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. Of this total population, 1.3 million reside on the islands of Zanzibar.
The last official census recording the population of Tanzania occurred in 2012 and showed there were 44,928,923 people living in the country.
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 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.
When evaluating the quality of life in a country, numerous statistics can give an insightful glimpse into the daily life of any population. The World Factbook has provided numerous points mentioned here that will give a clear view of the problems that the Tanzanian population currently faces. Malaria and HIV are primary causes of death for children and adults respectively in Tanzania. The HIV prevalence rate here is at 4.5% - the 13th highest in the world.
Nearly 44% of the population is under the age of 15. The median age of the Tanzanian population is only 17.7 years of age, with a life expectancy of 62.6 years of age. In terms of healthcare, there are only .02 physicians per 1,000 residents and .7 hospital beds per 1,000 residents. Clean drinking water is accessible for only 55% of the population and improved sanitation is available for only 15% of the population. 77.9% of the population over the age of 15 can read and write in any of the official languages used in Tanzania.
Tanzania Religion, Economy and Politics
The religious diversity in Tanzania is split at Christianity with 61.4% of the population, Muslim 35.2%, folk religion 1.8%, other 0.2%, and unaffiliated at 1.4%.
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 History
Although the land of Tanzania has been inhabited for hundreds of years, it hasn't been known as the nation it is today until it gained its independence from England in 1964. Prior to this, the land has come under many different names and it is difficult to track its historical population trends.