People of Tanzania

In terms of both population and geographical area, Tanzania is a large country in the African context. The population has been growing rapidly at 2.07% a year, and in 2005 the population was estimated at 40.2 million people, 1 million of which live on Zanzibar and Pemba, and 2.5 million in Dar es Salaam. This gives a population density of 4.5 persons per sq km, rather higher than the African average. However, the distribution is very uneven, with the areas around Mount Kilimanjaro and west of Lake Victoria heavily populated, while in the south and southwest there is much uncultivated fertile land. Urbanization is not as advanced as elsewhere in the continent, and about 80% of the population is rural.

The people of Tanzania consist of mixed Bantu groups but there are 129 recognized ethnic groups, of which the Sukuma, Haya, Nyakyusa, Nyamwezi, and Chagga have more than 1 million members.

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