Zambia Population, Main Cities and Geography

By | January 27, 2023

Zambia: population and cities



According to Countryaah website, approximately 18.3 million people live in Zambia. The high fertility rate of 5.5 children per woman contrasts with an alarming infant mortality rate of 100 per 1,000 live births and a high maternal mortality rate of 830 per 100,000 births.

Life expectancy for women is 37 years; that of men at 38 years of age. Of the total population, 46% are under 15 and just 2% over 65 years old. The low life expectancy in Zambia is related to the high rate of HIV infection, one of the highest in Africa.

Ethnic groups

Apart from the 1.2% Europeans, the Indians and the 0.7% Twa, i.e. Bushmen, approximately 98% of Zambia’s population is made up of black Africans, who in turn are made up of around 73 Bantu-speaking groups.

The largest ethnolinguistic groups are the Bemba. They make up 20% of the total population. Then come the Bantu Botatwe (Tonga, Ila and Lenje) with 15%, the Chewa, Ngoni and Nsenga with about 15%, the Lozi with about 6%, the Lala and Bisa (5%), the Kaonde (3%), the Mambwe and Lungu (3%), the Lunda (3%), the Lamba (2.5%) and the Luvale (2%). The other 57 groups are no longer listed separately here.


About 90% of Zambia’s residents are Christians. They are divided into about 65% Protestants, 25% Catholics and some New Apostolics and Muslims. Between 25% and 50% of the residents, regardless of their other religious affiliation, also follow natural religions.

There are also minorities of Hindus and Muslims in the country (5%). The latter mostly belong to the Sunnis and can be found particularly in the north and east of Zambia and predominantly in urban regions. Some smaller Jewish communities also live in cities.

National language

There are eight official languages in Zambia, including English, which is mostly spoken in schools, public offices and radios.

If the English is still quite acceptable in the cities, many in the more rural areas hardly speak it anymore.

The most important of the more than 70 different Bantu dialects in Zambia are Bemba and Nyanja (Chewa).

Capital and other cities


About 2 million people live in Lusaka, Zambia’s capital. The city has undergone tremendous changes in recent years. When walking through the city, the new shops stand out, and above all the numerous construction sites; old buildings are being restored and new, modern structures are being built. According to Abbreviation Finder, ZWB stands for Zambia in English. Click to see other meanings of this 3-letter acronym.

There is a university that opens up new perspectives for the whole country because the Zambian intellectual class is no longer forced to migrate to other countries.

Chingola Chingola is located

in the Zambian Copperbelt Province, a city of 150,000 people that has existed since 1943. The second largest open cast copper mine in the world belongs to the mining town. The crisis caused by the fall in the price of copper in the 1990s hit Chingola long and hard. In the meantime, however, the city has regenerated and developed further in terms of infrastructure. Apart from the chimpanzee rearing station Chimfunshi, which is well worth seeing, Chingola doesn’t offer much for tourists.

Kitwe (also Kitwe Nkana or Nkana-Kitwe)

Zambia’s third largest city with around 410,000 residents is located in the north of the country in the Copperbelt Province and is the most important location for Zambian copper processing thanks to the Nkana mining complex. The city, to the south of which Zambia’s gem mines are expanding, struggled for a long time with the fall in copper prices in the 1990s, but is slowly back on the road to recovery. The economic heart of everyday life is the Chisokone Market, which is used daily by numerous traders, while Kitwe can be proud of the Copperbelt University of one of Zambia’s universities.


In 1904, Livingstone was the first Zambian city to be founded, today the capital of the southern province of Zambia. The city, also known as Maramba, emerged together with the completion of the Victoria Falls Bridge and was named after the Scottish Africa explorer David Livingstone.

Between 1911 and 1935 it even acted as the capital of Northern Rhodesia, today’s Zambia.

About 110,000 people live in the city, which borders the large Mosi oa Tunya National Park and is the tourist starting point for trips to the famous Victoria Falls.


Ndola is not only one of the economic centers of Zambia, but also the country’s second largest city with around 420,000 residents.

The Zambian city, which was founded after Livingstone in 1904 and is therefore the second oldest Zambian city, was an important center of the Arab-African slave trade long before it was founded, as the city’s coat of arms still reminds of. Ndola, where a campus of the University of Zambia was set up, has a multifaceted tourist potential with its markets, hotels and shops, cinema and good connections to Lusaka.

Zambia: geography, map

Zambia is a landlocked country in Africa and covers an area of 752,618 km². Check topmbadirectory for politics, flags, famous people, animals and plants of Zambia. Thereof:

  • ForestAround 30% of the country are forest and scrubland. Deforestation reduces this area by around 1% annually.
  • Meadow and pasturelandAround 47% of the land is used as meadow or pasture
  • Fields and fieldsAround 7% of the land is used as arable land or fields, especially for growing maize, flowers and cotton.


The country is divided into the following nine provinces:

A – Central Province with the capital Kabwe

B – Copperbelt with the capital Ndola

C – Eastern Province with the capital Chipata

D – Luapula with the capital Mansa

E – Lusaka with the capital Lusaka

F – Northern Province with the capital Kasama

G – Northwest Province with the capital Solwezi

H. – Southern Province with the capital Livingstone

I – Western Province with the capital Mongu


Zambia shares a border with the following seven countries:

– Angola with a length of 1,110 km

– Democratic Republic of the Congo with a length of 1,930 km

– Malawi with a length of 837 km

– Mozambique with a length of 419 km

– Namibia with a length of 233 km

– Tanzania with a length of 338 km

Zimbabwe with a length of 797 km.

Raw materials, mineral resources

Zambia is the largest copper exporter in all of Africa. The copper mines are mainly located in the Copperbelt Province (copper belt. In the past it was especially western countries that profited from the mineral resources, in recent years China has been pushing into these markets.

In addition to copper, you can also find cobalt, tin, lead and silver, Gold and precious stones in the country. But this wealth of mineral resources is not only a blessing for the country, but also the cause of fierce distribution struggles in which China is increasingly embroiled.

Longitude and latitude

Zambia extends over the following geographical latitude (abbreviation Δφ) and geographical longitude (abbreviation Δλ):

Δφ = from around 8 ° 08` to 18 ° 05` south latitude Δλ = from around 022 ° to 033 ° 45 ‘east longitude

You can find detailed information on this subject under Longitude and Latitude.

Legal time

For Zambia, the following value applies to Central European Time (CET), i.e. the time (without summer time). A minus sign means that it is earlier there, a plus sign that it is later than CET:

Δt (CET) = + 1 h

Further and detailed explanations of the time can be found under Time zones, time.

The highest point of the sun in Lusaka

Lusaka, the capital of the country, is located at a southern latitude of around φ = 15.5 ° (15 ° 30 ‘) and thus in the tropics. If the declination of the sun has the value of 15 ° 30 ‘south, and thus the image point (= the value of the declination) of the sun is exactly above the city, the sun is perpendicular there. This happens exactly twice a year, roughly 33 days before March 21st and then again 33 days after September 21st.


The sun in Lusaka is at the time when the declination of the sun has a value that is more northerly than 15.5 °, at noon not in the south, as in our latitudes, but in the north. In this case, the sun moves from east to north to west, where, like us, it sets.


The highest mountain in the country is unnamed. It is 2,301 meters high and is located in the Mafinga Mountains. Other high mountains are the Sunzu with a height of 2,067 m, the Luangwa with a height of 1,848 m and the Chimbwingombi with a height of 1,788 m.

Rivers, Zambezi


The longest river in the country is the Zambezi with a length of around 2,736 km. It runs partly along the southern border of the country and forms the Victoria Falls there. Other rivers in Zambia are the Kafue with a length of around 950 km and the Luangwa with a length of 806 km.

Lakes, Lake Tanganyika

Lake Tanganyika

The largest lake in Zambia is Lake Tanganyika with an area of 32,893 km². But only a small “corner” of the lake is in the area of Zambia. This part of the lake is located in the northeast of the country on the border with Tanzania (east) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (north). With a maximum depth of 1,470 m and an average depth of approx. 570 m, the lake is the second deepest lake in the world and the deepest in all of Africa. With its area of 32,893 km² it is the second largest lake in Africa. Its water volume is 18,900 km³. Its length is around 650 km and its width varies between around 40 and 75 km.

The lake lies in the East African rift system – the tectonic fracture zone in East Africa. In addition to Zambia, the lake belongs to the following countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania. With 45% and 41%, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania, however, take by far the largest part of the lake. The only around 105 km long Ruzizi River is the skin inflow of the lake and the only outflow of the East African Kiwu Lake. Other larger lakes in Zambia are:

  • Kariba reservoir with an area of around 7,770 km²
  • Mweru Lake with an area of around 4,920 km²
  • Bangweulu Lake (a very shallow lake) with an area that varies between 4,000 and 10,000 km².

Zambia Population