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Africa :: Tanzania Print
Page last updated on November 24, 2020
  • Introduction :: Tanzania
  • Background field listing

    Mainland Tanzania fell under German rule during the late 19th century as part of German East Africa. After World War I, Britain governed the mainland as Tanganyika; the Zanzibar Archipelago remained a separate colonial jurisdiction. Shortly after achieving independence from Britain in the early 1960s, Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form the United Republic of Tanzania in 1964. In 1995, the country held its first democratic elections since the 1970s. Zanzibar maintains semi-autonomy and participates in national elections; popular political opposition on the isles led to four contentious elections since 1995, in which the ruling party claimed victory despite international observers' claims of voting irregularities.

  • Geography :: Tanzania
  • Location field listing
    Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Kenya and Mozambique
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    6 00 S, 35 00 E
    Map references field listing
    Area field listing
    total: 947,300 sq km
    land: 885,800 sq km
    water: 61,500 sq km

    note: includes the islands of Mafia, Pemba, and Zanzibar

    country comparison to the world: 32
    Area - comparative field listing
    more than six times the size of Georgia; slightly larger than twice the size of California
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 4,161 km
    border countries (8): 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
    Coastline field listing
    1,424 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    Climate field listing
    varies from tropical along coast to temperate in highlands
    Terrain field listing
    plains along coast; central plateau; highlands in north, south
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 1,018 m
    lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Kilimanjaro (highest point in Africa) 5,895 m
    Natural resources field listing
    hydropower, tin, phosphates, iron ore, coal, diamonds, gemstones, gold, natural gas, nickel
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 43.7% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 14.3% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 2.3% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 27.1% (2011 est.)
    forest: 37.3% (2011 est.)
    other: 19% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    1,840 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    the largest and most populous East African country; population distribution is extremely uneven, but greater population clusters occur in the northern half of country and along the east coast as shown in this population distribution map
    Natural hazards field listing

    flooding on the central plateau during the rainy season; drought

    volcanism: limited volcanic activity; Ol Doinyo Lengai (2,962 m) has emitted lava in recent years; other historically active volcanoes include Kieyo and Meru

    Environment - current issues field listing
    water polution; improper management of liquid waste; indoor air pollution caused by the burning of fuel wood or charcoal for cooking and heating is a large environmental health issue; soil degradation; deforestation; desertification; destruction of coral reefs threatens marine habitats; wildlife threatened by illegal hunting and trade, especially for ivory; loss of biodiversity; solid waste disposal
    Environment - international agreements field listing
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    Geography - note field listing
    Kilimanjaro is the highest point in Africa and one of only three mountain ranges on the continent that has glaciers (the others are Mount Kenya [in Kenya] and the Ruwenzori Mountains [on the Uganda-Democratic Republic of the Congo border]); Tanzania is 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
  • People and Society :: Tanzania
  • Population field listing
    58,552,845 (July 2020 est.)

    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

    country comparison to the world: 24
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Tanzanian(s)
    adjective: Tanzanian
    Ethnic groups field listing
    mainland - African 99% (of which 95% are Bantu consisting of more than 130 tribes), other 1% (consisting of Asian, European, and Arab); Zanzibar - Arab, African, mixed Arab and African
    Languages field listing
    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

    Religions field listing
    Christian 61.4%, Muslim 35.2%, folk religion 1.8%, other 0.2%, unaffiliated 1.4% (2010 est.)

    note: Zanzibar is almost entirely Muslim

    Demographic profile field listing

    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.

    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 42.7% (male 12,632,772/female 12,369,115)
    15-24 years: 20.39% (male 5,988,208/female 5,948,134)
    25-54 years: 30.31% (male 8,903,629/female 8,844,180)
    55-64 years: 3.52% (male 954,251/female 1,107,717)
    65 years and over: 3.08% (male 747,934/female 1,056,905) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 85.9
    youth dependency ratio: 81
    elderly dependency ratio: 4.9
    potential support ratio: 20.4 (2020 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 18.2 years
    male: 17.9 years
    female: 18.4 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 213
    Population growth rate field listing
    2.71% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    Birth rate field listing
    34.6 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    Death rate field listing
    7.1 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    Net migration rate field listing
    -0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    Population distribution field listing
    the largest and most populous East African country; population distribution is extremely uneven, but greater population clusters occur in the northern half of country and along the east coast as shown in this population distribution map
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 35.2% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 5.22% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030: PDF
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    262,000 Dodoma (legislative capital) (2018), 6.702 million DAR ES SALAAM (administrative capital), 1.120 million Mwanza (2020)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.86 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female
    total population: 1 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth field listing
    19.8 years (2015/16 est.)

    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    524 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 36.4 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 38.5 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 34.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 63.9 years
    male: 62.3 years
    female: 65.5 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    Total fertility rate field listing
    4.59 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    38.4% (2015/16)
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 92.3% of population
    rural: 56.2% of population
    total: 68.2% of population
    unimproved: urban: 7.7% of population
    rural: 43.8% of population
    total: 31.8% of population (2017 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure field listing
    3.6% (2017)
    Physicians density field listing
    0.01 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    0.7 beds/1,000 population (2010)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: urban: 82.1% of population
    rural: 29.5% of population
    total: 46.9% of population
    unimproved: urban: 17.9% of population
    rural: 70.5% of population
    total: 53.1% of population (2017 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    5.1% (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    1.7 million (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    27,000 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    Major infectious diseases field listing
    degree of risk: very high (2020)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and Rift Valley fever
    water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
    animal contact diseases: rabies
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    8.4% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight field listing
    14.6% (2018)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    Education expenditures field listing
    3.4% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    Literacy field listing
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write Kiswahili (Swahili), English, or Arabic
    total population: 77.9%
    male: 83.2%
    female: 73.1% (2015)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) field listing
    total: 9 years
    male: 9 years
    female: 9 years (2019)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 field listing
    total: 3.9%
    male: 3.1%
    female: 4.6% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
  • Government :: Tanzania
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: United Republic of Tanzania
    conventional short form: Tanzania
    local long form: Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania
    local short form: Tanzania
    former: German East Africa, Trust Territory of Tanganyika, United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar
    etymology: the country's name is a combination of the first letters of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, the two states that merged to form Tanzania in 1964
    Government type field listing
    presidential republic
    Capital field listing
    name: Dar es Salaam (administrative capital), Dodoma (legislative capital); note - Dodoma was designated the national capital in 1996 and serves as the meeting place for the National Assembly; Dar es Salaam remains the de facto capital, the country's largest city and commercial center, and the site of the executive branch offices and diplomatic representation; the government contends that it will complete the transfer of the executive branch to Dodoma by 2020
    geographic coordinates: 6 48 S, 39 17 E
    time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    etymology: Dar es Salaam was the name given by Majid bin Said, the first sultan of Zanzibar, to the new city he founded on the Indian Ocean coast; the Arabic name is commonly translated as "abode/home of peace"; Dodoma, in the native Gogo language, means "it has sunk"; supposedly, one day during the rainy season, an elephant drowned in the area; the villagers in that place were so struck by what had occurred, that ever since the locale has been referred to as the place where "it (the elephant) sunk"
    Administrative divisions field listing
    31 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, Songwe, Tabora, Tanga
    Independence field listing
    26 April 1964 (Tanganyika united with Zanzibar to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar); 29 October 1964 (renamed United Republic of Tanzania); notable earlier dates: 9 December 1961 (Tanganyika became independent from UK-administered UN trusteeship); 10 December 1963 (Zanzibar became independent from UK)
    National holiday field listing
    Union Day (Tanganyika and Zanzibar), 26 April (1964)
    Constitution field listing
    history: several previous; latest adopted 25 April 1977; note - progress enacting a new constitution drafted in 2014 by the Constituent Assembly stalled
    amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage of amendments to constitutional articles including those on sovereignty of the United Republic, the authorities and powers of the government, the president, the Assembly, and the High Court requires two-thirds majority vote of the mainland Assembly membership and of the Zanzibar House of Representatives membership; House of Representatives approval of other amendments is not required; amended several times, last in 2017
    International law organization participation field listing
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Tanzania; if a child is born abroad, the father must be a citizen of Tanzania
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
    Suffrage field listing
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: President John MAGUFULI, Dr. (since 5 November 2015; sworn in for second 5-year term on 5 November 2020); Vice President Samia Suluhu HASSAN (since 5 November 2015); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President John MAGUFULI, Dr. (since 5 November 2015; sworn in for second 5-year term on 5 November 2020); Vice President Samia Suluhu HASSAN (since 5 November 2015); note - Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa MAJALIWA (since 20 November 2015; reappointed 13 November 2020) has authority over the day-to-day functions of the government, is the leader of government business in the National Assembly, and is head of the Cabinet
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from among members of the National Assembly
    elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by simple majority popular vote for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 25 October 2015 (next to be held 28 October 2020); prime minister appointed by the president
    election results: John MAGUFULI elected president; percent of vote - John MAGUFULI (CCM) 58.5%, Edward LOWASSA (CHADEMA) 40%, other 1.5%

    note: Zanzibar elects a president as head of government for internal matters; election held on 25 October 2015 was annulled by the Zanzibar Electoral Commission and rerun on 20 March 2016; President Ali Mohamed SHEIN reelected; percent of vote - Ali Mohamed SHEIN (CCM) 91.4%, Hamad Rashid MOHAMED (ADC) 3%, other 5.6%; the main opposition party in Zanzibar CUF boycotted the 20 March 2016 election rerun

    Legislative branch field listing
    description: unicameral National Assembly or Parliament (Bunge) (393 seats; 264 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 113 women indirectly elected by proportional representation vote, 5 indirectly elected by simple majority vote by the Zanzibar House of Representatives, 10 appointed by the president, and 1 seat reserved for the attorney general; members serve a 5-year term); note - in addition to enacting laws that apply to the entire United Republic of Tanzania, the National Assembly enacts laws that apply only to the mainland; Zanzibar has its own House of Representatives or Baraza La Wawakilishi (82 seats; 50 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 20 women directly elected by proportional representation vote, 10 appointed by the Zanzibar president, 1 seat for the House speaker, and 1 ex-officio seat for the attorney general; elected members serve a 5-year term)
    elections: Tanzania National Assembly and Zanzibar House of Representatives - elections last held on 25 October 2015 (next National Assembly election to be held in October 2020; next Zanzibar election either October 2020 or March 2021); note the Zanzibar Electoral Commission annulled the 2015 election; repoll held on 20 March 2016
    election results: National Assembly - percent of vote by party - CCM 55%, Chadema 31.8%, CUF 8.6%, other 4.6%; seats by party - CCM 253, Chadema 70, CUF 42, other 2; composition as of September 2018 - men 245, women 145, percent of women 37.2%

    Zanzibar House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; composition - NA
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Court of Appeal of the United Republic of Tanzania (consists of the chief justice and 14 justices); High Court of the United Republic for Mainland Tanzania (consists of the principal judge and 30 judges organized into commercial, land, and labor courts); High Court of Zanzibar (consists of the chief justice and 10 justices)
    judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal and High Court justices appointed by the national president after consultation with the Judicial Service Commission for Tanzania, a judicial body of high level judges and 2 members appointed by the national president; Court of Appeal and High Court judges serve until mandatory retirement at age 60, but terms can be extended; High Court of Zanzibar judges appointed by the national president after consultation with the Judicial Commission of Zanzibar; judges can serve until mandatory retirement at age 65
    subordinate courts: Resident Magistrates Courts; Kadhi courts (for Islamic family matters); district and primary courts
    Political parties and leaders field listing

    Alliance for Change and Transparency (Wazalendo) or ACT [Zitto KABWE]
    Alliance for Democratic Change or ADC [Miraji ABDALLAH]
    Civic United Front (Chama Cha Wananchi) or CUF [Ibrahim LIPUMBA]
    National Convention for Construction and Reform-Mageuzi or NCCR-M [James Francis MBATIA]
    National League for Democracy
    Party of Democracy and Development (Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo) or Chadema [Freeman MBOWE]
    Revolutionary Party (Chama Cha Mapinduzi) or CCM [John MAGUFULI]
    Tanzania Labor Party or TLP [Augustine MREMA]
    United Democratic Party or UDP [John Momose CHEYO]

    note: in March 2014, four opposition parties (CUF, CHADEMA, NCCR-Mageuzi, and NLD) united to form Coalition for the People's Constitution (Umoja wa Katiba ya Wananchi) or UKAWA; during local elections held in October, 2014, UKAWA entered one candidate representing the three parties united in the coalition

    International organization participation field listing
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Wilson Mutagaywa MASILINGI (since 17 September 2015)
    chancery: 1232 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20037
    telephone: [1] (202) 939-6125
    FAX: [1] (202) 797-7408
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Donald J. WRIGHT (since 2 April 2020)
    telephone: (255) 22-229-4000, dial '1' for an emergency operator
    embassy: 686 Old Bagamoyo Road, Msasani, Dar es Salaam
    mailing address: P.O. Box 9123, Dar es Salaam
    FAX: [255] (22) 229-4970 or 4971
    Flag description field listing
    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
    National symbol(s) field listing
    Uhuru (Freedom) torch, giraffe; national colors: green, yellow, blue, black
    National anthem field listing
    name: "Mungu ibariki Afrika" (God Bless Africa)
    lyrics/music: collective/Enoch Mankayi SONTONGA

    note: adopted 1961; the anthem, which is also a popular song in Africa, shares the same melody with that of Zambia but has different lyrics; the melody is also incorporated into South Africa's anthem

  • Economy :: Tanzania
  • Economy - overview field listing

    Tanzania has achieved high growth rates based on its vast natural resource wealth and tourism with GDP growth in 2009-17 averaging 6%-7% per year. Dar es Salaam used fiscal stimulus measures and easier monetary policies to lessen the impact of the global recession and in general, benefited from low oil prices. 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 slightly less than one-quarter of GDP and employs about 65% of the work force, although gold production in recent years has increased to about 35% of exports. 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. 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, which provide important trade links for inland countries. In 2013, Tanzania completed the world's largest Millennium Challenge Compact (MCC) grant, worth $698 million, but in late 2015, the MCC Board of Directors deferred a decision to renew Tanzania’s eligibility because of irregularities in voting in Zanzibar and concerns over the government's use of a controversial cybercrime bill.

    The new government elected in 2015 has developed an ambitious development agenda focused on creating a better business environment through improved infrastructure, access to financing, and education progress, but implementing budgets remains challenging for the government. Recent policy moves by President MAGUFULI are aimed at protecting domestic industry and have caused concern among foreign investors.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $162.5 billion (2017 est.)
    $153.3 billion (2016 est.)
    $143.3 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 75
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $51.76 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    6.98% (2019 est.)
    6.95% (2018 est.)
    6.78% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $3,200 (2017 est.)
    $3,100 (2016 est.)
    $3,000 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 193
    Gross national saving field listing
    25% of GDP (2017 est.)
    23.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
    24.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 62.4% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 12.5% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 36.1% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: -8.7% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 18.1% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -20.5% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 23.4% (2017 est.)
    industry: 28.6% (2017 est.)
    services: 47.6% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    coffee, sisal, tea, cotton, pyrethrum (insecticide made from chrysanthemums), cashew nuts, tobacco, cloves, corn, wheat, cassava (manioc, tapioca), bananas, fruits, vegetables; cattle, sheep, goats
    Industries field listing
    agricultural processing (sugar, beer, cigarettes, sisal twine); mining (diamonds, gold, and iron), salt, soda ash; cement, oil refining, shoes, apparel, wood products, fertilizer
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    12% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    Labor force field listing
    24.89 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 66.9%
    industry: 6.4%
    services: 26.6% (2014 est.)
    Unemployment rate field listing
    10.3% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    Population below poverty line field listing
    22.8% (2015 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: 2.8%
    highest 10%: 29.6% (2007)
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 7.873 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 8.818 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    15.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -1.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    Public debt field listing
    37% of GDP (2017 est.)
    38% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    Fiscal year field listing
    1 July - 30 June
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    5.3% (2017 est.)
    5.2% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    Current account balance field listing
    -$1.313 billion (2019 est.)
    -$1.898 billion (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    Exports field listing
    $4.971 billion (2017 est.)
    $5.697 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    Exports - partners field listing
    India 21.8%, South Africa 17.9%, Kenya 8.8%, Switzerland 6.7%, Belgium 5.9%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 5.8%, China 4.8% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    gold, coffee, cashew nuts, manufactures, cotton
    Imports field listing
    $7.869 billion (2017 est.)
    $8.464 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    Imports - commodities field listing
    consumer goods, machinery and transportation equipment, industrial raw materials, crude oil
    Imports - partners field listing
    India 16.5%, China 15.8%, UAE 9.2%, Saudi Arabia 7.9%, South Africa 5.1%, Japan 4.9%, Switzerland 4.4% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $5.301 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $4.067 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

    note: excludes gold

    country comparison to the world: 94
    Debt - external field listing
    $17.66 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $15.21 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    Exchange rates field listing
    Tanzanian shillings (TZS) per US dollar -
    2,243.8 (2017 est.)
    2,177.1 (2016 est.)
    2,177.1 (2015 est.)
    1,989.7 (2014 est.)
    1,654 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Tanzania
  • Electricity access field listing
    population without electricity: 35 million (2019)
    electrification - total population: 40% (2019)
    electrification - urban areas: 71% (2019)
    electrification - rural areas: 23% (2019)
    Electricity - production field listing
    6.699 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    5.682 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    Electricity - exports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 206
    Electricity - imports field listing
    102 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    1.457 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    55% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 192
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    40% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    6% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    Crude oil - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 206
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 205
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 202
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 202
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 206
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    72,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 207
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    67,830 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    Natural gas - production field listing
    3.115 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    3.115 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    6.513 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    14.57 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
  • Communications :: Tanzania
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 74,081
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 46,847,405
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 82.21 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    Telecommunication systems field listing
    general assessment: telecommunications services are marginal and operating below capacity; 1 fixed-line operator and 8 operational mobile networks; unfortunate high tariffs on telecoms; mobile use is growing at 85% penetration; 3G/LTE services; govt. allocates TZ $17.5 billion to improve rural telecom infrastructure and work on national fiber backbone network connecting population around country (2020)
    domestic: fixed-line telephone network inadequate with less than 1 connection per 100 persons; mobile-cellular service, aided by multiple providers, is increasing rapidly and exceeds 82 telephones per 100 persons; trunk service provided by open-wire, microwave radio relay, tropospheric scatter, and fiber-optic cable; some links being made digital (2019)
    international: country code - 255; landing points for the EASSy, SEACOM/Tata TGN-Eurasia, and SEAS fiber-optic submarine cable system linking East Africa with the Middle East; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean, 1 Atlantic Ocean) (2019)
    note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media field listing
    a state-owned TV station and multiple privately owned TV stations; state-owned national radio station supplemented by more than 40 privately owned radio stations; transmissions of several international broadcasters are available (2019)
    Internet country code field listing
    Internet users field listing
    total: 13,862,836
    percent of population: 25% (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 861,234
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
  • Transportation :: Tanzania
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 11 (2020)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 91
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 1,481,557 (2018)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 390,000 mt-km (2018)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    5H (2016)
    Airports field listing
    166 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 10 (2019)
    over 3,047 m: 2
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
    914 to 1,523 m: 2
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 156 (2013)
    over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 24 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 98 (2013)
    under 914 m: 33 (2013)
    Pipelines field listing
    311 km gas, 891 km oil, 8 km refined products (2013)
    Railways field listing
    total: 4,567 km (2014)
    narrow gauge: 1,860 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)
    2707 km 1.000-m gauge
    country comparison to the world: 43
    Roadways field listing
    total: 87,581 km (2015)
    paved: 10,025 km (2015)
    unpaved: 77,556 km (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    Waterways field listing
    (Lake Tanganyika, Lake Victoria, and Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) are the principal avenues of commerce with neighboring countries; the rivers are not navigable) (2011)
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 337
    by type: bulk carrier 4, container ship 8, general cargo 173, oil tanker 44, other 108 (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar
  • Military and Security :: Tanzania
  • Military and security forces field listing
    Tanzania People's Defense Forces (TPDF or Jeshi la Wananchi la Tanzania, JWTZ): Land Forces Command, Naval Forces Command, Air Force Command, National Building Army (Jeshi la Kujenga Taifa, JKT), People's Militia (Reserves) (2019)
    note: the National Building Army is a paramilitary organization under the Defense Forces that provides six months of military and vocational training to individuals as part of their two years of public service; after completion of training, some graduates join the regular Defense Forces while the remainder become part of the People's Militia
    Military expenditures field listing
    1.3% of GDP (2019)
    1.3% of GDP (2018)
    1.2% of GDP (2017)
    1.1% of GDP (2016)
    1.1% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    Military and security service personnel strengths field listing
    the Tanzania People's Defense Forces (TPDF) have an estimated 26,000 active personnel (22,000 Land Forces; 1,000 Naval Forces; 3,000 Air Force) (2019 )
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions field listing
    the TPDF inventory includes mostly Soviet-era and older Chinese equipment; since 2010, China is the leading supplier of arms to the TPDF (2019 est.)
    Military deployments field listing
    450 Central African Republic (MINUSCA); 750 Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO); 120 Lebanon (UNIFIL); 330 Sudan (UNAMID) (2020)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; 6-year commitment (2019)
    Maritime threats field listing
    The International Maritime Bureau reports that shipping in territorial and offshore waters in the Indian Ocean remain at risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships, especially as Somali-based pirates extend their activities south; numerous commercial vessels have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; crews have been robbed and stores or cargoes stolen.
    Military - note field listing
    the TPDF has deployed additional troops to its border with Mozambique to prevent a spillover of the growing violence in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado (2020)
  • Terrorism :: Tanzania
  • Terrorist group(s) field listing
    Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham - Central Africa (2020)
    note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T
  • Transnational Issues :: Tanzania
  • Disputes - international field listing

    dispute with Tanzania over the boundary in Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) and the meandering Songwe River; Malawi contends that the entire lake up to the Tanzanian shoreline is its territory, while Tanzania claims the border is in the center of the lake; the conflict was reignited in 2012 when Malawi awarded a license to a British company for oil exploration in the lake

    Refugees and internally displaced persons field listing
    refugees (country of origin): 154,163 (Burundi), 77,898 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (2020)
    Trafficking in persons field listing
    current situation: Tanzania is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; the exploitation of young girls in domestic servitude continues to be Tanzania’s largest human trafficking problem; Tanzanian boys are subject to forced labor mainly on farms but also in mines and quarries, in the informal commercial sector, in factories, in the sex trade, and possibly on small fishing boats; Tanzanian children and adults are subjected to domestic servitude, other forms of forced labor, and sex trafficking in other African countries, the Middle East, Europe, and the US; internal trafficking is more prevalent than transnational trafficking and is usually facilitated by friends, family members, or intermediaries with false offers of education or legitimate jobs; trafficking victims from Burundi, Kenya, South Asia, and Yemen are forced to work in Tanzania’s agricultural, mining, and domestic service sectors or may be sex trafficked
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Tanzania does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, Tanzania was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; the government adopted a three-year national action plan and implementing regulations for the 2008 anti-trafficking law; authorities somewhat increased their number of trafficking investigations and prosecutions and convicted one offender, but the penalty was a fine in lieu of prison, which was inadequate given the severity of the crime; the government did not operate any shelters for victims and relied on NGOs to provide protective services (2015)
    Illicit drugs field listing
    targeted by traffickers moving hashish, Afghan heroin, and South American cocaine transported down the East African coastline, through airports, or overland through Central Africa; Zanzibar likely used by traffickers for drug smuggling; traffickers in the past have recruited Tanzanian couriers to move drugs through Iran into East Asia