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Sub-Saharan Africa


Zambia ranks 137 out of 162 countries in the Gender Inequality Index, where a high rank equals high equality. Women should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though.


Zambia has a Workplace Index score of 6.6, a Marketplace Index score of 5.7 and a Community and Environment Index score of 5.3 in the Children’s Rights and Business Atlas, where countries receive scores between 0 and 10. A score closer to 0 reflects a need for basic children’s rights due diligence, while a higher score reflects a need for enhanced or heightened due diligence. Children should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though. 

Persons with Disabilities

Due to differences in data collection and definitions it is difficult to compare countries on disability prevalence rates. Persons with disabilities should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though.

Minorities and Indigenous Peoples

According to the World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples, the main population groups in Zambia are Bemba (33.6 %), Nyanja (18.2 %), Tonga (16.8 %), North-Western peoples (10.3 %), Lozi (Barotse) (7.8 %), Mambwe (5.9 %), Tumbuka (5.1 %), Lamba (2 %), Asians and Europeans. Zambia’s vast territory is quite sparsely populated, its people settled mainly in on its plateaus and in urban areas. Although shifting and amalgamating throughout the twentieth century, at least 73 linguistically similar, yet culturally specific, indigenous African ethno-linguistic groups have been identified in Zambia. The Zambian census grouped these many small groups into seven major ethnic categories, as listed above. Bemba-speakers (who are not always Bembas) have held key positions in central government, but there is no one dominant ethno-linguistic group. English is used in upper levels of primary school and above and is the language of government. As such, it spans all ethnic groups. However, lack of mastery of English can entail social exclusion. Shona, Swahili and various Zairian languages may be heard among immigrants and traders. Lozi are highly concentrated in the flood plain of the Zambezi River in Western Province. Favoured under British colonial rule, some Lozi have chafed at their loss of privilege since independence. Lamba live in northern-central Zambia, along the Copperbelt. There are several thousand Asians living mainly in urban areas. The main religions are Christianity, indigenous beliefs and Islam.


Migrant Workers​

According to the ILO Global Estimates on International Migrant Workers, migrant workers as a proportion of all workers is 3 % in the subregion Sub-Saharan Africa.

Persons in Armed Conflict

Zambia ranks 42 out of 179 countries in the Fragile States Index, where a high rank equals high fragility. For monthly crisis updates, check out CrisisWatch

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