Photos of Tanzania

A view of Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous state that united with Tanganyika in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanzania. This archipelago in the Indian Ocean consists of many small islands with the two largest being Zanzibar and Pemba Island. The Zanzibar archipelago is often referred to as the “Spice Islands” for its production of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper. The historic center is Stone Town, the world’s oldest functioning Swahili city and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Introduction

Background

Tanzania contains some of Africa’s most iconic national parks and famous paleoanthropological 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 next hundred years, Zanzibar -- an archipelago off the coast that is now part 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 became 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 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, which has since won every presidential election. Tanzania held its first multi-party elections in 1995, but CCM candidates have continued to dominate politics. The ruling party has claimed victory in four contentious elections since 1995, despite international observers' claims of voting irregularities. In 2001, 35 people died in Zanzibar when soldiers fired on protestors. John MAGUFULI won the 2015 and 2020 presidential elections, and the CCM won over two-thirds of the seats in Parliament in both elections. MAGUFULI died in 2021 while in office and was succeeded by his vice president, Samia Suluhu HASSAN.

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

Geography

Location

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

Geographic coordinates

6 00 S, 35 00 E

Area

total: 947,300 sq km

land: 885,800 sq km

water: 61,500 sq km

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

comparison ranking: total 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

Coastline

1,424 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climate

varies from tropical along coast to temperate in highlands

Terrain

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

Elevation

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

People and Society

Population

total: 67,462,121

male: 33,691,904

female: 33,770,217 (2024 est.)

comparison rankings: female 23; male 22; total 23

Nationality

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

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

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:

Religions

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; more than a third of the population is urban. Tanzania’s youthful population – over 60% of the population is under 25 as of 2020 – is growing rapidly because of the high total fertility rate of 4.4 children per woman, as of 2022. Progress in reducing the birth rate has stalled, sustaining the country’s nearly 3% annual growth rate. 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: 41.2% (male 14,039,292/female 13,740,439)

15-64 years: 55.4% (male 18,677,388/female 18,708,390)

65 years and over: 3.4% (2024 est.) (male 975,224/female 1,321,388)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 87.7

youth dependency ratio: 81.9

elderly dependency ratio: 5.9

potential support ratio: 20.4 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 19.1 years (2024 est.)

male: 18.8 years

female: 19.4 years

comparison ranking: total 214

Population growth rate

2.72% (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 13

Birth rate

32.5 births/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 19

Death rate

5 deaths/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 193

Net migration rate

-0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 120

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

Urbanization

urban population: 37.4% of total population (2023)

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

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

262,000 Dodoma (legislative capital) (2018), 7.776 million DAR ES SALAAM (administrative capital), 1.311 million Mwanza, 800,000 Zanzibar (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2024 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

19.9 years (2022 est.)

note: data represents median age at first birth among women 15-49

Maternal mortality ratio

238 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 38

Infant mortality rate

total: 29.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2024 est.)

male: 32.3 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 26.9 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 51

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 70.8 years (2024 est.)

male: 69 years

female: 72.6 years

comparison ranking: total population 171

Total fertility rate

4.27 children born/woman (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 19

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.)

Current health expenditure

3.8% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

0.05 physicians/1,000 population (2018)

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 (2023)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, Rift Valley fever, and sexually transmitted diseases: HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B (2024)

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

8.4% (2016)

comparison ranking: 152

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 7.81 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0.74 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.09 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.38 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 6.6 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 46

Tobacco use

total: 8.7% (2020 est.)

male: 14% (2020 est.)

female: 3.4% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 141

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

12.1% (2022)

comparison ranking: 43

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 5.2%

women married by age 18: 30.5%

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

Education expenditures

3.3% of GDP (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: 146

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write Kiswahili (Swahili), English, or Arabic

total population: 81.8%

male: 85.5%

female: 78.2% (2021)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 9 years

male: 9 years

female: 9 years (2021)

Environment

Environment - current issues

water pollution; 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

Climate

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.)

Urbanization

urban population: 37.4% of total population (2023)

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

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Food insecurity

severe localized food insecurity: due to localized shortfalls in staple food production - about 592,000 people are estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance between May and September 2022, mainly located in northeastern regions, reflecting crop losses during the October–December “Vuli” 2021 and March–May “Masika” 2022 seasons due to poor rains; high food prices are also constraining households’ economic access to food (2022)

Revenue from forest resources

2.19% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 32

Revenue from coal

0.02% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 42

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 15.36 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 11.97 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 59.08 megatons (2020 est.)

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: 530 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 30 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 4.63 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

96.3 billion cubic meters (2019 est.)

Geoparks

total global geoparks and regional networks: 1

global geoparks and regional networks: Ngorongoro Lengai (2023)

Government

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

Capital

name: Dodoma; note - Dodoma was designated the national capital in 1996; Dar es Salaam, the original national capital, is the country's largest city and commercial center 

geographic coordinates: 6 48 S, 39 17 E

time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: 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

Independence

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)

Constitution

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

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

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

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Samia Suluhu HASSAN (since 19 March 2021); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government; note - following the death of President John MAGUFULI in March 2021, then Vice President Samia Suluhu HASSAN assumed the presidency; Vice President Philip MPANGO (since 31 March 2021)

head of government: President Samia Suluhu HASSAN (since 19 March 2021); Vice President Philip MPANGO; Prime Minister Kassim 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:
2020: John MAGUFULI reelected president; percent of vote - John MAGUFULI (CCM) 84.4%, Tundu LISSU (CHADEMA) 13%, other 2.6%; note - President MAGUFULI died on 17 March 2021 and his Vice President, Samia Suluhu HASSAN, assumed the office of the President on 19 March 2021

2015: 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; elections were held on 28 October 2020; Hussein MWINYI (CCM) 76.3%, Maalim Seif SHARIF (ACT-Wazalendo) 19.9%, other 3.8%

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 5-year terms); 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 - last held on 28 October 2020 (next to be held in October 2025)

election results: National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CCM 350, Chadema 20, ACT-Wazalendo 4, CUF 3; composition - men 246, women 147, percentage women 37.4%

Zanzibar House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CCM 69, ACT-Wazalendo 6, TADEA 1, other 1; composition - men 48, women 29, percentage women 37.7%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): 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-Wazalendo [Zitto Zuberi KABWE]
Civic United Front (Chama Cha Wananchi) or CUF [Ibrahim Haruna LIPUMBA]
Party of Democracy and Development (Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo) or CHADEMA [Freeman Aikael MBOWE]
Revolutionary Party of Tanzania (Chama Cha Mapinduzi) or CCM [Samia Suluhu HASSAN]

International organization participation

ACP, AfDB, AU, C, CD, EAC, EADB, EITI, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM, OPCW, SADC, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNISFA, UNMISS, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Elsie Sia KANZA (since 1 December 2021)

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

telephone: [1] (202) 884-1080

FAX: [1] (202) 797-7408

email address and website:
ubalozi@tanzaniaembassy-us.org

https://us.tzembassy.go.tz/

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Michael A. BATTLE Sr. (since 27 February 2023)

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:
DRSACS@state.gov

https://tz.usembassy.gov/

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)

Economy

Economic overview

emerging lower middle-income East African economy; resource-rich and growing tourism; strong post-pandemic recovery from hospitality, electricity, mining, and transit sectors; declining poverty; stable inflation; gender-based violence economic and labor force disruptions

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$166.597 billion (2022 est.)
$159.334 billion (2021 est.)
$152.734 billion (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 75

Real GDP growth rate

4.56% (2022 est.)
4.32% (2021 est.)
1.99% (2020 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 91

Real GDP per capita

$2,600 (2022 est.)
$2,600 (2021 est.)
$2,600 (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 196

GDP (official exchange rate)

$75.732 billion (2022 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

4.35% (2022 est.)
3.69% (2021 est.)
3.29% (2020 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

comparison ranking: 67

Credit ratings

Moody's rating: B2 (2020)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 23.4% (2017 est.)

industry: 28.6% (2017 est.)

services: 47.6% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: services 190; industry 88; agriculture 35

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, sugarcane, bananas, milk, rice, vegetables, beans, sunflower seeds (2022)

note: top ten agricultural products based on tonnage

Industries

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

4.3% (2022 est.)

note: annual % change in industrial value added based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 82

Labor force

30.096 million (2022 est.)

note: number of people ages 15 or older who are employed or seeking work

comparison ranking: 22

Unemployment rate

2.6% (2022 est.)
2.87% (2021 est.)
2.78% (2020 est.)

note: % of labor force seeking employment

comparison ranking: 31

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 4.6% (2021 est.)

male: 3.7%

female: 5.5%

comparison ranking: total 190

Population below poverty line

26.4% (2018 est.)

note: % of population with income below national poverty line

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

40.5 (2018 est.)

note: index (0-100) of income distribution; higher values represent greater inequality

comparison ranking: 52

Average household expenditures

on food: 27.4% of household expenditures (2021 est.)

on alcohol and tobacco: 1.6% of household expenditures (2021 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.9%

highest 10%: 33.1% (2018 est.)

note: % share of income accruing to lowest and highest 10% of population

Remittances

0.92% of GDP (2022 est.)
0.79% of GDP (2021 est.)
0.49% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: personal transfers and compensation between resident and non-resident individuals/households/entities

Budget

revenues: $8.968 billion (2019 est.)

expenditures: $10.017 billion (2019 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-1.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 99

Public debt

37% of GDP (2017 est.)
38% of GDP (2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 144

Taxes and other revenues

11.7% (of GDP) (2018 est.)

note: central government tax revenue as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 173

Current account balance

-$1.122 billion (2020 est.)
-$1.512 billion (2019 est.)
-$2.262 billion (2018 est.)

note: balance of payments - net trade and primary/secondary income in current dollars

comparison ranking: 130

Exports

$8.555 billion (2020 est.)
$9.659 billion (2019 est.)
$8.307 billion (2018 est.)

note: balance of payments - exports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 122

Exports - partners

India 27%, UAE 11%, South Africa 9%, Kenya 5%, Rwanda 5% (2022)

note: top five export partners based on percentage share of exports

Exports - commodities

gold, raw copper, refined copper, copper ore, coconuts/Brazil nuts/cashews (2022)

note: top five export commodities based on value in dollars

Imports

$9.181 billion (2020 est.)
$10.576 billion (2019 est.)
$10.399 billion (2018 est.)

note: balance of payments - imports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 126

Imports - partners

China 30%, India 18%, UAE 11%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 5%, Saudi Arabia 2% (2022)

note: top five import partners based on percentage share of imports

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, refined copper, garments, fertilizers, plastics (2022)

note: top five import commodities based on value in dollars

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$5.05 billion (2018 est.)
$5.888 billion (2017 est.)
$4.351 billion (2016 est.)

note: holdings of gold (year-end prices)/foreign exchange/special drawing rights in current dollars

comparison ranking: 99

Debt - external

$22.054 billion (2019 est.)
$20.569 billion (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 92

Exchange rates

Tanzanian shillings (TZS) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
2,297.764 (2021 est.)
2,294.146 (2020 est.)
2,288.207 (2019 est.)
2,263.782 (2018 est.)
2,228.857 (2017 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

population without electricity: (2020) 37 million

electrification - total population: 42.7% (2021)

electrification - urban areas: 77.3% (2021)

electrification - rural areas: 23.3% (2021)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 1.623 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 6,522,440,000 kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

imports: 113 million kWh (2019 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 974 million kWh (2019 est.)

comparison rankings: installed generating capacity 125; transmission/distribution losses 101; imports 106; exports 158; consumption 113

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 65% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 1.3% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 32.8% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 1% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Coal

production: 712,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 577,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 126,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 269 million metric tons (2019 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 0 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 52,800 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 0 barrels (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 179

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 169

Refined petroleum products - imports

67,830 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 69

Natural gas

production: 1,378,773,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

consumption: 1,378,773,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

proven reserves: 6.513 billion cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

11.491 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 1.32 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 7.466 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 2.705 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 101

Energy consumption per capita

3.334 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 178

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 85,000 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: (2022 est.) less than 1

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 143

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 60.192 million (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 92 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 28

Telecommunication systems

general assessment:

Tanzania’s telecom sector enjoys effective competition, particularly in the mobile segment; the government has encouraged foreign participation to promote economic growth and social development, and policy reforms have led to the country having one of the most liberal telecom sectors in Africa; the government has sought to increase broadband penetration by a range of measures, including the reduction in VAT charged on the sale of smartphones and other devices, and reductions in the cost of data; the MNOs became the leading ISPs following the launch of mobile broadband services based on 3G and LTE technologies; operators are hoping for revenue growth in the mobile data services market, given that the voice market is almost entirely prepaid; the MNOs have invested in network upgrades, which in turn has supported m-mobile data use, as well as m-money transfer services and banking services. Together, these have become a fast-developing source of revenue; the landing of the first international submarine cables in the country some years ago revolutionized the telecom market, which up to that point had entirely depended on expensive satellite connections; following the signing of infrastructure investment agreements with mobile network operators, the government plans to extend its national ICT broadband backbone to 99 or 185 districts by 2024 and to all districts by 2030

(2022)

domestic: fixed-line telephone network is 2 connections per 100 persons; mobile-cellular service is 92 telephones per 100 persons (2022)

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)

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: 20.48 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 32% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 43

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 1,135,608 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 70

Transportation

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

206 (2024)

comparison ranking: 29

Pipelines

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

Railways

total: 4,097 km (2022)

standard gauge: 421 km (2022)

narrow gauge: 969 km (2022) 1.067 m gauge

broad gauge: 2,707 km (2022) 1.000 m guage

comparison ranking: total 44

Roadways

total: 145,203 km

paved: 11,201 km

unpaved: 134,002 km (2022)

comparison ranking: total 36

Waterways

1,594 km (2022) (Lake Tanganyika 673 km, Lake Victoria 337 km, and Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) 584 km are the principal avenues of commerce with neighboring countries; the rivers are not navigable)

comparison ranking: 53

Merchant marine

total: 381 (2023)

by type: bulk carrier 4, container ship 17, general cargo 170, oil tanker 58, other 132

comparison ranking: total 51

Ports

total ports: 8 (2024)

large: 0

medium: 1

small: 3

very small: 4

ports with oil terminals: 4

key ports: Chake Chake, Dar Es Salaam, Tanga, 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 (2024)

note 1: the National Building Army (aka National Services) 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 (or Citizen's) Militia

note 2: the Tanzania Police Force includes the Police Field Force (aka Field Force Unit), a special police division with the responsibility for controlling unlawful demonstrations and riots

Military expenditures

2.9% of GDP (2023 est.)
1.2% of GDP (2022 est.)
1.1% of GDP (2021 est.)
1.2% of GDP (2020 est.)
1.1% of GDP (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 32

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 25,000 active-duty personnel (21,000 Land Forces; 1,000 Naval Forces; 3,000 Air Force) (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the TPDF's inventory includes mostly Soviet-era and Chinese equipment; in recent years, China has been the leading supplier of arms and equipment (2023)

Military service age and obligation

18-25 years of age for voluntary military service for men and women; 6-year commitment (2-year contracts afterwards); selective conscription for 2 years of public service (2024)

Military deployments

520 Central African Republic (MINUSCA); 850 Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO; note - the MONUSCO mission is in the process of drawing down forces); 125 Lebanon (UNIFIL); approximately 300 Mozambique (under bi-lateral agreement to assist with combatting an insurgency) (2024)

Military - note

the TDPF’s primary concerns are maritime piracy and smuggling, border security, terrorism, animal poaching, and spillover from instability in neighboring countries, particularly Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); it participates in multinational training exercises, regional peacekeeping deployments, and has ties with a variety of foreign militaries, including those of China and the US; it has contributed troops to the UN’s Force Intervention Brigade in the DRC and to the Southern African Development Community intervention force in Mozambique; since 2020, the TPDF has deployed additional troops to its border with Mozambique following several cross-border attacks by fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham operating in Mozambique; the TPDF’s principal ground forces are five infantry brigades and an armored brigade; the Naval Forces operate patrol and fast attack boats, while the Air Force inventory includes small numbers of combat aircraft and helicopters (2023)

Terrorism

Terrorist group(s)

Terrorist group(s): Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham - Mozambique (ISIS-M)

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

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 89,163 (Democratic Republic of the Congo), 112,779 (Burundi) (2024)

Illicit drugs

significant transit country for illicit drugs in East Africa; international drug trafficking organizations and courier networks transit illicit drugs through mainland Tanzania to markets in within Africa, Europe and North America; cultivates cannabis and khat for domestic consumption and regional and international distribution; domestic drug use continues increasing including methamphetamine heroin use (2023)