Zambia is a landlocked country in southern Africa, with a tropical climate and consists mostly of high plateau with some hills and mountains. At 752,614 sq. km (290,566 sq. mi.) it is the 39th-largest country in the world (after Chile) and slightly larger than the US state of Texas. Zambia is drained by two major river basins: the Zambezi River basin, in the south; and the Congo River basin, in the north.
The official language is English (a remnant from British colonization), used to conduct official business and is the medium of instruction in schools. There are seven commonly-spoken indigenous languages including: Chibemba, Chinyanja, Lunda, Chitonga, Kaonde, Silozi and Luvale. These 7 languages are taught in schools and broadcast on national radio and television. There are many more languages spoken by the various tribes in Zambia, in fact a Zambian languages website lists 78 languages.
The country is 44% urban. Most rural Zambians are subsistence farmers. The predominant faith is Christianity which is also the official national religion. Expatriates, mostly British (about 15,000) or South African, live mainly in Lusaka and in the Copperbelt in northern Zambia, where they are employed in mines and related activities. Zambia also has a small but very economically important Asian population, most of whom are Indians. In recent years over three hundred dispossessed white farmers left Zimbabwe at the invitation of the Zambian government and have taken up farming in the southern region.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic is ravaging Zambia. Nearly one million Zambians are HIV positive or have AIDS. An estimated 100,000 died of the epidemic in 2004. Over a half-million Zambian children have been orphaned. Life expectancy at birth is just under 40 years