The components of urban population growth in Mbeya Municipal in Mbeya region Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
The study on the Components of Urban Population Growth in Mbeya Municipal, aimed at examining the contributions of natural increase, migration and reclassification to the growth of the town between 1967 and 1989. It was prompted by the need to examine the main causes of rapid urban growth in Mbeya and Tanzania in general. The research interviewed 313 households of which 1331 respondents were obtained. The main instrument used in data collection was a closed ended questionnaire. An in depth study, using open ended questions, was also made to 112 households and examined tenancy, supply of piped water and electricity. More information for the study was obtained from the urban administrators in Mbeya. Using the place of birth and the place of residence data the study has revealed that of the three components, migration, is the main source of rapid population growth in Mbeya town. The overall contribution of migration to the growth of the town between 1967 to 1989 has been estimated as about 46 percent. Natural increase and reclassification contributed about 31 and 23 percents respectively. The study has further shown the demographic and socio-economic influences of the components of population growth to Mbeya town. Demographically, the age structure has reflected the effect of migration, by having more concentration of the population between age 15 to 44. Furthermore, the study has found that there are more female than male migrants to Mbeya town. As far as fertility is concerned the findings have shown that migrants and reclassified women have increased the birth rates of Mbeya town due to their higher fertility levels. As regards the occupational structure, the town is mainly dominated by non-agricultural activities. However, there is a significant proportion of the population employed in the agricultural sector. Another significant proportion is engaged in petty business and the other is unemployed or underemployed, suggesting inadequate employment opportunities in the formal sector. Finally the study has noted that the basic amenities in the town like housing, piped water and electricity are inadequate. Several policy implications and recommendations are provided by the study. These include putting more efforts to reduce rural and urban inequalities, expansion of employment opportunities by rehabilitating the informal sector and slowing population growth by controlling fertility in both urban and rural areas.
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Rural, Urban migration, Urbanization, Tanzania,, Population forecasting
Mwageni, E. A (1991) The components of urban population growth in Mbeya Municipal in Mbeya region Tanzania (Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (