Regions of Tanzania

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"Geopolitical Entities, Names, and Codes, Edition 2" (GENC), a U.S. standard that's supposed to correspond to ISO 3166-2, was issued on 2014-03-31. It gives codes for the four regions created in 2012. Geita, Katavi, Njombe, and Simiyu are coded TZ-27, TZ-28, TZ-29, and TZ-30, respectively. Subsequently, on 2014-11-03, ISO officially issued codes for these four regions. Now there is a perfect match between the two standards.

I added 2012 population data from source [11]. Also, I noticed that although Kagera region lost some of its territory in 2012, I had not changed its HASC code (unlike the other regions affected); I have now given it a new code.

Update 13 to Geopolitical Entities and Codes (formerly FIPS 10-4) is dated 2013-09-30. All it does in Tanzania is make the first letter of "es" lowercase in Dar es Salaam.

Update 10 to Geopolitical Entities and Codes (formerly FIPS 10-4) is dated 2012-12-31. It assigns codes to the four new regions. It also provides region names in Swahili in addition to English.

One of the new regions in 2012 was going to be called Njoluma, from the first syllables of its constituent districts, Njombe, Ludewa, and Makete. Sorin Cosoveanu writes that the name was already being used for a farmers' co-operative, so the authorities went back to the simple name Njombe.

FIPS Publication Change Notice No. 10, affecting FIPS PUB 10-4, was issued on 2006-03-23. It assigns a new FIPS code to the new Manyara region, and changes the code for the old region from which it was formed.

ISO 3166-2 Newsletter number I-5, dated 2003-09-05, explains that the Swahili word for regions is mkoa. It removes the hyphens from Dar-es-Salaam, and adds the new Manyara region. I have added an ISO code column to the table below, showing the new code for Manyara.

Change Notice 7 to FIPS PUB 10-4 is dated 2002-01-10. The only change affecting Tanzania is to the official name of one region. Ziwa Magharibi (Swahili for West Lake) has changed its name to Kagera. According to "Administrative Subdivisions of Countries", which lists the region as Kagera, this change occurred around 1984. ISO/DIS 3166-2, the first draft of the standard, listed both Kagera (05) and Ziwa Magharibi (26) as separate regions. Actually, Ziwa Magharibi is an old name for Kagera. The error was corrected in the final draft of the standard (1998).

Country overview: 

Short nameTANZANIA
ISO codeTZ
LanguageSwahili (sw), English (en)
Time zone+3
CapitalDar es Salaam,Dodoma


In 1900, Zanzibar (including Pemba) was a British protectorate, and Tanganyika was part of German East Africa. After Germany's defeat in World War I, Tanganyika was mandated to Great Britain by the League of Nations. Following World War II, the mandate became a United Nations trusteeship. Tanganyika became independent on 1961-12-09; Zanzibar did likewise on 1963-12-19. The two countries joined on 1964-04-26 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The name was shortened to United Republic of Tanzania on 1964-10-29. Governmental functions are gradually being transferred from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Tanzania
  2. Dutch: Tanzania, Verenigde Republiek Tanzania (formal)
  3. English: United Republic of Tanzania (formal)
  4. Finnish: Tansania
  5. French: Tanzanie, République-Unie f de Tanzanie f (formal)
  6. German: Tansania, Vereinigte Republik f Tansania n (formal)
  7. Icelandic: Tansanía
  8. Italian: Tanzania f
  9. Norwegian: Forbundsrepublikken Tanzania (formal) (Bokmål), Sambandsrepublikken Tanzania (formal) (Nynorsk), Tanzania
  10. Portuguese: Tanzánia, Tanzânia (Brazil), República f Unida da Tanzánia f (formal)
  11. Russian: Объединенная Республика Танзания (formal)
  12. Spanish: Tanzania, Tanzanía, República f Unida de Tanzania (formal)
  13. Turkish: Tanzanya Birleşik Cumhuriyeti (formal)
  14. Swahili: Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania (formal)
  15. Swedish: Tanzania

Origin of name: 

Coined from Tan(ganyika) + Zan(zibar) + -ia (suffix for country)

Primary subdivisions: 

Tanzania is divided into 30 regions (mkoa in Swahili).

Dar es SalaamTZ.DS02TZ234,364,5411,393538Dar es Salaam
Pemba NorthTZ.PN06TZ13211,732574222Wete
Pemba SouthTZ.PS10TZ20195,116332128Chake Chake
PwaniTZ.PW19TZ021,098,66832,40712,512Dar es Salaam
Zanzibar NorthTZ.ZN07TZ22187,455470181Mkokotoni
Zanzibar South and CentralTZ.ZS11TZ21115,588854330Koani
Zanzibar WestTZ.ZW15TZ25593,67823089Zanzibar
30 regions44,928,923882,565340,760
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Region codes from ISO 3166-2. For full identification in a global
    context, prefix "TZ-" to the code (ex: TZ-26 represents Manyara).
  • Population: 2012-08-26 census (source [11]).
  • Area: Source [5].

Further subdivisions:

See the Districts of Tanzania page.

The regions are subdivided into districts (wilaya in Swahili). There were 129 districts in 2003. Subordinate to the districts are divisions, under the divisions are wards, and under the wards (except in urban districts) are villages.

The distinction between Tanzania Mainland and Tanzania Zanzibar, corresponding to the two countries that merged in 1964, is still observed.

Territorial extent: 

  1. Kagera includes Bumbiri, Ikusa, Bukerebe, Nabuyongo, and other islands in Lake Victoria.
  2. Lindi includes Songa Manara Island in the Indian Ocean.
  3. Mara includes Lukuba Island and a few other small islands in Lake Victoria.
  4. Mwanza includes Ukerewe, Rubondo, Ukara, Maisome, Kome, Irugwa, and other islands in Lake Victoria.
  5. Pemba North and Pemba South share Pemba Islands.
  6. Pwani includes Mafia Island in the Indian Ocean.
  7. Tanga includes Mwambawamba Island and other small islands in the Pemba Channel.
  8. Zanzibar North, Zanzibar South and Central, and Zanzibar West share Zanzibar Island. Tumbatu Island is in Zanzibar North; Uzi and Pungume Islands are in Zanzibar South and Central.

The UN LOCODE page  for Tanzania lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.

Origins of names: 

  1. Dar es Salaam: Arabic dar as-salam: home of peace
  2. Iringa: Hehe lilinga: fort
  3. Tabora: Nyamwezi matoborwa: sweet potatoes
  4. Zanzibar: from an Arabic word for blacks

Change history: 

Divisions of Tanganyika in 1922 were: Arusha, Bagamoyo, Bukoba, Daressalam, Dodoma, Iringa, Kilwa, Kondoa-Irangi, Lindi, Mahenge, Morogoro, Moshi, Mwanza, Pangani, Rufiji, Rungwe, Songea, Tabora, Tanga, Ufipa, Ujiji, and Usambara. Numerous changes occurred between then and independence. The situation as of 1948, according to source [1], was:

Southern Highlands849,995
Total Tanganyika7,477,677
Total Zanzibar264,162
  • Division: Tanganyika, provinces;
    Zanzibar, islands (which were
    not administrative divisions).
  • Populations: Tanganyika, 1948-02
    census; Zanzibar, 1948-02-25
    census. They were probably
    conducted under different rules,
    so the total is a hybrid.
  1. ~1961: Dar es Salaam province split from Eastern; West Lake province split from Lake.
  2. 1964-04-26: Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged. Tanzania now consisted of these twelve provinces:
Central886,96294,301DodomaDodoma, Singida
Dar es Salaam128,7421,393Dar es SalaamCoast (part)
Eastern955,828107,630Dar es SalaamCoast (part), Morogoro
Lake1,731,794107,711MwanzaMara, Mwanza, Shinyanga (part)
Northern772,43485,374ArushaArusha, Kilimanjaro (part)
Pemba133,858984Chake ChakePemba
Southern1,014,265143,027MtwaraMtwara, Ruvuma
Southern Highlands1,030,269119,253MbeyaIringa, Mbeya (part)
Tanga688,29035,750TangaKilimanjaro (part), Tanga
West Lake514,43128,388BukobaWest Lake
Western1,062,598203,068TaboraKigoma, Mbeya (part), Shinyanga (part), Tabora
Zanzibar165,2531,658ZanzibarZanzibar Rural, Zanzibar West
12 provinces9,084,724928,537
  • Population: 1958 census
  • Regions: approximate equivalent regions after the reorganization
  1. ~1966: Tanzania reorganized into twenty regions.
  2. ~1967: Zanzibar Shambani (Rural) region split into Zanzibar Shambani North and Zanzibar Shambani South, which later became Zanzibar North and Zanzibar South and Central.
  3. ~1971: Rukwa region created from parts of Mbeya and Tabora.
  4. 1972-07-01: Lindi region split from Mtwara.
  5. 1974-01-01: Dar es Salaam region split from Coast.
  6. ~1982: Name of Coast region changed to Pwani; Pemba region split into Pemba North and Pemba South.
  7. ~1984: Name of West Lake region changed to Kagera.
  8. ~2002-05: Manyara region split from Arusha (former HASC code TZ.AR, FIPS code TZ01) (Sources [2]-[4]). All sources agree that Manyara contains Babati, Hanang, Kiteto, and Mbulu districts. That's all that source [4] seems to list. Source [3] adds Manyara and Simanjiro districts. If I follow the German text correctly, source [3] also says that the southern part of Monduli district was annexed to Babati district. Source [11] lists adds Simanjiro district and Babati town to the four.
  9. 2012-03-02: Government Notice No. 72 took effect. Geita region (capital Geita) formed by taking Bukombe district from Shinyanga region, Chato from Kagera, and Geita from Mwanza; Katavi region (capital Mpanda) formed by taking Mpanda district from Rukwa region; Njombe region (capital Njombe) formed by taking Ludewa, Makete, and Njombe districts from Iringa region; Simiyu region (capital Bariadi) formed by taking Bariadi, Meatu, and Maswa districts from Shinyanga region, and the newly created Busega district from Mwanza. The former HASC codes of the diminished regions were TZ.IR (Iringa), TZ.KR (Kagera), TZ.MW (Mwanza), TZ.RK (Rukwa), and TZ.SH (Shinyanga).

Other names of subdivisions: 

  1. Dar es Salaam: Daressalam (German)
  2. Kagera: West Lake (obsolete); Ziwa Magharibi (Swahili-obsolete)
  3. Pemba North: Kaskazini Pemba (Swahili); Pemba Septentrional (Spanish)
  4. Pemba South: Kusini Pemba (Swahili); Pemba Meridional (Spanish)
  5. Pwani: Coast (obsolete)
  6. Zanzibar: Sansibar (German); Zanzíbar (Spanish)
  7. Zanzibar North: Kaskazini Unguja (Swahili); North Unguja, Zanzibar Rural North, Zanzibar Shambani North (variant); Zanzibar Septentrional (Spanish)
  8. Zanzibar South and Central: Kusini Unguja (Swahili); South Unguja, South Zanzibar, Unguja South & Central, Zanzibar Rural South, Zanzibar Shambani South (variant); Zanzibar Meridional/Central (Spanish)
  9. Zanzibar West: Mjini Magharibi (Swahili); Unguja Town & West, Urban West, Zanzibar Mjini, Zanzibar Urban, Zanzibar Urban/West (variant); Zanzibar Occidental (Spanish)

Population history:

Dar es Salaam356,286843,0901,360,8502,487,2884,364,541
Pemba North72,015106,290137,189185,326211,732
Pemba South92,30699,014127,623175,471195,116
Zanzibar North56,36077,01796,989136,639187,455
Zanzibar South and Central39,08751,74970,31394,244115,588
Zanzibar West95,047142,041208,571390,074593,678


Data for 1967 to 1988 from source [6], a Tanzanian government website. Manyara was included in Arusha in 1967 and 1978 figures. Apparently, in all other cases, data are proleptic to the boundaries as of 2002. Data for 2002 and 2012 from source [11], proleptic to 2012 boundaries.


  1. [1] Demographic Yearbook , 7th Ed. Statistical Office of the United Nations, New York, 1955.
  2. [2] The [Tanzania] Express Online (, dead link, dated 2002-05-16 to 22, retrieved 2002-08-19).
  3. [3] Deutsch-Tansanische Freundschaftsgesellschaft  (German-Tanzanian Friendship Society) website, at (in German, now a dead link, retrieved 2002-08-19). The item about Manyara cites the [Manchester?] Guardian, 2002-05-10 to 11.
  4. [4] Tanzania census website (, dead link, retrieved 2004-12-27).
  5. [5] NBS Statistical Abstract, Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics (, dead link, retrieved 2004-12-27).
  6. [6] 2002 Population and Housing Census. Tanzania National Website (, dead link, retrieved 2004-12-27).
  7. [7] Tanzania: State Gazettes New Regions, Districts , article on the AllAfrica website (dated 2012-03-09, retrieved 2012-03-18).
  8. [8] Mikoa ya Tanzania Bara  (Regions of Mainland Tanzania), Prime Ministers Office Regional Administration and Local Government website (in Swahili, retrieved 2012-07-23).
  9. [9] New regions to be announced on Friday , article in Daily News (retrieved 2012-07-23).
  10. [10] Notisi ya Kuanzisha Mikoa na Wilaya  (Notice of the Formation of Regions and Districts, in Swahili, retrieved 2012-07-25).
  11. [11] 2012 Population and Housing Census : Population Distribution by Administrative Areas. National Bureau of Statistics (dated 2013-03, retrieved 2014-02-16).
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