It has taken 40 years for Zimbabwe to double its population and the country is now experiencing a demographic transition which it should use to its advantage, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) country representative Esther Muia said Tuesday.
Zimbabwe’s population was 7.5 million in 1982, rose to 13 million in 2012 and jumped 16.2 percent to 15.1 million in 2022, according to preliminary results announced by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) Tuesday.
Zimbabwe conducts a national population census every 10 years and the 2022 census marked the fifth census since Zimbabwe attained independence from Britain in 1980.
The annual population growth rate between 2012 and 2022 was 1.5 percent compared to 1.1 percent in 2012.
Speaking after release of the results, Muia said that according to Zimbabwe’s population growth rate, it will take the country another 15 years to double its population to 30 million people.
“Zimbabwe is experiencing a demographic transition with a huge youth bulge which should be turned into a demographic dividend,” Muia said. “Will the demographic transition that we are seeing in Zimbabwe right now be sustained into the future and will the country develop the needed measures to turn the unprecedented number of youths into assets?”
She suggested Zimbabwe should harness the growing population to accelerate the achievement of its development aspirations.
The 2022 population census was conducted in April this year and was the first digital census to be conducted in Zimbabwe.
This resulted in ZIMSTAT managing to produce the preliminary results in a record time of three months.
According to the results, females constituted 52 percent and males 48 percent, with the national capital of Harare having the highest population in the country constituting 16 percent.
The rural population ratio declined to 61.4 percent from 67 percent in 2012, while that for the urban population rose to 38.6 percent from 33 percent in 2012.