Accelerating Fertility Decline in Zambia Opening the Window of Opportunity for the Demographic Dividend

Over the past three decades, Zambia’s fertility has declined slowly in the context of steady decline in child mortality. Consequently, 45% of the population is under 15 years of age, which has resulted in a high child dependency burden. The population increased from about 3.5 to 13 million between 1963 and 2010, was estimated at 15 million in 2014, and it is projected to reach about 27 million in 2035 and 40 million by 2050. Due to the youthful age structure, Zambia’s population is guaranteed to continue growing for many decades after fertility declines to the replacement level (2.1 births per woman). Policy and programme options is highlighted in this policy brief, which Zambia can adopt in order to accelerate fertility decline and open a window of opportunity to harnessing the demographic dividend.