Tanzania Population 2017
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 17th 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.