Half of the Zambian population is under the age of 15-ZDHS

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Youth Day Celebrations at the Freedom Statue in Lusaka on March 12,2015.PICTURE BY EDDIE MWANALEZA/ STATEHOUSE.
Youth Day Celebrations at the Freedom Statue in Lusaka on March 12,2015.PICTURE BY EDDIE MWANALEZA/ STATEHOUSE.

The latest Zambia Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS) has revealed that half of Zambia’s 14 million people are aged below 15 years.

The ZDHS for 2013-2014 also shows that an average Zambian household consist of 5.1 people and at least 27 percent of households are headed by women.

The ZDHS released today also reveals that currently, 66 percent of households own a mobile phone, 57 percent have a radio while 37 percent own a television set.

The survey which was conducted using a nationally representative sample of 16,411 women aged 15-19 in all selected households and 14,773 men aged 15-59in all selected households representing a response rate of 96 percent of women and 91 percent of men.

In health, the ZDHS shows that Zambian women begin sexual activity one year earlier than Zambian men.

It reveals that the median age at first sex for women age 25-49 is 17.3 years compared to 18.3 years for men aged 25-49.

It shows that women with no education begin sexual activity 4.3 years earlier than women with more than secondary education.

It reveals that nearly 6 in 10 women initiated sexual activity by age 18 compared to 46 percent of men.

The survey also shows that HIV testing has improved since 2007 when only 19 percent of women and 12 percent of men had been tested and received the results.

It further shows that more than 78 percent and 60 percent of men have ever been tested for HIV and received the results but 20 percent of women and 36 percent of men have never been tested for HIV.

It also reveals that of the 17,064 women and 15,599 men aged 15-49 eligible for testing, 90 percent of women and 84 percent of men provided specimens for HIV testing.

It shows that overall, 13.3 percent of Zambians aged 15-49 are HIV positive and that HIV prevalence is higher among women at 15.1 percent than men with 11.3 percent.

Overall, the total estimate of HIV prevalence among adults aged 15-49 has declined slightly from 15.6 percent in 2001-02 to 13.3 percent in 2013-14.

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21 COMMENTS

    • Now it is clear why there was low turn out in last elections. Voters died, and women pregnant. I mean it is a factor, how can children be same number us adults? Unless children have started having own children.

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    • Mushota has been promoted by the Gvt that is why she can not comments these days. She is a diplomat in in certain country. ECL very cleaver to appoint people who talk too much, next to be appointed is HH ambassador to China

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    • That is a lot of curses on the graves of leadership if they do not prepare a bright future for these children.

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    • Country men and women this is not a good demographic indicator in terms of population distribution in terms of age. The fact that half of there entire population is below 15yrs it indicates that we have a young population, which will require employment, Shelter, Food, Medicine, and Land. The only beauty is these youths come from mixed families ,my assumption is the issue of tribalism may not be important in the near future. This generation may cause civil unrest and attack as adults if we don’t plan for them. This un rest may be welcome if it sprungs out of the need of economic development ,but if it is a tribal contest then Zambia maybe doomed Economically for good. In order to plan ahead there is need to establish a population council to look at these population dynamics .

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  1. Now I see why someone said 18 years should be the minimum legal age for seeking public office. We the elders are in minority and yet we are dictating to and ruling the majority? Young people, arise!

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    • Future president will require to posses not only paper education, but a full understanding of the our Economy on one hand and the sociological development of our local populations compared to other parts of the world, then be able to examine the interventions to address such a country as Zambia. There fore my submission is that mediocre presidents(politicians) should be discarded in the dustbin if we want our children to enjoy life in future. This massive borrowing for consumption by Government should be stopped hence forth. Tribal voting is a cancer that threatens democracy and good governance and ultimately our very existence as Zambians. There fore all right thinking Zambians should condemn this growing threat. Amen.

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  2. Why does LT have one picture on the front page and another picture when you click onto the article? Anyhow, I like the picture on the front page of those two boys. The barefoot boy looks exactly like me when I was growing up in the Lusaka dusty kombonis back in the days when the skills of building a good wire toy car earned you respect. Not like today.

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  3. Having half the population as young people is only good news if we invest in their education and health. This means that we have a large working population with a good set of skills needed to drive the economy forward. Without investment in education, I see poverty generation after generation.

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    • At least that is not what PF intends to do. The only thing they know is borrowing so these children can pay for the debts in future and steal money meant for buying books for these children. The children are only left with poor performance in school and grade 12 results 2014 exams are they to confirm three years of PF govt performance in Education.

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    • @Beautifull Moma you are right .The question which PF should ask themselves is 1.Is our education system providing the required skills, Competencies, abilities and Knowledge to our children compared to what is obtaining in the region and world over? If the answer is no, then we shall remain backwards in all fields of development be it in Football(Sports),Economy and technology. If yes then we shall see improvements in all spheres of development.My opinion is that the current indicators are showing that PF is failing and they should be stopped and thrown in a dustbin.

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  4. @beautiful moma. You are very right. Many countries would do anything to have such a promising population and demographic distribution. Hope we can invest in the right way and get the country moving in the right direction.

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  5. So what does that mean for the country 65yrs from now? that half of the population will be at least 65yrs old!! that should worry GRZ because this has a huge implication on the economic and health sectors of the country. But does our govt think like that?

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  6. …an average Zambian household consist of 5.1 people… How can you have 5.1 people? Is the .1 the life-form in a 2 weeks old pregnancy? Ati researchers; didn’t they teach you how to round off to the nearest whole number?

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    • @Losty, kwena muli chikopo. This explain a lot about your level of education. If you have no capacity to comprehend what you want to express please keep quite. Its acceptable in demography to use such language.

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  7. A very disappointing result for national HIV prevalence !! In 2002, HIV prevalence was 15.6% and now 13 years later it is still in double digits. What has happened to all those wonderful funds generated by the HIV/AIDS community? In many other HIV /AIDS endemic countries prevalence rates have gone below 10%. For us to still have 13.3 % of our adult population living with the AIDS virus calls for a comprehensive review of the national effort to focus on those marginalised communities including men who have sex with men (MSM) and injecting drug users (IDUs). This is a wake up call.

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  8. …And the ***** Shamenda says that the Govt will create 1 million jobs in 2016! What a dirty minister…

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  9. Seriously speaking, 14 million people with 50 years of independence would have lived a bit better than what the research shows. You would not have outnumbered the resources with good leadership since independence. This I say with due respect to all your previous governments. Infact,I can read mischief somewhere. But still good governance can restore everything. If by God’s grace you get visionary leaders, you can live better. Several african countries have hit more than 30 million and living better. Visionary leadership and zero-tolerance to corruption is the secret. However, good african leaders are hard to come by. This is a personal opinion and any misconception is highly regretted.

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  10. It is totally an acceptable that most Zambians are still poor looking at this small population in a vast piece of land with lots of natural resources.This population can be compared to one city in Europe such as Istambul in turkey.The city can meet all the water,electricity,Education,Medical,Roads and Housing needs of all citizens. Its a shame if we are failing to provide decent jobs to only 5million youths in Zambia,what more when all the 8 million children added to the existing number.Zambians wake up lets stop this tribal thing and choose leaders according to skills and Education capabilities of those who are presenting themselves for leadership.HH is the answer for now.

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