File photo: Children wait to take a bus in Harare on April 14, 2010.

Zimbabwe's population steadily increased to 13 million, up by 1.1 percent from the last count a decade ago, a report released by the National Statistics Agency (ZimStats) on Tuesday shows.

“Detailed results will be published in a series of subsequent reports after completion of data processing and further analysis,” Mutasa Dzinotizei, ZimStats director general said.

Females make the largest group of the population, with 6 738 77 counted.

Long-ruling President Robert Mugabe blamed the scourge of HIV and Aids related deaths for the declining growth after the 2002 census.

Though about 13 percent of the population is HIV positive, Zimbabwe has emerged as something of an Aids success, with new HIV infections down 50 percent between 1997 and 2007, a study in 2011 found.

Officials are encouraging male circumcision because some research has shown the procedure can reduce HIV transmission rates.

Zimbabwe has also seen an exodus of people fleeing political and economic turmoil over the last decade, with some estimates suggesting three million people have left.

The 2012 census figures do not include Zimbabweans outside the country. - AFP