Area: 290,586 square miles.
Population: 10 million.
Neighbouring countries: Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
(Zambia is landlocked).
Environment: Its tropical location and high altitude yield a subtropical climate. The rainy season lasts from October to April. Over one third of Zambia is forested; the rest is mainly grassland interspersed with trees. The Zambezi River runs between Zambia and Zimbabwe and is famous for the Victoria Falls and Kariba Dam. Big game like elephant and rhinoceros are threatened by poaching.
Life expectancy: 37 years.
Ethnic groups: Africans (82 ethnic groups) 97%; Europeans and Asians 3%.
Languages: English (official); many indigenous languages, especially Bemba, Lozi, Tonga and Nyanja.
Capital: Lusaka (over 1 million).
Other cities: Livingstone, Ndola and Kitwe.
Urbanisation: about 50%.
Economy: Zambia’s economy has long been dependent upon copper, mined and refined in its rich copperbelt, and over-susceptible to world price fluctuations. Copper reserves could run out within a generation. Other mineral resources include cobalt, zinc, lead, coal, emeralds, gold, silver and uranium. Zambia is self-sufficient in energy, generating hydroelectric power at the Kariba Dam. Most of the population is engaged in subsistence agriculture. Zambia struggles with the effect of recent wars in neighbouring nations, the aftermath of dictatorship, inflation, corruption, and endemic AIDS.
Religions: Roman Catholicism 32%; Protestantism 25%; traditional African 23%; others, including Islam, Hinduism, and various cults 20%.
Protestant denominations: United Church of Zambia; Reformed Church in Zambia; various Baptist; African Methodist Episcopal; various Brethren; various Pentecostal and holiness; Anglican; Evangelical Church in Zambia (AEF); others. Half the Protestants, and 12.5% of the whole population, profess to be Evangelicals.