Zambia has a population of around 17 million people and contrary to most countries around the world, the population remains predominantly rural. The capital and largest city in Zambia is Lusaka. Zambia's population is growing at high rates, mainly because it is common for a woman to have around five children, resulting in Zambia having one of the highest fertility rates around the world. However, life expectancy at birth is low, limiting population growth somewhat. This is likely due to the high prevalence of HIV which cuts life short for too many Zambians, as well as a lack of proper healthcare in the country, resulting in a very young population.
Zambia has had one of the fasted growing economies in the world, and on average it has and is expected to retain annual growth rates above 3 percent. This is mainly due to the privatization of the mining and copper industry which has attracted foreign investment, improving output. However, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has just recently outpaced Zambia as the largest producer of copper in the region. The most important trade partners include South Africa and Switzerland. China has also invested in Zambia's copper industry as it has a great deal of experience in the industry - it is the second largest producer of copper in the world. Because of the relative success of copper mining, the government is imposing a new tax on copper mines, which could lead to a closure of some of the less profitable mines and possibly hinder economic growth. The government would also like to profit from the industry, which at one time was public, especially as the national debt of the country continues to rise.
There is still a lot of room for progress within Zambia, as GDP per capita is still very low, and poverty remains widespread across the country. Dependence on the copper industry also makes the country vulnerable to price changes, and the government should also attempt to diversify its economic base.