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Tanzania contains some of Africa’s most iconic national parks and famous archeological sites, and its diverse cultural heritage reflects the multiple ethnolinguistic groups that live in the country. Its long history of integration into trade networks spanning the Indian Ocean and the African interior led to the development of Swahili as a common language in much of east Africa and the introduction of Islam into the region. A number of independent coastal and island trading posts in what is now Tanzania came under Portuguese control after 1498 when they began to take control of much of the coast and Indian Ocean trade. By 1700, the Sultanate of Oman had become the dominant power in the region after ousting the Portuguese who were also facing a series of local uprisings. During the following hundred years, Zanzibar - an archipelago off the coast of Tanzania - became a hub of Indian Ocean trade, with Arab and Indian traders establishing and consolidating trade routes with communities in mainland Tanzania that contributed to the expansion of the slave trade. Zanzibar briefly become the capital of the Sultanate of Oman before it split into separate Omani and Zanzibar Sultanates in 1856. Beginning in the mid-1800s, European explorers, traders, and Christian missionaries became more active in the region. The Germans eventually established control over mainland Tanzania - which they called Tanganyika - and the British established control over Zanzibar. Tanganyika later came under British administration after the German defeat in World War I.

Tanganyika gained independence from Great Britain in 1961, and Zanzibar followed in 1963 as a constitutional monarchy. In Tanganyika, Julius NYERERE, a charismatic and idealistic socialist, established a one-party political system that centralized power and encouraged national self-reliance and rural development. In 1964, a popular uprising overthrew the Sultan in Zanzibar and either killed or expelled many of the Arabs and Indians who had dominated the isles for more than 200 years. Later that year, Tanganyika and Zanzibar combined to form the United Republic of Tanzania, but Zanzibar retained considerable autonomy. Their two ruling parties combined to form the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party in 1977. NYERERE handed over power to Ali Hassan MWINYI in 1985 and remained CCM chair until 1990. Tanzania held its first multi-party elections in 1995, but CCM candidates have continued to dominate politics. Political opposition in Zanzibar has led to four contentious elections since 1995, in which the ruling party claimed victory despite international observers' claims of voting irregularities. In 2001, 35 people in Zanzibar died when soldiers fired on protestors following the 2000 election. John MAGUFULI won the 2015 presidential election and the CCM won a two-thirds majority in Parliament. He was reelected in 2020 and the CCM increased its majority in an election that was also critiqued by observers. MAGUFULI died in March 2021 while in office and was constitutionally succeeded by his vice president, Samia Suluhu HASSAN.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.



Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Kenya and Mozambique

Geographic coordinates

6 00 S, 35 00 E


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

more than six times the size of Georgia; slightly larger than twice the size of California

Land boundaries

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


1,424 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


varies from tropical along coast to temperate in highlands


plains along coast; central plateau; highlands in north, south


highest point: Kilimanjaro (highest point in Africa) 5,895 m

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

mean elevation: 1,018 m

Natural resources

hydropower, tin, phosphates, iron ore, coal, diamonds, gemstones (including tanzanite, found only in Tanzania), gold, natural gas, nickel

Land use

agricultural land: 43.7% (2018 est.)

arable land: 14.3% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 2.3% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 27.1% (2018 est.)

forest: 37.3% (2018 est.)

other: 19% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

1,840 sq km (2012)

Major lakes (area sq km)

Fresh water lake(s): Lake Victoria (shared with Uganda and Kenya) - 62,940 sq km; Lake Tanganyika (shared with Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, and Zambia) - 32,000 sq km; Lake Malawi (shared with Mozambique and Malawi) - 22,490

Salt water lake(s): Lake Rukwa - 5,760 sq km

Major rivers (by length in km)

Nile (shared with Rwanda [s], Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, and Egypt [m]) - 6,650 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Congo (3,730,881 sq km), (Mediterranean Sea) Nile (3,254,853 sq km)
Indian Ocean drainage: Zambezi (1,332,412 sq km)

Population distribution

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

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

Geography - note

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

Map description

Tanzania map showing major cities as well as parts of surrounding countries and the Indian Ocean.

People and Society


63,852,892 (2022 est.)

note: estimates for this country explicitly taken into account the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic

country comparison to the world: 23


noun: Tanzanian(s)

adjective: Tanzanian

Ethnic groups

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


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

major-language sample(s):
The World Factbook, Chanzo cha Lazima Kuhusu Habari ya Msingi. (Kiswahili)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

Kiswahili audio sample:


Christian 63.1%, Muslim 34.1%, folk religion 1.1%, Buddhist <1%, Hindu <1%, Jewish <1%, other <1%, unspecified 1.6% (2020 est.)

note: Zanzibar is almost entirely Muslim

Demographic profile

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

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% (2020 est.) (male 747,934/female 1,056,905)

This is the population pyramid for Tanzania. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends. <br/><br/>For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 85.9

youth dependency ratio: 81

elderly dependency ratio: 4.9

potential support ratio: 20.4 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 18.2 years

male: 17.9 years

female: 18.4 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 212

Birth rate

33.3 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 21

Death rate

5.09 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 192

Net migration rate

-0.41 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 123

Population distribution

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


urban population: 36.7% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 4.89% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

262,000 Dodoma (legislative capital) (2018), 7.405 million DAR ES SALAAM (administrative capital), 1.245 million Mwanza, 766,000 Zanzibar (2022)

Sex ratio

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: 0.99 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2022 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

19.8 years (2015/16 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 20-49

Maternal mortality ratio

524 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 19

Infant mortality rate

total: 30.87 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 33.66 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 28 deaths/1,000 live births (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 49

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 70.19 years

male: 68.42 years

female: 72.02 years (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 169

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 95.1% of population

rural: 59.4% of population

total: 72% of population

unimproved: urban: 4.9% of population

rural: 40.6% of population

total: 28% of population (2020 est.)

Physicians density

0.01 physicians/1,000 population (2016)

Hospital bed density

0.7 beds/1,000 population

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 89.4% of population

rural: 29.2% of population

total: 50.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 10.6% of population

rural: 70.8% of population

total: 49.6% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

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

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 5.2% (2016)

women married by age 18: 30.5% (2016)

men married by age 18: 3.9% (2016 est.)


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)

total: 9 years

male: 9 years

female: 9 years (2020)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 3.9%

male: 3.1%

female: 4.6% (2014 est.)


Environment - current issues

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

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 25.59 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 11.97 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 59.08 megatons (2020 est.)


varies from tropical along coast to temperate in highlands

Land use

agricultural land: 43.7% (2018 est.)

arable land: 14.3% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 2.3% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 27.1% (2018 est.)

forest: 37.3% (2018 est.)

other: 19% (2018 est.)


urban population: 36.7% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 4.89% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0.02% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 45

Major infectious diseases

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

Food insecurity

severe localized food insecurity: due to localized shortfalls in staple food production - number of severely food insecure people estimated at 490,000 for period May‑September 2021, markedly lower than in period November 2019‑April 2020 (2021)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 9,276,995 tons (2012 est.)

Major lakes (area sq km)

Fresh water lake(s): Lake Victoria (shared with Uganda and Kenya) - 62,940 sq km; Lake Tanganyika (shared with Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, and Zambia) - 32,000 sq km; Lake Malawi (shared with Mozambique and Malawi) - 22,490

Salt water lake(s): Lake Rukwa - 5,760 sq km

Major rivers (by length in km)

Nile (shared with Rwanda [s], Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, and Egypt [m]) - 6,650 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Congo (3,730,881 sq km), (Mediterranean Sea) Nile (3,254,853 sq km)
Indian Ocean drainage: Zambezi (1,332,412 sq km)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 527 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 25 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 4.632 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

96.27 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)


Country name

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, Republic of Tanganyika, People's Republic of Zanzibar, 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

presidential republic


name: Dar es Salaam (de facto administrative capital), Dodoma (national capital); note - Dodoma, designated the national capital in 1996, serves as the meeting place for the National Assembly and is thus the legislative capital; Dar es Salaam (the original national capital) remains the de facto capital, the country's largest city and commercial center, and the site of the executive branch offices and diplomatic representation

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

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


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

Union Day (Tanganyika and Zanzibar), 26 April (1964)


history: several previous; latest adopted 25 April 1977; note - progress enacting a new constitution drafted in 2014 by the Constituent Assembly has 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 (2021)

Legal system

English common law; judicial review of legislative acts limited to matters of interpretation

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


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


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Samia Suluhu HASSAN (since 19 March 2021); note - President John MAGUFULI died on 17 March 2021; vice president Philip MPANGO; note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Samia Suluhu HASSAN (since 19 March 2021); note - President John MAGUFULI died on 17 March 2021; vice president (vacant); Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa MAJALIWA (since 20 November 2015) 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 28 October, 2020 (next to be held in October 2025); 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% (2020)

note: Zanzibar elects a president as head of government for internal matters; elections were held on 28 October, 2020 and CCM candidate Hussein MWINYI won with 76 percent of the vote followed by ACT-Wazalendo candidate Maalim Seif SHARIF with 19 percent of the vote

Legislative branch

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

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

Alliance for Change and Transparency (Wazalendo) or ACT [Zitto KABWE]
Alliance for Democratic Change or ADC [Hamad Rashid MOHAMED]
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 [President Samia Suluhu HASSAN]
Revolutionary Party (Chama Cha Mapinduzi) or CCM
Tanzania Labor Party or TLP [Augustine MREMA]
United Democratic Party or UDP [John Momose CHEYO]

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Elsie Sia KANZA (since August 2021)

chancery: 1232 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20037

telephone: [1] (202) 884-1080, [1] (202) 939-6125, [1] (202) 939-6127

FAX: [1] (202) 797-7408

email address and website:

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Donald J. WRIGHT (since 2 April 2020)

embassy: 686 Old Bagamoyo Road, Msasani, P.O. Box 9123, Dar es Salaam

mailing address: 2140 Dar es Salaam Place, Washington, DC  20521-2140

telephone: [255] (22) 229-4000

FAX: [255] (22) 229-4721

email address and website:

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

National symbol(s)

Uhuru (Freedom) torch, giraffe; national colors: green, yellow, blue, black

National anthem

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

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 7 (3 cultural, 3 natural, 1 mixed)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Ngorongoro Conservation Area (m), Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara (c), Serengeti National Park (n), Selous Game Reserve (n), Kilimanjaro National Park (n), Stone Town of Zanzibar (c), Kondoa Rock-Art Sites (c)


Economic overview

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.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$152.79 billion (2020 est.)

$149.79 billion (2019 est.)

$141.59 billion (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 75

Real GDP growth rate

6.98% (2019 est.)

6.95% (2018 est.)

6.78% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 17

Real GDP per capita

$2,600 (2020 est.)

$2,700 (2019 est.)

$2,600 (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 202

GDP (official exchange rate)

$60.633 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

3.4% (2019 est.)

3.5% (2018 est.)

5.3% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 154

Credit ratings

Moody's rating: B2 (2020)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 23.4% (2017 est.)

industry: 28.6% (2017 est.)

services: 47.6% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

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.)

Agricultural products

cassava, maize, sweet potatoes, sugar cane, rice, bananas, vegetables, milk, beans, sunflower seed


agricultural processing (sugar, beer, cigarettes, sisal twine); mining (diamonds, gold, and iron), salt, soda ash; cement, oil refining, shoes, apparel, wood products, fertilizer

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 66.9%

industry: 6.4%

services: 26.6% (2014 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 3.9%

male: 3.1%

female: 4.6% (2014 est.)

country comparison to the world: 173

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.8%

highest 10%: 29.6% (2007)


revenues: 7.873 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 8.818 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

37% of GDP (2017 est.)

38% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 141

Fiscal year

1 July - 30 June

Current account balance

-$1.313 billion (2019 est.)

-$1.898 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 155


$9.66 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$8.46 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

country comparison to the world: 102

Exports - partners

India 20%, United Arab Emirates 13%, China 8%, Switzerland 7%, Rwanda 6%, Kenya 5%, Vietnam 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

gold, tobacco, cashews, sesame seeds, refined petroleum (2019)


$10.36 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$10.2 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

country comparison to the world: 105

Imports - partners

China 34%, India 15%, United Arab Emirates 12% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, palm oil, packaged medicines, cars, wheat (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$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

$22.054 billion (2019 est.)

$20.569 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 92

Exchange rates

Tanzanian shillings (TZS) per US dollar -

2,319 (2020 est.)

2,300 (2019 est.)

2,299.155 (2018 est.)

1,989.7 (2014 est.)

1,654 (2013 est.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 40% (2019)

electrification - urban areas: 71% (2019)

electrification - rural areas: 23% (2019)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 72,469 (2020)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: (2020 est.) less than 1

country comparison to the world: 147

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 47,685,200 (2019)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 82.21 (2019)

country comparison to the world: 31

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Tanzania’s telecom services are being developed to reach parity with more advanced networks from neighboring countries such as Kenya and fierce competition exists amongst Tanzania's 5 major mobile network operators; one fixed-line operator with competition in mobile networks; high tariffs on telecom; mobile use remains popular, with the government subsidizing expansion of mobile networks into rural communities; most mobile networks rely on older 2G and 3G technology with 4G/LTE service available in urban centers; the government is currently testing 5G technology and plans to begin rolling out 5G service in 2024; the government continues to improve rural telecom infrastructure including work on a national fiber backbone network connecting the entire population (2022)

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 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments

Broadcast media

according to statistics from the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), Tanzania had 45 television stations as of 2020; 13 of those stations provided national content services (commercially broadcasting free-to-air television); there are 196 radio stations, most operating at the district level, but also including 5 independent nationally broadcasting stations and 1 state-owned national radio station; international broadcasting is available through satellite television which is becoming increasingly widespread; there are 3 major satellite TV providers (2020)

Internet users

total: 13,141,527 (2020 est.)

percent of population: 22% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 48

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 1,135,608 (2021)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1.9 (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 70


National air transport system

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 (2018) mt-km

Airports - with paved runways

total: 10

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 (2021)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 156

over 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 24

914 to 1,523 m: 98

under 914 m: 33 (2021)


311 km gas, 891 km oil, 8 km refined products (2013)


total: 4,097 km

standard gauge: 421 km

narrow gauge: 1,969 km (2014) 1.067 m gauge

broad gauge: 2,707 km 1.000 m guage

2707 km 1.000-m gauge

country comparison to the world: 47


total: 145,203 km

paved: 11,201 km (2015)

unpaved: 135,002 km

country comparison to the world: 36


(2011) (Lake Tanganyika, Lake Victoria, and Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) are the principal avenues of commerce with neighboring countries; the rivers are not navigable)

Merchant marine

total: 314

by type: bulk carrier 4, container ship 6, general cargo 144, oil tanker 49, other 111 (2021)

country comparison to the world: 52

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Tanzania People's Defense Forces (TPDF or Jeshi la Wananchi la Tanzania, JWTZ): Land Forces, Naval Forces, Air Force, National Building Army (Jeshi la Kujenga Taifa, JKT), People's Militia (Reserves); Ministry of Home Affairs: Tanzania Police force (includes paramilitary Police Field Force) (2022)

note - the National Building Army is a paramilitary organization under the Defense Forces that provides 6 months of military and vocational training to individuals as part of their 2 years of public service; after completion of training, some graduates join the regular Defense Forces while the remainder become part of the People's (or Citizen's) Militia

Military expenditures

1.2% of GDP (2020 est.)

1.1% of GDP (2019 est.) (approximately $810 million)

1.2% of GDP (2018 est.) (approximately $800 million)

1% of GDP (2017 est.) (approximately $690 million)

1.1% of GDP (2016 est.) (approximately $690 million)

country comparison to the world: 123

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 25,000 active personnel (21,000 Land Forces; 1,000 Naval Forces; 3,000 Air Force) (2021)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the TPDF inventory includes mostly Soviet-era and Chinese equipment; since 2010, China is the leading supplier of arms to the TPDF (2021)

Military service age and obligation

18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; 6-year commitment (2-year contracts afterwards); selective conscription for 2 years of public service (2021)

Military deployments

450 Central African Republic (MINUSCA); 850 Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO); 125 Lebanon (UNIFIL) (Feb 2022)

Military - note

in 2021-2022, Tanzania deployed additional troops to its border with Mozambique and contributed troops to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) intervention force that was assisting the Mozambique Government's fight against Islamic militants

Maritime threats

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


Terrorist group(s)

Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham - Mozambique

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

Disputes - international

dispute with Malawi 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

refugees (country of origin): 127,009 (Burundi), 80,599 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (2022)

Trafficking in persons

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, in the commercial service sector, in the sex trade, and possibly on small fishing boats; internal trafficking is more prevalent than transnational trafficking and is usually facilitated by friends, family members, or intermediaries offering education or legitimate job opportunities; trafficking victims from Burundi, Kenya, Bangladesh, Nepal, Yemen, and India are forced to work in Tanzania’s agricultural, mining, and domestic service sectors or may be sex trafficked; traffickers transported Tanzanian children with physical disabilities to Kenya to work as beggars or in massage parlors; girls forced to donate a kidney to pay for supposed transportation fees to the United Arab Emirates; traffickers subject Tanzanians to forced labor, including in domestic service, and sex trafficking in other African countries, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and the United States

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Tanzania does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; efforts were made to  identify and refer victims for care; investigations and convictions of traffickers, training for officials, and public awareness campaigns were increased along with a National Guideline for Safe Houses; however, the government did not amend its law to remove sentencing provisions that allow fines in lieu of imprisonment; fewer prosecutions were initiated; the government did not implement the 2018-2021 national action plan; officials did not fully implement the creation of the anti-trafficking fund nor disperse funds; no formal victim identification and protection was provided (2020)

Illicit drugs

significant transit country for illicit drugs in East Africa; international drug-trafficking organizations and courier networks transit through Tanzania to smuggle heroin and methamphetamine from Southwest Asia; produces cannabis products and khat for domestic consumption and regional and international distribution; traffickers influence politicians, law enforcement, and others in positions of power with money