Tanzania Demographics

What is the population of Tanzania?

Population 58,552,845
Population - note note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
Population Growth Rate 2.82%
Urban Population 26.700000
Population in Major Urban Areas DAR ES SALAAM (capital) 3.588 million
Nationality Noun Tanzanian(s)
Ethnic Groups mainland - native African 99% (of which 95% are Bantu consisting of more than 130 tribes), other 1% (consisting of Asian, European, and Arab); Zanzibar - Arab, native African, mixed Arab and native African

Tanzania Learning

What is school like in Tanzania?


The early traces of formal education were introduced by the German colonialists in the early days. The influence of these early education systems can still be felt although not to a great extent. The nature of class rooms vary a great deal depending on the location, it is much easier to find better class rooms in the urban areas. Aome rural schools may have less permanent structures due to the remote locations where electricity and other infrastructure are unavailable. The typical greeting between the children and teachers or their parents is usually in Kiswahili and the greeting is “Shikamoo” to which the kids respond “marahaba”. This greeting is similar in meaning to the common English greeting “how do you do”. The only difference is the fact that this greeting is only administered from the teacher or an older person to a younger person. The school class rooms are equipped with learning materials although some of the class rooms and learning materials may not be up to standard due to the economic situation. Computers and electronic learning materials are not a common feature in public primary schools since some of them especially in the rural areas do not have electricity to power the computers even if they were available. The only common electronics leaning equipment is the radio which the government uses to broadcast some educative programs during regular school lessons.


All school kids are expected to wear school uniform and to be on time when going to school. The school curriculum is taught in the Swahili language which happens to be the national and official language in Tanzania. The school runs for about eight hours every day with mid morning break and lunch breaks in between. Some private schools have a school feeding program which the students pay for together with the school fees. Public schools however are not able to provide regular school meals unless in special situations. The normal school day begins at eight in the morning and ends at four o’clock in the afternoon.  

The education system in Tanzania is based on a 7-4-2-3 system where the kids start school by attending their first seven years in pre-primary and primary school before proceeding to secondary level where the students spend four years before proceeding to A levels for another two years. It is after the two years at A level that students can seat for their three year course leading to the world recognized Advanced Certificate Examination. Tanzanians value education a great deal and scholars are widely respected across he country.

To School

For students who reside in the towns, it is common for them to use public transport to go to school although some well established primary schools may have their own school transport. Depending on the distance from your home to the school, the students may either walk or board public buses in order to get to school. It is however important to note that the privately owned schools are usually more expensive.

Tanzania Population Comparison

Tanzania Health Information

What are the health conditions in Tanzania?

Life Expectancy at Birth 60.760000
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 8.41
Infant Mortality Rate - total deaths/1,000 live births 45.100000
Health Expenditures - percent of GDP 7.3%
Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population .01
Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population .7
Major Infectious Diseases - degree of risk very high
Drinking Water Source - percent of urban population improved 77.900000
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 460
Mean Age for Mother's First Birth (age 25-49) 19.6
Contraceptive Prevalence Rate - female 12-49 34.4%
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 5.01
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 5%
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of urban population improved 24.900000
Underweight - percent of children under five years 16.2%

Tanzania Life Expectancy

How long do people live in Tanzania?

Life Expectancy at Birth 60.760000
Median Age 17.300000
Contraceptive Prevalance Rate - female 12-49 34.4%
Infant Mortality Rate 45.100000
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 460
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 5.01

Tanzania median age, birth rate and death rates

Birth Rate - births/1,000 population 37
Median Age 17.300000
Net Migration Rate - migrant(s)/1,000 population -0.6
Population Growth Rate 2.82%
Sex Ratio at Birth - male/female 1.030000
Age Structure 44.060000
Contraceptive Prevalance Rate - female 12-49 34.4%
Infant Mortality Rate 45.100000
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 460
Mother's mean age at first birth 19.6
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 5.01

Tanzania Medical Information

What are the health conditions in Tanzania?

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Medical facilities are limited and medicines are sometimes unavailable, even in Dar es Salaam. There are hospitals and clinics on Zanzibar capable of treating minor ailments. Serious ailments require returning to Dar es Salaam or travel to Nairobi or South Africa for treatment. If you are climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Tanzanian capacity for emergency medical response is extremely limited and you may need to descend the mountain on your own to get help. For any significant medical problem in Dar es Salaam, travelers should travel to Nairobi or South Africa where more advanced medical care is available. U.S. citizens are advised to travel with a sufficient supply of prescription medication to last for the duration of the trip. Pharmacies (known as "duka la dawa") may carry recognizable brands, but the supply and quality are inconsistent.

Tap water in Tanzania is unsafe to drink. Travelers are strongly urged to use bottled water for drinking and food preparation. Be careful when consuming raw foods as they may not have been properly refrigerated and handled, and they may harbor unsafe bacteria.

Cholera is prevalent in many areas of Tanzania, and several strains of malaria are endemic. Anti-malarial medication is strongly advised. Use insect repellents and mosquito nets to help to reduce the risk of malaria. Travelers who become ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling in a malaria-risk area up to one year after returning home should seek prompt medical attention as soon as possible. Tell your doctor about your travel history and describe the medication you have been taking. For additional information on malaria, protection from insect bites, and anti-malarial drugs, please visit the CDC travel health web site.

Schistosomiasis (or, bilharzia) is a disease endemic in Africa and caused by parasitic worms hosted by fresh-water snails. Avoid swimming, bathing, or wading in fresh-water lakes and streams.

Tuberculosis is an increasingly serious health concern in Tanzania.

The HIV infection rate in the general population is 5.1 percent. The infection rate is considerably higher among sex workers and their clients, intravenous drug users, and men who have sex with men. Data indicates that injection drug use, specifically heroin, is on the rise in urban areas of Tanzania and Zanzibar. Studies carried out in Dar es Salaam indicate that HIV prevalence is 42% among people who inject drugs (2007) and 31.4% among sex workers (2010), while unpublished data for men who have sex with men in Dar es Salaam indicates a prevalence over 30% (2012). Travelers should be aware of the related health and legal risks associated with the commercial sex industry.

East African Trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) is carried by the tse-tse fly, which is endemic to the northern safari circuit of Tanzania. The disease itself is very rare but present. Travelers are advised to use normal precautions to avoid insect bites. Avoid wearing dark colors which attract the insect. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are essential if there is an infection. If symptoms appear, even months later, health care practitioners should be told of the visit to East Africa and the possibility of exposure.

Health Expenditures - percent of GDP


Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population


Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population


Tanzania Education

What is school like in Tanzania?

Education Expenditures - percent of GDP 6.2%
Literacy - female 70.7%
Literacy - male 85.9%
Literacy - total population 69.4%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write Kiswahili (Swahili), English, or Arabic
Total School Life Expectancy - (primary to tertiary) 9.000000

Tanzania Literacy

Can people in Tanzania read?

Literacy - female 70.7%
Literacy - male 85.9%
Literacy - total population 69.4%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write Kiswahili (Swahili), English, or Arabic

Tanzania Crime

Is Tanzania a safe place to visit?

Crime Information

Crime is a serious problem in Tanzania, and visitors should be alert and cautious. Street crime in Dar es Salaam is common and includes mugging, bag snatching, vehicle theft, "smash and grab" attacks on vehicles, armed robbery, burglary, and home invasions. Thieves and pickpockets steal from inattentive pedestrians and passengers on public transportation. Prowlers enter occupied and unoccupied houses, looking for open windows and doors to gain access to dwellings (and hotel rooms) to steal electronics, jewelry, and money. If you use a hotel safe, ensure it is bolted and secured to the furniture.

Firearm-related crimesare becoming more common, although criminals often use machetes and sticks. A series of robberies involving increasing levels of violence has occurred along the coast and on Zanzibar. In 2008 - 2009, we received reports of robbers holding tour buses and dive boats at gunpoint. In the spring of 2008, there were a string of armed robberies in hotels along the east coast of Ungunja (the main island) in Zanzibar.

Sexual assaults involving tourists are also a concern. Travelers should hire only legitimate tour guides, preferably arranged by a known travel agency or hotel. Be wary of “spontaneous” offers of sightseeing from new contacts and avoid being alone with “friendly” strangers who propose special, customized sightseeing trips. Practice common sense and remain vigilant regarding your surroundings. If a situation does not seem right, follow your instincts and leave the scene immediately. Travel with others when possible. If you are the victim of sexual assault, see your doctor immediately.

Muggings, Robberies, and Assaults: Pedestrians on deserted or crowded beaches, footpaths, and roads are often targeted by criminals. This is especially true on Zanzibar, in Dar es Salaam, and Arusha. Though group travel does not guarantee your safety, you should avoid traveling alone. Avoid carrying a bag, wearing flashy jewelry, or using or displaying electronics while walking in public. If you must carry a bag, hold it by the handle loosely so you can let go quickly and not be injured if someone grabs it. Do not put the strap across your chest as you can be badly injured if someone snatches the bag. Limit the amount of cash you carry to what is needed for that specific activity. Secure valuables, such as passports, jewelry, and airline tickets, in a hotel safe or other secure location. Carefully guard your camera and phone. Credit cards should only be used in reputable tourist hotels. Whereas long-term residents used to note a seasonal spike in crime (December - January), reports of robbery and violent assault now occur year-round.

ATM/Bank Fraud: Tanzania is primarily a cash economy. Some major hotels accept credit cards, but this is uncommon even in larger urban areas. Using a credit or debit card can make you vulnerable to fraud. There have been numerous recent reports of U.S. citizens becoming victims of fraud through use of debit or credit cards. Exercise caution when using ATM, debit, and credit cards in Tanzania and leave the area if you believe you are being watched. Avoid using standalone ATMs; use only ATMs that are attached to a bank. Monitor your account balance regularly and immediately report unusual activity. Debit cards should be avoided if possible, as your account can be emptied overnight and you have no recourse to dispute the transaction as is possible with credit cards. There have been reports of ATMs retaining cards and accounts being emptied in addition to the apparent use of skimming devices on ATMs targeting U.S. dollar denominated bank accounts. You should bring sufficient cash or traveler’s checks for your trip if you will be spending time outside of the large cities. Reputable financial institutions will require the bearer of a traveler’s check to present the original receipt for the checks and proof of identity before completing a transaction.

Home Invasions: U.S. citizens residing in Arusha and Dar es Salaam report a steady increase in crimes targeting the homes of expatriates. These armed home invasions usually involve some violence and some victims have been seriously injured. U.S. citizens should ensure that homes have a safe haven, a secure area with reinforced barriers where inhabitants can retreat and remain safe if intruders enter the home. Residents in Arusha and Dar es Salaam strongly recommend retaining a professional security company with 24-hour guards and roving patrols. If you have access to a house alarm, use it. Routinely check your doors and windows to ensure they are locked and the grills are intact.

Hotel Safety: Consider a hotel’s safety protocols when booking your stay. Is entry restricted to guests and staff? Are there gates? Can you lock the windows and doors? Some bandits invaded the guest house of a convent in Arusha this year, breaking down the doors with machetes and rocks and robbing the guests of their cash, electronics, and personal possessions.

Carjackings have occurred in both rural and urban areas. Visitors are advised to drive with doors locked and windows rolled up. Travelers are urged not to stop in unpopulated areas and to travel in convoys if possible. Be wary of drivers of stopped cars flagging motorist down for assistance, as this might be a ploy to rob travelers.

Business Scams: There have been several recent cases of U.S. businesspersons who have fallen victim to scams involving the sale of gold, diamonds, gemstones, minerals, and other resources. Potential buyers are urged to be very cautious of seemingly lucrative business opportunities offered by agents based in or with ties to Tanzania and neighboring countries. Many U.S. citizens have reportedly lost sizable amounts of money on such deals, valued up to a few million U.S. dollars.

Visa and Safari Scams: We have received reports of persons offering to arrange for a visitor to receive a volunteer visa for a fee, then absconding with the money without providing the document. The same is true for persons advertising safari excursions, collecting half the fee up front, then not picking up the travelers to go on safari. Complete a thorough review of anyone offering to provide you a service and check references carefully.

Dar es Salaam: Be very careful in the Coco Beach area of Touré Drive on Msasani Peninsula, the scenic beachfront road leading from the Sea Cliff Hotel into town. We receive regular reports of muggings, pick-pockets, and thefts from cars. This road is a concern any time of day or night, whether you are on foot or in a vehicle. U.S. government personnel are cautioned against walking or running along Touré Drive and Haile Selassie Road on the Msasani Peninsula due to the prevalence of assaults. Avoid areas where there aren't houses or buildings on both sides of the road as assailants like to hide in areas covered by brush.

Zanzibar: Beware of pickpockets, assaults, and bag snatching in Zanzibar. Wear modest dress and keep a low profile, especially on Friday afternoons, the traditional time to attend mosque.

Arusha: In Arusha, the high number of foreign tourists attracts pickpockets and bag snatchers.

You are strongly discouraged from walking around at dusk or at night, and to avoid the section of Arusha on the far side of the Themi River at all times when on foot. Many muggings have occurred near the clock tower in the center of town.

Mtwara: This area is the center of Tanzania’s nascent oil and gas industry. There have been numerous demonstrations and gathering by local residents concerning economic issues. Avoid crowds as even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn violent.

In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Whether transactions involving such products are legal or illegal under local law, bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines.

Tanzania Penalties for Crime

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Tanzania, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. If you break local laws in Tanzania, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not wherever you go.

Persons violating Tanzania's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Keep a photocopy of your U.S. passport on you at all times. If you are detained, immediately contact the U.S. Embassy. Photography of military installations is forbidden. Individuals have been detained and/or had their cameras and film confiscated for taking pictures of hospitals, schools, bridges, industrial sites, and airports. Installations that are prohibited from being photographed are not always marked.

Driving under the influence is against the law. A maximum blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent is permitted. Law enforcement is becoming more sensitive to this issue due to the high rate of motor vehicle accidents. Possession of marijuana carries a penalty of a five-year sentence with additional fines. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Tanzania are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Using a cell phone while driving is not against the law, but ill-advised.

There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States.

Arrest notifications in host country: While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.

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