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Swaziland, Population

Nearly all of the people in Swaziland are ethnic Swazi, although there are small populations of Zulu, Tsonga, Asians, and Europeans. About 62 percent of the country's land has been set aside by the monarchy for exclusive use by the Swazi people. Much of the remaining land is owned by Europeans or foreign companies.

The population (2002 estimate) is 1,123,605, giving Swaziland a population density of 65 persons per sq km (168 per sq mi). In 2002 the annual population growth rate was estimated at 1.6 percent. The capital and principal town is Mbabane (population, 1986, 38,290). Lobamba is the traditional royal capital. Some 26 percent of the population lives in urban areas.

Traditional religious beliefs are held by about two-fifths of the people, and almost all the remainder are at least nominally Christians. The official languages of Swaziland are siSwati, a Bantu language, and English, in which most government business is conducted. In 2002 life expectancy at birth was estimated to be 37.7 years for women and 36.4 years for men.

In 1998-1999 some 212,052 children attended primary schools, and some 60,830 were enrolled in secondary schools. The University of Swaziland (1964) is in Kwaluseni. The literacy rate is estimated to be 91 percent.


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