The United Republic of Tanzania is comprised of the highlighted green space (right) as well as the tropical island of Zanzibar off the coast. Tanganyika is a former German colony, later British, that received independence in the early 1960s and merged with Zanzibar to form the country of Tanzania in 1964. This is an East African country known for its incredible wilderness areas, including Serengeti National Park, home to the renowned Big Five game (elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros, leopard, and lion) and Kilimanjaro National Park, home to the world's tallest freestanding mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro. Though these natural attractions and rich cultural history have created a thriving tourism industry in Tanzania, which is now a popular safari destination, the country remains one of the poorest in the world. Tanzania borders Kenya and Uganda on the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo on the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique on the south. Its eastern side borders the Indian Ocean.
(Dar es Salaam, pictured, is the former capital and major commercial city in Tanzania)
Currency: Tanzanian shilling
Population: 51,045,882 (2015 est.)
Median Age: 17.5 years
National Languages: Kiswahili and English
Literacy: 70.6% (read/write in Kiswahili, English, or Arabic by the age of 15)
Major Religions: mainland - 30% Christian, 35% Muslim, 35% indigenous beliefs; Zanzibar - more than 99% Muslim
GDP: $48.09 billion (2014 est.)
GDP per capita: $2,700 (2014 est.), ranked 193
Sources include: CIA World Factbook - Tanzania
Tanzania's Population Pyramid
A population pyramid shows the age and sex distribution of a country's population and suggests insights into the social and political stability of a country, as well as economic development. The population is shown on the x axis, divided into male (left) and female (right). The age is divided into five-year cohorts distributed on the y axis. The shape of a population pyramid evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and changing migration rates. Tanzania's population pyramid at left classically displays the growth of a developing nation, since many Tanzanians are young (median age is 17.5). We saw this in our students' families; there are many children per family, especially in rural areas of the country.