BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
ZIMBABWE’S population has increased by 16,2% from the 2012 statistics of 13,1 million, and now stands at 15 178 979, preliminary national census results released by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) showed yesterday.
Announcing the results in Harare yesterday, ZimStat director-general Taguma Mahonde said they had received “guidance” from President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his deputy, Constantino Chiwenga throughout the census process.
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The preliminary results show that Harare province has the highest concentration at 16% of the total population in the country, followed by Manicaland and Mashonaland West provinces at 13,4% and 12,5%, respectively.
Females constitute the majority of the population, numbering 7 889 421 or 52%, compared to the male population of 7 289 588 (48%). The results give a sex ratio of 92 males for every 100 females.
The census results also reveal that more people in the country have migrated to rural areas (61,4%) than from the rural areas to the urban areas (38,6%).
However, the number of urban dwellers has risen since 2012.
“The population of Zimbabwe as at April 20, 2022 was 15 178 979. The population constituted 3 818 992 households, giving an average of fourpersons per household. Given a land area of 390 757 square kilometres, the resultant population density stood at 39 persons per square kilometre,” Mahonde said.
“Zimbabwe follows a decennial census cycle of which the 2022 Population and Housing Census marked the fifth since independence (1980), having conducted the last in August 2012. The 2022 Population and Housing Census was the first digitised census to be conducted in Zimbabwe, in line with United Nations Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses, Revision 3.
“I would like to thank His Excellency the President of Zimbabwe Dr ED (Emmerson) Mnangwaga and Vice-President Dr (Constantino) Chiwenga for the guidance that we got time and again as we were moving forward with our census and their interventions.
“We had problems in logistics during the COVID-19 pandemic, until the census was given a special status that we could operate during the lockdown. We also got a lot of assistance from the Cabinet ...”
Mahonde said Zimbabweans who were out of the country on the census “night” (midnight between August 17 and 18, 2022) were not counted, while foreigners who were in the country the same night were counted.
He said dissemination of more census results would be staggered in different modules categorised as demographic characteristics, housing characteristics and living conditions, functioning emigration, deaths, education, fertility and labour force.
The 2022 census, which ran from April 21 to 30, was Zimbabwe’s first digitised census.
Country representatives of different international organisations that were present during the announcement of the results endorsed the accuracy of the preliminary census results.
They urged authorities to look beyond figures and analyse the impact of the results from a humanitarian perspective.
United Nations Population Fund country representative Esther Muia said: “The question really is what these population numbers mean for Zimbabwe towards its developmental aspirations.
“So really as we discuss these preliminary results today and as we edge towards the eight billion global population mark which is expected in November this year, we must remind ourselves of the value of humanity and it is not divided as we add to its membership.
“Every individual deserves to benefit from a more just, prosperous and sustainable world and these numbers will help to really make sure no one is left behind. That, of course, includes the critical analysis of people living with different challenges.”
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