Dar es Salaam — Tanzania's population has been projected to reach 54.2 million in 2018, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has announced.
The projection shows that there will be 52.6 million people on Mainland Tanzania and 1.6 million on the Isles.
Launching the population projection on Wednesday, February 28, the minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Philip Mpango, said the population growth rate is 1.6 million people per year.
"We considered the ratio of deaths and newborns to get an average of population growth rate," he said, noting that "there are 2 million newborns and 400, 000 deaths every year".
He said the launched population makes Tanzania a sixth country with highest number of people in Africa after Nigeria, Ethiopia, DRC Congo and South Africa.
However, the population projection announced today differs from that which was projected by World Bank last years. The global lender had projected population growth to 58 million Tanzanians in this year.
Contesting against the WB projections, the director general of NBS, Dr Albina Chuwa, said it was impossible for population to grow at that rate.
"That did not reflect the reality. When we consider deaths and newborns as well as average number of newborn per mother," she said.
According to the new projection report; on average, every mother now bears five children.
Current population projection is 54.2 million people.
Tanzania Mainland's population stands at 52.6 million while Zanzibar's stands at 1.6 million people. The average rate of population growth is 1.6 people per year.
The population is projected to reach 59.4 million people in 2021, when the first five years of the fifth government will fade-out.
Also the population is projected to reach 77.5 million people come 2030. At least 50 per cent of the population made up of children under 18 years.