1952 9 million
1967 12 million
1988 23 million
2012 45 million
2020 (estimate) 60 million
The recently released figures from the 2012 census are giving Tanzanians much food for thought. By comparison, the population of England and Wales in 2011 was 56 million.
President Kikwete has been talking about the importance of family planning. “It may not be seen as a problem, especially for a vast country like ours, but it is a big burden economically and socially,” he said.
Dr Joseph Mshafi, a medical advisor with Population Services International (PSI) Tanzania, agreed. He was quoted in the media as saying: “Tanzania has a lot of children. The population increase corresponds with an increase in the number of people of child-bearing age. These will soon reach the age of child bearing and we will have a massive reproduction rate. With such a big population growth there will be a big impact on the economy.”
The 2012 census figures support his view showing that 46% of the population are under 15 years old, compared to 18% in the UK.