Tanzania is a low-income country, ranking 152 out of 187 countries in the 2011 UNDP Human Development Index. Forty-five percent of Tanzania’s GDP is derived from agriculture and 80 percent of the population depends on subsistence agriculture for their livelihood, making it the country’s largest employment sector. In the last decade, Tanzania’s GDP has grown more than six percent annually. However, the increase has not translated to improved living standards for most ordinary Tanzanians. An additional burden on the population is rapidly rising inflation, driven mainly by food and fuel prices. Tanzania’s food self-sufficiency over the past eight years has ranged between 88 and 112 percent. However, there are localized food deficits at the regional, district and household levels.
Tanzania is among the African countries with the highest levels of malnutrition. Some 42 percent of children under five are stunted, eight out of ten children under one are anaemic, and about a third of children aged 6–59 months are Vitamin A deficient. Poor nutrition is also a serious problem among women of reproductive age, with more than half of pregnant women anaemic and one in ten women undernourished.
The HIV epidemic in Tanzania poses a threat to national development. Prevalence of HIV among the general population aged 15–49 years is 5.7 percent, with 6.6 percent of women being affected compared to 4.6 percent of men.
Enrolment in primary schools has steadily increased over the last decade. In 2011, the overall net enrolment rate at primary school stood at 94 percent. Girls’ enrolment generally exceeds that of boys though this is not always the case in pastoral areas.