Population change and socio-economic development in Zimbabwe
It is a commonly held theory that population is related to levels of social and economic development within a given country or society. The work of Becker in the early 1960s gave much impetus to studies of the relationship between fertility, mortality and migration, on the one hand and their determinants, on the other. The determinants were seen as the social, economic, political and cultural settings of the countries or socities under study. The thesis attempts to apply this theory in relation to the demographic development of Zimbabwe. The thesis postulates that socio-economic differentials within Zimbabwe are sufficiently pronounced as to begin to affect the demographic structure of the country. It is with this in mind that three objectives are set for the thesis: a) the exploration of the demographic structure of the population of Zimbabwe, as a means of furthering the understanding of the nature of the demographic development of the country; b) the development and utilization of data estimation techniques as a means of overcoming the deficiencies in the data collected from official sources; and, c) the investigation of the link between population change, on the one hand, with social and economic development on the other. The hypothesis proceeds through the examination of such social and economic variables as income, education, health and other social indicators in relation to fertility, migration and mortality. Due to the inadequacy of data on the demographic variables, the thesis estimates such data using the recognized relationships among the demographic variables. The estimated demographic measures are subjected to correlation and regression analysis after the development structure of the country has been explored through factor and cluster analysis. Three geographical scales are used in the analyses viz. the province, the district and the local authority area. Use of the three geographical scales exposes the dangers of extrapolating and generalizing national patterns of demographic, social and economic development to the levels of the district and the local authority, as well as exposing different features of the development profile of the country of Zimbabwe. The thesis concludes that there is a differentiation in the demographic profile of the various geographical regions of the country, based on inequitable distribution of resources in the past when the country was under white settler colonial rule. The advent of independence and the introduction of policies designed to reduce such inequalities had not had time to work by the time the 1982 Census, from whose data the study is based, was taken. The thesis therefore recommends that further censuses are required if the effect of such policies are to be measured. It further recommends the use of cross-temporal instead of the cross-sectional data which was applied in this study.