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People and Society






The UK annexed Southern Rhodesia from the [British] South Africa Company in 1923. A 1961 constitution was formulated that favored whites in power. In 1965 the government unilaterally declared its independence, but the UK did not recognize the act and demanded more complete voting rights for the black African majority in the country (then called Rhodesia). UN sanctions and a guerrilla uprising finally led to free elections in 1979 and independence (as Zimbabwe) in 1980. Robert MUGABE, the nation's first prime minister, has been the country's only ruler (as president since 1987) and has dominated the country's political system since independence. His chaotic land redistribution campaign, which began in 2000, caused an exodus of white farmers, crippled the economy, and ushered in widespread shortages of basic commodities. Ignoring international condemnation, MUGABE rigged the 2002 presidential election to ensure his reelection. In April 2005, Harare embarked on Operation Restore Order, ostensibly an urban rationalization program, which resulted in the destruction of the homes or businesses of 700,000 mostly poor supporters of the opposition. President MUGABE in June 2007 instituted price controls on all basic commodities causing panic buying and leaving store shelves empty for months.


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People And Society

Noun Zimbabwean(s)
Adjective Zimbabwean

Ethnic groups
African 98% (Shona 82%, Ndebele 14%, other 2%), mixed and Asian 1%, white less than 1%

English (official), Shona, Sindebele (the language of the Ndebele, sometimes called Ndebele), numerous but minor tribal dialects

Syncretic (part Christian, part indigenous beliefs) 50%, Christian 25%, indigenous beliefs 24%, Muslim and other 1%

Population World Ranking: 72
12,619,600 (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
41.9% (male 2,555,916/female 2,504,947)
15-64 years
54.3% (male 3,063,580/female 3,500,366)
65 years and over
3.8% (male 193,380/female 266,115) (2011 est.)

Median age
Total 18.9 years
Male 18.2 years
Female 19.6 years (2012 est.)

Population growth rate World Ranking: 2
4.357% (2012 est.)

Birth rate World Ranking: 35
32.19 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death rate World Ranking: 27
12.38 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Net migration rate World Ranking: 2
23.77 migrant(s)/1,000 population
There is an increasing flow of Zimbabweans into South Africa and Botswana in search of better economic opportunities (2012 est.)

Urban population 38% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization
3.4% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population
HARARE (capital) 1.606 million (2009)

Sex ratio
At birth 1.03 male(s)/female
Under 15 years 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over 0.7 male(s)/female
Total population
0.95 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate World Ranking: 14
570 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate World Ranking: 72
Total 28.23 deaths/1,000 live births
Male 30.67 deaths/1,000 live births
25.73 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth World Ranking: 214
Total population 51.82 years
Male 51.95 years
Female 51.68 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate World Ranking: 44
3.61 children born/woman (2012 est.)

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

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

Hiv/aids - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 5
14.3% (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - people living with hiv/aids World Ranking: 7
1.2 million (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - deaths World Ranking: 5
83,000 (2009 est.)

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

Obesity - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 33
15.7% (2005)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight World Ranking: 58
14% (2006)

Education expenditures

Age 15 and over can read and write English
Total population 90.7%
Male 94.2%
Female 87.2% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
Total 9 years
Male 10 years
Female 9 years (2003)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 World Ranking: 30
Total 24.9%
Male 28.2%
Female 21.4% (2002)


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  Zimbabwe (Harare):

  GPS points from Zimbabwe (Harare)

Zenani Mission Zimbabwe (general)

Bowden Zimbabwe (general)

Mushowe Zimbabwe (general)

Mukane Pan Zimbabwe (general)

Nyamagaya Pan Zimbabwe (general)

Mutsago School Zimbabwe (general)

Nyagurgwe Mashonaland East Province

Gadziguri Zimbabwe (general)
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