Ethiopia Population, People, Languages and Religions

By | January 21, 2022

Ethiopia Country Overview

Where is Ethiopia located? The state of Ethiopia, also known for a time as “Abenissi”, is located in north-eastern Africa. On the time zone map, on which the countries are divided into world time zones along the longitude, Ethiopia is located in a time zone in which there is a time difference of 3 hours to universal time (also called UTC). The Ethiopian clocks always indicate 3 hours later than the world time. This means that the time difference to Central European Time is only 2 hours. As in many other African countries, there is no daylight saving time change in Ethiopia.

Bordering Countries of Ethiopia

According to abbreviationfinder, Ethiopia is located in the Horn of Africa and borders six countries. To the north is Eritrea, to the east is Djibouti, to the south is Somalia, to the southwest is Kenya and to the west is Sudan. Ethiopia shares a maritime border with Yemen across the Red Sea.

Eritrea was an independent nation until 1993, when it was annexed by Ethiopia following a two-year war between them. The two countries have had a strained relationship ever since, with occasional skirmishes breaking out along their shared border. Djibouti has been an independent nation since 1977 and maintains strong ties with Ethiopia due to its strategic location on the Red Sea. Somalia has been embroiled in civil war since 1991 and its border with Ethiopia remains tense due to disputes over land ownership. Kenya has a long history of friendship and cooperation with Ethiopia, though there have been periodic tensions over water rights in recent years. Sudan has also had a long history of friendly relations with Ethiopia, though this relationship has been strained by civil wars within both countries in recent decades. Finally, Yemen lies across the Red Sea from Ethiopia; though there are no direct land links between them, they maintain strong economic ties due to their shared access to ports on the Red Sea.

Ethiopia National Flag

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Ethiopia is 108,113,150, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 108,113,150
Population growth rate 2.56%
Birth rate 36.50 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall life expectancy 60.00 years
Men life expectancy 57.73 years
Women life expectancy 62.35 years
Age structure
0-14 years 43.21%
15-64 years 53.83%
65 years and above 2.97%
Median age 17.70 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 0.99
Population density 97.90 residents per km²
Urbanization 15.60%
over 80 ethnic groups: 35% Oromo, 27% Amhara, 6% Somali, 6% Tigray, 4% Sidama, 3% Guragie, 2% each Welaita, Hadiya, Afar, Gamo; 45 Sudan peoples
Muslims 45% -50%; Ethiopian Orthodox 35% -40%, Animists 12%, Others 3% -8%
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.470
HDI ranking 173rd out of 194

People in Ethiopia

Around 111 million people of different cultures, languages ​​and religions live in Ethiopia. Most of the residents belong to the Oromo, followed by the Amharen and the Tigray (Tigrinya). Amharen and Tigray mainly live in the high mountains of Ethiopia. This is the old homeland of today’s Ethiopian state.

In total, more than 80 ethnic groups live in Ethiopia. This makes the country a multi-ethnic state. They also include the Somali, Sidama, Wolaytta, Afar and Hadiyya. All of these peoples have their own traditions, language and religion. Some are sedentary, some live as farmers and work their fields. Some people still live as they did hundreds of years ago.

Urban and countryside

Most of the people in Ethiopia live in the countryside. That’s 81 out of 100 people. They mostly live from agriculture. Only 19 out of 100 people live in cities.

Meanwhile, however, the refugee movement towards the cities is great, as in many African countries. Many people then hope to find work there and end up in the slums of the poor outskirts.

A young and rapidly growing population

The population in Ethiopia is growing very rapidly. Each woman has an average of 4.3 children. In 2024, the population will likely number between 136 and 161 million people.

That is why there are many more young people living in Ethiopia than old people. 44 out of 100 people are under 15 years of age and 53 out of 100 people are between 15 and 64 years old. Only three out of 100 residents are older than 64 years. Life expectancy in Ethiopia is not particularly high.

Languages in Ethiopia

The official language is Amharic, the language of the Amhars – although they are not the largest group of the population, but the most powerful. By the way, Amharic is written completely differently than the German language, namely in the Ethiopian script.

There are many other languages ​​spoken in Ethiopia, there should be around 80 languages. Oromo has the most speakers because the Oromo people are the greatest in the country. Tigrinya and Somali are also languages. However, the commercial and business language in Ethiopia is English.