Ethiopia Population

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Ethiopian Population

11,110 Comments · Ethiopian population

The distribution of Ethiopia’s population mainly is linked to altitude, climate, and soil. These physical factors explain the concentration of population in the highlands, which are gifted with moderate temperatures, rich soil, and sufficient rainfall.

• 14 percent of the population lives in areas above 2,400 meters (cool climatic zone)
• 75 percent between 1,500 and 2,400 meters (temperate zone), and only
• 11 percent below 1,500 meters (hot climatic zone), even though the hot zone includes more than half of Ethiopia’s territory.

Although census data pointed out that overall density was about 37 people per square kilometer, density varied from:

• over 100 per square kilometer for Shewa and
• seventy-five for Arsi to
• fewer than ten in the Ogaden, Bale, the Great Rift Valley, and the western lowlands adjacent Sudan

There was also great variation among the populations of the various administrative regions.

In 1990 officials expected the birth rate at 45 births per 1,000 population and the total fertility rate at about 7 per 1,000 population.

Census findings showed that the birth rate was higher in rural areas than in urban areas. Ethiopia’s birth rate, high even in comparison to developing countries, is explained by:

• early marriage
• kinship and religious beliefs that encourage large families
• a resistance to contraceptive practices, and
• the absence of family planning services for most of the population

A major consequence of the high birth rate is that the population is young; children under fifteen years of age made up almost half of the population. Therefore, a large number of the population is dependent and likely to necessitate heavy expenditures on education, health, and social services.

In 1990 the death rate was projected at 15 per 1,000 population. This figure was 8.1 per 1,000 in 1984. This was a very high rate but characteristic of poor developing countries. The high death rate was a reflection of:

• the low standard of living
• poor health conditions
• inadequate health facilities, and
• high rates of infant mortality
116 per 1,000 in 1990
139 per 1,000 in 1984

Further factors causative to the high death rate contain:

• infectious diseases
• poor sanitation
• malnutrition, and
• food shortages

In Ethiopia half of the total deaths absorb children under 5 years of age. Besides, drought and famine in the 1980s, where 7 million people needed food aid, undoubtedly left many infants and children with stunted physical and mental capabilities.

Birth rates, infant mortality rates, and in general mortality rates were lower in urban areas than in rural areas. As of 1990, urban inhabitants had a life expectancy of just under 53 years, while rural residents had a life expectancy of 48 years. The favorable statistics for urban areas can be explained by:

• the wider availability of health facilities
• greater knowledge of sanitation
• easier access to clean water and food, and
• a slightly higher standard of living

There has been a solid increase in the population growth rate since 1960. Based on 1984 census data, population growth was estimated at about:

• 2.3 percent (1960-70)
• 2.5 percent (1970-80)
• 2.8 percent (1980-85)
• 2.83 percent (1985-90) and
• 2.96 percent (1990-95)

The Central Statistical Authority CSA anticipated that Ethiopia’s population could range from 104 million to 115 million by the year 2015.

Experts believe that reducing the population growth rate was a pressing need; however it could only be tackled through a relentless and comprehensive nationwide effort over the long term. As of early 1991, the Ethiopian government had shown no commitment to such a program.

If you have any view you would like to share about the topic, you’re most welcome.

Source: Ethiopian Central Statistical Authority (CSA)

Keywords: Ethiopia’s population, census data, Shewa, Arsi, Ogaden, Bale, the Great Rift Valley, fertility rate, death rate, deaths, life expectancy, birth rates, infant mortality rates, mortality rates, Central Statistical Authority,


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