ZIMSTAT calls for responsible population management

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Writes Marlvin Ngiza

The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) has underscored the significance of responsible population management in fruitful planning and efficient service delivery in the country.

In an official statement to mark the 2023 World Population Day, ZIMSTAT Demographic Analysis Manager, Perfect Makumbe said Zimbabwe’s population has grown to 15 178 957, a development which was going to give birth to some challenges that would require attention and action.

The statement further revealed that the country has been experiencing several demographic changes which include migration hence the need for the country to pay attention to such trends for better resource allocation.

“As of 20th April 2022, the total population of Zimbabwe was 15,178,957, with a diverse mix of cultures, ethnicities, and backgrounds. Migration is another noteworthy demographic factor in Zimbabwe. Economic and social factors have led to both internal and external migration trends within the country. While some individuals seek opportunities elsewhere, others migrate to urban centres in search of better livelihoods. Understanding and managing migration patterns is crucial for effective planning and resource allocation, ensuring the equitable development of both rural and urban areas.

“As we observe World Population Day 2023, it is essential to recognize the importance of responsible population management. By considering factors such as mortality, fertility, and migration, Zimbabwe can strive towards sustainable development, ensuring that every citizen enjoys a good quality of life and has access to essential services, education, healthcare, and employment opportunities,” said Makumbe

It was further revealed that Zimbabwe has recorded a milestone in dealing with the mortality rates and child marriages through improved healthcare services and the introduction of strong policies and spotlight initiatives such as the Marriages Act which were successful in protecting a girl’s child rights.

“One of the key demographic trends in Zimbabwe is the ongoing reduction in mortality rates which has been observed over the years. This positive trend emphasizes the importance of further strengthening healthcare systems and ensuring the well-being of all individuals. The 2022 Population and Housing Census revealed that the Crude Death Rate was 8.0 deaths per 1,000 persons down from 10.2 in 2012. The Infant Mortality Rate was 24.2 deaths per 1,000 live births down from 64 in 2012.

“Child Mortality Rate was 15.6 deaths per 1,000 live births down from 24 in 2012. Under 5 Mortality Rate was 39.7 deaths per 1,000 live births down from 84 in 2012. The Maternal Mortality Ratio was 362 deaths per 100,000 live births down from 525 in 2012. Life expectancy at birth, was 64.7 years, an increase from 38 years in 2012,” added Makumbe

This year’s theme for World Population Day commemorations was “Unleashing the power of gender equality: Uplifting the voices of women and girls to unlock our world’s infinite possibilities”.

World Population Day seeks to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues and was established by the then-Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989, an outgrowth of the interest generated by the Day of Five Billion, which was observed on 11 July 1987.

By resolution 45/216 of December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly decided to continue observing World Population Day to enhance awareness of population issues, including their relations to the environment and development.