Country Summary

2022 population pyramid



Multiple waves of Bantu-speaking groups moved into and through what is now Zambia over the past thousand years. In the 1880s, the British began securing mineral and other economic concessions from various local leaders and the territory eventually became known as Northern Rhodesia. The name was changed to Zambia upon independence in 1964.



total: 752,618 sq km

land: 743,398 sq km

water: 9,220 sq km


tropical; modified by altitude; rainy season (October to April)

Natural resources

copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, coal, emeralds, gold, silver, uranium, hydropower

People and Society


19,642,123 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

Bemba 21%, Tonga 13.6%, Chewa 7.4%, Lozi 5.7%, Nsenga 5.3%, Tumbuka 4.4%, Ngoni 4%, Lala 3.1%, Kaonde 2.9%, Namwanga 2.8%, Lunda (north Western) 2.6%, Mambwe 2.5%, Luvale 2.2%, Lamba 2.1%, Ushi 1.9%, Lenje 1.6%, Bisa 1.6%, Mbunda 1.2%, other 13.8%, unspecified 0.4% (2010 est.)


Bemba 33.4%, Nyanja 14.7%, Tonga 11.4%, Lozi 5.5%, Chewa 4.5%, Nsenga 2.9%, Tumbuka 2.5%, Lunda (North Western) 1.9%, Kaonde 1.8%, Lala 1.8%, Lamba 1.8%, English (official) 1.7%, Luvale 1.5%, Mambwe 1.3%, Namwanga 1.2%, Lenje 1.1%, Bisa 1%, other 9.7%, unspecified 0.2% (2010 est.)


Protestant 75.3%, Roman Catholic 20.2%, other 2.7% (includes Muslim Buddhist, Hindu, and Baha'i), none 1.8% (2010 est.)

Population growth rate

2.9% (2022 est.)


Government type

presidential republic


name: Lusaka; note - a proposal to build a new capital city in Ngabwe was announced in May 2017

Executive branch

chief of state: President Hakainde HICHILEMA (since 24 August 2021); Vice President Mutale NALUMANGO (since 24 August 2021); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Hakainde HICHILEMA (since 24 August 2021); Vice President Mutale NALUMANGO (since 24 August 2021)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly (167 seats; 156 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote in 2 rounds if needed, and up to 8 appointed by the president; members serve 5-year terms); 3 ex-officio members elected by National Assembly membership


Economic overview

lower middle-income Sub-Saharan economy; major copper exporter; high public debt is held mostly by China; systemic corruption; one of youngest and fastest growing labor forces; regional hydroelectricity exporter; extreme rural poverty

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$60.12 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$3,300 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

sugar cane, cassava, maize, milk, vegetables, soybeans, beef, tobacco, wheat, groundnuts


copper mining and processing, emerald mining, construction, foodstuffs, beverages, chemicals, textiles, fertilizer, horticulture


$8.55 billion (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

Switzerland 29%, China 16%, Namibia 12%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 9%, Singapore 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

copper, gold, gemstones, sulfuric acid, raw sugar, tobacco (2019)


$5.92 billion (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

South Africa 29%, China 14%, United Arab Emirates 12%, India 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, crude petroleum, delivery trucks, gold, fertilizers (2019)

Exchange rates

Zambian kwacha (ZMK) per US dollar -

Page last updated: Tuesday, June 07, 2022