Inequality in Education and Wealth in Tanzania
A 25-Year Perspective
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The literature on inequality in Tanzania has been dependent on limited rounds of methodologically different household budget surveys. The literature in question seldomly goes beyond analysis of inequality trends between two rounds of surveys, thereby ignoring longer period inequality trends.
This study makes use of six rounds of methodological stable Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) to present a half-century trend in education and wealth inequality in Tanzania. Education inequality persists but has been declining between rural and urban areas and particularly between Dar es Salaam and other regions.
Gender inequality in education has also consistently been on the decline across different age ranges, more so for older individuals than younger ones. Wealth inequality as measured by a composite index has been declining as well—mostly an outcome of the declining proportion of households in the poorest quantile in rural areas compared to an increasing proportion of urban households in the same quantile.
In other words, using the DHS’s composite index of selected assets, the Tanzanian society is increasingly becoming equal in both education and wealth. The paper also discusses policy options to further reduce inequalities.