via Zim population increases by 2pc per annum – Sunday News Feb 28, 2016
ZIMBABWE’S population has grown by two percent per annum since 2012 and will reach 19,3 million by 2032, latest research conducted by the National Statistics Agency has established.
Figures from the Registrar General’s Department reveal that the number of registered births has eclipsed that of deaths by over 1,5 million.
ZimStat’s Population Projections Thematic Report (median population growth projections) indicates that Zimbabwe’s population will be 14 240 168 come December 2016, reaching 15 473 818 by 2020.
It will surge further to 17 073 087 by 2025 and then 19 284 605 by 2032, with the latter comprising 9 285 485 males and 9 999 117 females.
These projections are premised on rising life expectancy rates due to reduced Aids-related deaths, improved public health systems, expanding educational levels, rising incomes and urbanisation.
The report also shows that fertility — as measured by population and Zimbabwe Demographic and Health surveys — declined from 5,6 in 1982 to 3,75 in 2012.
Total fertility rate represents the number of children born to one woman up to menopause in accordance with age-specific fertility rates.
Part of the report reads, “Using the cohort component method, the report finds that Zimbabwe’s population is projected to grow from 13,1 million in 2012 to 19,3 million in 2032 in the medium scenario.
“This gives a higher average annual population growth rate (2,0 percent) during the projection period than during the past 20 years (1,1 percent). This is due to steadily rising life expectancy at birth, itself a result of reduced Aids-related deaths, expanding educational levels, rising incomes, urbanisation and improved public health systems.”
It also states that, “The age-sex structure of Zimbabwe’s population is projected to significantly change over the projection period, with the proportion of the working age population (15-64) projected to rise from 55 percent in 2012 to 64 percent in 2032 while that of persons below 15 years is projected to decline from 41 percent in 2012 to 32 percent in 2032.
“The proportion of older persons (65 years and above) remains static at 4 percent. Correspondingly, the age dependency ratio will decline from 83 dependants per 100 working age population in 2012 to 57 dependants per 100 working age population.
“Zimbabwe’s urban population is projected to grow from 4,3 million in 2012 to 6,5 million in 2032 while its rural population is projected to grow from 8,8 million in 2012 to 13,7 million in 2032. However, the proportion of the population living in urban areas is projected to remain stagnant at 33 percent throughout the projection period.”
Responding to inquiries by our Harare Bureau, Registrar General Mr Tobaiwa Mudede said two million births and 467 633 deaths have been recorded since 2010.
He said 282 285 new born babies got birth certificates in 2010, 319 678 in 2011, 236 985 in 2012, 459 901 in 2013, 356 926 in 2014 and 290 756 last year.
Harare accounted for 84 935 deaths and 302 331 births, the highest figures of the last six years.
“From 2010 to 2015, the Department has managed to register a total of 2 046 531 births. “However, the figure is not compiled according to gender grouping. Therefore, it is not possible to determine how many females or males were registered,” said Mr Mudede.
“It has to be noted that these are only annual statistics of registered births and deaths and may not be the total number of births and deaths that occurred in Zimbabwe.”
He added that the onus to register births and deaths rest with relatives, some of whom may not do so for different reasons.
“In 2013, the Department was involved in an extensive mobile outreach programme of registration of births, deaths and national identity cards in preparation for the harmonised elections. Consequently, this is reflected in high figures of registration.”
Family health and population studies expert, Dr Bernard Madzima said Zimbabwe’s birth rate remains low compared to that of other African countries with similar demographic structures.
“According to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (2014), Zimbabwe had 32 percent children under five with birth registration. The highest was Bulawayo with 56 percent, with the lowest being Mashonaland West at 22 percent. Harare had 54 percent.
“This is not good as we need every child to be registered in line with our child protection policies, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Department needs to ensure that all babies born in health facilities receive birth certificates early. We already have a high institutional delivery at 80 percent.”
Zimbabwe has conducted four censuses since 1980, with the 2012 survey putting the resident population at 13 061 239.
Females accounted for 52 percent, with 41 percent of the population aged below 15 years and 4 percent aged 65 and above.