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The third major change has involved the age profile of the population.A sharp drop in mortality rates and longer life expectancy between 19 meant that almost sixty-three percent of the population sixteen to thirty-four years of age.While the white minority lost political power after Independence, it has retained a disproportionate share of economic resources. A land-locked country of 242,700 square miles 390,580 square kilometers between the Zambezi River to the north and the Limpopo River to the south, it is bordered by Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Zambia.Most of the country is a high to middle veld plateau with extensive areas of wooded savanna and a temperate climate; the low veld of the Limpopo and the Zambezi Valley is hotter and has less rain.The name is thought to derive from dzimba dza mabwe ("great stone houses") or dzimba waye ("esteemed houses").Cultural and religious traditions among the Shona, Ndebele and smaller groups of Tonga, Shangaan and Venda have similarities in regard to marriage practices and the belief in supernatural ancestors.
Zimbabwe is named after Great Zimbabwe, the twelfth- to fifteenth-century stone-built capital of the Rozwi Shona dynasty.
The four main dialects of Shona—Zezuru, Kalanga, Manyika, and Ndau—have a common vocabulary and similar tonal and grammatical features.
The Ndebele in the nineteenth century were the first to use the name "Shona" to refer to the peoples they conquered; although the exact meaning of the term is unclear, it was probably derogatory.
About 2 percent of the population is of non-African ethnic origin, mainly European and Asian.
In the twentieth century, there were three major changes in the demographic and settlement pattern.