Tanzania Factbook

Background

Shortly after achieving independence from Britain in the early 1960s, Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form the United Republic of Tanzania in 1964. One-party rule ended in 1995 with the first democratic elections held in the country since the 1970s. Zanzibar’s semi-autonomous status and popular opposition led to two contentious elections since 1995, which the ruling party won despite international observers’ claims of voting irregularities. The formation of a government of national unity between Zanzibar’s two leading parties succeeded in minimizing electoral tension in 2010.tanzania_flag_map

Economy Overview

Tanzania is one of the world’s poorest economies in terms of per capita income, but has achieved high growth rates based on its vast natural resource wealth and tourism. GDP growth in 2009-15 was an impressive 6-7% per year. Dar es Salaam used fiscal stimulus measures and easier monetary policies to lessen the impact of the global recession. Tanzania has largely completed its transition to a market economy, though the government retains a presence in sectors such as telecommunications, banking, energy, and mining.
The economy depends on agriculture, which accounts for more than one-quarter of GDP, provides 85% of exports, and employs about 80% of the work force; agriculture accounts for 7% of government expenditures. All land in Tanzania is owned by the government, which can lease land for up to 99 years. Proposed reforms to allow for land ownership, particularly foreign land ownership, remain unpopular.
The financial sector in Tanzania has expanded in recent years and foreign-owned banks account for about 48% of the banking industry’s total assets. Competition among foreign commercial banks has resulted in significant improvements in the efficiency and quality of financial services, though interest rates are still relatively high, reflecting high fraud risk. Recent banking reforms have helped increase private-sector growth and investment.
The World Bank, the IMF, and bilateral donors have provided funds to rehabilitate Tanzania’s aging infrastructure, including rail and port, that provide important trade links for inland countries. In 2013, Tanzania completed the world’s largest Millennium Challenge Compact grant, worth $698 million, and, in December 2014, the Millennium Challenge Corporation selected Tanzania for a second Compact.
In late 2014, a highly publicized scandal in the energy sector involving senior Tanzanian officials resulted in international donors freezing nearly $500 million in direct budget support to the government. The Tanzanian shilling weakened in 2015 because of lower gold prices, election-related political risk, and outflows from emerging market currencies generally.

Flag Description

divided diagonally by a yellow-edged black band from the lower hoist-side corner; the upper triangle (hoist side) is green and the lower triangle is blue; the banner combines colors found on the flags of Tanganyika and Zanzibar; green represents the natural vegetation of the country, gold its rich mineral deposits, black the native Swahili people, and blue the country’s many lakes and rivers, as well as the Indian Ocean

Regions

30 regions; Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Geita, Iringa, Kagera, Kaskazini Pemba (Pemba North), Kaskazini Unguja (Zanzibar North), Katavi, Kigoma, Kilimanjaro, Kusini Pemba (Pemba South), Kusini Unguja (Zanzibar Central/South), Lindi, Manyara, Mara, Mbeya, Mjini Magharibi (Zanzibar Urban/West), Morogoro, Mtwara, Mwanza, Njombe, Pwani (Coast), Rukwa, Ruvuma, Shinyanga, Simiyu, Singida, Tabora, Tanga

Demographics

Tanzania has the largest population in East Africa and the lowest population density; almost a third of the population is urban. Tanzania’s youthful population – about two-thirds of the population is under 25 – is growing rapidly because of the high total fertility rate of 4.8 children per woman. Progress in reducing the birth rate has stalled, sustaining the country’s nearly 3% annual growth. The maternal mortality rate has improved since 2000, yet it remains very high because of early and frequent pregnancies, inadequate maternal health services, and a lack of skilled birth attendants – problems that are worse among poor and rural women. Tanzania has made strides in reducing under-5 and infant mortality rates, but a recent drop in immunization threatens to undermine gains in child health. Malaria is a leading killer of children under 5, while HIV is the main source of adult mortality
For Tanzania, most migration is internal, rural to urban movement, while some temporary labor migration from towns to plantations takes place seasonally for harvests. Tanzania was Africa’s largest refugee-hosting country for decades, hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Great Lakes region, primarily Burundi, over the last fifty years. However, the assisted repatriation and naturalization of tens of thousands of Burundian refugees between 2002 and 2014 dramatically reduced the refugee population. Tanzania is increasingly a transit country for illegal migrants from the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes region who are heading to southern Africa for security reasons and/or economic opportunities. Some of these migrants choose to settle in Tanzania.

Languages

Kiswahili or Swahili (official), Kiunguja (name for Swahili in Zanzibar), English (official, primary language of commerce, administration, and higher education), Arabic (widely spoken in Zanzibar), many local languages
note: Kiswahili (Swahili) is the mother tongue of the Bantu people living in Zanzibar and nearby coastal Tanzania; although Kiswahili is Bantu in structure and origin, its vocabulary draws on a variety of sources including Arabic and English; it has become the lingua franca of central and eastern Africa; the first language of most people is one of the local languages

Bounderies

Burundi 589 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 479 km, Kenya 775 km, Malawi 512 km, Mozambique 840 km, Rwanda 222 km, Uganda 391 km, Zambia 353 km

Age Structure

0-14 years: 44.06% (male 11,678,349/female 11,444,708)
15-24 years: 19.71% (male 5,173,239/female 5,169,214)
25-54 years: 29.74% (male 7,840,941/female 7,767,797)
55-64 years: 3.5% (male 802,760/female 1,034,151)
65 years and over: 2.99% (male 668,102/female 903,465) (2016 est.)

Sex Ratio

At birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.78 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Natural Resources

Hydropower, Tin, Phosphates, Iron ore, Coal, Diamonds, Gemstones, Gold, Natural gas, Nickel and many more.

Geography Note:

Kilimanjaro is the highest point in Africa and one of only two mountains on the continent that has glaciers (the other is Mount Kenya); bordered by three of the largest lakes on the continent: Lake Victoria (the world’s second-largest freshwater lake) in the north, Lake Tanganyika (the world’s second deepest) in the west, and Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) in the southwest.

Population

52,482,726
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2016 est.)