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The territory of Northern Rhodesia was administered by the [British] South Africa Company from 1891 until it was taken over by the UK in 1923. During the 1920s and 1930s, advances in mining spurred development and immigration. The name was changed to Zambia upon independence in 1964. In the 1980s and 1990s, declining copper prices and a prolonged drought hurt the economy. Elections in 1991 brought an end to one-party rule, but the subsequent vote in 1996 saw blatant harassment of opposition parties. The election in 2001 was marked by administrative problems with three parties filing a legal petition challenging the election of ruling party candidate Levy MWANAWASA. The new president launched an anticorruption investigation in 2002 to probe high-level corruption during the previous administration. In 2006-07, this task force successfully prosecuted four cases, including a landmark civil case in the UK in which former President CHILUBA and numerous others were found liable for USD 41 million. MWANAWASA was reelected in 2006 in an election that was deemed free and fair. Upon his abrupt death in August 2008, he was succeeded by his Vice-president Rupiah BANDA, who subsequently won a special presidential election in October 2008.

Population: 11,862,740
Age Structure:
0-14 years: 45.1% (male 2,685,142/female 2,659,771)
15-64 years: 52.6% (male 3,122,305/female 3,116,846)
65 years and over: 2.3% (male 114,477/female 164,199) (2009 est.)
Birth Rate: 40.24 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Death Rate: 21.34 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
Infant mortality Rate:
total: 101.2 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 8
male: 105.97 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 96.28 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
Life Expectancy:
total population: 38.63 years
country comparison to the world: 223
male: 38.53 years
female: 38.73 years (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 15.2% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 1.1 million (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 56,000 (2007 est.)
Ethnic Groups:
African 99.5% (includes Bemba, Tonga, Chewa, Lozi, Nsenga, Tumbuka, Ngoni, Lala, Kaonde, Lunda, and other African groups), other 0.5% (includes Europeans, Asians, and Americans) (2000 Census)
Religions: Christian 50%-75%, Muslim and Hindu 24%-49%, indigenous beliefs 1%
Languages: Bemba 30.1% (official), Nyanja 10.7% (official), Tonga 10.6% (official), Lozi 5.7% (official), Chewa 4.9%, Nsenga 3.4%, Tumbuka 2.5%, Lunda 2.2% (official), Kaonde 2% (official), Lala 2%, Luvale 1.7% (official), English 1.7% (official), other 22.5% (2000 Census)
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write English
total population: 80.6%
male: 86.8%
female: 74.8% (2003 est.)
Government Type: republic
Capital: Lusaka
Geographic coordinates: 15 25 S, 28 17 E
Time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Independence: 24 October 1964 (from the UK)
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Currency: Zambian kwacha (ZMK)
Population below poverty line: 86% (1993)
Transnational Issues:
Disputes - international:
in 2004, Zimbabwe dropped objections to plans between Botswana and Zambia to build a bridge over the Zambezi River, thereby de facto recognizing a short, but not clearly delimited, Botswana-Zambia boundary in the river.

Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 42,565 (Angola); 60,874 (Democratic Republic of the Congo); 4,100 (Rwanda) (2007).

Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for moderate amounts of methaqualone, small amounts of heroin, and cocaine bound for southern Africa and possibly Europe; a poorly developed financial infrastructure coupled with a government commitment to combating money laundering make it an unattractive venue for money launderers; major consumer of cannabis.


**Information retreived from CIA - The World Factbook:

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