Last Census - 2002
Tanzania, officially the United Republic of Tanzania, is a relatively large country in East Africa that shares its borders with many countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The name Tanzania itself derives from the country's two states, Zanzibar and Tanganyika. Zanzibar is an archipelago off the coast of Tanzania and a semi-autonomous part of the country. With 947,300 square kilometers of land, Tanzania is the 31st largest country in the world and the 14th largest in Africa. The estimated 2014 population of Tanzania is 51,113,662 , up from the 2013 estimate of 49,483,005, ranking 26th in the world.
Tanzania Population 2014
The last official census recording the population of Tanzania occurred in 2012 and showed there were 44,928,923 people living in the country. Of this total population, 1.3 million reside on the islands of Zanzibar. This equates to a population density of 47.5 people per square kilometer (123.1 people per square mile). The population is now estimated at over 51 million, as Tanzania has one of the highest birth rates in the world and more than 44% of the population is under the age of 15. The total fertility rate is 5.01 children born per woman, which is the 18th highest of any country.
Tanzania has a very uneven population distribution. In the arid regions, population density is as low as 1 person per square kilometer, about 53 people per square kilometer in the water-rich mainland highlands and up to 134 people per square kilometer in the capital city of Zanzibar. About 80% of the population lives in rural areas.
Tanzania has a very low median age with more than 44.8% of the population under 15, 52% between 15 and 64 and just 3.1% over the age of 64. The country also has an incredibly diverse population with more than 120 ethnic groups.
The Sukuma is the largest ethnic group in the country and represents around 16% of the Tanzania's total population. The vast majority of citizens, including many of the Sukuma, Hehe and Nyakyusa peoples, speak Bantu. There are groups of Nilotic and nomadic Maasai and Luo populations in the country as well, along with two small groups who speak languages in the Khoisan family specific to the Khoikhoi and Bushman people.
While much of the population comes from the mainland, there is one group known as the Shirazis who trace their origins to Zanzibar's early Persian settlers. About 1% of the population on the mainland and Zanzibar are non-Africans. The Asian community in Tanzania, which includes the Sunni Muslims, Parsis, Goans and others, has dropped by nearly 50% in the last ten years to just 50,000 on the mainland and 4,000 on Zanzibar. It's estimated that about 90,000 Arabs and Europeans also reside in the country. While each ethnic group has its own language, Tanzania's official language is Kiswahili, which is an Arabic-influenced Bantu language, as well as English.
Tanzania Population Growth
Tanzania's population growth rate continues to climb with a current growth rate of 3.0% annually. The low median age of Tanzania is attributed to a generalized HIV epidemic in the country. It's estimated that there are over 1.6 million Tanzanians currently living with HIV/AIDS, and the epidemic has resulted in an estimated 1.3 million orphans. The overall HIV rate in Tanzania is 5.1%, although this reaches as high as 15.4% among women in some areas. This epidemic may result in lower life expectancy, a higher infant mortality rate, higher death rate, changes in age and sex distribution in the population as well as a lower population growth.
Despite the epidemic, along with high maternal and infant mortality rates, the population of Tanzania continues to grow rapidly. This is attributed to the very high birth rate of 37.25 births per 1,000 people, with a total fertility rate of over 5 children born per woman. Tanzania has the 18th highest population growth rate and birth rate with no signs of changing.
If trends continue, it's projected that Tanzania will have a population of 138 million by 2050, making it the 13th most populated country by then compared to its current rank of 26th.