After a long period of speculation, there is now solid data about the religious affiliation of Zimbabweans in the recently released Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey 2010-11.

The study reports only on those aged 15-49: “The majority of the respondents (74 percent of men and 93 percent of women) are Christians. Men (22 percent) are more likely than women (6 percent) to report no religion. Men are also more likely to practice traditional religion than women (4 percent and 1 percent, respectively).”

Although the DHS report is focused on health issues, questions were also asked about education and one question on religion: “What is your religion?”  The interviewers coded responses in the following categories: Traditional, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal, Apostolic Sect, Other Christian, Muslim, None, Other (specify).

Here is the DHS data for Women and Men aged 15-49 and the resulting RelZim estimate for the national population of all ages. Figures indicate percentages of affiliation.

                                  DHS Women      DHS Men              RelZim Total Estimate

Apostolics                   38.0                       27.7                        33%

Pentecostal                 21.1                       14.5                        17%

Protestant                   16.8                       13.9                        16%

Roman Catholic             8.4                       10.0                        10%

Other Christian              8.4                         7.7                          8%


Traditional                    0.6                        3.9                          3%

Muslim                         0.5                         0.6                        less than 1%

Other                           0.1                         0.1                        less than 1%

No religion                    6.1                        21.5                         12%

This major survey now gives highly reliable data, based on a nationally representative sample of 40,000 individuals from 406 wards around the country, both urban and rural. The study was conducted by ZIMSTATT from September 2010 to March 2011, with international funding. Additional information about the ZDHS may be obtained from the Zimbabwe National Statistics in Harare, Zimbabwe (Telephone: (263-4) 793-971/2 E-mail: [email protected]) or MeasureDHS (with pdf).