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The people of Zanzibar are predominantly Muslim, about 95% of the population being followers of Islam. The remaining percentage is a mix of Christians, Hindus and followers of various other religions. Swahili is the official and national language of Tanzania but English is also spoken in Zanzibar, and a percentage of the population also has a working knowledge of Arabic.

The population consists of people from the following ancestries: African, Persian, Omani (and other Arab states), and Asian. The local economy is based on agriculture and fishing. The population of the archipelago is estimated at over 740,000 while the population of Unguja is estimated at almost 450,000, forty per cent of which live in Stone Town.

The literacy rate in Zanzibar is very high.