.

Country Facts

The flag of Zambia symbolizes forests (green), will for freedom (osprey) and freedom struggle (red), population (black) and copper (orange).

  • Official name: Zambia
  • License plate: Z
  • ISO-3166: ZM, ZMB (894)
  • Internet
  • Currency: 1 Kwacha (ZMW) = 100 Ngwee
  • Area: 752 610 km²
  • Population (2019): 17.9 million
  • Capital: Lusaka
  • Official language (s): English
  • Form of government: Presidential Republic
  • Administrative division: 10 provinces
  • Head of State: President Edgar Lungu
  • Religion (s) (2010): Christians (75% Protestants, 20% Catholics); 3% other / n / a, 2% non-denominational
  • Time zone: Central European Time +1 hour
  • National Day: October 24th

Location and infrastructure

  • Location (geographical): South Africa
  • Position (coordinates): between 8 ° and 18 ° south latitude and 22 ° and 33 ° 45 ‘east longitude
  • Climate: Warm, dry winter climate
  • Highest mountain: Mafinga (2,301 m)
  • Road network (2018): 14 888 km (paved), 52 783 km (unpaved)
  • Railway network (2014): 3 126 km


  • Annual population growth (2020): 2.9%
  • Birth rate (2020): 40.4 per 1000 inh.
  • Death rate (2020): 11.6 per 1000 residents.
  • Average age (2020): 16.9 years
  • Average life expectancy (2020): 53.6 years (men 51.9; women 55.3)
  • Age structure (2020): 45.7% younger than 15 years, 2.3% older than 65 years
  • Literacy rate (15 year olds and older) (2018): 86.7%
  • Mobile phone contracts (pre-paid and post-paid) (2018): 89 per 100 residents
  • Internet users (2018): 14 per 100 residents


  • GDP per capita (2019): US $ 1,307
  • Total GDP (2019): US $ 24 billion
  • GNI per capita (2019): US $ 1,450
  • Education expenditure (2018): 4.7% of GDP
  • Military expenditure (2019): 1.2% of GDP
  • Unemployment rate (15 years and older) (2019): 11.4%



Zambia borders the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the north, Tanzania in the northeast, Malawi in the east, Mozambique in the southeast, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia in the south, and Angola in the west.

Zambia encompasses the monotonous hull areas of the central and eastern Lundaschwelle, which are 1,100–1,500 m above sea level, an extensive plateau overlooked by individual island mountains and mountain ranges. The area gradually increases from south to north. The northeast with Lake Tanganyika lies in the area of ​​the East African rift system and has a more turbulent relief than the rest of the area. The highest point in the country (Mafinga: 2,301 m above sea level) is in the extreme northwest on the border with Malawi. The landscape in the west is from the Zambezi (with the Karibasee) and its tributaries, mostly in extensive basin zones that are flooded during the rainy season, especially in the area of ​​the upper Zambezi and its tributaries and at the lower Kafue. Due to the low flow velocity, swamps have formed in the hollows on Lukanga west of Kabwe and on Lake Mweru and Lake Bangweulus. The subsoil consists mainly of old rocks from the African base. In the old Paleozoic central part, ore-bearing layers are superimposed on the base; they form the basis of the large copper mining area, the Copperbelt.

Bird’s eye view of Victoria Falls, Africa. Aerial view of the Zambezi River and Victoria Falls on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia; The water masses plunge more than 100 m into the gorge.

The 1,70 m wide Zambezi falls here 110 m deep into a 50 m wide gorge, which runs at right angles to the previous direction. Their “discoverer” David Livingstone named the falls in honor of the British Queen Victoria.

The Zambezi is the largest river in southern Africa. It rises on the Lundaschwelle in the extreme northwest of Zambia.

The Luangwa Valley National Park in Zambia is one of the richest game reserves on earth. Here are some of the things that live here. Elephants, rhinos, big cats and crocodiles.


Zambia has a temperate, yet tropical, semi-humid climate with a rainy season from October / November to April (it starts earlier in the north than in the south). The annual rainfall amounts between 600 mm (in the south) and 1,500 mm (in the north and northeast), the annual mean temperatures between 18 and 25 ° C. Drought periods can therefore occur more frequently in the southern and central areas.


The vegetation corresponds to the monotony of the relief and the low differentiation of the climate: A deciduous dry forest covered much of the country, on the plateau miombo with dense grass understory, high termite mounds interspersed, in the dry-hot deep zones mopane with thorn bushes. In the seasonally flooded river valleys there are savannahs, on Lake Mweru Bangweulu- and reed and papyrus swamps. National parks were established at the Kafue and the Luangwa.


According to allcitypopulation, about 99% of the residents are Bantu. The most important of the over 70 peoples and tribes are the Bemba, whose language is spoken by around 41% of the population, as well as the Tonga and Lozi (Rotse). In addition, Europeans and Indians (together around 1%) live in Zambia. The population density is low with (2017) 23 residents / km 2. The focus of settlement is the Copperbelt region in the north-west of the country, from where a zone of dense settlement stretches along the railway line to the south via the metropolis of Lusaka to Maramba (Livingstone). The proportion of the urban population is 42% (2017).

Social: Despite the widespread prevalence of the immune deficiency disease AIDS, the annual population growth is extremely high at 2.93% (birth rate 4.2%; death rate 1.2%). The infection rate is (2016) in adults (age group 15 to 49 years) about 12.4%. In rural areas in particular, the health system is only moderately developed.

The biggest cities in Zambia

Biggest Cities (Inh. 2019)
Lusaka 2,627,700
Kitwe 715 200
Ndola 574 400
Chingola 245 300
Kabwe 234 100


The constitution (Article 19) guarantees freedom of religion. All religious communities are legally equal. – According to the 2010 census (last available official statistics) over 95% of the population are Christians: 75.3% belong to Protestant denominations and independent African churches (together over 200 denominations), 20.2% to the Catholic Church (and – according to other sources – about 2% of the Anglican Church, which is assigned to Protestants in the poorly differentiated census). The Catholic Church comprises two archdioceses (Lusaka, Kasama) with eight suffragan dioceses (Chipata, Livingstone, Mansa, Mongo, Monze, Mpika, Ndola, Solwezi). The five Anglican dioceses of North, East and Central Zambia (bishops in Kitwe, Chipata and Ndola), Luapula (Mansa) and Lusaka are part of the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa. The largest Protestant churches are the United Church of Zambia (according to their own information about 3 million members = about 23% of the population; founded in 1965 as an association of Presbyterians and Methodists) and the Reformed Church of Zambia (according to church information about 500,000 members = about 4% of the population).

Very small religious minorities are made up of Muslims, Bahais, Hindus and Jews. Since the early 1990s, Islamic influence has been growing in the east of the country. Muslims make up 0.5% of the population (2010). The few Jews live in Lusaka (1905 establishment of the first Jewish community [Livingstone] in what is now Zambia). – About 11-15% of the population are attributed to indigenous African religions, who often practice their beliefs while simultaneously belonging to a Christian denomination.

Zambia Country Facts