Zambia, officially called the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in southern Africa. Despite improving in recent years, economic growth in the country is unable to support the high rate of population growth and the burden of HIV-related issues. Here are 10 facts about poverty in Zambia:
- In Zambia, 60 percent of people live below the poverty line and 42 percent are classified as extremely poor.
- Poverty rates are highest for female-headed households, with extreme poverty levels of more than 60 percent in rural areas and 15 percent in urban areas.
- The effects of poverty are seen in children’s development. Around 15 percent of children in Zambia are underweight, and 40 percent are stunted.
- Poverty is worst in rural Zambia, where 83 percent of people live below the poverty line.
- Zambia’s isolation limits access to markets and technical training or skills, which hurts the economy and contributes to poverty.
- Food insecurity is high, as more than 350,000 people in the country do not have access to a regular food supply.
- Due to high food prices coupled with extreme poverty, families spend 64 percent of their income on basic food needs.
- High rates of HIV play a role in exacerbating poverty in Zambia. Approximately 14.3 percent of adults in the country have HIV and 1.5 million children are orphaned as a result of the disease.
- Poor healthcare coupled with disease and hunger have led to life expectancy in Zambia of just 37.5 years, the fourth-lowest in the world.
- While still low, Zambia’s ranking on the Human Development Index has increased significantly, from 167 to 141 out of 188 in the span of a year.
While the burdens of disease and geographical restraints have made it difficult for Zambia to pull itself out of poverty, improvements in both qualities of life and the economy show promise that poverty in Zambia is shrinking.
– Alexi Worley