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People and Society






Autonomy for the Swazis of southern Africa was guaranteed by the British in the late 19th century; independence was granted in 1968. Student and labor unrest during the 1990s pressured King MSWATI III, Africa's last absolute monarch, to grudgingly allow political reform and greater democracy, although he has backslid on these promises in recent years. A constitution came into effect in 2006, but the legal status of political parties remains unclear. The African United Democratic Party tried unsuccessfully to register as an official political party in mid 2006. Talks over the constitution broke down between the government and progressive groups in 2007. Swaziland recently surpassed Botswana as the country with the world's highest known HIV/AIDS prevalence rate.


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People And Society

Noun Swazi(s)
Adjective Swazi

Ethnic groups
African 97%, European 3%

English (official, used for government business), siSwati (official)

Zionist 40% (a blend of Christianity and indigenous ancestral worship), Roman Catholic 20%, Muslim 10%, other (includes Anglican, Baha'i, Methodist, Mormon, Jewish) 30%

Population World Ranking: 154
1,386,914 (July 2012 est.)
Estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected

Age structure
0-14 years
37.8% (male 261,762/female 255,828)
15-64 years
58.6% (male 399,746/female 403,681)
65 years and over
3.6% (male 20,472/female 28,935) (2011 est.)

Median age
Total 20.5 years
Male 20.2 years
Female 20.9 years (2012 est.)

Population growth rate World Ranking: 99
1.195% (2012 est.)

Birth rate World Ranking: 51
26.16 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death rate World Ranking: 11
14.21 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Net migration rate World Ranking: 105
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Urban population 21% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization
1.5% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population
MBABANE (capital) 74,000 (2009)

Sex ratio
At birth 1.03 male(s)/female
Under 15 years 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over 0.69 male(s)/female
Total population
0.99 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate World Ranking: 35
320 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate World Ranking: 31
Total 59.57 deaths/1,000 live births
Male 63.59 deaths/1,000 live births
55.44 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth World Ranking: 218
Total population 49.42 years
Male 49.77 years
Female 49.06 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate World Ranking: 60
3.03 children born/woman (2012 est.)

Health expenditures World Ranking: 97
6.3% of GDP (2009)

Physicians density
0.16 physicians/1,000 population (2004)

Hospital bed density
2.1 beds/1,000 population (2006)

Hiv/aids - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 1
25.9% (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - people living with hiv/aids World Ranking: 30
180,000 (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - deaths World Ranking: 31
7,000 (2009 est.)

Major infectious diseases
Degree of risk High
Food or waterborne diseases
Bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne disease Malaria
Water contact disease Schistosomiasis (2009)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight World Ranking: 77
6.1% (2007)

Education expenditures World Ranking: 12
7.8% of GDP (2008)

Age 15 and over can read and write
Total population 81.6%
Male 82.6%
Female 80.8% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
Total 11 years
Male 11 years
Female 10 years (2007)


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  Swaziland (Mbabane):

  GPS points from Swaziland (Mbabane)

Umbanjane Kop Swaziland (general)

Shiselweni District Shiselweni District

Mhlotsheni Shiselweni District

Macnab Manzini District

Mhlatuzane River Swaziland (general)

Matapa Manzini District

Nsongweni River Swaziland (general)

Kobolondo Peak Swaziland (general)
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