Dar es Salaam is at the epicenter of a perfect storm of demographic change: A cosmopolitan city in a population-rich country amid unprecedented regional urbanization.
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Although huge, this staggering growth is not a complete surprise. We have previously covered about sub-Saharan Africa’s other mushrooming cities. Tanzania is already one of Africa’s most populated nations. By 2020, according to the U.N., Africa will become the most rapidly urbanizing region of the world.
But recent years have brought unimaginable growth and change to Dar es Salaam. In terms of annual population growth, it is Africa’s fastest growing urban center. Its total population—currently about 6.5 million people—is expected to expand by more than 85 percent through 2025, according to the African Development Bank, and could reach 22 million people by 2050. It’s likely to achieve ‘megacity’ status of s 10 million residents or more—by the early 2030s.
To put that expansion in context: New York City added about 4 million residents over the past 100 years. Dar es Salaam will add 21 million over a similar period.
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