Tanzania is a low-income country, ranking 152 out of 186 countries in the 2013 UNDP Human Development Index. Forty-five percent of Tanzania’s GDP is derived from agriculture and 80 percent of the population depends on subsistence agriculture for their livelihood, making it the country’s largest employment sector. In the last decade, Tanzania’s GDP has grown more than six percent annually. However, the increase has not translated to improved living standards for most ordinary Tanzanians. While Tanzania is mainly food self-sufficient with some areas experiencing surplus there are still localized food deficits at regional, district, and household level.

Tanzania is among the African countries with the highest levels of malnutrition. Some 42 percent of children aged under five years of age are stunted, eight out of 10 children under one are anaemic, and about a third of children aged 6–59 months are Vitamin A deficient. Poor nutrition is also a serious problem among women of reproductive age, with more than half of pregnant women anaemic and one in 10 women undernourished.

Prevalence of HIV in Tanzania has decreased slightly in recent years. The 2012 Tanzania HIV/AIDS and Malaria Indicator Survey (THMIS) reports that 5.1 percent of Tanzanians age 15-49 are HIV-positive, and that HIV prevalence is higher among women (6.2 percent) than among men (3.8 percent).

As of 2013, the national average enrolment (NER) in primary schools was 89.7 percent. That of girls was 90.3 percent. General average enrolment (GER) exceeded 100 percent in 2011, dropped slightly in 2012, to 98.6 percent overall and 99.2 percent for girls (BEST 2012) and dropped further in 2013, to 96.2 percent overall and 97.2 percent for girls (BEST 2013). There was a slight decrease in enrolment (0.19 percent) from 8,247,172 pupils in 2012 to 8,231,913 pupils in 2013. Though changes are slight, both GER and NER are showing a downward trend.