DAR-ES-SALAAM, Tanzania is the most urbanized country in East Africa, with the highest influx of people to cities, municipalities and towns, according to the latest "State of East Africa Report" from the Society for International Development (SID).

By 2050, more than 70 per cent of East African citizens will have deserted their rural dwellings to squeeze themselves into urban centres. Current estimates put East Africa's population at around 170 million and counting and the sub-region's urban population, according to the report, is expected to increase from 39 per cent in 2014 to 70 per cent in 2050.

In the next 30 years, therefore, more than 120 million people will be living in East Africa's cities, municipalities and towns.

Tanzania's commercial capital, Dar-es-Salaam, covering nearly 1,400 square kilometres, has about 4.7 million inhabitants, and is the largest city in the region.

The size of Dar-es-Salaam is twice that of Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, which at 700 square kilometres, is still the sub-region's second largest city with 3.5 million people.

The recent report indicates that urbanization was growing rapidly in East Africa, with Tanzania being the most urbanized country within the six-nation East African Community (EAC).

In 2010, 26 per cent of Tanzanians lived in urban areas compared with 19 per cent in 1990. Rwanda also became urbanized, the fastest between 1990 and 2010, when the share of its population living in urban areas increased from five to 17 per cent.

Kenya's urbanization rate increased from 18 per cent to 22 per cent and Uganda's from 11 to 13 per cent during the same period.

Burundians, however, would rather stick to their rural villages; apparently, the country seems to have the region's lowest rate of urbanization, at six per cent in 1990 and 11 per cent in 2010.