Provinces of Zambia

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"Geopolitical Entities, Names, and Codes, Edition 2" (GENC), a U.S. standard that's supposed to correspond to ISO 3166-2, was issued on 2014-03-31. It gave the code ZM-10 for the new province, Muchinga. Subsequently, on 2014-11-03, ISO officially issued that same code for Muchinga. Now there is a perfect match between the two standards.

I replaced the preliminary census results with the final ones (source [9]). Also, the move of Southern's capital seems to have gone through.

Update 10 to Geopolitical Entities and Codes (formerly FIPS 10-4) is dated 2012-12-31. It issues a new code for Muchinga province.

Country overview: 

Short nameZAMBIA
ISO codeZM
LanguageEnglish (en)
Time zone+2


At the start of the 20th century, North-East Rhodesia and North-West Rhodesia were administered, with regard to British interests, by the British South Africa Company. In 1911, they merged to form the protectorate of Northern Rhodesia. The country took the name Zambia when it became independent in 1964.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Zambia
  2. Dutch: Zambia, Republiek Zambia (formal)
  3. English: Republic of Zambia (formal), Northern Rhodesia (obsolete)
  4. Finnish: Sambia
  5. French: Zambie f
  6. German: Sambia n
  7. Icelandic: Sambía
  8. Italian: Zambia m
  9. Norwegian: Zambia, Republikken Zambia (formal)
  10. Portuguese: Zâmbia, República f da Zâmbia f (formal), Rodésia do Norte (obsolete)
  11. Russian: Республика Замбия (formal)
  12. Spanish: Zambia, República f de Zambia (formal)
  13. Swedish: Zambia
  14. Turkish: Zambiya Cumhuriyeti (formal)

Origin of name: 

from Zambezi River

Primary subdivisions: 

Zambia is divided into ten provinces.

ProvinceHASCISOFIPSPopulationArea(km.²)Area(mi.²)CapitalOld name
CentralZM.CE02ZA021,307,11194,39436,446KabweBroken Hill
EasternZM.ES03ZA031,592,66151,47619,875ChipataFort Jameson
LuapulaZM.LP04ZA04991,92750,56719,524MansaFort Rosebery
10 provinces13,092,666752,612290,585

Postal codes: 

Zambia uses five-digit postal codes.

Further subdivisions:

See the Districts of Zambia page.

The provinces are divided into 72 districts.

Territorial extent: 

The UN LOCODE page  for Zambia lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.

Origins of names: 

Copperbelt: site of a belt of copper mines

Change history: 

  1. 1911-08-17: North-East Rhodesia (capital Fort Jameson) and North-West Rhodesia (capital Kalomo) merged to form Northern Rhodesia (capital Livingstone).
  2. ~1933: Capital of the country moved from Livingstone to Lusaka.
  3. 1953-07-14: British Parliament passed the Rhodesia and Nyasaland Federation Act, by which Northern Rhodesia protectorate, Nyasaland protectorate, and Southern Rhodesia colony were joined in the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (capital Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia). The provinces of Northern Rhodesia at about this time were as follows. Populations are from source [2], which says, "African population only, based on a sample census." Source [3] gives the total population 1,741,419, according to a "1951 census", of which an estimated 1,700,577 were "domiciled, indigenous Africans."
  • Population: 1950-07-30 census.
  1. 1963-12-31: Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland dissolved into its original components.
  2. 1964-10-24: Northern Rhodesia became independent under the name Zambia. At that time, it was divided into eight provinces, which were subdivided into 43 districts. The provinces (and their capitals) were Barotseland (Mongu), Central (Broken Hill), Eastern (Fort Jameson), Luapula (Fort Rosebery), Northern (Kasama), North-Western (Solwezi), Southern (Livingstone), and Western (Ndola).
  3. ~1969: Name of Western province changed to Copperbelt. Name of Barotseland province changed to Western. Name of capital of Central province changed from Broken Hill to Kabwe. Name of capital of Eastern province changed from Fort Jameson to Chipata. Name of capital of Luapula province changed from Fort Rosebery to Mansa.
  4. ~1973: Lusaka province split from Central province. Lusaka city, formerly the capital of Central, became the capital of Lusaka. Initially Lusaka province was only 360 sq. km. around Lusaka, but by 1988 it had been enlarged to its present size.
  5. 2011-11: Muchinga province formed from Chinsali, Isoka, Mafinga, Mpika, and Nakonde districts of Northern (former HASC code ZM.NO) and Chama district of Eastern (ZM.EA) (sources [6], [7], [8]). Its capital is Chinsali. (Evidence shows that the split took place sometime between 2011-11-07 and 2011-12-27.) Based on the populations of their constituent districts, the populations of Eastern, Muchinga, and Northern from the 2000 census using their present areas would be 1,231,283, 524,186, and 809,400, respectively.
  6. ~2013: Capital of Southern province moved from Livingstone to Choma.

Other names of subdivisions: 

  1. Copperbelt: Western (obsolete)
  2. Western: Barotseland (obsolete)

Population history:



Note: All data from source [4], except 2010 census, which is from source [9]. Populations for 1969 are approximate. They were calculated by multiplying areas by population densities.


  1. [1] L'Évaluation des effectifs de la population des pays Africains, Tome I. Groupe de Démographie Africaine, Paris, 1982.
  2. [2] Demographic Yearbook , 7th Ed. Statistical Office of the United Nations, New York, 1955 (retrieved 2011-08-20).
  3. [3] The Encyclopædia Britannica World Atlas, 1957 edition.
  4. [4] Census data from Zambia , Chapter 3, Population Composition, Size and Growth. Central Statistical Office (retrieved 2011-11-05).
  5. [5] 2010 Census of Population and Housing , Presentation of Preliminary Results. The source of this presentation is not identified, but the numbers seem consistent with other available information. (Retrieved 2011-11-05.)
  6. [6] Victoria Falls 24  news site (dated 2011-10-17, retrieved 2011-12-01).
  7. [7] "Zambia's 10th Province, Muchinga ." Ministry Of Local Government and Housing (retrieved 2012-09-12).
  8. [8] Truly Zambian  news site (dated 2012-02-07, retrieved 2012-09-23).
  9. [9] Zambia 2010 Census of Population and Housing . Central Statistical Office, Lusaka, 2012-06 (retrieved 2014-02-19). Although the census was taken before Muchinga province was created, this report was issued afterward, and reflects the new division.
  10. [10] "Zambia 2010 Population Census, Preliminary Population Figures." (dated 2011-02, retrieved 2013-10-16).
  11. [11] Zambia Desktop Mapping Tools for Office 97 , provided by Andrew Lyons (retrieved 2000-12-14).
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