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The Republic of Zaire has an area of more than 2.3 million square kilometers, ranking eleventh in the world. The total population in 1970 was estimated at 21.6 million persons of whom 20.7 million were Zairean and 0.9 million foreign born. The previous census, taken in 1958 when the country was a Belgian colony, showed Zairean and foreign population of 13.5 and 0.1 million respectively. This indicates annual growth of 3.9 percent for the total population and 3.6 percent for the native born. Growth rates have been highest in the cities due largely to migration of people from rural to urban areas. The out-migration from rural areas may be explained by fear and insecurity during the civil war and various rebellions that stroked the country during the early independence years (1960's), lack of economic opportunities and lack of educational and health facilities in the country side, and typical urban attraction. Yet, no study has been taken to determine whether this out flow had any significant impact on the lag in production of food products.


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