Zimbabweans to live longer and have fewer children: Report

Top Stories Zimbabwe

Mbonisi Nleya

ZIMBABWEANS are projected to live up to an average of 70 years in two decades, up from an average of 61,5 years in 2012, according to the latest data from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat).

Zimbabwe last conducted a population census in 2012.

According to the updated 2012 Population Census Report presented in Harare on Tuesday, life expectancy is projected to increase from 58 years in 2012 to 67 years in 2032 for males and from 65 years to 74 years for females during the same period.

The report notes that, “the age pattern of mortality for both males and females reflects the impact of HIV/AIDS.  It is expected that this impact will decline in the future”.

Zimbabweans are also expected to have less children in the period under review.

According to the report the country’s Total Fertility Rate (TRF) is projected to decline by 1.27 children per woman by 2032.

The country’s TFR stood at 4.33 in 2012 and is projected to drop to 3.06 children per woman.

Total fertility rate (TFR) in simple terms refers to total number of children born or likely to be born to a woman in her life time. In Zimbabwe it is between the ages of 15 and 50.

In 2014 the Government announced plans to reduce the country’s fertility rate to three children per family by 2020 and align population growth to national economic growth.

The country’s Total Fertility Rate is, however, not among the highest in Africa as other countries such as Niger and Somalia have fertility rates as high as seven children per woman.