Zim population to grow by 6 million in 2042: Zimstat

By Kuda Pembere

With population growth dependent on future fertility rates, mortality rates, and migration, basing on the 2022 Zimbabwe Population Census, the Zimbabwe Statistical Agency (ZimStat) projects the fertility rate amongst women will drop to 3.2 children per woman in 2042 compared to the 3.7 they found in 2022.

This, ZimStat says is attributable to the increasing contraceptive use as well as the girl school attendance policy introduced to allow pregnant teenagers to continue school.

The benchmark data for the projections is the 2022 Population and Housing Census. Based on the levels and trends of the components of population change, the projections assume that Zimbabwe’s total fertility rate will decrease from 3.7 children per woman in 2022 to 3.2 in 2042, partly a result of an increase in contraceptive prevalence rate and girl-child school attendance,” said Zimstat in the 2022 to 2042 Zimbabwe Population Projection Report.

In the report Zimstat estimates the country’s population will grow by 6 million from 15.2 million in 2022 to 21.2 million in the next 20 years.

“The report finds that Zimbabwe’s population is projected to grow from 15.2 million in 2022 to 21.2 million in 2042 in the medium scenario. This gives a higher average annual population growth rate of 1.8 percent.

“This is due to steadily rising life expectancy at birth, expanding educational levels, urbanisation, and improved public health systems. Key determinants of population change will continue to be mortality and fertility levels, with international migration playing a more significant role,” added Zimstat.

Life expectancy at birth, Zimstat says, will increase from 61.3 to 69.1 for males and from 68.2 to 78.2 for females due to several coordinated socio-economic and health care interventions, involving scaling up of early infant diagnosis.
Zimstat claims that improved healthcare, nutrition, and maternal care as a result of the Government’s mandate in fulfilling national, regional, and international goals collectively contribute to the projected decrease in infant and child deaths by 30 percent.

“Furthermore, advances in child health programs, vaccinations, and disease prevention will project better survival rates for children,” said Zimstat.

Non-communicable diseases will contribute a measly 10 percent decrease in deaths amongst adults, Zimstat notes.
“Adult mortality was assumed to decrease by only 10 percent in the next 20 years due to high-risk behaviours, such as substance abuse, reckless driving, or dangerous recreational activities. Secondly, workplace accidents play a role.
“Occupational hazards, inadequate safety measures, and exposure to harmful substances can lead to fatalities.

Recent analysis revealed a notable increase in mortality rates among older age groups, primarily attributed to non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

“This trend has led to a gradual shift in the age distribution of deaths, with a larger proportion occurring in the elderly.

“Such changes necessitate a re-evaluation of mortality assumptions in population projections,” said ZimStat. “It is essential to consider the rising prevalence of NCDs and their impact on longevity to ensure that projections accurately reflect the potential implications for healthcare systems and social services. Based on the mortality improvement experience from 2012 to 2022, we can assume that these trends are expected to continue for the next 20 years.”

Added Zimstat, “For the over-55-year-old population, which experienced negative improvements from 2012 – 2022, we don’t expect this pattern to continue and have instead proposed positive improvements for that age group from 2022 – 2042.”



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