The 2012 Population and Housing Census (PHC) of Tanzania was preceded by the preparatory geographic work, which involved field visiting of all regions, districts, wards/shehia, villages/mitaa, localities and sub-villages in the country, primarily to delineate and create Enumeration Area boundaries (EAs) so as to produce maps required for census operations. The most important principle followed in delineating an EA was that under no circumstance should an EA overlap the existing administrative boundaries of regions, districts, wards/shehia or villages/mitaa. Adherence to this principle was necessary since the census results were to be presented at the level of these administrative units.

The EA boundaries and important features collected during the field mapping work were annotated on field maps, which were later digitized to facilitate automated production of census maps required for enumeration process. The digital process of census maps enabled the subsequent development of a geographical information database, which contains polygons (commonly referred to as shapefiles) and related information.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) intends to provide a geo-database with spatial and non-spatial information at five levels of geography, to facilitate presentation of data from censuses and other surveys. These levels are regional (level one), district (level two), ward/shehia (level three), villages/mitaa (level four) and enumeration areas (level five). Levels one and two have been put onto the NBS website in June, 2013 for use by various stakeholders, and the web-page will be continually updated to include other levels of shapefiles when they are ready for use. As mentioned above, the maps developed at all levels were meant to facilitate operations of the 2012 Population and Housing Census of Tanzania, including the dissemination programs of the census data and information.

Every effort was made during census preparation to ensure that the boundaries were as accurate as possible but there may be examples of discrepancies between these maps and actual boundaries on the ground. Where this is the case, it is important to recognise that the boundaries presented here are the ones against which all census results are reported. NBS intends over time to corroborate and where necessary correct boundaries for future use where appropriate, but it is not possible or desirable to adjust already published census data.

It is also possible that there remain some technical inconsistencies in the boundary files, despite the quality control that has been undertaken. These will be rectified as and when they are discovered and the online files will therefore be updated from time to time. The date of last revision will always be displayed on the web site.

This data is therefore in a continual state of development and improvement and thus the user of the shapefiles should keep this fact in mind. Users are invited to provide feedback on issues pertaining to content and clarity of the shapefiles posted onto this website in order to assist NBS in this process of improvement.

Layer properties

Data type: Shapefile feature class
Geometry: Polygon
Geographic Coordinate System: GCS Arc 1960
Datum: Arc 1960
Prime Meridian: Greenwich
Angular Unit Degree

Click to download the 2012 Wards Shapefiles