Eritrea Population, People, Languages and Religions

By | January 21, 2022

Eritrea Country Overview

Where is Eritrea located? The state of Eritrea is located in northeast Africa. The former Italian colony only regained its independence 50 years ago. On the time zone map, which divides countries vertically into world time zones, Eritrea is in the time zone called “East Africa Time” (EAT). There the time is always 3 hours ahead of the coordinated world time (UTC +3). In summer there is no time difference to daylight saving time.

Bordering Countries of Eritrea

According to abbreviationfinder, Eritrea is a small nation located in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Sudan to the west, Ethiopia to the south, and Djibouti to the southeast. Sudan is a large country located in North Africa and has an area of 1,861,484 square kilometers. The capital city of Sudan is Khartoum and it has a population of over 39 million people. The official language of Sudan is Arabic and its currency is the Sudanese pound. Ethiopia is located in the Horn of Africa and shares a border with Eritrea to the south. It has an area of 1,104,300 square kilometers and its capital city is Addis Ababa. Ethiopia has a population of over 109 million people and its official language is Amharic. The currency used in Ethiopia is the Ethiopian birr. Djibouti borders Eritrea to the southeast and it has an area of 23,200 square kilometers. Its capital city is Djibouti City and it has a population of over 940,000 people. French and Arabic are both official languages in Djibouti while its currency is called the Djiboutian franc. All three countries share similar histories as they were all colonized by European powers at one point or another until their independence was gained in the mid-20th century. Despite this common history, each country has distinct cultures which have been shaped by their geographic location as well as their respective histories since gaining independence from colonization.

Eritrea National Flag

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Eritrea is 6,081,196, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 6,081,196
Population growth rate 0.93%
Birth rate 29.60 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall 63.19 years
Men 61.04 years
Women 65.40 years
Age structure
0-14 years 39.53%
15-64 years 56.52%
65 years and above 3.95%
Median age 19.30 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 0.98
Population density 51.71 residents per km²
Urbanization 19.90%
approx. 50% Tigrinya, 30% Tigre, 5% Afar, 5% Saho, 3% Hedareb (Beja), 2% Bilen, 2% Kunama (Bara), 2% Nara (Baria), 1% Raschaida
Muslims, Copts, Catholics (Roman Catholic), Protestants
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.434
HDI ranking 182nd out of 194

People in Eritrea

Around 6 million people live in Eritrea. The population is growing rapidly. Therefore one can only guess the exact number.

Nine ethnic groups live in Eritrea. Half of them belong to the Tigrinya people. 30 out of 100 belong to the Tigre people, whose name sounds similar, but should not be confused with the Tigrinya. Saho, Bilen, Rashaida, Kunama, Bedscha, Nera and Afar are minorities.

Languages in Eritrea

Tigrinya and Arabic are the most widely spoken languages ​​in Eritrea. Tigrinya is the language of the people of the same name. You can also say Tigrin. However, the languages ​​of all nine ethnic groups are considered to be national languages ​​with equal rights. Many people also speak English, which is primarily used as a commercial language.

Religions in Eritrea

About half of the population is Muslim and the other half Christian. Most Christians follow a special Eritrean Orthodox religion. Eritrea proves that different religions can live together without having to constantly argue.