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Flag of Zambia
Map of Zambia
Introduction Zambia
The territory of Northern Rhodesia was administered by the [British] South Africa Company from 1891 until it was taken over by the UK in 1923. During the 1920s and 1930s, advances in mining spurred development and immigration. The name was changed to Zambia upon independence in 1964. In the 1980s and 1990s, declining copper prices and a prolonged drought hurt the economy. Elections in 1991 brought an end to one-party rule, but the subsequent vote in 1996 saw blatant harassment of opposition parties. The election in 2001 was marked by administrative problems with three parties filing a legal petition challenging the election of ruling party candidate Levy MWANAWASA. The new president launched an anticorruption task force in 2002, but the government has yet to make a prosecution. The Zambian leader was reelected in 2006 in an election that was deemed free and fair.
Geography Zambia
Southern Africa, east of Angola
Geographic coordinates:
15 00 S, 30 00 E
Map references:
total: 752,614 sq km
land: 740,724 sq km
water: 11,890 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than Texas
Land boundaries:
total: 5,664 km
border countries: Angola 1,110 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 1,930 km, Malawi 837 km, Mozambique 419 km, Namibia 233 km, Tanzania 338 km, Zimbabwe 797 km
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
tropical; modified by altitude; rainy season (October to April)
mostly high plateau with some hills and mountains
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Zambezi river 329 m
highest point: unnamed location in Mafinga Hills 2,301 m
Natural resources:
copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, coal, emeralds, gold, silver, uranium, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 6.99%
permanent crops: 0.04%
other: 92.97% (2005)
Irrigated land:
1,560 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
periodic drought, tropical storms (November to April)
Environment - current issues:
air pollution and resulting acid rain in the mineral extraction and refining region; chemical runoff into watersheds; poaching seriously threatens rhinoceros, elephant, antelope, and large cat populations; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; lack of adequate water treatment presents human health risks
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note:
landlocked; the Zambezi forms a natural riverine boundary with Zimbabwe
People Zambia
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 46.3% (male 2,673,891/female 2,656,268)
15-64 years: 51.3% (male 2,925,910/female 2,969,324)
65 years and over: 2.4% (male 117,877/female 158,740) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 16.5 years
male: 16.3 years
female: 16.7 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
2.11% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
41 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
19.93 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 86.84 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 94.08 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 79.37 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 40.03 years
male: 39.76 years
female: 40.31 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
5.39 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
16.5% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
920,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
89,000 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and plague are high risks in some locations
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2005)
noun: Zambian(s)
adjective: Zambian
Ethnic groups:
African 98.7%, European 1.1%, other 0.2%
Christian 50%-75%, Muslim and Hindu 24%-49%, indigenous beliefs 1%
English (official), major vernaculars - Bemba, Kaonda, Lozi, Lunda, Luvale, Nyanja, Tonga, and about 70 other indigenous languages
definition: age 15 and over can read and write English
total population: 80.6%
male: 86.8%
female: 74.8% (2003 est.)
Government Zambia
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Zambia
conventional short form: Zambia
former: Northern Rhodesia
Government type:
name: Lusaka
geographic coordinates: 15 25 S, 28 17 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
9 provinces; Central, Copperbelt, Eastern, Luapula, Lusaka, Northern, North-Western, Southern, Western
24 October 1964 (from UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 24 October (1964)
24 August 1991; amended in 1996 to establish presidential term limits
Legal system:
based on English common law and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in an ad hoc constitutional council; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Levy MWANAWASA (since 2 January 2002); Vice President Rupiah BANDA (since 9 October 2006); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Levy MWANAWASA (since 2 January 2002); Vice President Rupiah BANDA (since 9 October 2006); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from among the members of the National Assembly
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 28 September 2006 (next to be held 2011); vice president appointed by the president
election results: Levy MWANAWASA reelected president; percent of vote - Levy MWANAWASA 43.0%, Michael SATA 29.4%, Hakainde HICHILEMA 25.3%, Godfrey MIYANDA 1.6%, Winright NGONDO 0.8%
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly (158 seats; 150 members are elected by popular vote, eight members are appointed by the president, to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 27 December 2001 (next to be held December 2006)
election results: percent of vote by party - MMD 45.9%, UPND 32.4%, UNIP 8.8%, FDD 8.1%, HP 2.7%, PF 0.7%, ZRP 0.7%, independents 0.7%; seats by party - MMD 68, UPND 48, UNIP 13, FDD 12, HP 4, PF 1, ZRP 1, independents 1; seats not determined 2
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (the final court of appeal; justices are appointed by the president); High Court (has unlimited jurisdiction to hear civil and criminal cases)
Political parties and leaders:
Agenda for Zambia or AZ [Inonge MBIKUSITA-LEWANIKA]; Forum for Democracy and Development or FDD [Christon TEMBO]; Heritage Party or HP [Godfrey MIYANDA]; Liberal Progressive Front or LPF [Roger CHONGWE, president]; Movement for Multiparty Democracy or MMD [Levy MWANAWASA, acting president]; National Leadership for Development or NLD [Yobert SHAMAPANDE]; National Party or NP [Dr. Sam CHIPUNGU]; Patriotic Front or PF [Michael SATA]; Social Democratic Party or SDP [Gwendoline KONIE]; United National Independence Party or UNIP [Francis NKHOMA, president]; United Party for National Development or UPND [Anderson MAZOKA]; Zambian Republican Party or ZRP [Benjamin MWILA]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Inonge MBIKUSITA-LEWANIKA
chancery: 2419 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-9717 through 9719
FAX: [1] (202) 332-0826
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Carmen M. MARTINEZ
embassy: corner of Independence and United Nations Avenues, Lusaka
mailing address: P. O. Box 31617, Lusaka
telephone: [260] (1) 250-955
FAX: [260] (1) 252-225
Flag description:
green with a panel of three vertical bands of red (hoist side), black, and orange below a soaring orange eagle, on the outer edge of the flag
Economy Zambia
Economy - overview:
Despite progress in privatization and budgetary reform, Zambia's economic growth in 2005-06 remained somewhat below the 6%-7% per year needed to reduce poverty significantly. Privatization of government-owned copper mines relieved the government from covering mammoth losses generated by the industry and greatly improved the chances for copper mining to return to profitability and spur economic growth. Copper output has increased steadily since 2004, due to higher copper prices and the opening of new mines. The maize harvest was again good in 2005, helping boost GDP and agricultural exports. Cooperation continues with international bodies on programs to reduce poverty, including a new lending arrangement with the IMF in the second quarter of 2004. A tighter monetary policy will help cut inflation, but Zambia still has a serious problem with high public debt.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$11.51 billion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$5.806 billion (2006 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
6% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$1,000 (2006 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 19.9%
industry: 28.9%
services: 51.2% (2006 est.)
Labor force:
4.903 million (2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 85%
industry: 6%
services: 9%
Unemployment rate:
50% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
86% (1993)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.1%
highest 10%: 41% (1998)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
52.6 (1998)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
8.8% (2006 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
26.5% of GDP (2006 est.)
revenues: $2.674 billion
expenditures: $2.99 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)
Public debt:
65.7% of GDP (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products:
corn, sorghum, rice, peanuts, sunflower seed, vegetables, flowers, tobacco, cotton, sugarcane, cassava (tapioca), coffee; cattle, goats, pigs, poultry, milk, eggs, hides
copper mining and processing, construction, foodstuffs, beverages, chemicals, textiles, fertilizer, horticulture
Industrial production growth rate:
10.1% (2006 est.)
Electricity - production:
9.962 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 0.5%
hydro: 99.5%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
6.692 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports:
2.975 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports:
403 million kWh (2004)
Oil - production:
140 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:
13,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA bbl/day (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA bbl/day (2001)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2004 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2004 est.)
Current account balance:
$-165.4 million (2006 est.)
$3.928 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Exports - commodities:
copper/cobalt 64%, cobalt, electricity; tobacco, flowers, cotton
Exports - partners:
Switzerland 28.7%, South Africa 18.6%, UK 14.4%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 5.4%, Tanzania 5.1%, Zimbabwe 4.1% (2005)
$3.092 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery, transportation equipment, petroleum products, electricity, fertilizer; foodstuffs, clothing
Imports - partners:
South Africa 47.6%, UK 12.6%, Zimbabwe 4.3% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$1.05 billion (2006 est.)
Debt - external:
$4.397 billion (2006 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$640.6 million (2002)
Currency (code):
Zambian kwacha (ZMK)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Zambian kwacha per US dollar - 3,371.98 (2006), 4,463.5 (2005), 4,778.9 (2004), 4,733.3 (2003), 4,398.6 (2002)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Zambia
Telephones - main lines in use:
94,700 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
946,600 (2005)
Telephone system:
general assessment: facilities are aging but still among the best in Sub-Saharan Africa
domestic: high-capacity microwave radio relay connects most larger towns and cities; several cellular telephone services in operation; Internet service is widely available; very small aperture terminal (VSAT) networks are operated by private firms
international: country code - 260; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 19, FM 5, shortwave 4 (2001)
1.2 million (2001)
Television broadcast stations:
9 (2002)
277,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
3,227 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
5 (2001)
Internet users:
231,000 (2005)
Transportation Zambia
111 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 10
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 101
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 64
under 914 m: 32 (2006)
oil 771 km (2006)
total: 2,173 km
narrow gauge: 2,173 km 1.067-m gauge
note: includes 891 km of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) (2005)
total: 91,440 km
paved: 20,117 km
unpaved: 71,323 km (2001)
2,250 km (includes Lake Tanganyika and the Zambezi and Luapula rivers) (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Military Zambia
Military branches:
Zambian National Defense Force (ZNDF): Army, Air Force, Police, National Service
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age (est.) (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 2,219,739
females age 18-49: 2,159,688 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 1,043,702
females age 18-49: 953,328 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$121.7 million (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1.8% (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues Zambia
Disputes - international:
in 2004 Zimbabwe dropped objections to plans between Botswana and Zambia to build a bridge over the Zambezi River, thereby de facto recognizing a short, but not clearly delimited, Botswana-Zambia boundary in the river
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 88,842 (Angola) 66,248 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) 5,791 (Rwanda) (2005)
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for moderate amounts of methaqualone, small amounts of heroin, and cocaine bound for Southern Africa and possibly Europe; a poorly developed financial infrastructure coupled with a government commitment to combating money laundering make it an unattractive venue for money launderers

This page was last updated on 18 January, 2007