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Geography—note: landlocked

Area—comparative: slightly larger than Montana

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

Climate: tropical; moderated by altitude; rainy season (November to March)

Terrain: mostly high plateau with higher central plateau (high veld); mountains in east

Natural resources: coal, chromium ore, asbestos, gold, nickel, copper, iron ore, vanadium, lithium, tin, platinum group metals

Environment—current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; land degradation; air and water pollution; the black rhinoceros herd—once the largest concentration of the species in the world—has been significantly reduced by poaching

Population: 11,044,147 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 44% (male 2,439,907; female 2,397,761)
15-64 years: 54% (male 2,914,336; female 3,000,442)
65 years and over: 2% (male 133,232; female 158,469) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.12% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 31.32 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 20.09 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 61.75 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 39.16 years
male: 39.12 years
female: 39.19 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.86 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Ethnic groups: African 98% (Shona 71%, Ndebele 16%, other 11%), white 1%, mixed and Asian 1%

Religions: syncretic (part Christian, part indigenous beliefs) 50%, Christian 25%, indigenous beliefs 24%, Muslim and other 1%

Languages: English (official), Shona, Sindebele (the language of the Ndebele, sometimes called Ndebele), numerous but minor tribal dialects

definition: age 15 and over can read and write in English
total population: 85%
male: 90%
female: 80% (1995 est.)

National capital: Harare

Independence: 18 April 1980 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 18 April (1980)

Constitution: 21 December 1979

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Political parties and leaders: Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front or ZANU-PF [Robert MUGABE]; Zimbabwe African National Union-NDONGA or ZANU-NDONGA [Ndabaningi SITHOLE]; Zimbabwe Unity Movement or ZUM [Edgar TEKERE]; Democratic Party or DP [Emmanuel MAGOCHE]; Forum Party of Zimbabwe [Enock DUMBUTSHENA]; United Parties [Abel MUZOREWA] 

Economy—overview: Agriculture employs 27% of the labor force of this landlocked nation and supplies almost 25% of exports. Mining accounts for only 5% of both GDP and employment, but minerals and metals account for about 20% of exports. The government is working to consolidate earlier progress in developing a market-oriented economy. Although the IMF suspended support for Zimbabwe's economic structural adjustment program (ESAP) in 1995, due to government failure to meet key targets, recent talks between the government and the Fund have held hope for renewed support if Zimbabwe remains committed to budgetary targets. A key element of the budget is the Zimbabwe Program for Socio-Economic Transformation (ZIMPREST), the second phase of ESAP, whose goals include increased commercialization and privatization of government-owned enterprises and more "outward-looking" trade and investment policies. The World Bank resumed balance of payments support to Zimbabwe in early 1998. Government officials face the difficult task of restraining expenditures in their effort to keep inflation within bounds.

GDP—real growth rate: 8.1% (1996 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 18.3%
industry: 35.3%
services: 46.4% (1993 est.)

Agriculture—products: corn, cotton, tobacco, wheat, coffee, sugarcane, peanuts; cattle, sheep, goats, pigs

total value: $2.5 billion (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
commodities: agricultural 38% (tobacco 28%), manufactures 34%, gold 12%, textiles 4%, ferrochrome 7% (1996 est.)
partners: South Africa 12%, UK 12%, Germany 6%, Japan 6% (1996 est.)

total value: $2.2 billion (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
commodities: machinery and transportation equipment 41%, other manufactures 24%, chemicals 13%, fuels 10% (1996 est.)
partners: South Africa 38%, UK 9%, US 5%, Japan 5% (1996 est.)

Debt—external: $4.8 billion (1996)

Currency: 1 Zimbabwean dollar (Z$) = 100 cents 

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 2,662,702 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 1,659,659 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: $236 million (FY95/96)

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: 3.4% (FY95/96)

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