Demographic and Expenditure Profiles of Zambian Households: Evidence from the June 1991 Zambian Household Expenditure and Income Survey

Gary Stampley
September 1993  [93-SR 63]

The HEIS's linkage of household-level demographic and expenditure data for Zambia provides the foundation for an analysis of household expenditure patterns. For this report, total household expenditure was composed of two broad expenditure classifications, food and nonfood. An analytical emphasis was placed on developing the food expenditure patterns of household groups identified by various socioeconomic characteristics. In general, within the various household classifications, there were three important economic variables: the availability of food items within specific markets, household income, and relative prices that appeared to contribute to the development of the observed food group expenditure patterns. Directly observable, absolute differences in total expenditure, shares of total expenditure, and shares of total food expenditure were used to distinguish groups of households. For example, it was found that households in rural areas of Zambia have distinctively different levels of total expenditure and food group expenditure patterns than those in urban areas. Rural households spent, on average, a larger proportion of total expenditure on food than did urban households. Moreover, rural households spent a relatively larger share of their total food expenditure on lower priced cereal grains, while urban households spent a relatively larger share of their total food expenditure on higher priced meat, poultry and fish items.

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