Bringing Prosperity to Life


Ranked 109th of 149

At a glance


109 th on the Legatum
Prosperity Index™



In the Prosperity Sub-Index rankings, Tanzania performs best on Social Capital and Governance and scores lowest on the Health sub-index.

Visit our Rankings table to see how Tanzania compares to other countries.

Prosperity Gap

The ‘Prosperity Gap’ takes a country's GDP and uses it as the yardstick to measure a nation's expected Prosperity Index ranking.

Tanzania is a low-income over-deliverer of prosperity. It is in the bottom 30 globally in terms of wealth, but still has managed to maintain a small prosperity surplus in the last decade. However, since 2007 Tanzania has posted an 11 rank fall, dropping to 109th and slightly reducing its prosperity surplus.

In the chart above, each dot represents a country. The curve shows the general tendency with which prosperity increases as GDP per capita increases. If a country falls below the curve, then we can say that compared to all other countries, it is under-delivering prosperity for its citizens. Likewise, if a country rises above the curve, then we can say that it is over-delivering prosperity for its citizens. Learn more about the Prosperity Gap here.

Alternatively, have a look at the Prosperity Gap view on our Rankings table for a full list of countries and to see how each of them are performing on the various sub-indices.


Overall, the 2016 Prosperity Index has recorded a weaker performance for Tanzania, with an 11 rank decline over the last decade. Of all the sub-indices, the Economic Quality and Business Environment are the ones most limiting a bigger prosperity delivery. In these sectors the country has posted a 22 and 20 rank decline, respectively, in stark contrast to the 31 rank improvement in the Social Capital sub-index.

Specifically, the vulnerability of the economy derives by its dependency on agriculture and mineral deposits, coal, and natural gas. The country should look for ways to diversify its revenues, for example by relying on its vast environmental resources –from the Kilimanjaro to the coasts of Zanzibar, which make the tourism industry a potential driver of growth. Additionally, recent policy initiatives such as the 2016 Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT), which aims at achieving growth and helping smallholder agriculture, are a sign of the country’s efforts to forge new paths to prosperity. The same is true for the use of drones to enhance geographic mapping, addressing land issues but also protecting the environment, as well as the population, against floods. At present, though, the percentage of Tanzanians struggling with their income remains high, as shown by the decline in both satisfaction with living standards (from 45% in 2007, to a mere 27% in 2016) and the share of those living comfortably on their income (from 7% to 3%).

Tanzania has the 8th lowest percentage of the population living comfortably with their current income in the world.
Tanzania has the 8th lowest percentage of the population living comfortably with their current income in the world.

When it comes to the Personal Freedom sub-index, the Index shows a weak performance. In particular, the failure to address social religious restrictions, where Tanzania has the 2nd lowest score among its African peers, limits its potential for prosperity. Likewise, the Index shows a rather negative picture for the Education and Health sub-indices –the latter one being the worst sub-index for Tanzania in 2016. Like many countries in the region, sanitation facilities and quality of healthcare are still under-developed, on the one hand, and secondary and tertiary education remains left behind, on the other.

However, Tanzania retains relatively good performances in other sub-indices: above all, the Social Capital sub-index has witnessed a notable improvement since 2007, especially in donations and help towards others. Here the country’s performance nears the world average and exceeds that of Sub-Saharan Africa.

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How to read this graph:
When comparing multiple countries on a spider chart, data points that appear
further away from the center represent a better performance to the points that are closer to the center.