Zambia Demographics

What is the population of Zambia?

Population 17,426,623
Population - note 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, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
Population Growth Rate 2.89%
Urban Population 39.200000
Population in Major Urban Areas LUSAKA (capital) 1.802 million
Nationality Noun Zambian(s)
Ethnic Groups African 98.7%, European 1.1%, other 0.2%

Zambia Population Comparison

Zambia Health Information

What are the health conditions in Zambia?

Life Expectancy at Birth 51.510000
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 13.17
Infant Mortality Rate - total deaths/1,000 live births 68.580000
Health Expenditures - percent of GDP 6.1%
Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population .07
Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population 2
Major Infectious Diseases - degree of risk very high
Drinking Water Source - percent of urban population improved 84.800000
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 440
Contraceptive Prevalence Rate - female 12-49 40.8%
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 5.81
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 3.6%
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of urban population improved 56.400000
Underweight - percent of children under five years 14.9%

Zambia Life Expectancy

How long do people live in Zambia?

Life Expectancy at Birth 51.510000
Median Age 16.700000
Contraceptive Prevalance Rate - female 12-49 40.8%
Infant Mortality Rate 68.580000
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 440
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 5.81

Zambia median age, birth rate and death rates

Birth Rate - births/1,000 population 43
Median Age 16.700000
Net Migration Rate - migrant(s)/1,000 population -0.75
Population Growth Rate 2.89%
Sex Ratio at Birth - male/female 1.030000
Age Structure 46.080000
Contraceptive Prevalance Rate - female 12-49 40.8%
Infant Mortality Rate 68.580000
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 440
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 5.81

Zambia Medical Information

What are the health conditions in Zambia?

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Government hospitals and clinics are often understaffed and lack supplies. Private medical clinics in major cities can provide reasonable care in many cases, but major medical emergencies usually require medical evacuation to South Africa, Europe, or the United States. The nearest air ambulances are based in South Africa. In addition to purchasing medical insurance that covers medical evacuation (see below), U.S. citizens may wish to register with a medical rescue/ambulance service in Zambia, as this can facilitate quick action in an emergency. Some lodges in Zambia may do this on behalf of travelers automatically. Basic medical care outside of major cities is extremely limited. Throughout the country doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. See the Embassy’s list of health care providers in Zambia, including ambulance service.

Travelers should carry their prescription drugs and medications in the original labeled containers, as well as the written prescription from their physician. Travelers who cannot get a doctor’s note for their over-the-counter medications may wish to leave them behind or risk possible arrest. Refer to the section onCriminal Penaltiesabove for more information about over-the-counter medications.

Rabies, a preventable but fatal illness most often transmitted through the bite of an infected animal, is prevalent in Zambia. While rabies vaccine is available in some parts of Zambia, the post-exposure prophylaxis rabies immunoglobulin is NOT available in Zambia. You should consult with your health care professional about vaccination prior to your trip. If you have not been vaccinated and are bitten, post-exposure prophylaxis should be sought urgently outside Zambia. U.S. citizens in Zambia have been bitten by monkeys, baboons, dogs, and other animals which potentially carry the rabies virus.

Health Expenditures - percent of GDP


Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population


Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population


Zambia Education

What is school like in Zambia?

Education Expenditures - percent of GDP 1.3%
Literacy - female 74.8%
Literacy - male 86.8%
Literacy - total population 80.6%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write English
Total School Life Expectancy - (primary to tertiary) 14.000000

Zambia Literacy

Can people in Zambia read?

Literacy - female 74.8%
Literacy - male 86.8%
Literacy - total population 80.6%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write English

Zambia Crime

Is Zambia a safe place to visit?

Crime Information

Travel in many sections of Lusaka, Livingstone, and most other major cities, as well as in the major game parks, is generally safe during daylight hours. However, expatriates have been the victim of armed robberies in Livingstone, Copperbelt Province, and elsewhere. Though victims are seldom seriously injured, the incidents can be frightening and stolen property is rarely recovered. Carjacking remains an ongoing problem, especially in Lusaka and Livingstone. In most cases, carjackers will block the rear of a victim’s vehicle while it waits to pass through a security gate into a residence and then assailants will threaten the driver and take the car. In some cases, the victim has been held and assaulted. Drivers are advised to lock their car doors, close their windows, and remain vigilant when entering or exiting a residence.

Travelers using public transportation or visiting high pedestrian traffic areas are advised to be vigilant against robbery and pick-pocketing. Vehicle thefts and burglaries occur throughout the country.

You should use caution when traveling near the border with Congo. Although rebel militias are no longer active in the Katanga province of Congo, armed criminal elements remain in the border area.

Do not buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.

Zambia Penalties for Crime

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Zambia, you are subject to its laws. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. In some places, you may be taken in for questioning. It is illegal to take pictures of certain government structures, particularly presidential residences or offices, oil refineries, bridges, mines, railways, electrical power supply buildings, and military facilities. Often, these sites are not clearly marked and the first notification that a tourist would receive is a police officer demanding his/her camera memory card, film and/or camera. Authorities may also challenge photography of areas other than tourist attractions.

In some places, driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit but still illegal in the United States; for example, you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is also a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Zambia, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what is legal and what is not legal wherever you travel.

Possession of more than 0.5 grams of an illegal substance can constitute drug trafficking in Zambia. The Zambian Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) has detained a number of U.S. citizens for possession of antihistamines such as Benadryl and other over-the-counter medications, which contained small quantities of diphenhydramine, an active ingredient that is on Zambia’s list of controlled substances. Although unaware of these restrictions, U.S. citizens have been charged with drug-trafficking offenses, had their passports confiscated, and have been jailed. While government officials have told the Embassy that carrying such over-the-counter medications with a doctor’s prescription is permitted, U.S. citizens visiting Zambia should consider leaving such medications behind. When traveling with prescription medications, U.S. citizens should likewise carry a doctor’s prescription and ensure that the medication is in its original bottle. A complete list of controlled substances banned in Zambia is available via the U.S. Embassy website on the web page Living in Zambia. U.S. citizens carrying any of these banned drugs for medical purposes should contact the Government of Zambia’s Pharmaceutical Authority to request advance permission to bring the drugs into the country by emailing the Director General at or writing to: Director General Pharmaceutical Regulatory Authority, Box 31890 Lusaka. The office is located at Plot No 6903 Tuleteka Road, off Makish Road. Any U.S. citizen stopped by the Drug Enforcement Commission for possession of over-the-counter medications should contact the Embassy as soon as possible. Additional information about controlled substances may be found at the Zambian Drug Enforcement Commission website.

It is against both Zambian and U.S. law to buy, possess, or transport the following animal products: tortoise shells, rhino horns, elephant ivory, tusks of any animal, or any items made out of these materials. While many of these items are sold in open markets particularly aimed at foreign tourists, it remains the responsibility of the customer to ensure that he/she is not purchasing a prohibited item. The Zambian Wildlife Authority has screeners at international ports of entry/exit and WILL prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of the law with penalties ranging from large fines to five year prison sentences.

If you are arrested in Zambia, you should seek the assistance of an attorney. The Embassy maintains a list of attorneys in major cities, but cannot recommend the services of a particular lawyer.

While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.

All Countries
Afghanistan Akrotiri Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory British Virgin Islands Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burma Burundi Cabo Verde Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Clipperton Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Cook Islands Coral Sea Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curacao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Dhekelia Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Eswatini Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia Gabon Gambia, The Gaza Strip Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Holy See Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Jan Mayen Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, North Korea, South Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island North Macedonia Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Islands Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Reunion Romania Russia Rwanda Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Sudan, South Suriname Svalbard Sweden Switzerland Syria Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States (US) Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela Vietnam Virgin Islands Wake Island Wallis and Futuna West Bank Western Sahara World Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe