Tanzania

Country Summary

2022 population estimate

Introduction

Background

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.

Geography

Area

total: 947,300 sq km

land: 885,800 sq km

water: 61,500 sq km

Climate

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

Population

63,852,892 (2022 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

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

Religions

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

2.78% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

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

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 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 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)

Economy

Economic overview

lower middle-income East African economy; large agricultural sector; slowing growth; protectionism limits foreign investments; natural resource rich; strong tourism sector; systemic income inequality; political instability during COVID-19 and election cycle

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$152.79 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$2,600 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

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

Industries

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

Exports

$9.66 billion (2019 est.)

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)

Imports

$10.36 billion (2019 est.)

Imports - partners

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

Imports - commodities

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


Page last updated: Wednesday, Jun 15, 2022