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POPULATION DISTRIBUTION (STUDY CASES)
Population Size, Composition and Distribution Since independence, Tanzania has conducted four censuses in 1967, 1978, 1988 and 2002; these have been the main source of population data. These censuses have indicated that the population of Tanzania increased from 12.3 million in 1967 to 17.5 million in 1978, reached 23.1 million in 1988, and about 35 million in 2002. During this period, the population growth rate was estimated at an average of 3.2 percent per annum between 1967 and 1978 and declined to an average of 2.8 per annum during the period between 1978 and 1988. The 1988 and 2002 censuses indicate that there is a variation between the for example at the regional level the estimated annual growth rates ranged from 1.4 percent (Mtwara) to 4.8 per cent (Dar es Salaam).
Tanzania has a young population. According to the 1988 Population census, about 47 percent of the population is aged below 15 years, and 4 percent aged 65 years and above. The 2002 census also showed that there are more young ones than the old. This youthful age structure will lead to population growth in the future, as these young people become reproductive, irrespective of whether fertility declines or not.
Tanzania’s labour force, deﬁned as economically active persons in the 15 to 64 age group, has been growing steadily since 1960. From 1960 to 1993 for instance, the average annual growth rate of the country’s labour force was 2.8 per cent and it is projected that during the coming years, it will grow to 3.0 per cent. Tanzania’s economically active regions,
population was estimated to have risen from 7.8 million in 1978 to 11.3 million in 1990. The 1900/91 Labour Force Survey (LFS) showed that out of an estimated labour force of 11.3 million, males and females constituted 49.8 and 50.2 per cent respectively.
An important feature of the population profile is its spatial distribution over the national territory and its rural-urban migration patterns and trends. The analysis of population distribution by district carried out on the basis of the 1967, 1978, 1988and 2002 census results indicates that about two-thirds of the population is concentrated in a quarter of the land area. The population distribution ranges between 4 persons per square kilometre as observed in Liwale district to 383 persons per sq. km. observed in Chakechake and 282 found along the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. About 79 per cent of Tanzanians still live in rural areas (The majority of whom are women) though the urban population has been growing at a rapid rate of more than 5 per cent per annum over the past three decades.
Components of Population Growth
The main components of population growth in any country are mortality, fertility and net migration. In Tanzania, fertility and mortality are the most important factors inﬂuencing population growth at national level. Previous censuses have shown that the net migration component has been negligible.
The mortality rate has declined substantially in Tanzania over the decades. The main contributing factors to the decline are improved access to health care and better environmental sanitation. The crude death rate (CDR) is estimated to have fallen from about 22 per thousand in 1967 to 15 in 1988. The infant mortality rate (IMR) per 1000 live births is estimated to have declined from 170 (1967) to 115 in 1988 and then to 88 in 1996 (TDHS, 1996). In the same period, the under-five mortality rate per thousand live births declined from 260 to 137. The declining mortality is reﬂected in rising life expectancy at birth from a level of about 40 years in 1967 to about 50 years in 1988. In spite of this decline, mortality still remains high by world standards. The maternal mortality rate (MMR) is still high. The 1996 TDHS shows that the MMR is estimated at 529 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.
The fertility rate in Tanzania is estimated to have declined slightly over the past decade. At the 1996 fertility level, a Tanzanian woman will give birth to an average of 5.8 children during her child-bearing years. This implies that the total fertility rate (TFR) has declined from 6.4 (1988) to 5.8 (T DHS, 1996) births per woman with significant regional and educational differences. For example in 1996, Mainland Tanzania recorded 6.3 and 4.1 births per Woman in rural and urban areas respectively. Differences related to education are inversely much wider. The fertility rate for women with no education is 6.4, with primary education 5.4 and with secondary and higher education 3.2 (T DHS, 1996).
The high fertility level observed in Tanzania is an outcome of a number of factors including:
1. Early and nearly universal marriage of women. For example, the median age at first marriage of women aged 25-49 is 18 years and by the age of 20, over 67 per cent have married at least once (TDHS, 1996). The 1971 Marriage Act stipulates a legal minimum age at marriage of 15 years for females and 18 for males; and,
2. The absence of effective fertility regulation within marriage: For example, the contraceptive prevalence rate is currently estimated at 16 percent among women aged 15-49.
Other underlying factors contributing to high fertility and rooted in the socio-cultural Value system include:
1. Value of children as a source of domestic and agricultural labour and old-age economic and social security for parents;
2. Male child preference; this is perpetuated by men.
3. Low social and educational status of women in society which prevents them from taking decisions on their fertility and use of family planning services; and
4. Large age differentials between spouses which constrain commutation on issues related to reproductive health.
Rural-urban migration has been a main feature of migration in Tanzania for many years.
The increase in rural-urban migration has led to an increasing rate of urbanization, especially in major urban centres like Dar es Salaam, Mbeya, Mwanza, and Arusha. The proportion of the population living in urban areas increased from 5 percent in 1967 to 13 in 1978 and 21 percent in 1988. Between 1978 and 1988, the urban population in Tanzania increased by 53 percent. There are variations between regions with regard to the rate of urbanization. Dar es Salaam alone contained about 25 percent of the total urban population in 1988. The unprecedented migration of people from rural areas increases the burden on already over-loaded public services and social infrastructure especially in the squatter areas, which stimulates the ﬂourishing of communicable diseases like tuberculosis, cholera and malaria. Rural—rural migration also contributes to regional and district level variations in terms of population pressure on resources. These variations are demonstrated by diﬁerences in population densities between districts, wards and villages. The general observation is that population increase has not been in line with the land area available for human use.
Population and Development Interrelationships
Rapid population growth is one of the primary obstacles to development. In the short run, its effects may appear marginal, but it sets in motion a cumulative process whose adverse impact on various facets of development might turn out to be very significant over the medium to long term. This is because population factors impinge on development and the welfare of individuals, families and communities at the micro level and at the district, regional and national level as whole at the macro level. The effects and responses to population pressure interact at all these levels.
Rapid population growth tends to increase outlays on consumption, drawing resources away from saving for productive investment and, therefore, tends to retard growth in national output through slow capital formation. The strains caused by rapid population growth are felt most acutely and visibly in the public budgets for health, education and other human resource development sectors. Food requirements for the rapidly growing population also mean that parts of the gains from increased agricultural production are eroded.
Adverse economic effects due to rapid population growth are shown explicitly by looking at the projection of the future population and the costs of providing social services. If the 1978 -1988 inter-censal population growth of 2.8 per cent per annum does not decline, then costs for the provision of health services will rise annually but without improvement in either the quality or coverage of the current services.
Population and development inﬂuence one another. The inﬂuence may be positive or negative depending on other factors and conditions. In the case of Tanzania, the aforementioned demographic factors interact and create the following problems:
1. The rapidly growing young population demand increasing expenditure on soda] services such as education, health and water; .
2. The rapidly growing labour force demands heavy investment in human resource development as well as development strategies which ensure that future job opportunities are created.
3. Rapid population growth in the context of poverty reduces the possibility of attaining sustainable economic growth.
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