According to FinScope, in 2009, there were 6 387 8858 people aged 16 and above in Zambia. In contrast to many African countries where the population is often skewed towards females, the gender distribution in Zambia is fairly even.

Overall financial inclusion increased by 3.6%, from 33.7% of adults in 2005 to 37.3% in 2009. The level of financial inclusion is now 42% in urban areas and 34.4% in rural areas.

More than a third of Zambians earn their livelihoods in agriculture. This figure rises to more than 50% in rural areas. Most adults, be they rural or urban, earn their income on an irregular, inconsistent basis. Only 14% of urban inhabitants earn a salary or wage from a company or business, reducing to less than 3% for rural adults.

More than half the population(56%) have only a primary school education or less. Almost 40% have not completed their primary education. Eight percent have no formal education whatsoever.

Headline statistics

  • 63% of adults do not use any financial products at all to manage their financial lives.

  • 14% of adults are banked (86% unbanked) and 17% use products from non-bank financial service providers who provide services that banks cannot or do not provide. In total, 23% of the adult population is formally served, i.e. use any form of formal financial product. Formal other therefore seems to be a bigger driver of formal inclusion than banking.

  •  A total of 22% use informal products


A FinScope survey was first completed in Zambia in 2005 using a nationally representative sample of 4,000 respondents aged 16 and above, being the age at which Zambians are legally eligible to open a bank account. The sample was based on the Census sampling framework and the questionnaire was developed in close collaboration with the FSDP Financial Access Working Group as well as other FSDP Working Groups and financial sector stakeholders. The survey findings were officially launched in Lusaka in November 2006 and in Ndola in February 2007, and have been disseminated through various publications and workshops since that time.

The FinScope consumer survey was carried out as part of the Government of the Republic of Zambia’s financial Sector Development Plan (FSDP). The FSDP is a comprehensive strategy to build and strengthen the financial sector infrastructure to enable it to support economic diversification and sustainable growth. The FSDP recognised that there was a lack of accurate information about the financial infrastructure as well as the demand for financial services and FinScope was commissioned to provide this.

A second FinScope Zambia consumer survey was conducted in 2009. A FinScope small business survey, the Zambia Business Survey (ZBS), conducted in partnership with the Government of Zambia, the Zambia Business Forum and the World Bank, was also carried out in 2009. The results of both surveys were launched in 2010.

Funding and implementation

Together with the FSDP as coordinators, and the Bank of Zambia in collaboration with FinMark Trust, funders included the Private Sector Development Reform Programme (PSDRP),Central Statistical Office (CSO), M&N Associates, African Heights, 3C Consulting and representatives from the respective FSDP working groups.

FinMark Trust Zambia was contracted by the Bank of Zambia to manage the implementation of FinScope Zambia 2009 and has reported regularly to the FSDP Secretariat on progress. The FinMark Trust project management team included a core group of FinMark Trust staff and consultants who were responsible for the oversight and day-to-day implementation of the survey and producing deliverables in accordance with the project milestones agreed in consultation with the FSDP Secretariat.

Dissemination of data

FinMark Trust assisted the FSDP Secretariat in the design and roll out of a dissemination strategy that  maximised the distribution and application of the data. To facilitate this process, the FinScope Zambia 2009 dataset and all published materials are available to any individual or organisation with a legitimate interest in them. Such parties might include commercial service providers, government departments, industry associations, academic or commercial research organisations, whether from Zambia or elsewhere.

Using the data

The Government of Zambia is using a key indicator from FinScope for the annual monitoring of its performance towards building more inclusive financial markets as part of the national Performance Assessment Framework which is jointly agreed between government and key co-operating partners.


Communication manager: Nitha Ramnath

Head of information and research: Kingstone Mutsonziwa

tel: +27 11 315 9197

Downloadable Resources

Exploring market opportunities in Zambia - FinMark Trust 2010

Exploring market opportunities in Zambia. Industry presentations done based on FinScope Zambia 2009 data.

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Exploring market opportunities in Zambia - FinMark Trust 2010

Access to financial products in Zambia - analysis based on FinScope & trade 2005 data - FinMark Trust 2010

Access to financial products in Zambia , an analysis based on FinScope™ 2005 data

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Access to financial products in Zambia - analysis based on FinScope & trade 2005 data - FinMark Trust 2010