Zambia Population, People, Languages and Religions

By | January 21, 2022

Zambia Country Overview

Where is Zambia located? Zambia, or “Republic of Zambia” is located in southern Africa and is completely surrounded by other countries. This state owes its name to the Zambezi River that runs through it. The time zone map indicates that Zambia is in a world time zone called “Central Africa Time”. In this time zone there is a time difference of 2 hours to the world clock. Accordingly, clocks in Zambia are 2 hours later than the world clock (UTC+2). It stays with a time difference of 2 hours all year round.

Zambia National Flag

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Zambia is 17,426,623, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 17,426,623
Population growth rate 2.89%
Birth rate 41.50 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall life expectancy 51.51 years
Men life expectancy 49.93 years
Women life expectancy 53.14 years
Age structure
0-14 years 45.95%
15-64 years 51.74%
65 years and above 2.31%
Median age 16.70 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 1.00
Population density 23.15 residents per km²
Urbanization 35.70%
73 ethnic groups (especially Bantu): 36% Bemba, 18% Nyanja (including Chichewa, Nsenga, Ngoni), 15% Tonga (including Lenje, Soli, Ila), 10% Northwest group (Luvale, Lunda, Kaonde), 8% Barotse (including
Christians 50% -75%, Muslims and Hindu 24% -49%, indigenous religions 1%
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.591
HDI ranking 143th out of 194

People in Zambia

About 14.5 million people live in Zambia, the Zambians. Women in Zambia have an average of 5.3 children. One speaks of a high birth rate. On the other hand, there is also a high death rate among children. Two out of every 100 babies die at birth, four by the age of one and six by the age of five.

On average, people live to be only 52 years old. Almost half of Zambia’s population is under 15 years of age. Very few people live to be older than 65 years. In Zambia too, as in many other South African countries, many people have contracted AIDS. That is why the country’s death rate is so high and why so few people live really old.

Bemba, Tonga and many more

Most of the Zambians belong to the Bantu people. There are many different groups here, 73 in total. The largest group is the Bemba. This includes 21 out of 100 Zambians. 13 out of 100 are Tonga. Chewa live in the east of the country. Lozi (or Rotse) and Nsenga are the next two largest groups. They both live in the south of Zambia. Many other ethnic groups live in the country. Only 1 percent of the population come from Europe and India.

Languages in Zambia

The official language of Zambia is English. This is a legacy from the colonial days when the British ruled here. English is spoken in administration, in schools and on television and radio. In the larger cities, too, many people speak English.

However, the further you go into the country, the fewer people will speak English that you can understand. Here the Bantu peoples speak their own language. Bemba and Nyanja are the most common languages. A total of 43 languages ​​are spoken in Zambia.

Religions in Zambia

Almost all Zambians follow the Christian faith. 75 out of 100 people are Protestants, 20 are Catholics. But many Zambians also live their old natural religions. So it is not a problem to be a Christian, but still believe in the old gods or spirits. The Tumbuka people in the east of Zambia, for example, live the Vimbuza cult with worship of ancestors and spirits as well as ceremonies of possession.