Population in Ethiopia: size and ethnic composition

Ethiopia is called the cradle of humanity, because it was here that the remains of the predecessor of Australopithecus, who lived more than four million years ago, were found. This is the second largest country in the African continent. How many people are in Ethiopia? What features does it have?

A bit about the country

Ethiopia is located in East Africa. After Eritrea separated from it in 1993, the country lost direct access to the Red Sea. It is closed between Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Sudan and South Sudan. In terms of population, Ethiopia is the fifteenth in total, and the first is a landlocked country. The area of ​​the state ranks twenty-seventh in the world, covering 1,104,300 square kilometers.

ethiopian population

Until the 70s of the 20th century, a monarchic regime operated in Ethiopia. On its territory there existed the kingdom of D`mt, the Sabean, Aksum kingdom, the rules of the Solomon dynasty. From 1936 to 1941 the state belonged to the Italians.Since 1970, socialist ideas have developed in Ethiopia. Until 2000, the country had to endure the “red terror”, famine, civil wars, the war with Somalia and the conflict with Eritrea.

Now the state is a federative republic with nine regions (kyllly) and two self-governing territories. A clear border with Eritrea has not been drawn so far. This is an agrarian country with an underdeveloped economy. Below the poverty line is about 40% of the population of Ethiopia. The local currency is the Ethiopian birr.

Residents of the country

Ethiopia’s population is 105 million. As already mentioned, this is a fairly high figure. Despite repeated conflicts in the country, the number of inhabitants has steadily increased since 1951. Then in Ethiopia, lived 18 million people.

The city is inhabited by up to 17% of people. The rest of the country's citizens live in the countryside. The economically active population of the country is 50 million people. Most of the working people involved in subsistence agriculture, in industry - only 5%.

In 2016, the unemployment rate in Ethiopia was 17.5%. According to the human development index, the country is on the 174th place (0.442) out of 188, in the level of social progress - on the 121st place out of 128.The difference between the poor and the wealthy class is very noticeable, while the middle class is almost non-existent. In terms of prosperity, the country is also in the last twenty, but the level of happiness is slightly higher - out of 140 places Ethiopia is 66.


The population of Ethiopia is growing steadily. This year alone (2017), the increase was 1.8 million. In 2016, the increase was 2.3% or 2.5 million people. The number of women at the same time about 500 thousand more than men. Migration, on the contrary, has negative values ​​and reaches about 15 thousand people.

The working-age population (from 15 to 64 years old) makes up more than half of all inhabitants of the country. Citizens over 64 years old are only 2.7%, while minors under 15 years old account for 46.3%. Such a picture is typical for developing countries and is usually accompanied by high mortality and fertility. The number of deaths in 2016 amounted to 790,000 people.

Ethiopia's population

The life expectancy of Ethiopian men is 53.6 years, women live an average of five years longer. By level of education, the state occupies 180 of 188 places in the world. Only 48% or 27 million people can write and read at least in one language.

Ethnic composition

The question of which population in Ethiopia cannot be answered.More than one hundred nationalities and ethnic groups live in the country. The most numerous of them are Oromo (32.1%) and Amhara (30.1%). Oromo are divided into several groups that differ in lifestyle and faith. They make up the majority in the east of the Ethiopian Highlands, and live in the southern Highlands and in the Caf and Haraerga areas. Amhara live on the northwestern slopes of the mountains. The related people of Tigra also live there, which is only 6.2%.

Ethiopia population size

Somali, Afar, Agau, Gourage, Sidamo, Walita, Ometo, Dasanech and other peoples also live in the country. Somalis live in the hot southeastern and eastern regions (5.9%). The southern part of Ethiopia in the Omo Valley is inhabited by Sidamo (3.5%).

Afar people close to Somalis belong to the Cushite group of nations. They live in the desert of Danakil in northern Ethiopia. The cultural center of the ethnic group is located in the place where the Awash River flows into the lakes of Bario and Gamarra. The mountainous areas south of Awash inhabit the gurage, with a population of about three million.

In eastern Ethiopia, Arab migrants from Sudan and Yemen are common. The cities are inhabited by Greeks, Armenians, Hindus and Jews. Negroid tribes are common in the south and west.


Approximately one thousand years BC, the seven-speaking population of South Arabia came to the territory of the country. They brought here writing and other achievements, and gradually mingled with the aboriginal population of Cushites and nilots.

As a result of such an ancient association, most of the country's inhabitants speak Afro-Asiatic languages. The classical ancient Ethiopian is the language Geez or gyzyz. It was distributed in the kingdom of Aksum and became extinct as spoken in the 13th century. Now Geez is used in the services of the Orthodox and Catholic Churches.

Amharic is the state language, which is spoken by 30 million people. The population of Ethiopia speaks 70 Semitic Hamitic and Cushitic languages ​​and dialects, as well as English, Arabic and Somali.


Back in the kingdom of Aksum, paganism with the cult of the king was the main religion. In the 4th century AD, Christianity began to spread in it, which quickly became the state religion. After the decline of the prosperous kingdom, the territory of Ethiopia was divided into many separate principalities, in which Judaism, Islam and paganism also spread.

Now about 60% of the population of Ethiopia belong to Christians. This is the only African country where Christianity is the traditional religion. Most residents are adherents of the Ethiopian Miafizite church. About 10% of Christians are Protestants, less than 1% are Catholics. The Lutheran community is growing rapidly.

what population in ethiopia

Muslims make up 32% of Ethiopia’s population. They inhabit the region of Somalia (southeast), Afar (northeast) and south of Oromia. Ethiopian Jews - the people of Falashi, profess Judaism. About 5% of the population adheres to animism and various African cults.

Women in Ethiopia

For a long time, women in Ethiopia had minimal rights. Their main tasks were submission to their men, management of life and taking care of children. Researchers also noted that Ethiopians were also often involved in hard physical work.

Ethiopian population is

In some rural areas, women in the family still play a secondary role compared to men. Part of the Ethiopian tribes adheres to the tradition of female circumcision.

During the revolution, their status was tried to change. Now, according to the Constitution, they have equal rights with men.In modern Ethiopia, women have the right to education and work, they can master the desired profession. This order was established in cities that are more progressive and ethnically mixed. At the same time, women are more likely to occupy low-paid positions, and behind the scenes their image corresponds to traditional notions, where a woman is primarily a mother and an obedient wife.

Local traditions

The diversity of ethnic groups and religions has led to no less diverse cults and traditions. Oromo people believe in the symbolism of numbers and apply it in many areas of their activities. Amharians historically adhere to Christian traditions, do not accept divorces, marry from 18-20 years. After giving birth, a woman does not leave the house for 40 days.

 how many people in ethiopia

Afar combined the tradition of Sunni Muslims with the rites of worship of the spirits. Anuaki profess a cult of ancestors and spirits, combining this with totemism, worship the forces of nature, believe in signs that predict death.

The goragee people live in communities that are governed by a council of elders. The Pantheon, including the god Vak, the goddess Damvavit, the God of the Thunder and other gods, is headed by the creator god Yizgar.Their beliefs are intertwined with local folklore and mythology.

Many communities are in no hurry to abandon ancient and sometimes meaningless rites. Early marriages are common among the population. Very often in the villages, girls under 10 years old marry adults or even older men. There are also more unpleasant rites, for example, circumcision and castration, incision of eyelids, bleeding, burning of the throat with a hot iron.

Related news

Population in Ethiopia: size and ethnic composition image, picture, imagery

Population in Ethiopia: size and ethnic composition 31

Population in Ethiopia: size and ethnic composition 83

Population in Ethiopia: size and ethnic composition 45

Population in Ethiopia: size and ethnic composition 1

Population in Ethiopia: size and ethnic composition 14

Population in Ethiopia: size and ethnic composition 21

Population in Ethiopia: size and ethnic composition 64

Population in Ethiopia: size and ethnic composition 15