Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Movement and structure of the African...
 Population distribution and...
 The economic basis for demographic...
 Demographic prospects and problems...
 The European and Asian populat...
 Appendix I - The problem of population...
 Appendix II - The censuses...
 Appendix III - Special studies...
 Appendix IV - Tables
 Appendix V - Select bibliography,...

Group Title: Population of Tanganyika
Title: The population of Tanganyika
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073394/00001
 Material Information
Title: The population of Tanganyika
Series Title: Reports on the population of trust territories
Physical Description: 151 p. : maps ; 27 cm.
Language: English
Creator: United Nations -- Dept. of Social Affairs
Taeuber, Irene B ( Irene Barnes ), 1906-1974
Publisher: Lake Success
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: 1949]
Subject: Population -- Tanzania   ( lcsh )
Genre: international intergovernmental publication   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Bibliography: p. 123-151.
General Note: "United Nations publication. Sales no.: 1948. XIII. 1."
General Note: Prepared by Irene B. Taeuber.
General Note: "ST/SOA/ser.A/2."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00073394
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002555699
oclc - 05963576
notis - AMS1940

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
    Table of Contents
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page 1
        The physical environment
            Page 2
            Page 3
            Page 4
            Page 5
        The historical background
            Page 6
            Page 7
            Page 8
            Page 9
        Ethnic groups
            Page 10
            Page 11
            Page 12
    Movement and structure of the African population
        Page 13
        The pre-colonial and German periods
            Page 14
            Page 15
        Trends shown by the "censuses"
            Page 16
            Page 17
            Page 18
        Factors of population change
            Page 19
            Page 20
            Page 21
            Page 22
        Structure of the population
            Page 23
            Page 24
            Page 25
            Page 26
    Population distribution and migration
        Page 27
        Regional distribution of the population
            Page 27
        Areas of settlement in relation to physical factors
            Page 28
            Page 29
            Page 30
            Page 31
            Page 32
            Page 33
        The problem of the tse-tse fly
            Page 34
            Page 35
            Page 36
        Stabilization of the agricultural population
            Page 37
        Migration to centres of employment
            Page 38
            Page 39
            Page 40
            Page 41
            Page 42
    The economic basis for demographic development
        Page 43
        Subsistence agriculture
            Page 43
            Page 44
            Page 45
            Page 46
            Page 47
        The European plantations
            Page 48
            Page 49
            Page 50
        The development of mining
            Page 51
        The wage labour force
            Page 52
            Page 53
            Page 54
        General development plans
            Page 55
            Page 56
    Demographic prospects and problems of the future
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
    The European and Asian population
        Page 60
        Trends in numbers
            Page 60
            Page 61
            Page 62
        Demographic characteristics and geographical distribution
            Page 63
            Page 64
            Page 65
        Occupations and literacy
            Page 66
        Prospects for future immigration
            Page 67
            Page 68
    Appendix I - The problem of population statistics
        Page 69
        Population estimates under the German regime
            Page 70
        Censuses of the African population
            Page 71
            Page 72
            Page 73
            Page 74
        Reliability of the census figures as measures of intercensal changes in the African population by regions
            Page 75
            Page 76
        Reliability of the census figures on sex and age composition of the African population
            Page 77
            Page 78
            Page 79
            Page 80
            Page 81
            Page 82
            Page 83
        Vital statistics for Africans
            Page 84
            Page 85
            Page 86
        Population estimates based on hut and poll tax records
            Page 87
        Statistics of the non-African population
            Page 88
            Page 89
            Page 90
    Appendix II - The censuses of 1948
        Page 91
        The African census
            Page 92
            Page 93
        The housing census and the non-native census
            Page 94
        The censuses of 1948
            Page 95
            Page 96
    Appendix III - Special studies of demographic conditions in certain areas
        Page 97
        The Kahana Investigation
            Page 98
            Page 99
            Page 100
        Studies of numbers of children ever born
            Page 101
            Page 102
            Page 103
            Page 104
            Page 105
            Page 106
    Appendix IV - Tables
        Page 107
        Table 1 - African population, by provinces, 1913-1948
            Page 108
        Table 2 - Estimated African population, by provinces, 1943-1946
            Page 109
        Table 3A - African population of provinces, by sex and age groups, 1931
            Page 110
        Table 3B - Indices of age and sex, distribution of Africans, by provinces, 1931
            Page 111
        Table 4 - Types of land occupation, water supply, and population density, 1934
            Page 112
            Page 113
        Table 5 - Number and population of tribes, by size, 1921 and 1931
            Page 114
        Table 6 - Non-African population, by sex, 1913-1948
            Page 115
        Table 7 - Estimated European and Asian population, by sex, 1931-1948
            Page 116
        Table 8 - Non-African population, by provinces, 1931
            Page 117
        Table 9 - European and Asian population, by provinces, 1931 and 1948
            Page 118
        Table 10 - Non-African population, by sex and age, 1931 and 1948
            Page 119
            Page 120
        Table 11 - Occupations of the non-native population, ages 20-49, by sex, 1931
            Page 121
        Table 12 - Literacy of the non-native population, aged 10 and over, 1931
            Page 122
    Appendix V - Select bibliography, primarily Tanganyika
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
Full Text


ST/SOA/Series A:


No. 1 of this series is entitled,

"The Population of Western Samoa"

Sales No. 1948. XIII. 1


This is the second of a series of reports on the population of
Trust Territories. The first report in this series, The Population of
Western Samoa, was published. 17 January 1948. The purpose of these
reports is to summarize existing knowledge regarding characteristics
of the population, trends of population growth, and the relation of
population to economic resources in each of the Territories, for the
use of the United Nations and of the Administering Authorities in
stimulating the economic, social, and political advancement of the
peoples under the Trusteeship System.
These reports are prepared in accordance with a resolution adopted
by the Economic and Social Council in March 1947. The Council, acting
upon the recommendation of the Population Commission, proposed to the
Trusteeship Council the collection of data relating to the demographic
situation of the Trust Territories and requested the Secretary-General
meanwhile to proceed with studies of the population of these Territories
within the framework of existing data (Document Ei/437, 42 (IV).)
At the time of preparation of the present report only a very few
preliminary data on the African population, with somewhat more detail
on Europeans and Asiatics were available from the censuses of Tanganyika
taken in 1948. It is planned to issue a revised report when the detailed
1948 census data become available for analysis.
This report was prepared by Dr. Irene B. Taeuber of the Office of
Population Research, Princeton University.


I. Introduction . . 1

The physical environment ...... ..... 2
The historical background . . . 6
Ethnic groups * . .. 10

II. Movement and structure of the African population . 13

The pre-colonial and German periods *.... .. .. 14
Trends shown by the "censuses" ...... ....... 16
Factors of population change ... ..... . 19
Structure of the population ...... .... ... 23
Conclusions ... . . . . 26

III. Population distribution and migration . . . 27

Regional distribution of the population . . 27
Areas of settlement in relation to physical factors . 28
The problem of the tse-tse fly .. ... 34
Stabilization of the agricultural population . 37
Migration to centres of employment . .. .. 38
Summary . . . 42

IV. The economic basis for demographic development . . 43

Subsistence agriculture. .... .... .... 43
The European plantations .. .... ..... .. 48
The development of mining . ... ... 51
The wage labour force .... .. ... . 52
General development plans . . . 55

V. Demographic prospects and problems of the future . 57

VI. The European and Asian population .. . .. 60

Trends in numbers ... ... . 60
Demographic characteristics ...... ... 63
Geographical distribution ..... ... ...... 63
Occupations and literacy . . 66
Prospects for future immigration ........ .... 67


Figure 1. Physiographical map of Tanganyika Territory . .. 3

Figure 2. Average annual rainfall .. .... ....... 5

Figure 3. African population by provinces, 1913-1931 . 17

/Figure 4.



Figure 6.

Taxation for additional wives, 1931 . .

Density of African population by provinces, 1931 .

Population map of Tanganyika Territory

Figure 7. Tanganyika and adjacent areas, routes of labour
migration, 1944 .. . .

Figure 8. Per cent of land area in crops, 1931 .

Figure 9. Number of cattle per man subject to tax, 1931

Figure 10. Age distribution of non-native populations .


Appendix I The problem of population statistics . .

Population estimates under the German regime .
Censuses of the African population . .
Reliability of the census figures as measures
of intercensal changes in the African
population by regions . . .
Reliability of the census figures on sex and

age composition of the African population .
Vital statistics for Africans .

* .

* .

Population estimates based on hut and poll tax records .
Statistics of the non-African population . .

Appendix II The censuses of 1948 . . .

The African census . . . .
The housing census . . . .
The non-native census . . . .
The censuses of 1948 . . .

Appendix IIT Special studies of demographic conditions in
certain areas . . . .

The Kahana Investigation . . .
Studies of numbers of children ever born .. ...

Appendix IV Tables .. . . .

Table 1. African population, by provinces, 1913-1948 .

Table 2. Estimated African population, by provinces,
1943-1946 . . . . .

/Table 3.



. . .


















Table 3.A. African population of provinces, by sex and
age groups, 1931 . . . 110

Table 3.B. Indices of age and sex, distribution of
Africans, by provinces, 1931 . .. 11

Table 4. Types of land occupation, water supply, and
population density, 1934 . . 11-113

Table 5. Number and population of tribes, by size,
1921 and 1931 . . . l4

Table 6. Non-African population, by sex, 1913-1948 .. 115

Table 7. Estimated European and Asian population,
by sex, 1931-1948 . . 116

Table 8. Non-African population, by provinces, 1931 .. 17

Table 9. European and Asian population, by provinces,
1931 and 198 . . ... 8

Table 10. Non-African population, by sex and age,
1931-1948 . . . .. 119-120

Table 11. Occupations of the non-native population,
ages 20-49, by sex, 1931 . .. 121

Table 12. Literacy of the non-native population,
aged 10 and over, 1931 . . 122

Appendix V Select bibliography, primarily Tanganyika . 123


Tanganyika, a vast country located on the eastern coast of Africa
just south of the equator, is the largest and most populous of the
United Nations Trust Territories. It has an area of 343,000 square
miles, which is larger than that of France and the British Isles
combined, and a population of approximately 7,000,000. If the size
of the population is considered in relation to the whole area of
the Territory it appears to be sparsely settled, the average density
being 20 persons per square mile. This, however, is a misleading
figure because nearly two-thirds of the area is uninhabited, and
the population in the remaining one-third is concentrated in those
localities where conditions permit simple hand agriculture. The
present numbers and distribution of the people reflect the limitations
imposed by the physical environment under the traditional methods
of utilizing resources. The population changes now in process are
evidence of the opportunities offered by the utilization of a
different type of technology within the same environment.

The physical environment 1/

Three features of the environment have had a major bearing on
population development: the topography, the rainfall and water supply,
and the infestation of large parts of the Territory by the tse-tse fly,
which carries sleeping sickness. 2/

The topography of Tanganyika, like that of East Africa generally,
is diverse. The dominant feature is flat or gently undulating plains,
which vary in altitude from a few hundred to six thousand feet above
sea level. The plains are interrupted by steep and lofty escarpments
or narrow belts of high land which cross the country in a generally
north-south direction with vertical displacements sometimes attaining
2,000 feet. (See Figure 1,) In the north are volcanic craters and a
volcanic peak, Kilimanjaro, which rises over 19,000 feet. In the
South volcanic activities have built up a considerable area of
mountains. These irregularities not only reduce the area potentially

_/ This resume is based primarily on the Atlas of the Tanganyika Territory,
published by the Department of Lands and Mines in 1942, and on three
articles: Gillman, Clement. "Population Map of Tanganyika Territory".
The Geographical Review 26:353-375. July, 1936. Gillman, Clement.
"A Synopsis of the Geography of Tanganyika Territory". Tanganyika
Notes and Records (1):1-13. March, 1936. Teale, E. 0., and Harvey, E.
"A Physiographical Map of Tanganyika Territory". The Geographical
Review 23:402-413. 1933. See also: Beaver, Stanley H. and Stamp,
L. Dudley. Africa, A Regional Geography. New York. 1934. Fitzgerald,
Walter. Africa. A Social, Economic and Political Geography of Its
Major Regions. Third Revised Edition. London, 1940. Lord Hailey. An
African Survey. A Study of Problems Arising in Africa 3outh of the
Sahara. Oxford University Press, 1938. Light, Richard U. Focus on
Africa. American Geographical Society, Special Publication No. 25. New
York, 1944. Maurette, Fernand. Afrique e'uatoriale, orientale et
australe. Tome 12, Paris, 1938. Shantz, Homer L., and Marbut, C.F.
The Vegetation and Soils of Africa. American Geographical Society:
Research Series No. 13. New York, 1923. Shantz, Homer L. "Agricultural
Regions of Africa". A series of articles in Economic Geography, 1940-1943.
Worthington, E.B. Science in Africa. Oxford University Press, 1938.

2/ The possible influence of antricyde on the future population is noted
in Chapter V.

Amrihm Geom al Sebk* ,f Nw Yer

available for settlement but also form important barriers to population
movements and communications. A further dividing factor is the drainage
system, for Tanganyika is the divide of Africa. In the south and east
its rivers flow into Lake Nyasa and the Indian Ocean; in the north through
Lake Victoria and the Nile Valley to the Mediterranean; and in the west
through Lake Tanganyika to the Congo Basin. In the central part of the
Territory is a plateau which has no outlet either to the ocean or to
the great lakes.

Rainfall has limited the area of cultivation. The amount is inadequate
and the seasonal distribution irregular over a great part of the Territory.
Tanganyika forms a part of the semi-arid region of Africa. Only a few
sections have fairly well-distributed rainfall; these are the northern
and central portions of the coastal belt, the vicinity of Lake Victoria,
and the area to the north of Lake Nyasa. Elsewhere there is a single
rainy season from December to April, with more or less prolonged periods
of drought in the remainder of the year. Most of the Central Province
has drought for six months of the year. (See Figure 2.) Also important
in restricting the area of settlement is the absence, throughout much
of the Territory, of adequate supplies of domestic water to permit
permanent habitation, even where rainfall may be sufficient for raising
properly selected crops.

The distribution of the tse-tse fly is closely linked with that of
rainfall and water supply and with the physiographical factors limiting
human cettl : n! There is a considerable inter-dependence between the
density of the fly and that of the human population, for just as it is
difficult for man to survive in areas heavily infested by the fly, so
it is difficult for the fly to exist where man and his domestic animals
keep down the harbouring vegetation. Thus it is that all the well-
watered and a large portion of the fairly well-watered lands lie within
the tse-tse free belts. Elsewhere the presence of the fly, though
perhaps not the fundamental cause of the absence or sparsity of human
settlement, seriously hinders the establishment of new settlements.

Figure 2



(In Inches)
Under 40 .-
"- -

Over 60

MAY 1949
i { ,,. :. _.r ,.:., ,

MAY ]949

The historical background

Early migrations and contacts with outside peoples. Tanganyika
has a long history of migrations, racial admixtures, and contacts with
the cultures of other parts of the world. Traders from the literate
countries of Asia and the Mediterranean region first came into contact
with this region, sometime before the beginning of the Christian era.
There are only conjectural reconstructions of the prehistoric migrations
that lay behind this settlement. 1/ Tanganyika lay across the paths of
people coming down from the north and those moving along the coast from
eastern Africa and Asia Minor. These avenues of migration were channeled
together between the ocean and the interior lakes. Many migrant groups
probably passed through this area and on to other parts of the continent,
for the semi-arid character of most of the country encouraged continued
movement rather than permanent settlement. 2/

l/ The traditional reconstruction is that presented in the Report on
Tanganyika Territory Covering the Period from the Conclusion of the
Armistice to the End of 1920. Authority for it is cited to Dr.
Schulmann's Handwerk und Industrie in Ostafrika, to Hans Meyer's
Ostafrika (191) and to The Handbook of German East Africa prepared
on behalf of the Admiralty and War Office in 1916. This same account
is reproduced in summary form in the semi-official The Handbook of
Tanganyika, 1930. See also the section on "I'Afrique oriental, le
peuplement indigene", pp. 120-127, in Maurette, Fernand. Op. cit.

Cf. Report by His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Northern Ireland to the Trusteeship Council of the United
Nations on the Administration of Tanganyika for the Year 1947.
(London 194b). p. 5. This document will be referred to as Report...
to the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations on the Administration
of Tanganyika...1947.
(The corresponding report for the year 1948 was published too late to be
used in the preparation of this study. It is referred to in a few
places with the appropriate indication of date)

2/ The legends of many of the contemporary tribes indicate that migrations
and conflicts continued into the modern period. Perhaps two centuries
ago the Masai moved into Kenya and Tanganyika from the north, while the
Zulu moved up from south of the Zambesi. The struggle for hegemony
between Zulu and Masai was averted by the German occupation.


The various migrant groups doubtless had different origins and
characteristics, and those with similar backgrounds may have developed
local differences after settlement. The result was a considerable
diversity of language and culture in different parts of the area.
However, there was a broad similarity in the types of economic and
social structure throughout the Bantu-speaking regions of East Africa.
Except in certain areas where the tse-tse fly intervened, cattle culture
was a major feature. Cattle became the embodiment of wealth, the symbol
of social status, and an essential element in the maintenance of family
and tribal organization. 1/

Before the nineteenth century direct contacts between the Africans
of Tanganyika and the people of the outside world were limited almost
entirely to the coastal area. There many groups from Arabia, Persia,
and China in the early centuries of the Christian era, and later from
Portugal and Turkey established trading posts and struggled with one
another for political and commercial domination. Few of these early
traders penetrated far into the interior.

Systematic trade with the interior was developed during the first
half of the nineteenth century, after the Arabs of Muscat and Cman had
seized control of the East African coast from the Portuguese. In 1832
Said bin Sultan, ruler of Cman, moved his court to Zanzibar, whence he
planned a chain of trading stations reaching to the Congo and the Nile.
Although this plan failed, a slave-trade route was established between
Bagamoyo, Saadani, or Pangani on the Tanganyika coast and Tabora in
the interior.

1/ Herskovits, Melville J. "A Preliminary Consideration of the Culture
Areas of Africa." American Anthropologist 26(1):50-63. 1924. "The
Culture Areas of Africa." Africa 3(1):59-77. Jan. 1930; and, particularly,
the series of articles on "The Cattle Complex of East Africa". American
Anthropologist, various issues,1926. Baumann, Hermann, "The Division of
Work According to Sex in African Hoe Culture". Africa 1:289-319. 1928.

The German period. German scientific and geographical interest
in East Africa was important as early as the 1860's, but it was not
until the 1880's that German colonization began. In 1884 a "Society
for German Colonization" was founded for the purpose of acquiring land
for sale to settlers abroad. Representatives of this society concluded
agreements with tribal chieftains in Tanganyika and obtained an Imperial
Charter of Protection from the German government. German control was
limited at first to settlements in the interior, while the littoral
remained the possession of the Sultan of Zanzibar, but in 1890 Germany
purchased the coastal strip and in 1891 proclaimed East Africa a

The establishment of the Protectorate was followed by fifteen years
of internal struggles which culminated in the Maji-Maji revolt of 1905.
This revolt involved most of the tribes in the southeastern quarter of
the Territory. The Germans retaliated severely, seizing food supplies
and destroying villages. They estimated that 120,000 Africans died as
a result of the struggle. 1/

During the eight years after the suppression of this last great
rebellion, and before the outbreak of World War I, the Germans pushed
the production of raw materials and the construction of railways. Their
policy was, in general, economic utilization rather than effective
colonization. The number of Germans was small and their contact with
the Bantu limited. In most cases they continued the organization which
had been established by the Sultans of Zanzibar, in which the Territory
was divided for police and tax administration into districts of perhaps
a hundred villages each headed by akidas. Under the akidas, most of whom

1/ It is difficult to determine the source of this figure. The number
of people in the area prior to revolt was unknown. There was no technique
by which the number of natives killed during the revolt could have been
determined. Furthermore, the Germans made no count of the number of
people in the area after the revolt.

were Arab or Swahili, were the jumbas, or village headmen, who had the
responsibility of finding labourers for the Government and for European

The modern period. After World War I German East Africa was divided
into two parts. Tanganyika was placed under a League of Nations Mandate
to the United Kingdom while the populous western provinces of Ruanda and
Urundi were mandated to Belgium. This division was maintained after
World War II, when Tanganyika and Ruanda-Urundi were made United Nations
Trust Territories.

Under the British Mandate, as under the German administration, there
was relatively little direct contact between the Africans and the
Europeans, for the European population remained small. However, the
changes in governmental administration and the economic development
and social welfare programmes instituted in accordance with the terms of
the Mandate influenced the lives of all Africans.

The measures adopted or contemplated for the economic and social
advancement of the Africans were many. To protect their land rights and
to guard existing and potential future areas of settlement, restrictions
were imposed on the alienation of land. The restoration and extension
of European agriculture, the construction of transportation facilities
and public works, and the development of mining provided employment for
Africans, though often at long distances from their villages. Some
projects were undertaken for the rehabilitation and extension of non-
European agriculture. Various measures were adopted to raise levels of
living and to make fuller and more effective use of the potential labour
force. The medical and health services of the Government were extended
and partial control of the tse-tse fly was achieved. Minimum educational
facilities for Africans were being developed and a more adequate programme
was debated. Studies of the indigenous economy, nutrition and other
aspects of African life pointed the way toward far-reaching measures.
During the late 1930's comprehensive plans were drawn up for further
development of resources and the extension of health and welfare services.

Though the outbreak of the second World War delayed the implementation
of these programmes, studies and planning for future needs were continued
during the War years.-

Ethnic groups

None of the foreign powers that have dominated Tanganyika during the
last few centuries has sent any large number of colonists to the Territory.
The great bulk of the population continues to be of indigenous African
origin; there are only a small minority of Asians and a numerically almost
insignificant group of Europeans. Preliminary reports of the 1948 censuses
indicate 7,004,000 Africans, while the final report on the non-native
census indicates 59,512 Asians, and 16,045 Europeans.2/

The African population is made up of a large number of local groups
popularly known as tribes. These are basic units in indigenous social
organization. In the 1931 census, 131 such groups were identified, of
which 52 had less than 10,000 members and 2 had over 250,000 each.-
The tribes differ to varying degrees in language, customs, and historical
In 1931, 90 per cent of the Africans were members of Bantu-speaking
tribes, but the Bantu dialects differ from area to area in such a way
that few are mutually intelligible. Nilotic and Zulu languages are also

=/ Tanganyika Territory, Post-war Planning Committee. An Outline of
Post-war Development Proposals. Dar-es-Salaam. 1944. 59 pp.

2 Communication from the Counsellor, Colonial Affairs, United Kingdom
Delegation to the United Nations. The 16,045 Europeans include
approximately 5,000 temporary war refugees.

3 The method of identifying tribal groups was apparently somewhat
haphazard; no specific definition of a "tribe" for census purposes seems
to have been attempted. According to the Report...to the Trusteeship
Council of the United Nations on the Administration of Tanganyika...1947
5. 120 tribes can be distinguished.


found, and one tribe speaks a language of clicks and gutturals similar
to that of the Bushmen of the Kalahari. The standard language of trade
is Kiswahili, a modification of the original Bantu dialect of the coastal
areas and Zanzibar, in which have been incorporated over the centuries
many Arabic, Persian, Hindustani and Portuguese words.

The tribal organization has been modified by European influences,
especially in the coastal areas. Disorganization has resulted from the
rule of the Bantu through Arab or Kiswahili akidas. The present system
of indirect government was designed to maintain control and advance
welfare without destroying tribal unity, but not to prevent change.
Some groups, such as the Chagga of Kilimanjaro and the Haya of Bukoba,
are evaluating and changing their own tribal customs.-' The government
does not discourage the amalgamation of groups into larger units. These
various changes influence the rapidity with which European methods of
economic production, sanitation measures, education, and family patterns
are or may be adopted by the African people.

The Indians are the largest group in the Asian population.
Considerable numbers were brought in by the Germans as indentured
labourers to relieve the shortage occasioned by the intensive economic
development programme during the last years of their administration. The
British occasionally encouraged immigration from India as a source of
labour for commercial agriculture, mining, and Government projects. In
addition there are a number of Arabs and Goans and a few Chinese,
Sinhalese, Seychellois, Syrians, Comorians and Baluchis.

The European population consists of many nationalities, including
a small remnant of Germans. Though numerically almost insignificant,
,he European element has an importance far out of proportion to its
numbers, because of its dominant position in the political and economic
affairs of the Territory.

Because the non-African elements are so small, this report deals
pr-marily with the African population. Chapters II, III, and IV are

- Report...to the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations on the
Administration of Tanganyika...1947. p.34.


devoted to an analysis of the growth, structure, distribution, and
economic life of the African population. A brief analysis of the
non-Africans is presented in Chapter V.



The study of the demography of Tanganyika is severely handicapped
by the lack of reliable statistics. The size of the African population
is known only approximately, and the data do not provide a reliable
measure of its rate of growth during any specific period. The lack of
data is not the result of failure on the part of the Government to
appreciate the importance of demographic statistics; on the contrary,
attempts to obtain information have been made repeatedly, if not
continually, since the establishment of the German regime. The
difficulties of accomplishing this in a country like Tanganyika are
enormous. The people live mainly in small tribal groups dispersed over
a wide area with limited facilities for transportation and communications,
and divided from one another by distrust and linguistic diversity as
well as by physical barriers. Their culture is non-literate and
non-numerical, and they are prone to distrust enumerations and statistical
records as related to tax collection, labour service or other unwelcome
activities of the Government. In addition there are the usual obstacles
to statistical work in undeveloped areas: limited funds, rudimentary
administrative machinery and lack of trained supervisory staff. The
Territory has had no statistical department or census office; statistical
reports have had to be compiled by administrative officials in addition
to their other duties. The recent establishment of the East African
Statistical Office, providing common statistical services for Tanganyika,
Kenya, and Uganda, gives promise of reducing these difficulties.

Several attempts have been made to determine the size of the African
population. The Germans in 1913 compiled estimates based on tax assessments.!/
The first three "censuses" taken by the British administration in 1921, 1928
and 1931 seem to have consisted of counts for certain areas supplemented by
estimates for other areas to arrive at territorial totals. In 1948 another
census was carried out under the direction of the East African Statistical
Office. When this report was prepared only preliminary figures were

1/ The 1913 figures were not called a "census" by the Germans, although
they were referred to as such in the early British publications.


available, but there seems to have been for the first time a serious attempt
to enumerate and not merely estimate the African population of Tanganyika.

In addition, tax registers have been used as a source of population
estimates. The registers provide continuing records of the numbers of
adult males subject to hut and poll taxes in each district, which are
converted into estimates of the total African population by means of
assumptions regarding the average number of dependents per taxpayer. No
comprehensive vital statistics are available; registration of African
births and deaths was attempted in some areas during the 1920's but soon
abandoned. Several special demographic studies have been made but there
have been no studies of sample areas so chosen as to permit inferences
concerning the whole African population.

The weaknesses of the available data and the problems involved in
their interpretation are discussed in Appendix I. This chapter presents
the conclusions and surmises about the movement of the African population
which can be drawn from these figures and from the reports of students who
know the limitations of the data and are acquainted with the physical,
economic, and human milieu.

The pre-colonial and German periods

Both German and British officials assumed that de-population was
the characteristic trend in East Africa before the period of European
control, that it was accelerated by the first contacts between the Africans
and Europeans, and that it was arrested and later reversed by economic
developments and public health improvements. For example, the report of
the 1931 census contains this statement:
"Combinations of circumstances, i.e., the slave trade, tribal
wars and the prevalence of\harmful practices such as infanticide,
for long kept the density of the population of Africa lower than
that of other continents; and the first contact with European
civilization, bringing with it, as it did, economic disturbances
and new diseases, no doubt aggravated a tendency towards decline
in population, which in Tanganyika was strengthened by the war
of 1914-18. The fecundity of African women is well known, and
it is to be expected that as soon as the many and various factors
which have retarded the numerical growth of African peoples have
been removed or at least diminished in effect, then the increase
in population will be continuous. The increase in population


revealed by the 1931 census is a tribute to the efforts which
have been made in recent years to improve conditions of living
and to eradicate disease and customs destructive to life. In
addition to particular factors of this nature account must be
taken of the general rise in the standard of living brought
about by the development of communications and the increased
facilities for the cultivation of economic crops and for
employment for wages under good conditions."1l/

It is not possible to test the validity of this assumption so far
as the trend during the period before World War I is concerned. That
mortality must have been high is apparent both from the knowledge of
conditions that existed at the time of earliest contacts with more
advanced peoples and from the low density of population that characterized
this country millenia after the migrations from the north and east.
Tribal wars and slave trading presumably added to the effect of disease and
famine, though the amount of their influence on population growth is
conjectural. Whatever the general direction of the trend, it is probable
that its course was irregular, with increases in good years punctuated
by set-backs due to catastrophes. It is also safe to assume that the
trend varied in different parts of the Territory, for the population was
made up of mobile and conflicting tribal groups which differed in culture,
in the resources available for their support, and in their strength vis-a-vis
their neighbours.

The advent of the Germans must have intensified the problems of
survival, for the rebellions and punitive expeditions that culminated in
the liquidation of the Maji-Maji Revolt of 1905 devastated great areas.
Nevertheless, the German colonial officials believed that the population
in most areas increased during the period of their administration taken
as a whole, for much the same reasons given later by the British as
explanations for an increase during their time. The German colonial office
in its final report on East Africa listed as factors producing an increase
the control of disease, especially sleeping sickness and epidemic diseases
such as smallpox, the decrease in infanticide and ritualistic murder, the
end of tribal warfare, and the rise in the level of living.- However,

/ Census of the Native Population, 1931, pp. 2-3.
2/ Amtlicher Anzeiger fur Dcutsch Ostafrika, pp. 190-191. Oct. 12, 1912.


the Germans believed that in some areas population h~-id decreased because
of rising infant mortality and a low birth rate, resulting from an increase
in the incidence of venereal and other diseases, abortion, dietary
deficiencies, and the absence of men who were working as labourers at a
distance from their homes.

The opinions of the German officials had no firm statistical basis.
In 1913 the Germans made a systematic compilation of estimates based on
counts of huts for some areas, even cruder estimates for others. The
annual estimates published for earlier yearsduring the German administration
were stated to be less reliable.

Trends shown by the "censuses"

The African population reported by the Germans for 1913 was 4,063,000.1/
Eight years later the British "census" showed almost the same figure,
4,107,000. During the interval Tanganyika suffered, as a result of the
war, the dislocation of the tribal economies, the suspension of non-native
economic enterprise, and the cessation of missionary, educational and health
activities. There is no evidence that many Africans died as a direct
consequence of military operations, but movements of soldiers into Tanganyika
from the heavily infested areas of the Belgian Congo spread the tse-tse fly
into new regions. Influenza caused many deaths and famine was widespread.
-: is significant, if the figures are accurate, that under these conditions
the population remained nearly constant. This would suggest that appreciable
ir.creases may have occurred before 1913 and after 1921, when conditions
wtre more favourable.

/ The census figures for 1913, 1921, 1928, 1931 and 1948 are given by
Provinces in Appendix IV, Table 1. (See also Figure 3). The figure for
1513 is variously reported as 4,145,000 or 4,063,000. Since the probable
error in the "Census" figure is far greater than this discrepancy, the
figure of 4,063,000 reported in the Census of the Native Population, 1931
i. used here.

Figure 3










0 200 400
Based on Appendix IV, Table 1.




UN Presentation 1228



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For the period 1921 to 1931 the figures indicate a rapid increase, as
shown by the following summary:
Years Increase since Mean annual
between preceding census increase -
Year Total African population censuses (per cent) (per cent)-

1913 4,063,000
1921 4,107,000 10 1.7 7.1
1928 4,741,000 7 15.4 2.1
1931 5,023,000 3 5.9 1.9
1948 (preli-
minary) 7,004,000 17 39.4 2.0

For 1921-1928, 1928-1931 and 1931-1938 the annual rate of growth implied
by these figures seems high, though not impossibly so. If mortality were at
a level indicated by the Indian life table of 1931 and it can hardly have
been lower a growth of 2 per cent per year would imply, in the absence of
famine or epidemic, a death rate of 38 to 40 per 1,000 population and a
birth rate above 60. Population increases of the order of 2 per cent per
annum have recently been recorded in many under-developed areas of the world
where the impact of Western economic and medical technology has reduced the
incidence of mortality without lessening the high fertility inherited from
the pre-modern era. In many of these areas, however, the reliability of
the data is suspect, as in Tanganyika; and in these whcro Suoh a rapid
increase is a well-established fact, conditions of mortality are generally
nore favourable than they are believed to be in Tanganyika.

As shown in Appendix I, the "censuses" of Tanganyika up to that of 1931
bear many marks of unreliability. They cannot be trusted to give even a
good approximation to the total population. Fairly slight changes in the
completeness of successive censuses may result in important exaggerations
of the rate of increase deduced from a series of censuses. Ske;ticism as
to the reliability of the Tanganyika census figures as measures of the rate
of population growth is sharpened by the analysis of the figures for regions
represented in Appendix I.

1/ Geometric means computed from the formula:
1 + r /L 7 1
1/ ro n
where r is the rate of growth on a per-unit basis between the two given dates;
n is the number of years intervening; Pi is the population at the later date;
and P. is the population at the earlier date.

Population estimates are available for years between 1931 and 1940,
but it is not possible to draw from them any inference as to the pattern
of growth in recent years. The estimates are discussed in Appendix I.

Factors of population change

Information on fertility, mortality, and migration of Africans is
less satisfactory than data on total numbers. Statistics of births and
deaths are available for a few localities and years, but these scattered
figures are so defective as to be useless for measuring fertility and
mortality in the areas covered. Statistics on movements of Africans
between Tanganyika and adjacent territories are lacking. Under these
circumstances the analysis of the factors of population change must be
limited chiefly to inferences from the results of special studies bearing
more or less indirectly on fertility and mortality conditions, and from
the qualitative reports of informed observers.
Mortality conditions. There is abundant evidence of a high death
rate among the African population. The periodical reports of the health
authorities under both the German and the British administrations give
testimony of the difficult health conditions of the Territory. Among the
causes of poor health and excessive mortality which have been emphasized
are sleeping sickness, malaria, tuberculosis, schistosomiasis, hookworm,
leprosy, venereal diseases, smallpox, influenza, pneumonia, unsanitary
midwifery, mal-feeding of infants, dietary deficiencies, and famines.
During the early 1920's preoccupation with the possibility of population
decline due to an excess of deaths over births was apparent in the medical
reports. The Report of the Sanitation Branch for 1921 accepted population
decline as a fact and offered as primary explanations the excessive
mortality from disease accompanied by war, the influenza epidemic of
1918-1919, the famines of 1920, "appallingly high" infant mortality,
and the prevalence and spread of venereal diseases.

Concern over the possibility of depopulation led during the 1920's
to a number of special investigations of mortality, fertility, and related
conditions in selected localities. In general, these investigations failed
to give reliable measures of birth and death rates or of population growth
or decline, but they did bring to light much valuable information about the


conditions affecting the reproduction and survival of the African population.
Most notable was a comprehensive demonstration study in the Kahama District
of northwestern Tabora Province, conducted in the years 1927-1929, which is
discussed from a technical point of view in Appendix I. Although the vital
statistics collected under this project were too inaccurate for analytical
use, the investigation indicated clearly that mortality was high and health
poor. The people of the district derived a meager subsistence primarily
from the cultivation of the land. Their diet was deficient, partly because
of the inadequacy of agricultural production and partly because of the crude
level of the culinary art. Infectious and deficiency diseases were
widespread. The most prevalent ailments among patients attending hospital
clinics were yaws, syphilis, pulmonary diseases, and ankylostomiasis.
Smallpox occurred during the period of the study, but prophylactic measures
prevented an epidemic. Malaria and relapsing fever were frequently diagnosed
in children and parasites were found in the blood of adults debilitated
from other causes. Bilharzia infection was prevalent among the school
children. Hookworm infestation was common. Twenty per cent of all patients
in the Kahama Clinic showed filariasis.

Hospital and dispensary statistics confirm the evidence from other
sources that infectious and deficiency diseases are prevalent. In 1946,
for example, the records indicate the treatment of 117,000 cases of malaria,
59,000 of syphilis and gonorrhoea, 53,000 of yaws, 28,000 of ankylostomiasis,
,1/ of' ad 1,0 of' 1/
11,000 of schistosomiasis, and 13,000 of smallpox.- None of the sources of
information, however, is adequate to show whether the trend of mortality
is upward, downward, or stationary. The influence of the extension of
health activities may or may not be offset by the possible deterioration
of nutrition and diffusion of syphilis and tuberculosis.

The level of fertility. All attempts to record the numbers of births
occurring among the African population in various localities during
specified time intervals have led to the same disappointing failure which
has attended the attempts at death registration. A number of investigations

l7/ eport... to the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations on the
Administration of Tanganyika... 1947, p. 131.


of fertility have been attempted by asking local groups of African women to
state how many children they had borne and how many were living. Attempts
have also been made to draw inferences about fertility from the census
figures by age groups but, as shown in Appendix I, these are quite

Five special studies of numbers of children borne by groups of women
are discussed in Appendix III: a report on women at various health and
mission stations, published by the German administration in 1910; one on
the wives of 34 chiefs of the Chagga tribe and one on a group of women in
the Ufipa district, both published in the Annual Medical Report for 1921;
data from the Kahama Investigation of 1927-1929; and 4 report by
A. T. and G. M. Culwick on a sample of women in Ulanga, published in
1938-1939. In general these studies indicate fairly high average numbers
of children born but low proportions of children surviving. Except in the
German study, the average numbers of surviving children reported per woman
were clearly inadequate to replace the population. THowever, t'he result
are suspect in view of the possibility of serious un(de1ttatmesnt of the
numbers of children born. Retrospective reports by aging women on their
reproductive histories are probably subject to under-reporting, especially
in non-literate and non-numerical cultures. They are also subject to
bias because of selective mortality, which may render the group of women
surviving to the end of their childbearing period an unrepresentative
sample of all those who have borne children. Moreover, such data may be
much influenced by conditions which existed several decades earlier and
which are not typical of the circumstances affecting reproduction and survival
at the time of the survey. The data compiled by the Culwicks, for example,
show substantially smaller numbers of living offspring for women in tribes
that took part in the Maji-Maji Revolt three decades earlier, than for
women of other tribes. For all of these reasons the data from these surveys
cannot be accepted as adequate evidence that fertility was below the
replacement level during the interwar period, even in the particular areas

It is certain that fertility in the past must have been high enough
to enable the population to survive in spite of high mortality. Except


for the supposition, sometimes put forward, that the fecundity of African
women has been adversely affected by diseases spread by contact with the
Europeans, there seems to be no a priori reason for believing that the
birth rate has fallen in modern times. The social organization, marriage
customs, etc., which have been inherited from the past are conducive to
the maintenance of high fertility.

The information on marriage and childbirth customs collected in the
Kahama Investigation may be cited as an illustration of the cultural
factors which tend to maintain high fertility in Tanganyika. It was found
that marriage was contracted by girls soon after puberty, though the
husband was often many years older. The bridegroom paid a dowry to the
bride's father in the form of cattle, sheep, goats, agricultural implements,
clothing or money. There was also a form of probational marriage in which
a man took a wife but paid no dowry until she had borne a child. Children
were valuable, girls more so than boys. The value of a female child was
assessed at 3 head of cattle or 50 shillings. Certain customs tended to
limit fertility. Lactation was prolonged unti' he child reached the age
of 18 months to 2 years. Cohabitation of the mother with any man was
prohibited until the child could walk, though this rule was violated and
occasionally relaxed. Medicinal and magical contraceptives and methods
of abortion were presumably known to the witch doctors, but there was
little motivation for their use, for there were no financial penalties
against child-bearing, marriage was general and early, and children born
in the husband's absence were accepted on his return. In this social
setting the average number of children borne by women as reported at the
Uyogo Welfare Center 2.5 children as an average for women whose average
age was given as 39.8 years seems improbable.

International migration The extent of the movements of Africans
between Tanganyika and neighboring territories is difficult to determine.
The frontiers are long and the native moving through the bush is unobtrusive.
For the Africans, frontiers are irrelevant. It is known, however, that
there has been some immigration during recent years. In 1929-1930 people
fleeing from famine in Ruanda-Urundi inundated the western sections of
Tanganyika. There is continuing infiltration across the border from


Ruanda-Urundi, by workers seeking to take advantage of the higher wages
available in Tanganyika or to settle on its lands. The medical problems
involved in this migration have led to attempts at controlling it, for
the areas of origin are infested by the tse-tse fly, hookworm, ths "jigger"'
flea, and the spirillum tick which carries relapsing fever. During the
last decade there has also been an influx of Mawai from Mozambique. The
volume of the in-movement and its influence on population growth are not

Structure of the population

The census reports give the numbers of youth and adults, separately
by sex. From these, if valid, it would be possible to learn something of
the broad structure of the African population.

The balance of the sexes. According to the 1931 census the numbers
of boys and girls among youths were approximately equal,-/ but in the
adult population there was a marked deficit of men, amounting to 10 per
cent for the whole Territory. To the extent that it is real, this deficit
of males reflects conditions less favourable to the survival of males
than of females, since there is no evidence of any substantial net
migration of males out of the Territory, or net immigration of females.

Variations in the sex ratio amcng the province of Tangaryika aeem
to reflect primarily the status of the various areas as exporters or
importers of labour. (See Chapter III).

The deficit of men is doubtless one of the factors tending to perpetuate
the institution of polygamy. In traditional Bantu society there was no
place for the single women; polygamy was economically advantageous and
demographically feasible. Additional wives were economic assets, for women
and children performed agricultural labour.

1/ The figures for boys and girls refer to children who have not reached the
age of puberty (which is usually regarded as 14 years for boys and 12 years
for girls in ethnological literature). Since there is normally an excess of
males over females at birth, which results in a natural excess of males
throughout the ages of childhood in spite of higher mortality among males,
the near equality of the figures for boys and girls suggests an error in
the census figures. See Appendix I, pp. 78-85.


With the beginning of European economic development the supply of women
available for polygamous unions was increased by the movement of youths
away from the tribal areas to seek employment elsewhere.

In 1931 the tax returns indicated a surplus of 14 hut taxes paid
for each 100 men subject to tax.-/ This is a minimum estimate of the
extent of polygamy at that time. There is some indication that polygamy
was less common in more developed areas such as Dar es Salaam and Tanga.
(See Figure 4).

The age structure. In populations with high birth and death rates
there are many children, and the numbers at higher ages are relatively small.
This type of relationship between the numbers of youths and adults is
apparent even in the crude data of the 1931 census, which indicated 60 youths
(that is, children below the age of puberty) for each 100 adults.Z/

The high proportion of youths both reflects and perpetuates the low
level of living of a people striving for survival in a hostile environment.
A large part of their effort goes into the maintenance of numbers, for of
many babies born few survive the hazards of severe infant and childhood
mortality, and the productive life of those who reach adulthood is
relatively short. Escape from this heavy burden can occur only as
increased productivity, improved medical services, and diffused knowledge
cf hygiene and nutrition lessen the heavy mortality that now afflicts the
African people.

l' A special tabulation published in the Census of the Native Population,
L931, permitted the computation, for Tanganyika and each district, of the
number of additional hut taxes paid on account of plural wives.
2' The data and their limitations are discussed in Appendix I.


Figure 4





MAY 1949




The balance of the evidence, taking into account the census statistics,
the reports of the various departments and development committees, and the
special studies, indicates that the African population of Tanganyika has
probably been increasing during the period since World War I. The death
rate is evidently high, but the birth rate may on average be somewhat higher.
The rate of increase for the Territory as a whole, the regional differentials
of change within the Territory, and the trends of fertility, mortality, and
international migration are indeterminate.

To predict the future trend of the population is evidently impossible
on the basis of the information now available. Clearly, however, it will
be bound up closely with the progress of economic development, the
improvement of public health, and the extension of education. Experience
in other parts of the world indicates that substantial progress in these
fields is likely to bring about a sharp reduction of the death rate without
any immediate, great change in the birth rate, so that population increase wil'
be accelerated. In a situation of economic expansion and rising demand for
labour, the effect of these changes is likely to be a substantial aid to
the improvement of living conditions, as reduced mortality will increase
the numbers of children surviving to productive ages, lengthen the life of
those who reach adulthood, and reduce the onerous ratio of children to
adults. If economic development is retasrdd, population trends are likely
to complicate the problem of maintaining or improving the existing
relationship of production to subsistence needs.

These broad generalizations, based largely on the known facts of
demographic history in other areas, cannot be regarded as an adequate
substitute for fuller information about the movement and structure of the
population in Tanganyika itself. More extensive and more accurate
population statistics are essential if the measurement of demographic
characteristics and trends is to be made precise enough to assist in the
planning of school facilities, land reform, and industrial and commercial



Africa has been called the land of the migrant. For Tanganyika, at
least, that description is apt, for it appears that population flux has been
characteristic of this region since earliest times. The traditional Bantu
agriculture was semi-nomadic; the methods of cultivation wasted the soil so
that recurrent moves were necessary for the maintenance of life. The process
of continual redistribution within tribal areas was occasionally interrupted
by mass exodus, when migration became the only means of escape from death
by famine, disease or war.

The Europeans have doubtless contributed somewhat to the stability
of the population by maintaining peace, fighting epidemics, and fostering
agricultural reforms. However, the records of the District Offices and
the studies of the ethnologists offer abundant evidence that migrations
within and between tribal areas have continued to play a part in the life
of the African population. Meanwhile the development of European
agricultural, commercial, and mining enterprises has stimulated another
type of population movement, the migration of labourers from tribal
areas to centres of employment.

In spite of the mobility of the people, the general pattern of
population distribution does not appear to have changed fundamentally
during the last few decades. The present distribution is broadly similar
to that observed by the Germans in East Africa during the last decades of
the nineteenth century.-/ The migrations, so far as they were permanent,
have apparently been for the most part either interchanges between localities
in the same general region of the Territory or movements compensating
for the effects of wars, famines and outbreaks of disease on natural
population growth in different regions.

Regional distribution of the population

The 1931 census figures for provinces show a wide variation in the
density of population in the different regions of the Territory. (See

1/ Germany. Kolonialamt. Die deutschen Schutzgebiete ... 1912/13,
pp. 8-9.



Africa has been called the land of the migrant. For Tanganyika, at
least, that description is apt, for it appears that population flux has been
characteristic of this region since earliest times. The traditional Bantu
agriculture was semi-nomadic; the methods of cultivation wasted the soil so
that recurrent moves were necessary for the maintenance of life. The process
of continual redistribution within tribal areas was occasionally interrupted
by mass exodus, when migration became the only means of escape from death
by famine, disease or war.

The Europeans have doubtless contributed somewhat to the stability
of the population by maintaining peace, fighting epidemics, and fostering
agricultural reforms. However, the records of the District Offices and
the studies of the ethnologists offer abundant evidence that migrations
within and between tribal areas have continued to play a part in the life
of the African population. Meanwhile the development of European
agricultural, commercial, and mining enterprises has stimulated another
type of population movement, the migration of labourers from tribal
areas to centres of employment.

In spite of the mobility of the people, the general pattern of
population distribution does not appear to have changed fundamentally
during the last few decades. The present distribution is broadly similar
to that observed by the Germans in East Africa during the last decades of
the nineteenth century.-/ The migrations, so far as they were permanent,
have apparently been for the most part either interchanges between localities
in the same general region of the Territory or movements compensating
for the effects of wars, famines and outbreaks of disease on natural
population growth in different regions.

Regional distribution of the population

The 1931 census figures for provinces show a wide variation in the
density of population in the different regions of the Territory. (See

1/ Germany. Kolonialamt. Die deutschen Schutzgebiete ... 1912/13,
pp. 8-9.


Appendix IV, Table 1 and Figure 5). Five of the 46 districts had less than
5 persons per square mile of area, and fourteen had less than 10 per square
mile, while six districts had over 40 and two had over 100 per square mile.
Comparison of the figures from the successive censuses shows no evidence
of any trend toward equalization of the density of settlement in different
regions and little evidence of further concentration.

More detailed information about the distribution of the population
is presented in a report by Clement Gillman, based on data showing the
location of settlements in relation to physical and other factors,
collected in 1934 under the direction of the provincial commissioners.1-
Gillman's population map, which is reproduced here as Figure 6, showed
heavy concentrations in the vicinity of Lake Victoria, to the northwest
of Lake Nyasa, and along the coast, especially near the Kenya border.
Large expanses in the central highlands were almost empty. Even within the
same region, densely settled localities abutted wilderness.

Areas of settlement in relation to physical factors

In analysing the factors associated with the distribution of the
population, Gillman classified the land area of Tanganyika into nine
major categories on the basis of availability and type of water supply
and type of settlement. A summary of his data on area, population and
density of settlement for the various categories is presented in
Appendix IV, Table 4. His comment on the relation of settlement to
water supply makes a useful introduction to a discussion of the figures:
"...water, itself dependent on climate and rock structure, is of
paramount importance in a semi-arid, tectonically disturbed region
like East Africa. By water is meant, of course, a permanent supply
of domestic water more of less reliable throughout the year, without
which permanent settlement is unthinkable, even where, as in most of
Tanganyika Territory, rainfall is enough for the raising of suitably
chosen crops. Soil fertility and topography in itself, i.e., apart
from its relation to water supply, must be considered of secondary
importance." '

l/ Gillman, Clement. "Population Map of Tanganyika Territory",
The Geographical Review 26:353-375. July 1936.

/ Ibid, p. 354.


Figure 5













.. .. . .. . ..1
- - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - I - - - .-- - - -. -. --.-. -
------ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ i ----- --------------- --------------


0 5 10 15 20 25 30

Based on Appendix IV, Table 1.



. .. .. .. .. :. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .




' 193,4

,.,, .5-s''35. 35'
d4,.pd',.. .5,',
I 3. 3f~l~t'.57%5EJ 45'
* E.Th.,,.

I-' :0 /'3


f-l -3 N

'7;a 1> _____

I 3)
35OZESQ j[S1 3<
b, A. V;.. N.5.. .EAA ... ..d.,G.$A) Ss.,E ..Y

Gillman classified approximately 10 per cent of the area of Tanganyika
as "well-watered" and found 63 per cent of the African population living
there. Localities classified as "fairly well-watered" had about 8 per cent of
the area and 18 per cent of the people, while those which were "poorly
watered" or with "sporadic water supply" had 20 per cent of the area and 18
per cent of the people. The uninhabited parts of the Territory, described as
having "water mostly absent", accounted for 62 per cent of the area. The
"township" areas, most of which had artificial water supplies, constituted a
negligible part of the area and contained only 1.5 per cent of the population.

A description of the characteristics of each type of area identified
by Gillman is given below.

(a) The well-watered areas comprise three sub-groups: high rainfall
cultivation, alluvial plain and scarpfoot fan settlement, and cultivation
or semi-cultivation steppe areas.

The high rainfall cultivation areas are most numerous in the northeast,
west of Lake Victoria, and in the southwest near Lake Nyasa. They have
permanent and ample water supplies in the form of streams or springs.
There are permanent cultivation of such crops as bananas and coffee,
irrigation, stabling of cattle, manuring, and the beginnings of individual
land tenure. Population density is extraordinarily high for East Africa;
in 1934 nearly nine-tenths of the people were living in localities with
390 persons or more per square mile, and the area as a whole contained
cne-fifth of the total African population of the Territory. Here also
are European planters, who occupy a large part of the rain-forest area
of Tanga and Northern Province. In general, there is little relationship
between soil fertility and population density within the high-rainfall
areas, although all the soils of these areas have been enriched by a
forest cover. Topography is significant, for most of the steeper slopes
are unoccupied, but in Ulugure, parts of Kilimanjaro, and Meru, "pressure
of population ... drives the people in every-increasing numbers on almost
impossible slopes with sad results for forest conservation and water

J Ibid, pp. 358-359.


The alluvial plain and scarpfoot fan settlement areas, comprising
about one-third of the total in the well-watered category, also have
permanent water supplies, but they present serious handicaps to human
occupation. The few alluvial plains, such as those of the Rukwa, upper
Ruaha, Kilombero, lower Eufiji, and Ruvu Rivers, are inundated yearly.
The narrow strips of fan land along the foot of the scarps are limited in
size and separated by waterless ground. The scarp slopes along the shores
of the lakes are too steep for effective utilization. In spite of these
difficulties the average population density in these areas taken as a whole
is considerable, amounting to 44 per square mile in 1934.

The cultivation and semi-cultivation steppes are oases within sparsely
settled or uninhabited lands. They have adequate ground water at fairly
close intervals and sufficient though unreliable rainfall. These steppes
are located primarily in Central Ugogo, in the granite hills adjoining
lake Victoria just south of Mwanza, on the outskirts of the Tabora oasis
and in western Usandoui. They constitute nearly one-half of the total
"well watered" area and contain approximately one-third of the whole
population of the Territory. In 1934 population density on the cultivation
steppes averages 122, and in the semi-cultivation steppes 48 per square mile.
The resources of these areas are barely sufficient to allow "Bantu man to
keep those large herds of cattle and flocks of goats...that to him still are,
unfortunately, the only 'wealth' where with to buy his women."1/ The soils
iere are deteriorating rapidly. Exhaustion of the soil and water supplies
leads eventually to the abandonment of cultivation and encroachment of the
mush and the tse-tse fly. The result is a crucial population problem, for
only a small proportion of the unused land is structurally suited to this
type of cultivation.

(b) The fairly well-watered areas comprise two groups: the highland-
savanna and coastal hinterland settlements. The savanna extends through the
southwestern highlands in an almost continuous arc, reappearing again in
the far northwest as the eastern frontier of a similar type of land that
extends across Ruanda-Urundi. The climate is that of the subhumid-subarid
transition zone, the rainfall variable. From the scarp edges and
occasional islands of higher ground come streams or permanent streamlets

/ Ibid, p. 360.


that cross the surrounding savanna as "strangers" and, together with springs
at fairly wide intervals, form the basis of what settlement there is.
Variations in topography, soil and climate, together with the waves of Zulu
invasions and the rebellions of the early European period, have produced
an intricate pattern of population distribution. The average density is
low, amounting to 23 per square mile for the whole area according to
Gillman's figures for 1934, but settlement is spotty and variations in
density are pronounced. European settlement has been extended into this

The coastal-hinterland area is watered by "stranger" rivers and
by occasional springs, shallow ground water, and permanent swamps. It
follows the coast from the Kenya border in the north to the Rovuma River
in the south. The pattern of settlement is jig-saw, following the
sources of water. The great European sisal estates are located in this
area, their labour force being supplied partly by African households living
permanently on the estate lands. The average density of population here
is double that of the highland savanna area, amount to about 47 per square
mile in 1934.

(c) The areas designated as poorly watered are those of dry savanna
and thorn settlements, which have only sporadic supplies of ground water.
These areas are found throughout the uplands, perhaps the largest
concentration being in southeastern Tanganyika. The average density of
population in these areas was calculated as only 18 per square mile, and
even this figure may give an exaggerated impression of the degree of
concentration, since the areas of settlement are for the most part widely
scattered. The proportion of the whole dry savanna occupied by such
settlements has been greatly reduced by gathering the people into
concentrations where water supplies have been artificially increased by
the Administration as a measure against sleeping sickness.

(d) The areas classified as having "sporadic water" are occupied by
nomadic and semi-nomadic pastoral tribes, the main area of this type being
the Masai reserve in the north central part of the Territory. The water
supplies here are still less ample and dependable than those of the dry
savanna and thorn settlement areas. Dried-up wells and cultivation ridges


indicate that this region was formerly occupied by soil-cultivators. Soil
erosion and lowering of the ground-water table apparently forced them to
abandon the land to the nomads. Here is ...the end of man-created soil
deterioration and desiccation".1

(e) The uninhabited lands, which constitute nearly two-thirds of the
Territory, are found chiefly in large, continuous blocks in the central and
western parts of the country. There are two major causes of the absence of
habitation: the lack of permanent water supplies and the inundation of
large tracts during rainy periods. Rough estimates indicate that 80 to 90
per cent of the uninhabited lands are subject to these conditions, the
remainder being forest reserves, land alienated to non-Africans but not yet
under cultivation, permanent swamps, the upper reaches of the great
volcanoes, etc.

(f) The twelve township areas had a total African population of
only 70,000 in 1934. These communities exist by virtue of the location
of European enterprises and governmental activities. In recent years the
urban population has increased greatly with the extension of developmental
projects. In 1947 Dar-es-Salaam, the capital and principal town, had an
estimated total population of 60,000, as compared with 23,000 at the time
of the 1931 census.-2

The problem of the tse-tse fly

Physical factors alone are not sufficient to explain the pattern
of population distribution in Tanganyika. The influence of historical
development is evidenced by the existence of uninhabited or lightly
populated regions where physical resources are relatively adequate, but
where inter-tribal conflicts in the past or the ravages of disease have
been responsible for great reductions in the'numbers of inhabitants or
complete depopulation. Also important in this connection is the
geographical distribution of the tse-tse fly, which has made three-fourths

1/ Ibid., p. 370.
2/ Report...to the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations on the
Administration of Tanganyika...1947, p. 3.


of Tanganyika dangerous for human habitation.

The location of the fly-infested areas shows a distinct correlation,
not only with the distribution of human settlements, but also with other
factors limiting settlement. All the well-watered areas of the Territory
and a large proportion of the fairly well-watered areas lie within the
fly-free belts. In Gillman's opinion,
"...against an extending or stationary human population dense
enough to keep down the harboring vegetation the fly has no chance
of surviving. On the other hand, where human pressure relaxes and
a suitable secondary vegetation is allowed to capture or recapture
the land, the fly immediately follows in its wake. We must divorce
ourselves from the view, still widely held, that the fly drives man
away. It is man who recedes, generally having exhausted soil and
shallow underground water, and leaves the wasteland to tsetse.
"Somewhat more complicated is the case where man, with his
methods of shifting cultivation, becomes-a pioneer intruder into
the vast, dry-savanna forest, usually in numbers too small to keep
his temporary clearings efficiently open. In this case man is the
aggressor and the competitor of an insect apparently much better
adapted to a semi-arid environment and all its hardships and
difficulties in the way of food supply and propagation."I/
One of the principal measures taken by the Government to combat
the fly has been to move the dispersed population of heavily infested
areas into concentrated settlements where enough clearings could be
maintained to keep out the fly. These concentrations represent a step
toward the development of a settled agricultural population. The fly has
also been attacked directly by dividing the infested country with long
corridors and eradicating the pest block by block. By 1940 some 15,000
square miles had been cleared. Both the concentration of the population
and the clearing of the bushland are slow processes, which as yet have
affected only a relatively small proportion of the area and the people.

The limitation of the tse-tse fly to defined areas and the resettlement
of the population outside those areas was a laborious and a costly process.
It was expedient rather than solution, for while concentrated settlement
on cleared land saved people from sleeping sickness it limited agricultural
and pastoral utilization to the cleared areas. Mixed farming which would

1/ Gillman, op. cit., pp. 353-354.


permit more adequate nutrition for the people and the improvement of the
soil through manure fertilization was limited in the settled areas because
of the pressure of people on the land, and was barred from the bush areas
because of the trypanosomiasis diseases carried by the tse-tse fly to
cattle and other animals. This biological barrier to demographic expansion
and agricultural development was ineeed formidable, for extensive clearing
of the bush to eliminate the vegetation that harboured the fly would permit
the leaching of the soil, erosion, and the extension of the desert. To
the fly could be attributed much of the pre-war pessimism concerning the
future of Tanganyika, indeed of all Equatorial Africa.

The discovery of a vaccine for trypanosomiasis in animals was announced
by the Colonial Under-Secretary early in 1949.1/ The new drug, antrycide,
was perfected after four years of research by an Imperial Chemical Industry
team. Early experiments held out the hope that it might both prevent and
cure the several trypanosomiasis diseases in animals.Z/ The vaccine is
feasible for mass use, for it can be administered by a farmer without
outside help, it is non-toxic, and a single injection protects for four
to six months. Since mass production was started early in 1949, it is
hoped that antrycide will soon be available through the Governments of all
the African colonies.

The control of trypanosomiasis in animals would doubtless influence
the size, the distribution, and the levels of living of the African
population, even without the further discovery of a cure and preventative
for human trypanosomiasis. Discussion of the probable consequences would
be premature, however, for definitive field experience in the utilization
of antrycide is not yet available. Moreover, the technical improvements
that would be theoretically possible if trypanosomiasis were eliminated
as a disease of animals would proceed through the intermediation of Bantu
culture. And cattle are reputed to remain supra-economic to large segments
of the Bantu people. Prestige inheres in numbers of cattle rather than in
the efficient agricultural enterprise. If antrycide can be utilized as an

/ Calder, Ritchie. Antrycide. New Statesman and Nation 37(93):28.
Jan. 8, 1949.
2/ It is not yet claimed that antrycide will be effective for humans, but
therapeutic techniques already available lessen the human hazards.


integral part of the introduction and extension of a permanent mixed
agriculture which utilizes modern techniques of well-drilling and irrigation,
substantial agricultural advance may ensue. If antrycide merely enables the
Bantu to grow more cattle to graze over the eroding land, it may accelerate
the removal of the bush cover, multiply the interrelated problems of soil
erosion and desiccation, and hinder the fight for subsistence that is now
waged jointly by men and cattle. /

Stabilization of the agricultural population

In the fly-free areas also there is a tendency to restrict the
traditional practice of semi-nomadic agriculture and to stabilize
settlements. The growth of population, the deterioration of the land under
uncontrolled use, and planned settlements all contribute to stabilization,
although in differing ways. The problems of stabilized settlement are
especially evident on the cultivation steppes. Without an improvement of
agricultural methods, the restriction of movement leads to more serious
depletion of the soil, erosion, and eventually to abandonment of the land
and encroachment of the bush. As population density mounts the Africans
may find it necessary to bring lands previously deserted back into
cultivation before they have recovered.* The acreage required to support
the population grows while the productivity of the land contracts.
Expansion of the area of cultivation to compensate for lesser unit yields
is difficult, for the adverse ratio of children to adults of productive
age restricts the supply of labour available for cultivation.3 In some

/ See especially: Tanganyika Territory. Annual Reports of the
Provincial Commissioners for the Year 1946. Central Province.
By G.A.R.W. Ansdell. Dar-es-Salaam, Government Printer, 1947. 84 pp.
2/ Rounce, N.V.; King, J.G.M.; and Thornton, D. A Record of Investigation
and Observations on the Agriculture of the Cultivation Steppe of Sukuma
and Nyamwezi with Suggestions as to Lines of Progress. Dar-es-Salaam,
Government Printer, 1942. 73 pp.
/ Gillman, Clement, "Problems of Land Utilization in Tanganyika Territory",
The South African Geographical Journal 20:12-20 April, 1938. Also: Royal
African Society, Commission on Research, "Commission Set up to Study the
Deforestation and Erosion in Tropical Countries", Journal of the Royal
African Society, 41:223-239. 1942. Stebbing, K.P., "The Man-Made Desert
in Africa; Erosion and Drought", Journal of the Royal African Society,
Supplement 37(46):1-40. Jan., 1938.


areas the people affected by this shrinkage in their subsistence resources
cannot move because the neighboring areas are either fully occupied by
others or incapable of utilization by Bantu methods. In other cases, tribes
are expanding into adjacent areas which are uninhabited but less favourable
for cultivation.

The tendency toward diminishing mobility and increasing poverty due
to population growth and soil exhaustion in particular areas is -probably
as old as the Bantu system of hoe agriculture, though several factors may
have intensified it in recent years. European influence has probably
resulted in increased numbers of Africans. It has certainly stimulated the
wants of a large proportion of Africans. In former times the process of
population increase and soil depletion was doubtless interrupted periodically
by wars, famines, and wholesale outbreaks of disease which cut down the
population and made way for renewal of the cycle. Modern economic
developments, internal order, and public health activities have substantially
reduced the incidence of these causes of death that once provided the only
feasible means by which resources and population would be balanced. Only a
permanent agriculture with a stable population attached to a given area of
land, and an outlet for the movement of surplus youths either to new
agricultural developments or to non-agricultural employment, can provide
the basis for a permanent solution. One of the prerequisites to the
establishment of such an agricultural system is a substantial redistribution
of population in the Territory. Modern agricultural and engineering
techniques combined with public health and public sanitation make it possible
for Territorial plans to envision opening wide areas for new settlement,
increasing the possibilities for the absorption of considerable population
increase within agriculture, and making redistribution of the existing
population a feasible goal.

Migration to centres of employment

The development of European plantations, mines, -and industrial and
commercial establishments in Tanganyika has created an expanding market
for the employment of Africans as wage earners, which provides a source
of income for the population in the tribal areas. The European enterprises,
located principally in the towns along the coast and in the "high-rainfall
cultivation" and "coastal hinterland" areas of the eastern provinces, have


drawn a swelling stream of migrant labourers from the interior, including
some groups from the neighboring territories of Mozambique, Ruanda-Urundi,
Kenya, and Uganda. An attempt at mapping the sources and channels of this
migration as of 1944, as far as they are known is reproduced as Figure 7.
The magnitude which the movement has now attained is indicated by the fact
that in February 1947, nearly 300,000 adult male Africans were employed
as manual workers in non-native establishments: that is, roughly one out
of four men in the whole adult population However, its influence on the
distribution of the population has been minimized, and its potential value
as a means of relieving the pressure of population on denuded and over-crowded
lands in the interior has been largely lost, by the failure of most of the
migrants to take up permanent residence in the employment centres.

Although some family and locality groups have moved permanently into
areas where wage employment is available, the great majority of the wage
labour force consists of young, single men who come temporarily to these
areas and who return to their tribal homes after more or less brief
intervals of work. Most of them travel long distances, work for a few
months, and then return, repeating the journey several times over a period
of years. The typical migrant "gradually builds up a household for himself
on the modest native scale until, after a limited number of absences at
work, he is established in what are, for him, comfortable conditions; the
occasional sale of some livestock or crops provides him with the limited
amount of money which he requires and he is vir-sally an independent peasant

1/ See the discussion of trends in employment for wages, in Chapter IV,
pp. 50-53.
2/ Orde-Browne, Major G. St. J., op. cit., pp. 5-6. See also: United
Nations Trusteeship Council. Fifth Session. Item 7 of the Provisional
Agenda. Report of the United Nations Visiting Mission to East Africa
on Tanganyika. Observations of the United Kingdom Government. T/333,
12 May 1949. 50-52 pp.


Figure 7



32 36 40

32 36
_U P I oreSENTTIONn 1204

MAY 1949


This kind of migration produces a regional imbalance in the distribution
of the sexes which has important demographic and economic implications. If
it is assumed that the period of life when young men migrate for employment
extends from puberty to age 35 and that all wage labourers are migrants, it
appears that at the time to which the 1947 employment figures refer over
one-half of the young men were employed away from home. This result may not
be far from the fact, for although not all labourers are migrants, the
typical period of migration is doubtless briefer than from the age of puberty
to 35. The proportion of young men absent may be much greater in some areas,
for certain tribes send migrants in search of employment while others do not.

Some indication of the geographical variation in the sex ratio which
results from labour migration is perhaps given by the 1931 census figures
by provinces. The number of men per 100 women in the adult African
population, as shown by the census reports, was 120 in Tanga Province,
104 in Northern, and 101 in Eastern Province, These are provinces where
relatively many European enterprises are located. In inland lake, Western,
and Central Provinces the ratio was below 90; in Mahenge it was 80, and in
Iringa only 70.1/

The absence of young men from the tribal areas places a strain on the
traditional institutions of marriage and family organization. There is
some evidence that it tends to raise the average age of men at marriage, to
increase the proportion of single women, and to encourage the practice of
polygamy, which is to some extent traditional in Bantu society.-

Il As shown in Appendix I, the sex ratios shown by the census figures are
subject to considerable errors. However, the variations are perhaps not
in excess of those which might have been expected to result from labour
migration on the scale which it had attained by 1931.
2/ A study of census returns and hut and poll tax registers for groups
living in the Kilombaro Valley indicated that the depletion of men
through labour migration had resulted in an increase in the single and
in the proportion of women living in polygamous unions. The population
of 20,000 covered by this study, however, scarcely gives an adequate
basis for estimating the amount of the effect of labour migration on
marital status patterns in the Territory as a whole. Culwick, A.T.
"A Method of Studying Changes in Primitive Marriage", Journal of the
Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 65:185-195.


From the economic standpoint, the system of labour migration creates
important difficulties both for the people in the areas from which migration
takes place and for the employers. The problem of raising sufficient food
to support the population in the tribal areas is not simplified by the
absence of the young men; on the contrary, their departure adds to the
burdensome load of dependency per person in the productive age group. The
cash savings which the migrants bring back contribute little to direct
tribal subsistence; they are spent largely for taxes, clothing, and such
commodities as hoes, soap, beer, native medicine, jewelry, and ornaments.
As far as the employers are concerned, the system is inefficient, for the
productivity of the migrant workers is low and the high turnover permits
little cumulative development of skill.


The problems of population distribution and redistribution in Tanganyika
are paradoxical. The population is mobile to a degree that hinders the
development and maintenance of a stable economic and social structure.
Evidence of this fact appears in the difficulty of producing adequate
subsistence under the system of shifting habitation and cultivation that
prevails in large parts of the Territory. It appears also in the economic
inefficiency and demographic imbalance that result from large-scale,-
temporary migration for employment. But the continual flux of population
has produced, over the decades, relatively little change in the picture of
distribution of people in relation to resources utilizable by existing
techniques. Now, as in the German colonial period, roughly two-thirds of
the area of Tanganyika is uninhabited, and the development of commercial
agriculture and industry has done little to alleviate the difficulties of
excessive population in relation to developed resources in the areas of
habitation. The European economy of plantations and mines has grown up
beside the native economy of subsistence agriculture, and the two have been
but poorly integrated so far as their demographic bases are concerned. The
Government programmes which are described in the next chapter look toward
the stabilization and redistribution of the agricultural population and
development of a permanently settled wage labour force. These programmes
are, a beginning in the achievement of better balance between population and
resources, but as yet, the beginning is slight.



Tanganyika has the potentiality of an economic development that would
support a rising standard of living, even with rapid population growth,
for a considerable period. Scientific agriculture and engineering could
alleviate the difficulties of low rainfall and soil aridity which now
limit the area of cultivation, while the wide ranges of climate and soil
would permit diversification of agricultural production. There are rich
and varied mineral resources, as yet only partially explored and only
slightly exploited. The efficiency of the labour force could be raised
by improved organization of the labour market, by education, and by the
application of known principles of nutrition, modern medical science, and
sanitation. A thorough analysis of these possibilities is beyond the
scope of this study. However, a bried description of the existing state
of economic development and of the Government plans for future development
is presented here as a basis for an understanding of the demographic
situation and prospects.

Subsistence agriculture

The economic life of the Africans is still centered primarily in
the production of subsistence goods for direct consumption. The majority
of the people depend chiefly on land as a source not only of food but
also of clothing and shelter. Yet the acreage in crops in 1937
including the minority of lands in non-African holdings, amounted to only
6.3 million acres, or hardly more than an average of 1 acre per capitall /
As stated in the preceding chapter, the prevailing techniques of hoe
agriculture and primitive animal husbandry, with shifting cultivation,
exhaust the soil while providing only a meager and unreliable subsistence.
Diet is inadequate even in good seasons; disaster threatens when the
rains fail or are too abundant, when the insects become too numerous, and
when exhaustion of the soil proceeds too far.2/

1/ Report...to the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations on the
Administration of Tanganyika...1947, p. 247.
2/ The difficulties are well set forth by the late Major Orde-Browne in
his Labour Conditions in East Africa, London, H. M. Stationery Office,


Tanganyika has the potentiality of an economic development that would
support a rising standard of living, even with rapid population growth,
for a considerable period. Scientific agriculture and engineering could
alleviate the difficulties of low rainfall and soil aridity which now
limit the area of cultivation, while the wide ranges of climate and soil
would permit diversification of agricultural production. There are rich
and varied mineral resources, as yet only partially explored and only
slightly exploited. The efficiency of the labour force could be raised
by improved organization of the labour market, by education, and by the
application of known principles of nutrition, modern medical science, and
sanitation. A thorough analysis of these possibilities is beyond the
scope of this study. However, a bried description of the existing state
of economic development and of the Government plans for future development
is presented here as a basis for an understanding of the demographic
situation and prospects.

Subsistence agriculture

The economic life of the Africans is still centered primarily in
the production of subsistence goods for direct consumption. The majority
of the people depend chiefly on land as a source not only of food but
also of clothing and shelter. Yet the acreage in crops in 1937
including the minority of lands in non-African holdings, amounted to only
6.3 million acres, or hardly more than an average of 1 acre per capitall /
As stated in the preceding chapter, the prevailing techniques of hoe
agriculture and primitive animal husbandry, with shifting cultivation,
exhaust the soil while providing only a meager and unreliable subsistence.
Diet is inadequate even in good seasons; disaster threatens when the
rains fail or are too abundant, when the insects become too numerous, and
when exhaustion of the soil proceeds too far.2/

1/ Report...to the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations on the
Administration of Tanganyika...1947, p. 247.
2/ The difficulties are well set forth by the late Major Orde-Browne in
his Labour Conditions in East Africa, London, H. M. Stationery Office,

The limited production of the land in most areas of Tanganyika,
under the existing methods of utilization, is reflected by the official
estimates on land in crops in 1931. (See Figure 8.) In the arid regions
which make up the bulk of Tanganyika's area less than 1 per cent of the
total land was in crops. The proportion cultivated ranged from 5 to 10
per cent in the more densely settled Lake district. Only four districts
had a proportion above 10 percent: the well-watered districts of Rungwe,
Tanga, Singida, and Moshi, which are centres of commercial agriculture.-

The 1931 census distinguished tribes that are engaged only in the
cultivation of the soil and those which are engaged also in animal
husbandry. Analysis of these tabulations shows that two-fifths of the
Africans were members of tribes that lived entirely by the cultivation
of the soil, while three-fifths belonged to tribes that supplemented
such cultivation with the herding of cattle, sheep, or goats.- In
general the agricultural-pastoral tribes lived in the more favoured parts
of the country, and the purely soil-cultivating tribes occupied the areas
of greater aridity, encroaching bush, and tse-tse infestation.

In those areas where livestock are kept, the stock is generally
superabundant and poor in quality. Its potential value is supplementing
the diet and maintaining the soil is largely lost because of the excessive
numbers that are kept for the sake of prestige. Thus, instead of a
valuable agricultural asset cattle are to a large extent competitors with
their masters for the limited product of the soil. The 1931 figures for

1/ The density of population per square mile of crop land or per square
mile of crop and pasture land could be computed for most districts in
Tanganyika, but the utility of such ratios for the measurement of
levels of living in the Territory as a whole or of inter-area
differences is questionable. The statistics of both population and
land use are subject to large errors. Crop land differs greatly in
the intensity of utilization and in productivity, and there is no basis
for equating pasture and crop land. It should be noted, however, that
in many districts there are 1,200 to 1,800 people per square mile of
crop land.

2/ Two tribes, the Masai and the Tusi, were classified as pastoral ncmads,
but their combined population was only 57,000.

Figure 8





MAY 1949


the Territory as a whole show an average of 3.5 cattle, 1.5 sheep, and
2.2 goats per man subject to hut and poll tax. The figures for regions
illustrated in Figure 9 show high ratios of bovine to human population
throughout the relatively fly-free country which extends from Iringa to
the Kenya borders.-/

The late Major Orde-Browne has stated that the increase of both
human population and the number of livestock during the last few decades
has added to the difficulties of the man-land relationships in Tanganyika.
At the same time, contacts with the Europeans have altered the African
standard of living, creating new demands which can be satisfied only with
money. Thus there is a growing compulsion to produce commercial crops,
which places a further strain on the land. World War II stimulated the
export market and intensified the demand for cash crops. Among the
commercial products of the African farms are coffee, tobacco, cotton,
hides, and grains. The typical African household produces only a small
amount of such goods for the market, but together the Africans produce the
majority of the agricultural exports of the Territory.

The Government is not urrindful of the probleru creas where populaticn
increase and deterioration of the land are most seriously undermining the
means of subsistence for the African population. The report to the
Trusteeship Council for 1947 notes several areas where studies of these
problems have been made and where programmes have been initiated for
extending the area under cultivation, relocating the people on less crowded
and more productive lands, and introducing more efficient methods of land
use.-/ The most ambitious undertaking now in process is in the Sukumaland
region of Lake Province, an area reported to contain one-seventh of the

1/ There was a high correlation between the distribution of cattle,
portrayed in Figure 9, and that of sheep and goats.

2/ Official estimates for the decade 1921 to 1931 indicate that the
Africans produced over one-half of the total value of all exports
during those years, accounting for 95 per cent or more of the cotton,
hides, skins, and grains exported, 86 per cent of the tobacco, and
68 per cent of the coffee. Armitage-Smith, Sydney, Report...on a
Financial Mission to Tanganyika, 26th September 1932. London, 1932.

3/ Op. cit., pp. 80-81.


Figure 9




^ K Under 0.1
0.1 0.9
1.0- 1.9
2.0 4.9
5.0 9.9
10.0 or more
Data not available
Based on data in Tanganyika Teritory Blue Book, 1931, and
Cens of the Native Poapultion, 1931, Dar-es-Salem, 1932.


MAY I. r.
MAY 1_9

-- -- --- ----


Territory's African population, which exemplifies the cycle of increasing
population and livestock, erosion and exhaustion of the soil, inadequate
water, and encroaching bush with tse-tse infestation. The ameliorative
measures include opening new areas for cultivation by clearing the land
and providing water, controlled resettlement, and improved agricultural
techniques in both old and new areas.- Similar though less extensive
development schemes are in operation in parts of the Kondoa, Mpwapwa,
and Singida Districts of Central Province. In the Kilimanjaro and Meru
mountain regions of Northern Province, where excessive alienation has
created a severe shortage of land for Africans, a Government Commission
in 1946 recommended that some of the alienated lands be returned to
tribal use. In the Mbulu district of Northern Province, where the spread
of the tse-tse fly has greatly reduced the productive power of a mixed
agriculture, relocation of population is being facilitated. In the
Uluguru mountain areas of Eastern Province a survey of agriculture and
frXooaLtly is *hoing made as a basis for a rehabilitation programme and for
assisted resettlement on the neighboring plains.

The European plantations

Agriculture is the chief form of European enterprise in Tanganyika
and the main field of wage employment for Africans. The European
agricultural holdings are primarily plantations producing cash crops for
export, Their principal product is sisal, though pyrethrum, rubber,
cotton, coffee, tobacco, hides and grains are also important. The number
of Europeans settled on the plantations is relatively small; operations
are carried out chiefly by African wage labourers, with some assistance
from Indians and other imported groups.

1/ Rounce, N. V., King, J. G. M., and Thornton, D., A Record of
Investigations and Observations on the Agriculture of the Cultivation
Steppe of Sukuma and Nyamwezi, with Suggestions as to Lines of
Progress, Dar-es-Salaam, Government Printer, 1942.


A review of the historical development of the European plantation
economy shows an intermittent growth since the beginning of the German
regime.- The German authorities attempted to encourage European
settlement, with the result that by the end of their regime some. 1.9
millions of acres, or somewhat less than 1 per cent of the total, were
in non-African hands. Only one-fifth of these lands, however, had been
cultivated and less than one-tenth were in crops. Commercial agriculture
suffered a setback during World War I and at the beginning of the British
Mandatory regime, when the German holdings were liquidated, some being
restored to the Africans, some retained by the government, and'the
remainder sold at auction.

During the 1920's the plantation economy again expanded in response
to growing world demand for agricultural staples. The extension of
European cultivation was restricted, however, by legal limitations on
the alienation of African lands, providing that lands could be acquired
only under leaseholds of limited amount and duration, and only in areas
designated by the Government as suitable for non-African settlement.
Under these conditions 1.2 million acres were alienated during the period
from 1923 to 1938. In 1938 the total alienated land still amounted to
less than 1 per cent of the whole area, but almost 2-1/2 per cent of that
part of the Territory which was habitable for Africans.

The growth was temporarily halted during the early 1930's as a
result of the depression and the collapse of the international sisal market.
During this period there was an extensive return of wage labourers from
the plantations to the subsistence farms in the tribal areas. There was
also a considerable development of commercial production on African
holdings, encouraged by the Government in order to prevent a collapse of
the monetary economy. When the depression lifted, the expansion of the
plantation economy was resumed., In 1938 and later years, exports of sisal
were over 100,000 tons annually, as compared with an average of about

1/ Gillman, Clement, "White Colonization in East Africa with Special
References to Tanganyika Territory", The Geographical Review 32(4):
585-597, October, 1942; Leubuscher, Charlotte, Tanganyika Territory,
A Study of Economic Policy under Mandate, Oxford University Press
1944, Chapter IV; and the annual Blue Books, 1923-1938.


10,000 tons in 1920-1924. Exports of coffee and cotton increased seven-
fold from 1920-1924 to 1941-1942.1/

During the war, sisal and pyrethrum were in urgent demand. Neglected
rubber estates were again exploited. There was an increased demand for
food to supply the troops stationed in the Territory and severe food
deficiencies in some of the African areas. The rapid expansion of
European agricultural activities continued during the early postwar years.
The amount of this expansion is indicated by the estimates of numbers of
Africans employed as manual labourers in non-native agricultural
establishments in 1937 and in 1944-1946, which are summarized below.-
Essential Other
Total Sisal Rubber Foodstuffs Agriculture
1937 125,000 3/ 3/ 3/ 3/
1944 170,458 97,375 17,344 24,879 30,884
1945 187,221 102,478 21,235 23,364 40,144
1947 175,628 104,277 25,094 46,267

l/ The trade statistics quoted in this and later sections were taken from
various issues of the Blue Book, 1920-1938, the annual Trade Report,
1939-1944, and the Report...to the Trusteeship Council of the United
Nations on the Administration of Tanganyika...1947.
2/ The 1937 estimate is taken from: Report of the Committee Appointed
to Consider and Advise on Questions Relating to the Supply and Welfare
of Native Labour in the Tanganyika Territory, Dar-es-Salaam, 1938.
The figures for 1944, 1945, and 1947 are taken from the Report...to
the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations on the Administration of
Tanganyika...1947, p. 252. The 1937 estimate is evidently only a rough
approximation, whereas the 1944, 1945 and 1947 figures are derived from
surveys of employment in all commercial establishments at a given time.
It is not certain that the 1937 figures are directly comparable with
those for 1944, 1945, and 1947.
3/ Figures not available.


The mineral resources of Tanganyika have been only partially explored,
and their exploitation has hardly begun. Gold, diamonds, tin ore, salt,
and mica are being mined and a beginning has been or soon will be made
in the exploitation of graphite, kaolin, nickel, phosphates, platinum,
red ochre, and vermiculite deposits. Lead, coal, and iron ore exist, but
their industrial potentialities cannot yet be evaluated. According to
tentative estimates of the Geological Survey the quantity of coal is
1,132,000,000 tons. Iron ore in the Liganga deposits alone is estimated
at 1,200,000,000 tons of titaniferous magnetite. The known coal fields
are in remote parts of the Territory, but the Ruhuhu coal fields and the
Liganga iron ore deposits in the southwest are only 35 miles apart, and
some 150 miles west of the terminus of a proposed new railway.

Mineral exports have increased greatly in recent years, though
their value is still small by comparison with that of agricultural
exports. The quantity of gold exported rose from 249 troy ounces in
1922 to 93,000 ounces in 1937 and 229,000 ounces in 1941, but dropped
to 48,000 ounces by 1946. Diamonds first appeared in the export statistics
in 1932, when 1,400 carats were exported. In 1941, prior to the
discoveries of the war years, the amount exported reached 29,000 carats,
and by 1946 it had risen to 119,000 carats. The value of all mineral
production was estimated for 1947 at E1,222,037, as compared with
E27,162,300 of principal agricultural products for export or local

Mining is relatively less important as a field for employment of
African workers than as a source of exports. According to the 1947
employment survey, only 16,990 out of the total of 324,533 Africans
employed as manual workers in non-native establishments were engaged
ir mining.-

1/ Report...to the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations on the
Administration of Tanganyika...1947, pp. 247-248.
2/ Ibid., p. 252.


The wage labour force

A chronic shortage has existed in the wage labour market throughout
most of the years since the beginning of this century. Except during the
period of World War I and the depression years of the 1930's, the demand
for wage labour has consistently exceeded the supply offered at the
prevailing wages and under the prevailing working conditions. Meanwhile
the number of Africans employed for wages has increased greatly. Between
1937 and 1944 there was an increase of one-third from about 244,000 to
320,000, and the number employed continued at approximately the latter level
during the period 1945 to 1947.1/
The majority of the wage earners are employed in agricultural
establishments. The public services rank second as a field of employment,
while mining, manufacturing, timber production, and domestic and personal
service account for much smaller numbers of workers. A classification of
the 1947 figures by type of establishment appears below:

African manual workers employed in
non-African establishments, 1947

Number Per Cent
Total 324,533 100
Agriculture 175,628 54
Public services, incl. railways 60,037 19
Domestic and personal services 25,500 8
Mining 16,990 5
Trade, transport, and
manufacturing 13,265 4
Timber production 9,983 3
Other and unclassified 23,120 7

I/ These estimates and the ones quoted in the following paragraphs are
from the sources stated in footnote 2, p. 50. It should be noted
also that not all of the workers included in the figures for 1944
to 1947 were actually working at the time of the surveys. The number
working at the time of the 1947 survey, in February, was 75 per cent
of the total workers reported for all establishments except public,
domestic, and personal service, 92 per cent in public service, and
nearly 100 per cent in domestic service.


In every field of employment, the African workers make up the
majority of the total labour force. The small numbers of Europeans and
Asians employed are chiefly managerial, supervisory, and technical staffs.
The relative numbers of Africans and others employed in certain types of
establishments in 1947 are shown below.1/
Number of employees, 1947
Africans Europeans Asians
Sisal plantations 104,277 700 300
Tea plantations 8,619 25 25
Timber saw mills 3,166 20 235
Timber mangrove 3,095 3 1
Diamond mines 4,222 15 40

Recent changes in immigration laws and labour policies are designed to
assure the Africans a permanent claim to the great majority of the total
number of jobs.

Most of the Africans employed for wages are men. In 1947, 89 per cent
of the total were adult males, 3 per cent adult females, end 8 per cent
juveniles.-' These men working for wages are mostly migrants who come
to the centres of employment temporarily, returning after a few months
to their tribal homes. This system of employment largely destroys the
potential benefit of the development of wage-paying industries as a
means of relieving the poverty of the African population in the tribal

The available statistics do not provide a reliable basis for measuring
the productivity of the African labour force, for there is no estimate of
the total value of products of the employing enterprises, or of the
distribution of the product among the various population groups. It is
evident, however, that labour productivity is low, for the estimated value
of all exports in 1946 was only 8,880,398,3/ or about 45 per worker

1/ Report...to the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations on the
Administration of Tanganyika..1947, pp. 249-251.

SIbid., p. 252.

/ Ibid., p. 212.


employed in the two principal export industries, namely, agriculture and
mining, and in the latter, the value added by labour was a minor portion
of the total.
A major factor contributing to the low productivity of the African
labour force is the high rate of turnover which is inherent in the system
of migratory labour. This turnover strictly limits the possibilities for
developing a skilled labour force. Another important factor is the low
educational level of the Africans. There are no statistics showing how
many of the Africans are literate or how many have attended the various
types of schools. However, it may be noted that in 1947 enrollment in
the 1,200 recognized primary schools numbered only 115,000 (including
87,000 boys and 28,000 girls),-/ that is, perhaps 1 out of 8 boys and
1 out of 25 girls in the elementary school ages were attending such
schools.2/ In addition, there were (in 1946) 149,000 children attending
mission schools which did not meet the standards for recognition as
schools under the Education Ordinance. Thus, the total receiving
instruction of some sort at present may be approximately one-fifth of
the school-age population.-/ Among adults the proportion who have attended
any kind of school is probably much smaller.

Physical deficiencies due to disease and malnutrition also
undoubtedly have much to do with the lassitude and inefficiency of many
of the African workers. The progress of the public health, nutrition,
and education programmes should in time yield important benefits in
labour productivity as well as in social and political advancement.

1/ The data on education presented here were taken from the Report...to
the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations on the Administration
of Tanganyika... 947. pp. 151-172, 265-269.

2/ These proportions are calculated roughly by assuming that the
elementary school ages were from 5 to 14 years and that one-fourth
of the population was in that age range.

3/ In addition to the primary school enrollment there were 4,237
students in secondary schools in 1947, and 235 African students
attending vocational schools in agriculture, forestry, press,
railways, and veterinary departments.


General development plans

The Territorial Government has devoted considerable effort to the
formulation of long-range plans for the integrated development of African
and European agriculture, mining, and other industries, for improving the
conditions of African life, and for raising the productivity of labour.
In 1940 the Central Development Committee, presenting a report on pre wa
conditions and plans, faced frankly the limitations on productivity and
the exhaustion of agricultural resources.-- It advised an extension of
peasant agriculture, development of subsidiary industries, migration
away from less productive lands, and the development of individual land
tenure in the settled areas. These recommendations were made specific
by concrete development projects based on memoranda which had been
submitted by the various Districts and by interested groups in the
Territory. The war prevented this programme from being carried out in
accordance with the Committee's re rr~uirn- ions.

In 1947 the Development Commission submitted a ten-year plan for
development and welfare activities, covering the following fields:
Agriculture and animal husbandry, forestry, mining, communications,
railways and ports, public health, education and training, housing for
Africans, township development, water development, public works and
buildings.-/ The plan was approved by the Government of the United
Kingdom, subject to the provision of additional funds for education and
to the development of machinery for financial assistance to African
agricultural producers.

Another project which may have far-reaching effects on the economic
future of Tanganyika is the Groundnuts Plan, which was presented to
Parliament by the Minister of Food in February, 1947.3/ This proposal

1/ Tanganyika Territory, Central Development Committee, Report...
Dar-es-Salaam, 1940.
2/ Tanganyika Territory, Development Commission, A Ten-Year Development
and Welfare Plan for Tanganyika Territory. Report... Dar-es-
Salaam, 1946.
/ United Kingdom, Minister of Food, A Plan for the Mechanized Production
of Groundnuts in East and Central Africa (Command 7Q30), London, 1947.


calls for the application of modern mechanized techniques to the production
of groundnuts on 3.25 million acres of land now virtually unused in
Tanganyika, Kenya, and Northern Rhodesia. If the plan is successfully
carried out, 2.4 million acres will be cleared of bush, the quality of
the soil and ground water will be improved by a scientific system of
rotation of groundnuts and grass leys with regular applications of
fertilizer, and 24,000 Africans, including 5,600 skilled machine operators,
clerks, etc., will be settled as a regular labour force.- Training in
the operation of mechanical equipment in this and similar projects to be
developed later will increase the number of Africans in the ranks of semi-
skilled and skilled labour. Health, welfare, and educational activities
developed in connection with modern mechanized projects will contribute
directly to the economic advancement of the participating Africans and
may help to show what kinds of programmes are feasible for extension
throughout the regions of the Territory where native agriculture remains
the source of livelihood for the African people.

I/ The implementation of the plan has been seriously delayed, because of
difficulties in clearing the land, shortage of supplies and inadequate
port facilities. Only 25,000 of the anticipated 500,000 hectares are
expected to be planted in 1949.



The economic future of Tanganyika is closely bound up with the
future prosperity of the world as a whole, and especially of the industrial
countries which provide the market for its raw materials. A decade ago
the outlook in most studies of the economic and demographic situation of
the Territory was deeply pessimistic. Economists warned of the consequences
of erosion and soil exhaustion, while population students either decried
the rapid growth of a people without adequate means of
subsistence or bemoaned the depopulation which they believed was accompanying
the disintegration of the native cultures. Now, in a world where the products
of Tanganyika's plantations and mines are in brisk demand, the general
view is more optimistic. Given continued world prosperity, a solution for
the pressing problems of agricultural reform and population redistribution,
and adequate provisions for public health and education, this land of
potential famine may indeed become a land of opportunity.

To estimate the growth in population that might occur during any given
period in the future, even under specified conditions of economic and
social development, is extremely risky for a country where the available
statistics do not even show definitely whether the population is increasing
cr decreasing at present. Without doubt, however, a large potential
growth is inherent in the existing demographic situation, and economic
advancement linked with extensive social welfare activities would bring
about a substantial increase. Improved nutrition, more adequate health
facilities, and better opportunities for education, especially if
accompanied by stabilization of the labour force, would reduce the death
rate, particularly among infants and young children. Experience in other
relatively undeveloped countries indicates that these reforms would be
unlikely to reduce the birth rate; in fact, they might raise it. The
result would be an accelerating rate of population increase.

How high a rate of population increase might accompany the economic
transformation of Tanganyika is an indeterminate question. The recent
history of population trends in other areas where modern sanitation and
medical knowledge have been brought to bear upon high death rates suggests


that a growth of 2 per cent per annum, or even more, would not be impossible.
If there were no large areas of unused land and no alternative field of
employment outside subsistence agriculture, a race between increasing
agricultural productivity and growing population would ensue. In
Tanganyika, however, there are large undeveloped resources, and the
possibility of substantial expansion of nonagricultural employment. In a
condition of labour shortage, increasing numbers of workers constitute a
source of strength. Moreover, the rising ratio of adults to children which
can be expected as a result of reduced mortality rates will be a decided
advantage for obtaining a better balance between production and subsistence
needs. The problems of sheer numbers which exist in the teeming deltas of
Asia will not arise in Tanganyika within the calculable future.

The population problem of Tanganyika is not fundamentally one of
numbers, either now or in the foreseeable future. It is a problem of the
increase of productivity and the distribution of population in relation
to the distribution of economic resources and employment opportunities.
The solution of these problems is essential for the ultimate success of
the Government's efforts to improve the conditions of life among the
Africans. The problem of population redistribution is intimately connected
with problems of improving agricultural techniques, developing transportation
and communication facilities, opening the unused areas for human habitation
and cultivation, creating a permanent agriculture, and stabilizing both
the tribal settlements and the wage labour force.

Rural rehabilitation programmes in the tribal areas, undertaken alone,
may raise the levels of living temporarily, but they cannot permanently
avert the threat of malnutrition and famine. Such projects as that which
has been undertaken in the Sukuma-Nyamwezi cultivation steppe, if successful,
will tend to reduce the death rate, raise the rate of population growth, and
eventually to increase the density of population in relation to land
resources. If the final result is to be more than an extension of the
areas of poverty, a large proportion of the maturing youths in the areas
concerned must migrate to seek employment or land for settlement elsewhere.


The application of scientific, mechanized agricultural methods to
open up new areas and to increase the productivity of the land, as
envisaged in the Groundnuts Plan, offers the possibility of a more
permanent solution for the economic and demographic problems of the
Territory. This optimistic plan is at present only in the experimental
stage, but if it or other projects utilizing modern technology succeed,
they will add substantially to the usable land resources and at the same
time will create a stable labour force permanently settled near their
places of work. The result may show the way out of the dilemma of the
migratory system, which is inefficient for the employing enterprises,
which leads to the disintegration of native cultures, and which destroys
much of the potential economic benefit of expanding employment opportunities
for the Africans.

The implementation of a co-ordinated scheme of economic development
and population redistribution would be greatly facilitated y an adequate
system of population accounting. Reasonably accurate census data showing
the movement, and structure of the population in various parts of the
Territory, and a system of vital statistics providing information on the
levels and trends of birth and death rates, would provide a quantitative,
factual basis for policies which otherwise must be determined largely by
guesswork. The problems involved in meeting these basic statistical
needs are considered in Appendix I.



The Europeans and Asians in Tanganyika are few in numbers but they
include almost all the managerial, technical and professional workers in
the Territory. They have an indispensable part to play in the transformation
of the Bantu economy.

Trends in numbers

The Germans envisioned East Africa as a colonial area with a
substantial German population, but lack of communications, internal
disorders, and the inherent difficulties of agricultural settlement by
Europeans thwarted their plans. It was 1899 before the number of "whites"
reached 1,000,-/ and even in 1913, after the final pacification of the
country and nearly a decade of intensive economic development, there were
only 5,000 Europeans. The 1913 estimate showed nearly 9,000 Indians,
many of whom had been brought in as indentured labourers, and about
4,000 Arabs, some of whom were descendants of the groups that had held
suzerainty over the coast for centuries. There were also a few hundred
Goans who were in part survivors of the period of the Portuguese occupation.

Below is a comparison of the non-African population figures for 1913,
1921, 1931 and 1948:2/

1/ Annual data on the "white" population of German East Africa for the
period 1896-1913 are given in: Germany, Kolonialamt, Jahrcsberieht
uber die Entwickelung der Deutschen Schutzgebiete in Afrika und der
Sudsee in Jahre 1900/1901, Beilage zum Deutschen Kolonialblatt, 1902,
pp. 290-291, 377; and Die Deutschen Schutzgebiete in Afrika und der
Sudsee, 1912/1913, p. 9.

2/ Adapted from: Report on the Non-native Census...1931, p. 10, and
East African Statistical Bulletin, No. 3, Table A.2, March 1949. The
figures for 1913 include Ruanda-Urundi, but few non-Africans were in
those provinces while they were under German administration. In 1913
Baluchis and Asiatic Turks were included with Arabs, and "other" included
Somalis, who were not enumerated as non-natives in 1921 and 1931.



The Europeans and Asians in Tanganyika are few in numbers but they
include almost all the managerial, technical and professional workers in
the Territory. They have an indispensable part to play in the transformation
of the Bantu economy.

Trends in numbers

The Germans envisioned East Africa as a colonial area with a
substantial German population, but lack of communications, internal
disorders, and the inherent difficulties of agricultural settlement by
Europeans thwarted their plans. It was 1899 before the number of "whites"
reached 1,000,-/ and even in 1913, after the final pacification of the
country and nearly a decade of intensive economic development, there were
only 5,000 Europeans. The 1913 estimate showed nearly 9,000 Indians,
many of whom had been brought in as indentured labourers, and about
4,000 Arabs, some of whom were descendants of the groups that had held
suzerainty over the coast for centuries. There were also a few hundred
Goans who were in part survivors of the period of the Portuguese occupation.

Below is a comparison of the non-African population figures for 1913,
1921, 1931 and 1948:2/

1/ Annual data on the "white" population of German East Africa for the
period 1896-1913 are given in: Germany, Kolonialamt, Jahrcsberieht
uber die Entwickelung der Deutschen Schutzgebiete in Afrika und der
Sudsee in Jahre 1900/1901, Beilage zum Deutschen Kolonialblatt, 1902,
pp. 290-291, 377; and Die Deutschen Schutzgebiete in Afrika und der
Sudsee, 1912/1913, p. 9.

2/ Adapted from: Report on the Non-native Census...1931, p. 10, and
East African Statistical Bulletin, No. 3, Table A.2, March 1949. The
figures for 1913 include Ruanda-Urundi, but few non-Africans were in
those provinces while they were under German administration. In 1913
Baluchis and Asiatic Turks were included with Arabs, and "other" included
Somalis, who were not enumerated as non-natives in 1921 and 1931.


1913 1921 1931 1948

Total Non-Africans 20,777 17,438 41,020 70,160o

Europeans 5,336 2,447 8,228 10,648
Indians 8,784 9,411 23,422 44,248
Goans 656 798 1,722 2,006
Arabs 4,101 4,041 7,059 11,074
Other 1,900 741 589 2,184

*Exclusive of Poles residing in official camps, persons in transit,
and H.M. Forces.

The census of 1921 showed a 50 per cent decline from 1913 in the
European population with little change in the other non-African groups.
In 1921 the Germans had been repatriated and none had been allowed to
return. European agriculture and commerce had not yet recovered from the
effects of the East African campaign and the postwar depression. There
was renewed immigration with the economic development in the following
decade. By 1931 the total number of non-Africans reached 41,000, nearly
2,- times the 1921 total. The largest percentage increase was in the
European population, which trebled within the decade. The greatest
absolute increase, however, was that of 14,000 in the Indian population.
In the seventeen years between 1931 and 1948 the European population,
excluding refugees, increased less than one-third, the Asian population
over three-fourths.

Estimates of the numbers of Europeans and Asians for the year between
1931 and 1948 are presented below:'/

1/ Figures are taken from the Report on the Non-native Census...1931, p.10;
Report...to the Council of the League of Nations on the Administration of
Tanganyika Territory...1938, p. 167; Report...to the Trusteeship Council
of the United Nations on the Administration of Tanganyika...1947, p. 177 and
East African Economic and Statistical Bulletin, No. 3, Table a.2, Marcn 1949.
The "Reports...on the Administration of Tanganyika Territory" 1932-1934
repeated the 1931 figures. An earlier estimate for Europeans in 1944 was
only 6,000. (Annual Report on the Administration of the Police, 1945, p. 2).


Europeans Asians
1931 (census) 8,228 32,7921/
1938 9,345/ 33,784
1943 16,709/ 45,099
1944 16, l122/ 46,558
1945 14727 50,392
1946 12,156 59,036
1948 (census) 16,042/ 59,512

The estimates rest on uncertain foundations, and the 1938 figure
may not be consistent with the series for 1943-1946 on the census figure
for 1948.

Between 1931 and 1938 the estimates show an increase of 13.6 per cent
in the European and 3.0 per cent in the Asian population. For the years
1943 to 1946 the figures for Europeans are much larger than the prewar
numbers, reflecting the presence of a large number of refugees temporarily
staying in the Territory. The European population exclusive of refugees
was estimated at 7,500 in 1947,3/ but a representative of the Tanganyika
Administration at the Trusteeship Council stated that this figure was
probably too low.4/ The 1948 census indicated 10,648 Europeans exclusive
of refugees in camps, persons in transit and H.M. Forces. The repatriation
of a large proportion of the ex-enemy subjects formerly living in Tanganyika
reduced the European population below what it would otherwise have been.

The Asian population increased rapidly from 1938 to 1946. The Report
to the Trusteeship Council for 1947 indicated that after the war the flow
of immigrants to Tanganyika "has been accelerated by the demands of expanding
development and by the reinforcement of Government services and the
inauguration of the large Government Scheme". In 1947, "1,390 Europeans
and 1,252 Asians entered the Territory" according to official figures.5/

l/ The Report...to the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations on the
Administration of Tanganyika..,.147 gives the number of Asians in 1931
as 32,7C6.
2/ Including refugees (5,397 in 1948).
3/ Ibid., p. 5.
4/ United Nations, Trusteeship Council, Verbatim Record of the Twelfth
Meeting of the Third Session (T/P.V. b5) p. 17.
5/ Report...to the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations on the
Administration of Tanganyika...1947, p. 103.


None the less, the census of 194d revealed no significant increase from
1946 to 1948; 59,036 in 1946 to 59,512 in 1948. This would appear to
indicate that either the census enumerations, the post censal estimates, or
both lack a precise base in enumeration and/or migration reporting.
Current data on the natural increase of Asians are lacking.

Demographic characteristics

The age composition of the various non-African groups, as shown by the
1931 and the 1948 censuses was typical of communities that consist largely
of recent immigrants. There was a preponderance of young adults, especially
men. (See Figure 10). In 1931 the proportion of married persons was low.
These characteristics were especially pronounced in the case of Europeans.

Geographical distribution

The distribution of the non-African population within the Territory
reflects the specialized role which they play in the economy. Comparatively
large proportions of all the non-African groups live in the urban areas. In
1931 the townships of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanga, and Tabora had 32 percent of the
Europeans, 52 percent of the Indians, and 70 percent of the Goans. 1/ In
1948, 36,488 of Tanganyika's 70,160 non-Africans lived in the towns. The
proportion was lowest for the Arabs, who were less than one-fourth urban;
highest for the Goans, who were more than three-fourths urban. The proportion
resident in the townships was 30.8 for the Europeans, 63.7 for the Indians.
Over half of the non-African population resident in townships was in the
city of Dar-es-Salaam. 2/ Outside the townships the Europeans are found
primarily in the plantation areas of the coastal hinterland and southern
highlands, though to some extent they have moved into the inland provinces.
Many of the Arabs live along the old trade routes from the coast to the

1/ Report on the Non-native Census...1931, p. 11
2/ East African Economic and Statistical Bulletin, No. 3, Table A-6.
March 1949


The distribution of the Europeans and Asians by Provinces according
to the censuses of 1948 is shown below: 1/







1/ Ibid., No. 2, Table A-6, Dec. 1948.

Figure 10



1931 and 1948



10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

1931 931
1 48 1948 65+

** :*: 40-44

S....- 15-19
-. .10-14

E C.N.0-4
98765432 10123456789



8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 2 3 4 5 6 7

Based on data in Appendix IV, Table 10.


In 1948, over one-third of all the non-Africans in Tanganyika were
enumerated in Eastern Province. An additional thirty-seven per cent were
in Tanga, Lake, and Northern Provinces. The relatively undeveloped Central,
Southern, and Western Provinces had few non-Africans. The pattern of
distribution shown by the 1948 census was broadly similar to that of the
1931 census. It is difficult to assess the role of the temporary
dislocations of the war and early postwar periods in producing the changes
that occurred.

Occupations and literacy

As a group, the Europeans have the highest occupational status among
the non-African population elements. 1/ In 1931 two-thirds of all
European men aged 20 to 49 years were engaged in government, the professions,
or agriculture and mining. Those engaged in agriculture and mining were
mostly employers, managers, and executives. One-third of the European
women were gainfully occupied; of these, over half were in the professions.
Virtually all European men and women were literate in some language; most
of those literate in a language other than English could also speak English.

The occupational composition of the Indians differs markedly from that
of Europeans. In 1931, 39 per cent of all Indian men aged 20-49 were
engaged in trade, finance and insurance, 14 per cent in public administration
and defense, 5 per cent in personal service, and 10 per cent as clerks
and typists. Only 1 per cent were in agriculture, 3 per cent in transport
and communications, and 1 per cent in the professions. Only 4 per cent of
the women were gainfully employed.

In 1931 there were wide differences in the literacy of the Indians
and the Africans. In that year 90 per cent of the Indian men and 46 per
cent of the women between the ages of 20 and 49 were literate in some
language. Only 10 per cent of the men and 1 per cent of the women were able
to read and write English, but 31 per cent of the men and 2 per cent of the

l/ Unless otherwise specified, the source of the data used in this and
the following paragraphs is the Report on the Ion-native Census...
1931. The basic data are shown in Appendix IV.


women could speak it.

The Arabs engage predominantly in commercial occupations, although
some remain on the coconut and other plantiations of which they had a
monopoly before the coming of the Europeans. In 1931 almost half the
Arab males between the ages of 20 and 49 were engaged in commerce, 14
per cent in agriculture, 7 per cent in clerical activities, and 4 per cent
in personal service. Two per cent were engaged in public administration
and defense; 1 per cent in the professions. The Arabs are less literate
than either Europeans or Indians. In the age group 20-49, only 64 per cent
of the men and 20 per cent of the women were literate in any language,
1.5 per cent of the men and 0.2 per cent of the women being literate in
English. Three per cent of the men and 0.3 per cent of the women could
speak English.

The Goans, who numbered only 1,722 in 1931, occupy a distinctive
position in Tanganyika. Their occupations are generally clerical. In

1931, one-fourth of the men aged 20-49 were engaged in public administration
and defense, while another fourth served as clerks, typists, etc.

Prospects for future immigration

Heretofore the relatively small numbers of Europeans and Asians in
Tanganyika have been largely immigrants coming there to work for a few
years and returning at least for retirement to their home countries. It
seems likely that this will continue to be the case for some time in the
future though the small colonies of permanent settlers will doubtless
increase moderately by natural growth and by accretion of new families
from the flow of migrants.

The possibilities for future agricultural colonization by Europeans
are slight. Potential agricultural migrants with capital are limited in
number and many countries seek them. The possibilities for the future
migration of professional, technical, and managerial personnel are more
difficult to assess. The numbers of Europeans in these occupations may
increase above their present levels if there is rapid economic development,
but it is unlikely that specialized European groups will ever constitute
more than a small proportion of the total population. With increasing
productivity and better educational facilities, the African population


can be expected to supply a larger proportion of the needs for specialized

There are possibilities for a substantial migration from India in
the future if modern technology is applied to the problems of engineering
involved in the use of the waters of the great lakes and the rivers to
open up areas suitable for rice cultivation. However, the improvements
in nutrition, health, and education for Africans, and in the organization
of the wage labour market which would probably accompany such economic
developments, would be likely to obviate any need for mass importation of
workers from outside East Africa. There are legal restrictions on such
immigration if it is judged to be contrary to the welfare of the indigenous
African population.

Tanganyika will continue to have minority groups. Europeans will
be economically necessary for many decades; they may well form a permanent
minority that will remain even when Africans have advanced far enough to
meet their own needs for managerial, technical, and professional manpower.
It seems probable that an Asian minority will remain, for the data of
the 1931 census indicated that Indians and Arabs were establishing
families in the Territory, and that the fertility of the married women
was high. The population as a whole will remain predominantly African.





The need for comprehensive, accurate statistics on the size, structure,
distribution, and dynamics of the African population was recognized by
the Germans during the colonial period and has been repeatedly emphasized
in official reports and private research works since that time. The types
of data which are desirable for the planning and execution of economic and
social programmes include: (1) an accurate count of the population in
each locality, showing the distribution of the people in relation to specific
aspects of the physical and social environment; (2) periodic measures of
changes in the size and geographical distribution of the population;
(3) data on economic activities showing the allocation of manpower as
between subsistence agriculture, commercial agriculture, and the major
categories of paid employment; (5) measures of mortality by age groups and
by causes, indicating the extent and nature of health hazards and progress
in their control; (6) measures of fertility in relation to the factors
affecting it; and (7) data on marriage and family characteristics showing
the extent of polygamy and the influence of migratory labour on family

Even the first of these requirements has not yet been met in
Tanganyika; the first comprehensive attempt at enumeration was made only in
1948. The magnitude of the task involved in obtaining an accurate count
of the population in all parts of the Territory is evident in the statement
of geographical, cultural, and administrative difficulties presented in
Chapter II of the text. It will be made clearer in the account, in this
and the following Appendix, of the methods which have been used to
obtain demographic statistics, and of the results achieved.

Population estimates under the German regime

The historical records of East Africa prior to the establishment of
German rule are replete with estimates of the population in the various
areas, but a compilation of these figures would have little meaning, for
neither travellers along the coast nor explorers in the interior had any
adequate basis for estimating the numbers of people in the Territory as
a whole. The first numerical data on which population estimates could
be based were the records of the hut and poll tax system, which the


Germans introduced in areas subject to their effective control, and which
has been continued to the present. Under this system a hut or poll tax
is levied on each adult male and a record is kept of the taxpayers in
each locality.)- The Germans used these records, with assumptions as
to the ratio between the number of adult males and the total population,
to obtain annual population estimates for the various localities. Much
the same procedure is used in making postcensal estimates at the present
time. The reliability of results is discussed in a later section of
this Appendix.

The improvement of population estimates under the German administration
consisted in the gradual substitution of estimates based on hut and poll
tax records for those with no numerical basis. Unfortunately the reports
of the Kolonialamt did not specify the basis of estimates for various
localities, so that it was impossible to identify those which had a
numerical basis.

By 1913 the estimates were generally on a much stronger basis than
they had been at the beginning of the German colonial period. The
compilation of estimates for 1913 has often been referred to as a census.
Actually no attempt to enumerate the African population was made by
the Germans either then or at any other time during their administration.
Moreover, the report presenting the 1913 estimates indicated that hut
and poll tax records were still lacking or seriously deficient for many

Censuses of the African population

The 1921 census. The first attempt to count any significant
proportion of the African population in Tanganyika was made in 1921.
The report of the 1921 census of the African population -presents simple

_/ The details of the system have varied. The principal features of the
system have been as follows: A hut tax has to be paid for every dwelling
owned by an African. Where an African has more than one wife living
with him in a hut, a tax is levied in respect of each additional wife.
A poll tax has to be paid by every adult male not liable to hut tax.
An adult male was formerly defined as a male who appears to be over the
age of 16. Since 1934 this age limit has been 18 years.
2/ Report on the Native Census, 1921. Dar-es-Salaam, 1921.


tribes in each district, and the origin, number and distribution of the
principal tribes. These tables are stated to have been based on "census
returns submitted by the District Political Officers". Although it is
not specifically stated, it is apparent that few returns were based on
actual counts. For instance, groups from ten major tribes, together with
11,200 persons from smaller tribes, lived in the Mwanza District. The
total population was 702,300. For the District as a whole, and for each
sex within each constituent tribe, the number of youths was reported as
exactly equal to the number of adults. It is doubtful in many cases
whether the returns have even as good a basis as accurate hut and poll
tax records, for the tax records were probably no more complete in 1921
than in 1913. There are also indications of errors in compiling the
figures. For example, the population of the Ujiji District was reported
as 240,000 in 1913 and 139,500 in 1921. This improbable decline was
explained as follows: "The Germans in reckoning the population of that
district calculated on the basis of 5 women and children to 1 man,
whereas the correct figures work out at about 3 women and children to
1 man." Actually, the ratio of women and children to men yielded by
computations from the numbers of men, women, and children given in the
1921 census report for Ujiji is 1.8, not 3.

The analyses of sex ratios, ratios of children to adults, and
changes in population distribution from 1921 to 1931, presented in later
sections of this Appendix, substantiate this external evidence that the
1921 figures did not achieve the status of careful estimates.

The 1928 census. A simplified census covering numbers of people by
sex and by tribes wao taken in 1928, Summary figures frcm this census
were included in the 1931 census report, but no separate publication
has been found. African enumerators were to take the census on certain
fixed days, but this attempt at simultaneous enumeration was recognized
as a failure.


The 1931 census. The 1931 census data were published in more detail
than those of 1921 and 1928. The tabulations on numbers of youths and
adults by sex for major tribes, subdivisions of major tribes by district
of residence, and provinces are useful both for studying the demographic
structure and for evaluating the accuracy of returns. Generally speaking,
it appears that the 1931 results were superior to those of 1921 or 1928,
though a complete count was not achieved.

In order to minimize the difficulties of enumerating a migratory
population, the census was taken in the months preceding the harvest,
when the people would be most fixed. There were no special funds for the
census; all supervisory and labour costs had to be absorbed by the
regular administration. The enumeration was carried out by native
authorities with minimum educational and technical qualifications.
Information on the specific procedures of enumeration and details of
field organization are not available. The limitations of the quality of
results were admitted in the census report, which stated that "...the
census was taken through the Native Authorities. Their efficiency and
sense of responsibility are gradually increasing, and it is believed that
a large number of the returns submitted by the more advanced authorities
are accurate."

Test checks were made "by actual enumeration in selected and typical
villages and groups of villages". (By implication there was not "actual
enumeration" elsewhere.) The general results of two of these test
enumerations are reported in the census volume. One was the Biharamulo
District of Lake Province, where the census returns showed a decline of
9 per cent from 1928 to 1931. The test checks in the field and an
examination of the hut and poll tax registers indicated that the decrease
occurred in the Rusubi Chiefdom, and that the amount of the decrease was
consistent with an estimate of emigration deduced from the tax registers.
The District of Kbondo to the south and east, where the emigrants had
settled, showed a corresponding increase. In the Kitunda area of the
Tabora District, where the census figures indicated a 30 per cent decrease
from 1928, a test check was made in the Chiefdom of Uyui. The recheck
and the tax registers indicated that "the census in this district had
been so inefficiently taken as to make it worthless". Furthermore, it


was stated, "There is a considerable margin of error in the returns
throughout the Western Province". Apparently corrected figures were not
inserted in the census report in place of the figures indicated by the
tests to be in error.

An examination of the figures presented in the report seems to
indicate that they represent a combination of the results of enumerations
and estimates based on the hut and poll tax records. In many localities
the numbers of youths and women appear to have been estimated on the basis
of an assumed relationship to the numbers of men. In other areas the
numbers of boys and girls reported are so nearly equal as to suggest
that the figures for youths were divided by sex on the assumption of
an equal number of males and females.

In connection with the census, information was obtained from the
tax assessment rolls on the number of hut and poll taxes paid, the
number of persons otherwise liable for taxes who held exemption certificates,
and the number of taxes due on account of additional wives. This
information, published in the report of the 1931 census, permits a
rough analysis of the comparability of the census and tax data, although
it yields few clues as to which source is in error. Since virtually all
taxpayers are adult males, and normally each adult male either owns a
hut or pays a poll tax, the census authorities assumed that the number of
adult males enumerated in the census, (1,484,849) plus the number of
additional wives for whom taxes were paid (approximately one-eighth the
number of taxpayers) should equal the number of hut or poll tax as paid
plus the number of persons exempt from taxation. Since the former figure
1,670,456, differed insignificantly from the latter figure, 1,665,484,
they concluded that the hut and poll tax statistics corroborated the
accuracy of the census.

Actually census enumberations and tax records would differ even if
both were absolutely correct and accurate. Taxpayers include all males
paying taxes, plus that number of males paying taxes on huts inhabited
by persons other than their wives, plus women living independently who
pay taxes, plus non-residents who own huts and therefore pay taxes, plus
the exemption certificates issued, but excluding the exemptions granted
without the issue of certificates. Unless the number of unrecorded
exemptions is largo, the number of taxpayers should exceed the number of

males of the same ago. However, the hut or poll tax was in 1931 paid by
native males presumed to be age 16 or above, while the census figures
for adult males refer to those who have reached the age of puberty,
presumably ago 14-15. The close agreement between the two figures for
the whole Territory can be only coincidental. If comparisons are made
on a provincial basis, agreement is replaced by sharp divergencies,
varying from a deficiency of 11.7 per cent in the census figure as
compared with the tax figure in Central Province to an excess of 16.0
per cent in Iringa Province. The sum of the divergencies regardless of
sign was 6.0 per cent of the total population of the Territory. (See
Table 1 below.)

Reliability of the census figures as measures of
intercensal changes in the African population by regions

A comparison of the 1921 census figures for the African population
by regions with the 1913 estimates indicates a plausible pattern of
change. (See Appendix IV, Table 1.) .The explanation of the changes
given in the 1921 census reports is quoted below:

"While the native population of the Territory is almost exactly
the same as in 1913, a comparison of the totals for the various
districts shows that the populations of all the inland districts
except Dodoma, Kondoa-Irangi, Mahenge and Ujiji, have increased,
some of them very considerably, and that the populations of all
the coast districts have decreased (Lindi for example shows a
decrease of 38%). The decrease in the case of Dodoma and Kondoa-
Irangi is explained by the fact that in these districts great
numbers died during the famine in 1919... In the coastal areas
the ratio of children to adults is, approximately, 1:2 (in
Lindi 1:2.6) while in the other districts the ratio is
approximately 1:1.5. This explains the decrease. Venereal diseases
increased greatly during the war with a resultant fall in the
birth rate and increase in infant mortality. This had a greater
effect upon the tribes of the coast districts whose manners and
morals are more lax than those of the more primitive tribes of
the interior. Lindi was a large base for a long period during
the Campaign. The decrease in Mahenge is probably due to the
fact that very considerable military operations were conducted
in that district." -

These "facts" and the interpretation offered are subject to criticism,
but the pattern of changes is generally reasonably in the light of the
known history of the period 1913 to 1921. For the period 1921 to 1931,
on the other hand, the changes indicated by the census figures for

1/ Report on the Native Census, 1921, p. 1. The "facts" cited above err
in many particulars.


African Number of Number of adult Excess or deficiency Population per adult
Province Population adult males males subject to of census as com- male
1931 according to tax, according/ ared with tax figures According According
the census to tax records-' Number Percent to census to tax

Total 5,022,640 1,484,849 1,459,333 +25,516 + 1.7 3.4 3.4

Lake 1,246,073 365,990 354,177 +11,813 + 3.2 3.4 3.5
Western 842,228 268,748 271,821 3,073 1.1 3.1 3.1
Central 579,712 160,390 179,114 -18,724 11.7 3.6 3.2
Eastern 526,039 167,708 142,745 +24,963 + 14.9 3.1 3.7
Southern igh-
lands/, 491,911 118,483 99,510 + 18,973 + 16.0 4.2 4.9
Southern/ 427,627 132,883 140,462 7,579 5.7 3.2 3.0
Tanga 355,914 124,024 123,256 + 768 + 0.6 2.9 2.9
Northern 344,198 91,442 90,858 584 + 0.6 3.8 3.8
Mahenge 208,938 55,181 57,390 2,209 4.0 3.8 3.6

a/ Adult males subject to tax are assumed to be the number of hut and
of exemption certificates recorded, minus the number of additional
b/ Formerly Iringa Province.
c/ Formerly Lindi Province.

poll taxes paid, plus the number
taxes due on account of plural

Source: Census of the Native Population, 1931, Table III, p. 13, and Table V, pp. 14-15.

provinces are not consistent with the published descriptive information
on changes in economic and health conditions in the various areas.
Migrations on a large scale would have had to occur to produce the
recorded increases of 31 to 44 per cent in the Southern Highlands,
Southern, Tanga, and Northern Provinces. There is no evidence that
such movements occurred. The broad pattern of change is not altogether
improbable, for lesser gains are shown in Lake, Western, and Central
Provinces, the first of which was already densely settled for the
existing technical levels, while the other two were subject to
increasing tse-tse infestation. The unexplained variations in certain
districts, however, give reason for doubt as to the accuracy of the
increase shown by the 1921 and 1931 figures for the whole Territory.

Comparison of the provincial population figures from the censuses
of 1928 and 1931 shows a different pattern of change from that indicated
by the 1921 and 1931 figures. The changes indicated for districts by
the 1928-1931 comparison are erratic, with no apparent relationships
to the density of population or to the percentage of land in crops.
The pattern of change in the period 1931-48, as deduced from the
preliminary results of the 1948 census broadly resembled the pattern
of 1921-31, rather than that of 1928-31. The.increases in Eastern,
Southern Highlands and Northern Provinces are, however, far too high
to be plausible.

Reliability of the census figures on sex and
age composition of the African population

Data on the numbers of males and females by age groups are among
the most important demographic statistics to be obtained in a population
census. They are essential for analysing the relations between
population and the supply of labour, the problems of dependency, the
incidence of mortality, and the factors underlying changes in the total
population. Moreover, in the absence of vital statistics, adequate
census data on the population by sex and age groups can be used to
measure approximately the level and trends of mortality, fertility,
and population growth.

Information on ages, however, cannot readily be obtained through


census enumberation from people who do not know their ages. Such appears
to be the situation among the Bantu of Tanganyika, as among virtually
all the African peoples from the Sahara to the Cape of Good Hope.

The general procedure in African censuses has been to classify the
population of each sex into the two broad age classes of youths and
adults. Occasionally youths are divided into infants and other youths.
These classifications may have a recognized meaning to the Africans, but
their meaning cannot be stated precisely in terms of years of age. The
term infant refers not to children of a given chronological age but to
those not yet weaned or not yet walking. Youths are boys and girls who
have not undergone the ceremonies of puberty, and adults are men and
women beyond the age of puberty. In the Union of South Africa in 1936,
in Mozambique in 1940, and in parts of Nigeria in 1931, guesses as to
precise age in the Western style were recorded for the native peoples.

In Tanganyika, the censuses of Africans in both 1921 and 1931
included classifications of the population by sex and whether youth or
adult. The use of these data in demographic analysis necessitates
answers to two theoretically distinct but actually interrelated questions.
The first is the completeness of the enumberation and the accuracy of the
age classifications. The second is the potential uses and limitations
of indefinite age classifications.

The censuses of Tanganyika are part counts, part estimates. The
inaccuracy in age classifications obtained from counts is more easily
detected than in estimates, for the procedure of estimation may involve
assumptions as to the age structure. Numbers of children and women
are assumed to bear a definite relationship to numbers of men. A
consistent and sophisticated process of estimating could, without any
factual foundation, yield results that would appear highly plausible,
even under thorough analytical scrutiny.

The accuracy of the data may be tested to some extent by examining
the sex ratio among youths. The sex ratio at birth is biologically
determined. Moreover, the range of its variation between different
populations is small. The ratio between boys and girls at the

successive ages between birth and puberty alters according to the
age-selectivity of mortality, so that variation in the sex ratio of
youths should be greater than variation in the sex ratio at birth. Even
these variations should be relatively small as between the parts of the
Territory, for death rates are generally high and the physical and cultural
factors determining age-sex patterns relatively similar. Migration is
not a seriously disturbing factor, for Bantu boys tend to migrate after

It would be desirable as a first step to test the reliability of the
sex ratio among youths for the Territory of Tanganyika as a whole. This
is most difficult, for the sex ratio to be expected among youths at any
given level of mortality obviously depends on the age at which puberty
occurs among boys and girls. The general assumption in African studies
is that puberty may be taken as age 12 for girls, age 14 for boys. If
we adopt this assumption, plus the further one that the sex ratio at
birth is 105, the percentage of youths who are male in selected life
table populations varies only between 53.4 and 54.2. (See Table 2.)


Country Year Per Cent of / Male Youths per
Youths Male 100 Females a/

India 1901-1910 53.8 116
India 1921-1930 53.4 115
Korea, Natives 1926-1930 53.4 115
Egypt 1937 54.0 117
Union of South
Africa, Coloured 1936 54.1 118
U.S., Non-white 1939-1941 54.2 118

* Computed from official publications.

a/ Assumptions: Puberty age 12 for girls, age 14 for boys, sex ratio
birth 105.

The variation in the proportions of the sexes among these life table


populations is small, despite the wise range in conditions of living
between the India of 1901-1010 and the United States Non-whites of
1939-1941. Apparently a sex ratio among youths of 115 to 118 may be
taken as the expected value for a population of high mortality if
there is accurate enumeration and if the age at puberty is 12 for girls,
14 for boys. 1/

The sex ratio among African youths in Tanganyika, according to the
census figures, was 104 in 1921, 101 in 1931. These ratios taken alone
are sufficient to indicate serious difficulties. The estimation of the
age of puberty may be in error. Information as to the period of puberty
defined physiologically is sketchy and somewhat irrelevant, for adulthood
is actually defined on the basis of the occurrence of the puberty
ceremonials. 'Presumably these have a general chronological relationship
to physiological puberty, but a considerable period of time may elapse
between theoretical readiness for the rituals and their occurrence.
Insofar as this is true, determination of precise age limits for the

1/ An empirical test is possible through the age data of the native
censuses of the Union of South Africa, 1936, and Mozambique, 1940. In
the former, the sex ratio among youths is 111 (range 110-114); in the
latter, it is 114 (range 110-116). Since both the life tables and the
census age distributions used here for comparative purposes are
admittedly incomplete, the sex ratios of enumerated populations cannot
be assumed to differ markedly from those expected if sex ratios
at birth, age of puberty, and levels of mortality were similar to
those in the life tables utilized. It should be noted that at any
given age-sex pattern of mortality the sex ratio among youths would
differ somewhat according to the annual changes in the numbers of
births the survivors of which constituted the enumerated population.
Furthermore, irregular or exceptionally heavy mortality from specific
causes might produce appreciable deviations in sex ratios from
those expected in the stationary population determined from data
on "normal" mortality.


group defined as youth is impossible, for there are no such limits.'/

Since the proportion of the sexes among youths fluctuates within
fairly narrow limits, wide fluctuations in the proportions for sub-groups
of the population constitute strong evidence of faulty enumberation or
erroneous guessing. Such wide and irregular fluctuations occur in both
the 1921 and the 1931 censuses of Tanganyika. In 1921 the proportion of
youths that was male ranged from a minimum of 41 in Lindi to a maximum
of 65 in Tabora. In 1931 the range for tribes extended from 43 for the
Hehe to 54 for the Ngindo and the Rufiji. Computations for tribes
subdivided according to district of residence in 1931 yielded highly
improbable differences in proportions both for parts of tribes living in
adjacent districts and for the different tribal groups living in the same

The preceding analysis of the sex ratios among youths suggests that
the basis of age classification is inaccurate. Insofar as the difficulties
are due to variability in the age composition of the group defined as
youths, there would be corresponding variability in the age composition
of the group defined as adults. Computations of various age ratios from
the tabulations of the censuses of 1921 and 1931 do in fact reveal a
variability so great as to cast doubt on the validity of any use of the
data for descriptive or analytical purposes. (For ratios for 1931, see
Tables 3 and 4.)

1/ A somewhat similar problem exists where censuses utilized a
classification of infants as those not yet walking, for time of
walking may vary considerably from one individual to another.
The modal age of walking may differ from group to group, from
area to area.

2/ There are some indications of systematic biases in the 1931 census.
A low proportion of boys among the youths of the tribes with cattle
culture may indicate under-enumeration. The modal proportion male
in the various tribes and fragments of tribes centers around 50,
which is what would be expected if local estimates were made on the
assumption that numbers of boys and girls were equal.


Province Average number Districts classified by number of
of youths per youths per 1,000 women
1,000 women Total Under 500- 1000- 1500- 2000
500 999 1499 1999 and
Total 1,136 46aL 2 16 23 2 2
Lake 1,125 6 2 3 1 -
Western 844 8 2 3 3 -
Central 1,264 6 6 -
Eastern 1,152 5 2 3 -
Southern Highlands 1,190 4 2 1 1 -
Southern 983 6 4 2 -
Tanga 1,246 5/ 1 4 -
Northern 1,8734 1 2
Mahenge 1,225 2 1 1 -

a/ There were no major tribes in Arusha District of Northern Province.

Source: Census of the Native Population, 1931. Table III, p. 12 and
Table VI, pp. 16-23. Since data on age were available only for
Major tribes, District ratios were computed by adding age data
for all major tribes or fragments of such tribes present in the
Districts, not on the basis of total population.


Economic Number of Population Youths per 1,000 women
basis tribes in thousands Average a/ Range among
Total 36 3,567 1,199 446 2,612
Agricultural and
pastoral 20 2,198 1,312 446 2,612
Agricultural only 14 1,312 1,027 796 1,323
Pastoral only 2 57 791 665 867

a/ Average of tribal ratios weighted by number of women.

Source: Census of the Native Population, 1931. p. 8 and Table VI,
pp. 16-23. Tribes of 50,000 or more, plus six tribes of
special interest.


It would seem that such age classifications as infants (not yet
walking), youth (pre-puberty), and adults (post-puberty) lack the
precision and the stability essential to use in demographic research.
Even an accurate classification of the population by sex into the two
groups of youths and adults would have limited value. It would yield
somewhat more information about the total population than a classification
by sex alone, even if the dividing line continued to be determined by
puberty ceremonials. The value of that information should not be
exaggerated, however, for the numbers of youths and adults do not
represent those functional age groups that are significant in Territorial
administration and planning.

These data are inadequate also as a basis for conclusions
regarding the tendencies of population growth or decline. This is
evident from inspection of the ratios of youths to women in various
tribes, based on 1931 census data, which are shown in Tables 3 and 4.
It is possible that the relatively low ratios in Tabora, Kasulu, Kibondo,
Kahama, and Kigoma Districts of Western Province reflect the heavy
mortality of youths attendant on severe malnutrition, land exhaustion,
and tse-tse infestation. Likewise, it may be argued that the relatively
low ratios in Lindi Province reflect the disturbed familial and social
organization of an area of labour migration. These statements, however,
may be only rationalized explanations of fictitious data.

The report of the native census of 1931 noted the differences in the
proportions of youths among agricultural, agricultural and pastoral, and
pastoral tribes and assumed that they reflected differences in rates of
population increase. The proportion of youths was highest among the
agricultural and the pastoral tribes, intermediate among the tribes
dependent entirely on agriculture, least among the pastoral tribes.
However, the variability was so great within geographical subdivisions of
tribes and the range of ratios among tribes of a given type so extreme,
that the relationship between type of tribe and ratio of youths to adults
may have been coincidental.

Even if the basic data were accurate, no conclusions as to
population growth could be drawn from the age ratios alone without the


help of mortality data. If it is assumed that the ratios of girls to
womon as computed from the 1931 census data are correct (i.e., that the
ratio was 504 for agricultural tribes, 665 for agricultural and pastoral
tribes, and 566 for the total population of the Territory), then with
mortality at the level of the Indian life table of 1901-1910, the rates
of increase may be calculated at 20 per cent per generation for the total
population, 7 per cent for the agricultural tribes, and 41 per cent for
the agricultural and pastoral tribes. But if mortality were at the level
reached in the Korea of 1926-1930, the increase per generation would be
81 per cent for the total population, 61 per cent for the agricultural
tribes, and 113 per cent for the agricultural and pastoral tribes.

Vital statistics for Africans

Legal provisions for the registration of African births and deaths
are more abundant than the statistics derived from registration.l/
The German government made the notification of African deaths compulsory
in 1894,2/ but no attempt was made to enforce the order outside a few of
the coastal areas. The British authorities required that African births
and deaths which were reported to the proper officials should be
registered. Furthermore, in 1923 an ordinance was established encouraging
the local authorities to request the registration of deaths among the
African people resident within their areas of jurisdiction/ and in 1925
a similar measure was taken to encourage birth registration.-/

These regulations were issued despite the statement in the Report
to the League of Nations in 1922 that "No statistics relating to native
births and deaths are available as the application of compulsory

1/ The resume of-the legal basis for native registration relies heavily
on the work of the late Robert R. Kuczynski.
2/ Die Landes-Gesetzgebung des Deutsch-Ostafrikanischen Schutzgebietes,
pp. 273-276. (Police Order of March 6, 1894.
3/ Tanganyika Territory Ordinances, 1923, pp. 204-211. This ordinance was
replaced in 1926 by another with similar provisions.
4/ Ibid., 1925, Appendix, pp. 50-51.


registration would not be possible in the present state of tribal
development". In the Medical Department report for 1925, it was
announced that "notification of native births and deaths has been made
compulsory in certain districts which are sufficiently advanced for this
to be done. Statistics in respect to these districts will be available
in 1926."1/ The 1926 report noted that: "In a few districts the
registration of native births and deaths has been made compulsory, but
it is not possible to guarantee the accuracy of the statistics which
havo so far been obtained. There is no doubt that a large number of
births are not registered owing to the traditional native reluctance to
announce such events".2/

Summaries of the returns from certain areas where registration had
been established were included in the Medical Department reports beginning
in 1922. The 1922 report cited data from 8 districts taken "at random"
in the Tabora area. The proportion of infants born who died as children
ranged from a low of 45 per cent in one of the cattle areas to a high of
66 per cent in one of the agricultural areas. The death rate for 11
sub-districts in Tanga was reported as 15.4 per 1,000 population, the
birth rate as 11.1, the infant death rate as 134 per 1,000 live births.
An indication of the quality of the data is given by the fact that
death rates for the sub-districts of Tanga ranged from 6.7 to 20.9.

Skepticism as to the value of native registration data appeared in
the reports as early as 1923. The report for that year cited "corrected"
figures from the Medical Officer of Health in Tanga indicating an African
death rate of 15.6, a birth rate of 12.1, and an infant death rate of 91,
but added "these figures cannot be accepted as even approximately
correct... Until registration of births and deaths is compulsory and
reliable, no useful result can be obtained from an analysis of the returns
sent in by a few districts."-3 Data were presented again in 1924, when

1/ Tanganyika Territory, Medical Department, Annual Report, 1925, p. 93.
2/ Ibid., 1926, p. 15.
3/ Ibid., 1923, p. 101.


the death rate was 13.3 and the birth rate 11.2, this time with the
notation that "both births and deaths are certainly understated, but
the factors or errors are probably much the same during each year."-/
In 1928, a few more figures wore presented, with the following statement
by the Senior Offiter of Health: "No reliance whatever can be placed
on any of these figures as the returns omit largo and varying quantities
of both births and deaths. I believe that both birth rate and death
rate to be considerably in excess of those given by the...figures and
have found no corroborative evidence to suggest that the death rate is
above the birth rate."2/

By 1930 the Annual Reports of the Medical Department were presenting
no vital statistics for Africans other than the summaries in the
abstracts of the annual reports of the medical officers in the various
districts. By 1934 the wisdom of publishing even these notes was
questioned. It was reported that "The vital statistics of Dar es
Salaam Township do not justify quotation at length... The Asiatic and
African returns are at present of little value."-/ With reference to
Tanga it was said that "The Asiatic and African birth rates are too
unreliable to justify quotation."-/

Final disillusionment with locally compiled vital statistics led to
an emphasis on the census as a means of measuring population changes. The
Annual Report of the Director of Medical Services in 1936 notes that
"...in a young country such as Tanganyika, where extensive development
and changes are taking place at a relatively rapid rate it is most
important that we should know, not only what redistribution of
population is taking place, but also the natural increase of the
different tribes and races." A census in 1941 and a quinquennial one
thereafter was recommended. Later reports were concerned only with
health and sanitation statistics narrowly defined.

I/ Ibid., 1924, p. 178.
2 Ibid., 1928, p. 64.
3/ Ibid., 1934, p. 32.
4/ Ibid., 1934, p. 34.


Population estimates based on hut and poll tax records

In the absence of vital statistics for Africans, the records of the
hut and poll tax system have been the only source of information about
postcensal population changes. Two major difficulties have been met in
obtaining population estimates from this source: First, the
unreliability of the tax records; and second, the lack of sufficient
knowledge of the ratio between the number of taxpayers and the total

It has already been pointed out that the list of taxpayers is
incomplete as a list of adult men, for some escape registration, others
are exempt from payment. Changes in numbers of taxpayers may reflect
changes in population, or they may reflect changing fiscal legislation,
changing numbers of exemptions, or differences in the procedures
developed for allocating migrant men to specific areas.

Difficulties would remain even if legal procedures were stabilized
and all huts were counted. Since the tax registers are based on the
legal residence of the taxpayers, they are not entirely sensitive
indicators of population changes due to migration within the Territory.
The ratios of both youths and women to adult males differ markedly from
area to area and change from time to time as a result of variations in
fertility and mortality and of inter-district migration. Moreover,
for some areas these ratios have never been determined, even at the
census dates, because the numbers of youths and women in those areas
were not actually enumerated, but were only estimated from the numbers
of men by means of arbitrary assumptions as to the appropriate ratios
for the localities concerned.

The character of the estimates may be seen from an examination
of estimates made in the period after 1931, before the 1948 census
had been taken. The estimates are set out below, together with the
1931 and 1948 census results:/

1/ Estimates for 1932-1938 from Bluebook for the Year Ended 31st Jecember,
19... for 1932-38 (1932, p. 111; 1934, p. 121; 1936, p. 129; 1938,
p. 173). Estimates for 1943-1947 from Roport...to the Trusteeship
Council of the United Nations on the Administration of Tanganyika...
1948, pp. 214-21b. An isolated estimate of 5,192,000 for 1941 is
given in Atlas of Tanganyika Territory, opposite Map 9; this may not
be comparable with the figures for other years.


Year Population Year Population
1931 (census) 5,023,000 1943 5,356,000
1932 4,933,000 1944 5,437,000
1934 4,951,000 1945 5,481,000
1936 5,106,000 1946 5,581,000
1938 5,217,000 1947 5,838,000
1948 (census) 7,004,000

These estimates have been taken from different sources and it
would seem that those for 1932 to 1938 may have been obtained by
different methods from those for the later period. The series for
1943-47 is accompanied by the statement that the figures were calculated
by the "rule of thumb" method of multiplying the recorded number of
taxpayers by 3.5, a ratio reported to be derived from the 1931 census.
However, since the estimates presented give the numbers of men and
women separately and the proportion of men to women varies from year
to year and province to province, it is clear that other procedures
must have entered into the compilation of the estimates. In any event
it seems unlikely that the population actually followed the previous
trend of relatively rapid increase from 1932 to 1938, remained
relatively stable from 1938 to 1943, and then resumed the trend toward
increase for 1943 to 1947. The total population estimates for the year
1943 to 1947 are clearly incompatible with the 1948 census results. It
is possible that the explanation is to be found in inaccuracy of the
1931 census rather than in deficiencies of the method of estimation.
It may be noted, moreover, that the discrepancy between the 1947 estimate
and the 1948 census result is greater for individual provinces than for
the territory as a whole. In Lake Province for example, the population
enumerated at the census fell short of the 1947 estimate, while in
Southern Highlands Province the census figure exceeded the estimate
by more than 50 per cent.

Statistics of the non-African population

The periodic censuses and current registration of births and deaths
which are minimum essentials of modern population accounting have been
achieved in Tanganyika only for the European population, although
substantial progress has been made for Asians.


The Germans maintained a current inventory of the Europeans in East
Africa through the reports of officials. In 1913 they took a census of
non-Africans showing total numbers, geographical distribution, nationality,
sex, whether youth or adult, and occupation. They required the
registration of births and deaths in the European population beginning
in 1870, but the notification of births and deaths among the Non-African
coloured population was not made compulsory before 1913.-1, and no vital
statistics for this population group were published before the German
administration collapsed.

The British took censuses of the non-African population in 1921 and
1931. The 1921 census was a simple report comparable to the German
enumeration of 1913, In the 1931 census information was obtained on
race, marital status, place of birth, religion, age, education,
literacy, and knowledge of the English language.2/ Though its present
interest is largely historical, it gave reasonably precise information
on the numbers and the characteristics of the European and Asian
peoples in the middle of the interwar period.

As early as 1916 the British proclaimed the registration of European
births and deaths in their zone of occupation north of the Central
Railway. In 1920, an "Ordinance to make provision for the registration
of births and deaths" was issued by the governor of Tanganyika Territory-/
This applied only to the European population. An ordinance of 1922
made death registration compulsory for all non-Africans, but it was
never enforced.-/ The registration of births to non-Africans other
than Europeans remained optional.

1/ Amtlicher Anzeigor fUr Deutsch Ostafrika, pp. 190-191. Oct. 12, 1912.
2/ Report on the Non-Native Consus...1931
3/ Tanganyika Territory Ordinances, 1920, pp. 166-170.
4/ Report by His Brittanic Majosty's Government on the Mandated Territory
or TangaLyika, 1922, p. 8.


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