Demographics of Mozambique

2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: African Geography

Mozambique's major ethnic groups encompass numerous subgroups with diverse languages, dialects, cultures, and histories. Many are linked to similar ethnic groups living in inland countries.

The north-central provinces of Zambezia and Nampula are the most populous, with about 45% of the population. The estimated 4 million Makua are the dominant group in the northern part of the country - the Sena and Shona (mostly Ndau) are prominent in the Zambezi valley, and the Shangaan (Tsonga) dominate in southern Mozambique. Other groups include Makonde, Yao, Swahili, Tonga, Chopi, Shona, and Nguni (including Zulu). The country has also a small number of Caucasian residents, largely Europeans of Portuguese ancestry. During Portuguese colonial rule, a large minority of Mozamibicans of Portuguese descent lived permanently in almost all areas of Mozambique, and Mozambicans with Portuguese citizenship at the time of independence was about 250,000. Most of these left the region after its freedom in 1975. There is also a small mestiço minority of Mozambicans with mixed Bantu and Portuguese heritage. The remaining Caucasians in Mozambique claim heritage from India, Pakistan, Portuguese India and Arab countries. There are also some 7,000 Chinese.

Despite the influence of Islamic coastal traders and European colonizers, the people of Mozambique have largely retained an indigenous culture based on smallscale agriculture. Mozambique's most highly developed art forms have been wood sculpture, for which the Makonde in northern Mozambique are particularly renowned, and dance. The middle and upper classes continue to be heavily influenced by the Portuguese colonial and linguistic heritage.

Portuguese is the official and most widely spoken language of the nation, because Bantus speak several of their different languages (most widely used of these are Swahili, Makua, Sena, Ndau, and Shangaan — these have many Portuguese-origin words), but 40% of all people speak it — 31%, mostly Bantus, as their second language and only 9%, mostly pure-blooded Portuguese and mestiços, speak it as their first language. Arabs, Chinese, and Indians speak their own languages (Indians from Portuguese India speak any of the Portuguese Creoles of their origin) aside from Portuguese as their second language. Most educated Mozambicans speak English, which is used in schools and business as second or third language.

During the colonial era, Christian missionaries were active in Mozambique, and many foreign clergy remain in the country. According to the national census, about 20%-30% of the population is Christian, 15%-20% is Muslim, and the remainder adheres to traditional beliefs.

Under Portugal, educational opportunities for poor Mozambicans were limited; 93% of the Bantu population was illiterate, and many could not speak Portuguese. In fact, most of today's political leaders were educated in missionary schools. After independence, the government placed a high priority on expanding education, which reduced the illiteracy rate to about two-thirds as primary school enrollment increased. Unfortunately, in recent years school construction and teacher training enrollments have not kept up with population increases. With post-war enrollments reaching all-time highs, the quality of education has suffered. As a member of Commonwealth of Nations, most urban Mozambicans are required to learn English starting high-school.

Demographics of Mozambique, Data of FAO, year 2005 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands.
Demographics of Mozambique, Data of FAO, year 2005 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands.

Population: 17,479,266 (July, 2003 est.), 19,104,696 (July 2000 est.)
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected; the 1997 Mozambican census reported a population of 16,099,246

Age structure:
0-14 years: 42.1% (male 3,634,173; female 3,725,396) (2003 est.), 43% (male 4,079,240; female 4,122,578) (2000 est.)
15-64 years: 55.3% (male 4,712,891; female 4,945,123) (2003 est.), 54% (male 5,123,178; female 5,262,618) (2000 est.)
65 years and over: 2.6% (male 189,778; female 271,905) (2003 est.), 3% (male 215,412; female 301,670) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.82% (2003 est.), 1.47% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 38.2 births/1,000 population (2003 est.), 37.99 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 30.04 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.), 23.29 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000, 2003 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2003 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 199 deaths/1,000 live births, 139.86 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)
female: 180.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 216.85 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 31.3 years (2003 est.), 37.52 years (2000 est.)
male: 30.98 (2003 est.), 38.34 years (2000 est.)
female: 31.63 (2003 est.), 36.68 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.87 children born/woman (2003 est.), 4.93 children born/woman (2000 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 1.1 million (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths: 60,000 (2001 est.)

noun: Mozambican(s)
adjective: Mozambican

Ethnic groups: indigenous tribal groups 99.66% (Shangana, Chokwe, Manyika, Sena, Makua, Ndau, and others), Euro-Africans 0.2%, Indians 0.04%, Arabs 0.02%, Chinese 0.02%, Europeans (entirely Portuguese) 0.06%

Religions: indigenous beliefs 50%, Christian 30%, Muslim 20%

Languages: Portuguese language (official), 39 indigenous languages according to SIL/Ethnologue (including Makhuwa, Lomwe, Sena, Chopi, Chuwabo, Ndau, Nyanja, Ronga, Tshwa, Ekoti)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 47.8% (2003 est.), 40.1% (1995 est.)
male: 63.5% (2003 est.), 57.7% (1995 est.)
female: 32.7% (2003 est.), 23.3% (1995 est.)

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