Zimbabwe Demographics

What is the population of Zimbabwe?

Population 14,546,314
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 4.38%
Urban Population 38.600000
Population in Major Urban Areas HARARE (capital) 1.542 million
Nationality Noun Zimbabwean(s)
Ethnic Groups African 98% (Shona 82%, Ndebele 14%, other 2%), mixed and Asian 1%, white less than 1%
Language Note English is the official language of the republic and is spoken by most educated people. In rural areas English is less commonly spoken. Ndebele and Shona and are commonly spoken. People often speak more than one language and many mix parts of several languages in daily speech.

Zimbabwe Learning

What is school like in Zimbabwe?


An average primary level school in is approximately 41 years old. Students typically enrolled in each classroom ranges from 30 to 40 children though sometimes it can be higher. Classrooms are equipped with tables, benches or chairs, and a few textbooks. Each classroom has long tables that may accommodate 8 to 10 students depending on the student density. Zimbabwe’s public education system reform become worse in recent years and the government was forced to further cut costs. This resulted in general shortage of books, science equipment and other essential learning facilities. Additionally, there are no computer or audio visual equipment in some schools.


The academic year in Zimbabwe runs from January to December, with three, three month terms broken up by a month inbetween each term. About 40 weeks of school per year.

The first meal of their day for many students is eaten at 10:30 a.m. when classes break for 30 minutes. This will be food from home which includes roasted or cooked maize, sadza (home made bread), peanuts, maheu (quick brew). The schools do not provide any meals unless it is donor funded. At 11:00 a.m. students go back to classes. Classes break again for lunch which is an hour long at 1:00 p.m. Kids usually eat the same food for lunch. For donor funded food, students will be given sadza and beans or maheu. The kids who live close to school go home for lunch and have to be back at school at 2 p.m. when classes resume for afternoon session which is 2 hours long. At 4 p.m. the kids return home.

The children do not speak English as the primary language at home. The reason is that parents or guardians at home are used to indigenous languages which are Shona and Ndebele. Schools give available textbooks to students to help them learn English. The subjects taught in primary schools are Mathematics, English, Shona and Ndebele (indigenous languages), social studies, environmental science and religious Education (mainly based on Christianity). Less than 70% of children move on to secondary education. Secondary education starts in form 1 (grade 8) and parents have options to send their children to private or public government schools, boarding or day. All boarding schools are usually very expensive, so the majority of students go to day secondary schools because they are the cheapest.

If a student breaks a school rule, the disciplinary measures taken are very stiff. One of the measures is canning using sticks, usually on the back. Other measures include punishment which varies from cleaning classes and grounds; fetching water or moulding bricks depending on the broken rule. The headmaster is the controller of the school and has power over anyone at school. He can actually make his own decision without consulting other staff members. However in urban schools the authority will be limited due to the involvement of learned school development association members. Most teachers operate by taking orders from the headmaster who in most cases operates as a kind of dictatorship. The children are supposed to wear uniforms, but many times they do not. Parents have trouble paying fees ranging from US $5 to US $20 so they find it difficult to buy uniforms. Children end up wearing any kind of clothes at school.

To School

Most children tend to go to school on foot. Because of the limited number of schools, some kids walk long distances ranging from 5km to 15km. In rural areas most parents cannot afford to buy bicycles for kids to use and usually there are no vehicles at all and the roads are poor.

Zimbabwe Population Comparison

Zimbabwe Health Information

What are the health conditions in Zimbabwe?

Life Expectancy at Birth 53.860000
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 11.4
Infant Mortality Rate - total deaths/1,000 live births 27.250000
Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population .06
Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population 1.7
Major Infectious Diseases - degree of risk very high
Drinking Water Source - percent of urban population improved 97.300000
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 570
Mean Age for Mother's First Birth (age 25-49) 20.5
Contraceptive Prevalence Rate - female 12-49 58.5%
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 3.58
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 7%
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of urban population improved 51.600000
Underweight - percent of children under five years 10.1%

Zimbabwe Life Expectancy

How long do people live in Zimbabwe?

Life Expectancy at Birth 53.860000
Median Age 19.500000
Contraceptive Prevalance Rate - female 12-49 58.5%
Infant Mortality Rate 27.250000
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 570
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 3.58

Zimbabwe median age, birth rate and death rates

Birth Rate - births/1,000 population 32
Median Age 19.500000
Net Migration Rate - migrant(s)/1,000 population 22.76
Population Growth Rate 4.38%
Sex Ratio at Birth - male/female 1.030000
Age Structure 37.800000
Contraceptive Prevalance Rate - female 12-49 58.5%
Infant Mortality Rate 27.250000
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 570
Mother's mean age at first birth 20.5
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 3.58

Zimbabwe Medical Information

What are the health conditions in Zimbabwe?

Medical Facilities and Health Information

The public medical infrastructure is subpar and medical facilities are limited. Most serious illnesses or accidents require medical evacuation to South Africa. All travelers are strongly urged to obtain medical evacuation insurance coverage prior to arriving in Zimbabwe. Doctors, hospitals and air ambulance medical evacuation services often expect immediate, upfront cash payment for health services. We urge you to bring a sufficient supply of your medications with required prescriptions for your entire trip, as many common medications are unavailable in Zimbabwe. Provincial hospitals in rural areas have rudimentary staffing, equipment, and supplies, and are not equipped to care for victims of serious accidents. The fuel shortage further diminishes emergency response capabilities. Emergency patients often must arrange their own transportation to medical facilities.

Diseases from food and water are the leading cause of illness in travelers.

Malaria is also prevalent throughout Zimbabwe, except in Harare, due to the capital’s high altitude. The CDC strongly recommends that malaria prophylaxis and preventive measures be taken when traveling outside of Harare.

Due to Schistosomiasis, travelers are advised to avoid fresh water exposure.

Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population


Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population


Zimbabwe Education

What is school like in Zimbabwe?

Education Expenditures - percent of GDP 2.5%
Literacy - female 87.2%
Literacy - male 94.2%
Literacy - total population 90.7%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write English
Total School Life Expectancy - (primary to tertiary) 9.000000

Zimbabwe Literacy

Can people in Zimbabwe read?

Literacy - female 87.2%
Literacy - male 94.2%
Literacy - total population 90.7%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write English

Zimbabwe Crime

Is Zimbabwe a safe place to visit?

Crime Information

Crime is a serious problem in Zimbabwe, driven by the country's depressed economy. U.S. citizens and other foreigners are perceived to be wealthy and are frequently targeted by criminals who operate in the vicinity of hotels, restaurants, and shopping areas of major cities and tourist areas such as Victoria Falls. Although the majority of crimes in Zimbabwe are non-violent, perpetrators are generally armed with weapons, which can include firearms. The downtown sectors of Harare, and its high density residential suburbs, are particularly high-crime areas and a number of U.S. citizen visitors have been assaulted or robbed.

Travelers should always secure their luggage, particularly in public areas such as airports and bus stops. Purse-snatchers will often work in teams of two, with one person acting as a diversion. A typical mugging involves a group of young males who surround and overwhelm their victim in a public area. Avoid displaying or carrying unnecessary valuables, such as expensive jewelry, and do not carry large sums of money. Cell phones are of particular interest to local thieves. Always secure items such as passports, money, jewelry, and credit cards in hotel safety deposit boxes or safes when not being used.

Avoid driving at night. You should be alert for “smash and grabs,” where thieves break the windows of cars stopped at intersections and take visible items from inside the car. Car doors should always be locked and the windows rolled up. Handbags, wallets, and other items should be placed out of sight under car seats or in the trunk of the car. While stopped in traffic, always be aware and look around to identify potential trouble. Drivers should always leave sufficient maneuver room between their vehicle and the one in front so they can drive away from danger. If you suspect your vehicle is being followed you should drive to the nearest police station or other protected public area for assistance. Reducing even the shortest amount of idle times at traffic lights at night by slowing in advance to anticipate the changing of the light is an effective deterrent. Be cautious of people using ploys to lure you out of your car. In one ploy, an assailant will puncture a tire, follow the car, and then offer to help with the flat, particularly on the road to Harare International Airport. (NOTE: “Smash and grabs” are also very common on the Airport Road in Harare) Beware of drivers in vehicles without license plates who stop to render aid or who cause minor accidents. Always drive to a well-lit and populated area before making repairs or exchanging information.

Travelers are encouraged to make two photocopies of the biographic/identification page and visa stamped page of their passport. Leave one copy at home with friends or relatives and carry the second copy with you for identification purposes.

Don’t 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.

Zimbabwe Penalties for Crime

Criminal Penalties

While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States.

Although Zimbabwean authorities are required to notify the nearest U.S. embassy when a U.S. citizen has been arrested, the U.S. Embassy in Harare does not always receive notification from Zimbabwean police. Further, the Government of Zimbabwe does not always grant immediate or repeated visits to detained or incarcerated U.S. citizens by Embassy consular officers. Individuals may be detained for up to 48 hours without due process, and detainees accused or suspected of political offenses have been repeatedly remanded in 14-day increments. U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a copy of their U.S. passports with them at all times to be able to provide proof of identity and citizenship if questioned by local officials. U.S. citizens arrested or detained in Zimbabwe are advised to demand immediate contact with a U.S. consular official from the U.S. Embassy in Harare.

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