Tanzania People and Their Culture in Africa

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Tanzania People are from different backgrounds. This site is happy to bring you all the traditional,original Tanzanians and their background. As of 2006, the estimated population of Tanzania is 38,329,000, with an estimated growth rate of 2%.

Population distribution is extremely uneven, with density varying from 1 person per square kilometer (3/mi²) in arid regions to 51 per square kilometer (133/mi²) in the mainland's well-watered highlands, to 134 per square kilometer (347/mi²) on Zanzibar.

More than 80% of the population is rural. Dar es Salaam is the largest city and is the commercial capital; Dodoma, located in the center of Tanzania is the new capital and houses the Union's Parliament.

Zanzibar Town houses the Zanzibar Parliament.The African population consists of more than 120 ethnic groups, of which the Sukuma, Haya, Nyakyusa, Nyamwezi, and Chagga have more than 1 million members. Other groups include the Pare, Sambaa or Shambala and Ngoni.

The majority of Tanzanians, including such large ethnic groups as the Sukuma and the Nyamwezi, have Bantu origins. Groups of Nilotic or related origin include the nomadic Masai and the Luo, both of which are found in greater numbers in neighboring Kenya.

Two small groups speak languages of the Khoisan family peculiar to the people of the Kalahari in southern Africa. Cushitic-speaking peoples, originally from the Ethiopian highlands, reside in a few areas of Tanzania. Other Bantu groups were refugees from Mozambique.

Although much of Zanzibar's African population came from the mainland, one group known as Shirazis claims its origins to be the supposed island's early Persian settlers.

Non-Africans residing on the mainland and Zanzibar account for 1% of the total population. The Asian community, including Hindus, Sikhs, Shi'a and Sunni Muslims, Parsis and Goans, has declined by 50% in the past decade to 50,000 on the mainland and 4,000 on Zanzibar.

An estimated 70,000 Arabs and 10,000 Europeans still reside in Tanzania. In the 1960s and 1970s thousands of Asians emigrated, frequently under duress. Often they attempted to emigrate to the United Kingdom.

Each ethnic group has its own language. No language is de jure official, but Swahili is the de facto official national language, used for intertribal communication and for official matters.

After independence, English, the language of colonial administration during the era of British rule, was still used for some official issues, and was thus considered de facto official alongside Swahili.

As official usage of English has greatly diminished during the first thirty years following independence, and it was more common to regard Swahili as the only de facto official language. However the political reforms which turned Tanzania away from a closed and socialist environment and a centrally planned economy inevitably resulted in a dramatic opening up of the country.

The attendant growth of the private sector and new investment has resulted in English having increasing importance, and there are a plethora of schools in which English is the medium of instruction.

Universities all use English as the medium of instruction, which often causes problems for students who have previously only taken English as a subject in school. Other spoken languages are Indian languages, especially Gujarati, and Portuguese (both spoken by Mozambican blacks and Goans). Historically German was widely spoken during that colonial period, but few remain alive who remember that period.

Tanzania is a religiously divided society. It is difficult to determine which is the largest religion, since this question, together with tribal affiliation, has not been answered in the national census. According to the CIA Factbook, Muslims account for 35% of the population, an estimated 30% of the population is Christian, and 35% adheres to traditional faiths. On Zanzibar, by contrast, the population is 99% Muslim

More about People and Culture

Tanzania Culture › | Germany Colonialist in Tanzania › | Tanzania Flag › | Tanzania Cuisines › | Tanganyika under British and Germany Rule › | Tanzania Business Dress Cord › | Tanzania Gender Issues › | Tanzania Greeting › | Tanzania History › | Tanzania Recent History › | Tanzania Religion › | Tanzania Folklore › |

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