Country Summary



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. Shortly after achieving independence from Britain in the early 1960s, Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form the United Republic of Tanzania in 1964.



total: 947,300 sq km
land: 885,800 sq km
water: 61,500 sq km


varies from tropical along coast to temperate in highlands

Natural resources

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

People and Society


65,642,682 (2023 est.)

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


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

Population growth rate

2.75% (2023 est.)


Government type

presidential republic


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 

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

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)


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)

$159.326 billion (2021 est.)
$152.788 billion (2020 est.)
$149.798 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$2,600 (2021 est.)
$2,600 (2020 est.)
$2,600 (2019 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


0.52% of GDP (2020 est.)
0.71% of GDP (2019 est.)
0.72% of GDP (2018 est.)


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

Exports - partners

India 15%, United Arab Emirates 15%, Switzerland 14%, Uganda 12%, China 7% (2020)

Exports - commodities

gold, cashews, copper, precious metals, legumes (2020)


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

Imports - partners

China 34%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 14%, India 12%, United Arab Emirates 6%, South Africa 3% (2020)

Imports - commodities

copper, refined petroleum, packaged medicines, palm oil, wheat (2020)

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.)

Page last updated: Wednesday, November 29, 2023