Many of us have heard about the census in Tanzania, and last year it seems to have been widely publicized compared to previous years, possibly due to advancements in technology that have made information more easily accessible. 

However, it is essential to understand the true meaning of the census and its significance in various sectors, such as business and politics.

The Population and Housing Census is a nationwide undertaking conducted every 10 years, with the most recent census occurring in 2022. The last years, census marked the sixth since the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1964, following previous censuses in 1967, 1978, 1988, 2002, and 2012.

The census holds great importance as it involves the collection, analysis, evaluation, publication, and distribution of demographic, economic, and social statistics pertaining to the entire population and their households within the country. 

It provides a comprehensive overview of factors such as age, gender, residential location, educational status, employment, births and deaths, and housing conditions.

These fundamental statistics play a vital role in identifying the specific needs of citizens, including vulnerable groups like persons with disabilities, women, children, youth, and the elderly. 

By utilizing census data, policymakers can develop targeted policies and development plans that address these specific needs, fostering inclusivity and ensuring a comprehensive approach to social and economic progress.

In the realm of business, the 2022 census offers a wealth of valuable information. It includes population figures categorized by region, gender, and age groups. This data enables businesses to make informed decisions based on local demographics, aiding in market segmentation, product customization, and effective customer targeting. Through the census, businesses can identify customer preferences and geographical concentrations, facilitating strategic planning and ensuring optimal market penetration.

From a political perspective, the latest census provides extensive insights compared to previous iterations. Notably, publications such as the population report in the electoral constituencies of Tanzania and Zanzibar offer invaluable data, including gender ratios, household numbers, and population averages per constituency. 

These statistics play a crucial role in monitoring policy implementation, evaluating development plans, and allocating resources within electoral constituencies. They contribute to the effective provision of social services, such as education, healthcare, transportation, water, and electricity, leading to improved governance and development outcomes. Hopefully  even to play a crucial role in the upcoming elections.

The role of media

On the other hand, Journalists play a critical role in disseminating census results to the public and helping citizens understand their implications. By incorporating preliminary census reports, constituency-specific data, population figures, and contextual information about infrastructure like schools and hospitals, journalists can bring census data to life and make it accessible to a broader audience. 

At Nukta Africa, we have been actively training journalists in utilizing statistics, including census data with collaboration with National Bureau of statistics (NBS), for the past five years. Our goal is still to equip journalists with the skills to analyze data and write well data driven stories, create engaging visualizations and present information in a way that facilitates public understanding.

For those interested in further developing their statistical literacy and its application in news and discussions, we invite you to contact us at [email protected] or visit our training website at

The census serves as a cornerstone of national development, enabling evidence-based decision-making, inclusive policies, and targeted interventions. By harnessing the power of census data, Tanzania can unlock its full potential and pave the way for sustainable progress across various sectors of society.