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World awaits seven billionth member

Zimbabwe, like most countries, has experienced a phenomenal boom in population growth although this has somewhat tapered off, due largely to concerted family planning efforts.


In 1950, the country’s population was 2,7 million, which sped up to 12,5 million last year.


The population is estimated to be at 12,8 million this year and is expected to double in the next 90 years.


A United Nations report on population estimates that there are 6,3 million males in Zimbabwe, with 6,5 being females.


Between now and 2015, the population is expected to grow by an average of 2,2%.


The urban population is estimated to be at 38%. Life expectancy has improved and men are expected to live up to 54 years, while it is 53 years for women.


Zimbabwe, like its southern African neighbours, Botswana, South Africa and Namibia, were classified as intermediate fertility areas, as if to underscore the intervention of family planning interventions.


Rwanda and Gabon are the only other Sub-Saharan countries in this bracket, as the rest of the nations have been classified as high fertility areas.


The UN expects that the next population boom, which has all along been driven by China and India, will be driven by these African nations classed as high fertility areas.


However, high child mortality rates continue to pose a headache for Zimbabwe, as it is estimated that about 9% of the children die before they get to the age of five.


Another issue that sticks out is that 10% of mothers giving birth are still adolescents, while in 2009 it was estimated that 6,9% of people aged between 15 and 24 were HIV-positive.


On the plus side, the country posted some of the highest education levels across the globe, with statistics revealing that 99% of females and 98% males aged between 15 and 24 had some secondary schooling in 2009.


The UN estimates that at least 42 children are born every hour in Zimbabwe, while 22 people die during the same period. This gives an annual growth rate of 0,1%.

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