The population of Tanzania is made up of over 130 ethnic groups, 95% are of Bantu origin. The rest of the population is represented by mostly Indian Asians (260, 000), Europeans (20 000) and Arabs (70,000). Tanzania also hosts more than 500,000 refugees, mainly from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo following the civil wars.
After the unification of Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1964 to form what is known today as Tanzania, Julius Nyerere, the first president, decided to promote Swahili as unifying language of the country in order to strengthen the identity Tanzanian against Western culture conveyed by the English. Thus, while the majority of Tanzanians speak their local language as first language, all speak Swahili as a second language. English is spoken in major cities but rarely in villages.