Society of United Republic of Tanzania



Population per sq km: 60

Life expectancy: 62 years

Net primary enrolment: 98% (2008)

Population: 53,470,000 (2015); 27 per cent of people live in urban areas and seven per cent in urban agglomerations of more than a million people; growth 3.1 per cent p.a. 1990–2015; birth rate 39 per 1,000 people (48 in 1970); life expectancy 62 years (47 in 1970 and 51 in 1990).

Most of the people are of Bantu origin, with some 120 ethnic groups on the mainland, none of which exceed ten per cent of the population. The biggest group is the Sukuma; others include Nyamwezi, Maasai, Haya Gogo, Chagga, Nyaliyusa and Hehe. The population also includes Asian and expatriate minorities. The people of Zanzibar are of Bantu, Persian and Arab origin.

Language: The official language is Kiswahili (which is universally spoken in addition to various other African languages), and is the medium of instruction in primary schools.  English is the second official language, and also the teaching language in secondary schools and higher education.

Religion: (On mainland) Muslims 35 per cent, Christians 30 per cent and a small number of Hindus, with most of the rest holding traditional beliefs; (in Zanzibar) Muslims virtually 100 per cent.

Media: The government-owned Daily News is published in English. Uhuru is owned by the ruling party (CCM) and is in Kiswahili. There are several independent newspapers including dailies The Guardian and Daily Mail, and weeklies The Arusha Times, Business Times and The Express, and several in Kiswahili.

The Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation provides public radio and TV services in Kiswahili and English. There are several private TV channels, and many private radio stations, especially in the urban areas.

The first private television channel was launched in mainland Tanzania in 1994, following the introduction of multiparty democracy, and public-service TV followed in 2001. There are no private broadcasters or newspapers in Zanzibar, though many people on the islands receive mainland broadcasts and read the mainland press. TV Zanzibar and Voice of Tanzania–Zanzibar are both state-operated.

Public holidays: New Year’s Day, Zanzibar Revolution Day (12 January, 1964), Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume Day (7 April, Zanzibar only), Union Day (26 April), Labour Day (1 May), Saba Saba (Industry Day, 7 July), Nane Nane (Farmers’ Day, 8 August), Nyerere Day (14 October), Republic Day (9 December), Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Religious festivals whose dates vary from year to year include Prophet’s Birthday, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Eid al-Fitr (end of Ramadan, two days) and Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice).