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What Is the Population of Dar es Salaam?

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What Is the Population of Dar es Salaam?

Dar es Salaam is the largest city in Tanzania, located along East Africa’s coastline. Known for its stunning beaches and coastal resorts, Dar es Salaam is a popular destination for both tourists and business travelers. But what is the population of Dar es Salaam in 2021?

Dar es Salaam Population 2021

According to the latest United Nations estimates, the population of Dar es Salaam has grown to approximately 5 million people, making it the second-most populous city in Tanzania. This number reflects a steady population growth since 2012, when the city’s population was estimated to be approximately 4 million.

Projected Growth in the Dar es Salaam Population

At its current rate of growth, the population of Dar es Salaam is projected to exceed 6 million by 2025. While this growth could create economic opportunities and provide jobs to many of Dar es Salaam’s residents, it could also lead to overcrowding and infrastructure strain.

Rapid Migration into the City

A primary driver of Dar es Salaam’s population growth has been the influx of individuals migrating from other parts of Tanzania, particularly rural areas. This wave of migrants has been primarily attracted to the city’s strong economy and better job prospects.However, this rapid wave of migration has not gone without consequence. With limited infrastructure to accommodate the growing population, many migrants are struggling to find adequate housing and employment opportunities. Many are crowding into crowded, low-income areas of the city and many lack access to basic public services such as schools and health centers.

Urbanization in Dar es Salaam

The growing population of Dar es Salaam has also created a large strain on the infrastructure of the city. As a result of this strain, much of Dar es Salaam’s existing infrastructure has been unable to cope with the needs of its citizens, leading to overcrowding and pollution. Despite the issues caused by overcrowding and rapid urbanization, Dar es Salaam remains an attractive destination for migrants due to its relative political stability and better job opportunities. A common pattern among those who migrate is that they tend to find jobs in upwardly mobile industries such as financial services, telecommunications and business process outsourcing.

Efforts to Manage Population Growth

The government of Tanzania has taken steps to try and manage the population growth in Dar es Salaam and other cities in the country. These initiatives include:

  • Introducing policies that encourage foreign direct investment to create jobs in cities across Tanzania.
  • Investing in infrastructure projects such as transportation and housing.
  • Encouraging businesses to relocate to local industrial parks.
  • Providing incentives for businesses to create training programs for people in rural areas, so that they don’t feel compelled to move to the cities.

The above measures have been successful in some areas, however, more work needs to be done to address the underlying issues causing population growth in Dar es Salaam.


Given its political stability and access to resources, it is likely that Dar es Salaam’s population will continue to grow in coming years. It will be important for citizens and policy makers alike to continue working together to create innovative solutions that can help better manage the city’s growth. To learn more about how governments are managing migration and population growth, visit the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs website.

An Insider’s Guide to Dar es Salaam: Tanzania’s Commercial Capital

Located along the eastern coast of Africa, Dar es Salaam is the largest city in Tanzania and the commercial hub of the country. With a population of over six million, it is a bustling city that combines the charm of the old world with the modernity of a growing metropolis. If you’re planning a trip to Dar es Salaam, here is an insider’s guide to the city’s local attractions, dining spots, cultural experiences, local history, and off-the-beaten-path suggestions.

Local Attractions

There are many things to see and do in Dar es Salaam, from exploring the city’s rich history to soaking up the sun on beautiful beaches. Some of the most popular attractions include:

  • The National Museum of Tanzania, which showcases the country’s natural history and cultural heritage
  • The Askari Monument, a statue honoring the African soldiers who fought in World War I
  • Bongoyo Island, an uninhabited island off the coast of Dar es Salaam that is perfect for snorkeling, swimming and sunbathing
  • Zanzibar, an archipelago of islands that boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and is only an hour’s ferry ride from Dar es Salaam
  • The Dar es Salaam Zoo, which is home to a wide range of wildlife including lions, giraffes, and crocodiles
  • The Botanical Gardens, a serene haven in the heart of the city that features local flora and fauna

Dining Spots

Dar es Salaam is famous for its street food and local cuisine that seamlessly blend African and Indian flavors. Some of the most popular dining spots in the city include:

  • Mamboz Restaurant, which is known for its delicious and affordable local dishes such as grilled meats, beans, and chapatis
  • Sea Cliff Hotel, where you can find a variety of delicious international cuisines including Indian, Italian, and Chinese
  • Nyama Choma, a traditional Tanzanian barbeque that features grilled meats such as goat, beef, and chicken
  • Satkar Restaurant, one of the oldest Indian restaurants in town that serves authentic North Indian cuisine
  • Msasani City Mall, a shopping mall that has several international fast-food chains such as KFC, Dominos, and Subway

Cultural Experiences

Dar es Salaam is a melting pot of cultures, and there are many ways to experience the city’s vibrant cultural scene. Here are some of the best ways to soak up the local culture:

  • Visit a local market such as Kariakoo or Mwenge Market, where you can find everything from fresh produce to souvenirs
  • Attend a traditional dance performance at the National Museum of Tanzania or the Little Theatre Club
  • Explore the art and crafts scene at the Village Museum, an open-air museum that depicts different Tanzanian ethnic groups and their traditional way of life
  • Go on a walking tour of the city’s architecture and discover the blend of African and European influences that make up the city’s unique style
  • Join a cookery class and learn to make traditional Tanzanian dishes such as pilau, samosas, and mandazi

Local History

Dar es Salaam has a rich and complex history that has shaped the city as it is today. Some of the most interesting historical sites in the city include:

  • The Askari Monument, a statue erected in 1927 in honor of African soldiers who fought for the British in World War I
  • The Old Boma, a colonial-era building that now houses the National Museum of Tanzania
  • The St. Joseph’s Cathedral, a stunning Catholic church built in the 20th century
  • The Uhuru Monument, a tower located in the city center that celebrates Tanzania’s independence from British rule

Off-the-Beaten-Path Suggestions

If you’re looking for something a little different during your Dar es Salaam trip, here are some off-the-beaten-path suggestions:

  • Visit Tingatinga Arts Cooperative Society, a local cooperative that produces and sells Tingatinga art – a unique style of African art characterized by brightly colored designs that depict daily life
  • Explore Mwenge Carvers Market, a market specializing in woodcarvings made by local artisans
  • Go on a bike tour of the city’s coastline and discover hidden bays and secluded beaches along the way
  • Take a day trip to Bagamoyo, a historical town located about an hour north of Dar es Salaam. Bagamoyo was once a slave-trading port and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts beautiful architecture and fascinating history

In conclusion, Dar es Salaam is a fascinating and vibrant city that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, food, or nature, you’ll find something to love in this African metropolis.

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What Is the Population of Dar es Salaam?

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!