Dodoma Region is one of Tanzania's 30 administrative regions. The regional capital is the city of Dodoma. According to the 2012 national census, the region had a population of 2,083,588, which was lower than the pre-census projection of 2,214,657. For 2002-2012, the region's 2.1 percent average annual population growth rate was the twentieth highest in the country. It was also the seventeenth most densely populated region with 50 people per square kilometer. The main tribes of the region are the Gogo, the Warangi, and the Wasandawi; Dodoma means "sunk" in the Gogo language.
The city of Dodoma, the largest city and capital of the region, originally began as a small Gogo village in the early 19th century, consisting of several traditional tembe houses. The city was formally established in 1907 by German colonists during construction of the Tanzanian central railway. The region has a long history of famine and economic difficulties. Along with Kondoa and Singida it was struck hard by the famine of the 1910s. One report by a British officer in Dodoma in December 1916 reported that "The whole District has been ransacked for cattle". The Germans had killed 26,000 animals, and the British 5,659. The problems continued throughout 1917, and in November 1917 drought turned it into a crisis. Some 30,000, about 1 in 5 of the population of the district at the time died. Thousands of people emigrated, and others sold starving cattle for just a shilling at the market in Dodoma. Smallpox was prevalent, and a Spanish influenza epidemic killed an estimated 50,000–80,000 in Tanganyika between 1918 and 1920.