macrohistory & world report

United Republic of Tanzania

Map of Tanzania

Tanzania (capital Dar es Salaam), including its islands of Pemba, Zanzibar and Mafia

World Factbook as of November 2014: "Tanzania is one of the world's poorest economies in terms of per capita income, however, it has achieved high overall growth rates based on gold production and tourism. Tanzania has largely completed its transition to a liberalized market economy, though the government retains a presence in sectors such as telecommunications, banking, energy, and mining. The economy depends on agriculture, which accounts for more than one-quarter of GDP, provides 85% of exports, and employs about 80% of the work force. The World Bank, the IMF, and bilateral donors have provided funds to rehabilitate Tanzania's aging economic infrastructure, including rail and port infrastructure that are important trade links for inland countries. Recent banking reforms have helped increase private-sector growth and investment, and the government has increased spending on agriculture to 7% of its budget. The financial sector in Tanzania has expanded in recent years and foreign-owned banks account for about 48% of the banking industry's total assets. Competition among foreign commercial banks has resulted in significant improvements in the efficiency and quality of financial services, though interest rates are still relatively high, reflecting high fraud risk. All land in Tanzania is owned by the government, which can lease land for up to 99 years. Proposed reforms to allow for land ownership, particularly foreign land ownership, remain unpopular. Continued donor assistance and solid macroeconomic policies supported a positive growth rate, despite the world recession. In 2008, Tanzania received the world's largest Millennium Challenge Compact grant, worth $698 million, and in December 2012 the Millennium Challenge Corporation selected Tanzania for a second Compact. Dar es Salaam used fiscal stimulus and loosened monetary policy to ease the impact of the global recession. GDP growth in 2009-13 was a respectable 6-7% per year due to high gold prices and increased production."

Economic growth rate
2011: 6.1%
2010: 6.4%
2009: 6.7%

Labor force in agriculture
2002: 80%

Export commodities
Gold, coffee, delicious cashew nuts, manufactures, cotton

Export partners
2009: China 15.6%, India 11%, Japan 6.1%, UAE 5%, Germany 4%

Income Distribution – GINI index
Ranks 76th among 140 countries (lower rank number is less equal). Less equal than Britain, which ranks 94th, and more equal than the US, which ranks 45th.

Health expenditures
2009: 5.1% of GDP



Living in an urban area:
2010: 26%
2008: 25%

Net migration rate
2011: Net loss of 0.29 persons per 1,000 population

Ethnic groups
Mainland – African 99% (of which 95% are Bantu consisting of more than 130 tribes), other 1% (consisting of Asian, European, and Arab); Zanzibar – Arab, African, mixed Arab and African

Mainland – Christian 30%, Muslim 35%, indigenous beliefs 35%; Zanzibar – more than 99% Muslim

2006: From around 60 to 70 people are killed in Tanzania be lions every year – on average a little more than one per week.

Literacy, Age 15 and Older
2003: males 85.9%, females 70.7%


Between Kenya in the north and Mozambique in the south. !,424 kilometers of coastline along the Indian ocean. More than twice the size of California. Tropical coastline and temperate at higher elevation. Capital: Dar es Salaam.


President elected by popular vote for five-year term. National Assembly has 274 seats, 232 of which are filled by members elected by popular vote.

Recent History

Independent in 1961 from UN trusteeship administered by Britain.

Zanzibar merged with what was then called Tanganyika in 1964 and has semi-autonomous status.

First democratic elections since the 1970s held in 1995, ending one-party rule.

August 10, 2011: "Nearly one third of Tanzanian girls experience sexual violence before they turn 18, a Unicef survey has found." (BBC News)

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.