Population and statistics: According to Central Statistical Office (CSO) the population captured during the 2010 Census of Population and Housing was 1,105,824 for Northern Province with an average growth rate of 3.2 percent per annum. The population in rural areas was 903,208 and 201,616 in urban areas. However, the 2015 projected population for the province stands at 1,304,435 representing 1,069,637 rural and 234,798 urban. Of the total projected population in the province, 646,983 are males and 657,452 are females. There are more females than males in both rural and urban areas. Northern Province is the second fastest growing province after Lusaka province which stands at 4.6 percent.
According to the 2015 living conditions and monitoring survey which is aimed at measuring the progress that the country is making towards the attainment of both domestic and global development targets such as Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Revised Sixth National Development Plan (R-SNDP), poverty levels for Northern Province continued to be very high standing at 76 percent. The level of poverty in the rural areas was higher than in urban areas. The survey also highlights that the province is the fifth poorest in the country compared to other provinces despite the abundant natural resources available. This situation could be attributed to factors such as inadequate infrastructure (roads, health and education facilities), low private sector investment, low agricultural productivity, the inadequate market for farm produce etc.
Economical activities: The economy of this region is primarily driven by Agriculture. A number of manufacturing industries are slowly mushrooming in the province i.e. milling companies, Sugar Production, Coffee Processing, Rice Processing etc.
The province is blessed with abundant and largely unexploited natural resources. These resources range from lakes and rivers, rapids and waterfalls, splendid landscapes, abundant rainfall and favorable climate.
It is estimated that 40% of Zambia’s and 16% of SADC’s surface and underground water resources are found in the Northern Province of Zambia. Other resources include agricultural and forestry lands, vast mineral deposits, rich cultural heritage, historical and tourism sites, wildlife, and fisheries.
HIV/AIDS: The HIV/AIDS prevalence rate for Northern Province remains at 10.5 % (ZDHS 2014). This is mainly due to a seasonal invasion of traders into the Province, low condom use, multiple and concurrent sexual partnerships, low Male Circumcision, alcohol and drug, Mobility and labor migration. In addition, the Province also has a high prevalence of malaria at 398/1000 incidence.
Natural and Human Resources