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All photos: Presidência da República de Moçambique
The total Mozambican population in mid-2017 was 27,909,798, according to the definitive results of the 2017 census, released in Maputo on Monday at a ceremony chaired by President Filipe Nyusi.
The census was held by the National Statistics Institute (INE) between 1 and 15 August 2017, and preliminary results were published in December 2017.
Mozambican censuses are held every ten years. The previous census showed that the population in August 2007 was 20,677,520. In the intervening decade, the population had grown by over 7.23 million.
The figures show that the rate of population growth has accelerated. The population grew at 2.8 per cent a year from 2008 to 2017, compared with 2.3 per cent between 1998 and 2007.
This shows a return to the population growth rate levels of the immediate post independence period. Mozambique’s first census, in 1980, put the annual growth rate at 2.6 per cent. Because of the aggression by the South African apartheid regime against Mozambique, it was not possible to hold another census until 1997.
This showed that the population growth rate had fallen to1.7 per cent a year. The fall was due overwhelmingly to the mass mortality caused by the war of destabilisation and its train of disease and starvation.
The distribution of the population is much the same as in 2007. The most heavily populated provinces remain Nampula in the north (5,758,920) and Zambezia in the centre of the country (5,164,731).
But Niassa, in the far north, is no longer the province with the smallest population. With a population of 1,810,794, Niassa has more people than the two southern provinces of Gaza (1,422,460) and Inhambane (1,488,676).
As for the largest cities, the census shows that the frequent claim that Beira is the second largest city in Mozambique is untrue. After the Maputo-Matola conurbation, with 2.15 million people, the second city is Nampula, with 663,212 inhabitants. Beira’s population is 592,090.
Life expectancy at birth has increased from 42.3 years in the 1997 census, to 50.9 in 2007 to 53.7 in 2017. At the same time, infant mortality has fallen sharply – from 145.7 infant deaths per 100,000 live births in 1997 to 93.6 in 2007 and to 67.3 in 2017.
The illiteracy rate has also fallen – from 60.5 per cent in 1997, to 50.3 per cent in 2007, to 39 per cent in 2017.
Both the gross birth rate and the gross death rate have fallen. The gross birth rate fell from 42.9 per 1.000 inhabitants in 2007 to 3.9 in 2017. As for the death rate, this fell from 15.7 to 11.8 per 1,000 inhabitants over the same period.
Living conditions have improved, if judged by basic household amenities. Thus the number of households using electricity for lighting has risen from five per cent in 1997 to ten per cent in 2007 to 22.2 per cent in 2017, while the number with access to piped water has risen from 8.5 per cent, to 10.1 per cent to 16.7 per cent.
2017 Religious statistics in #Mozambique (released today) are as odd as ever. After exploding in 1997-2007, Catholicism would now be declining. In contrast, Islam would be suddenly growing. Etc. For critical analysis of previous stats, see my article https://t.co/7drjj0J80F pic.twitter.com/TQc3zYf8Y0
— Eric Morier-Genoud (@emorier) April 29, 2019
The number of households with no latrine has fallen dramatically, from 66 per cent in 1997 to 53.7 per cent in 2007 to 23.6 per cent in 2017.
Despite these encouraging figures, other data in the census show an economy that is stagnant, if not declining. Thus gross domestic product (GDP) per capita has fallen from 458 US dollars in 2007 to 453 dollars in 2017.
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