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Detecting Zimbabwe’s Decadal Economic Decline Using Nighttime Light Imagery

Zimbabwe’s economy declined between 2000 and 2009. This study detects the economic decline in different regions of Zimbabwe using nighttime light imagery from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program’s Operational Linescan System (DMSP-OLS). We found a good correlation (coefficient = 0.7361) between Zimbabwe’s total nighttime light (TNL) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the period 1992 to 2009. Therefore, TNL was used as an indicator of regional economic conditions in Zimbabwe. Nighttime light imagery from 2000 and 2008 was compared at both national and regional scales for four types of regions. At the national scale, we found that nighttime light in more than half of the lit area decreased between 2000 and 2008. Moreover, within the four region types (inland mining towns, inland agricultural towns, border towns and cities) we determined that the mining and agricultural sectors experienced the most severe economic decline. Some of these findings were validated by economic survey data, proving that the nighttime light data is a potential data source for detecting the economic decline in Zimbabwe.

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Additional Info

Field Value
Author(s) Xi Li,Linlin Ge & Xiaoling Chen
Last Updated February 11, 2021, 21:46 (UTC)
Created December 7, 2020, 22:55 (UTC)
Stable Link
Date 2013-08-02
Publishing Body Remote Sensing
Content Type Publications
Primary Category Demographics & Socioeconomics
Sub Category Socioeconomics
Country Name Zimbabwe
Location Latitude -19.0154
Location Longitude 29.1549
Publishing Organization New Light Technologies