With one of the highest poverty levels in the world, Ethiopia is considered by many to be one of the most under-developed nations in the world. But within its African boundaries lies a nation filled with a rich culture and heritage. Bordered by Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea, and Somalia.
Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the continent of Africa and the second-most populous country of Africa after Nigeria. This estimate of how many people live in Ethiopia is based on the most recent United Nations projections, and makes Ethiopia the 14th most populous country in the world. The most recent census in 2007 found an official population of 73.7 million.
Ethiopia is home to various ethnicities, predominantly the Oromo at 34.4% of the country's population and the Amhara, who account for 27% of the population. Other major ethnic groups include the Somali (6.2%), Tigray (6.1%), Sidama (4%), Gurage (2.5%), Welayta (2.3%), Afar (1.7%), Hadiya (1.7%), and Gamo (1.5%).
In 2009, Ethiopia had an estimated 135,000 asylum seekers and refugees, mostly from Somalia (64,000), Eritrea (42,000) and Sudan (23,000). The government requires refugees to live in designated refugee camps. According to a 2013 report, the number of refugees hosted by Ethiopia has grown to 680,000.
Ethiopia Religion, Economy and Politics
Ethiopia has close ties with all three major Abrahamic religions, and it was the first in the region to officially adopt Christianity in the 4th century. Christians account for 63% of the country's population, with 44% belonging to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Ethiopia has the first Hijra in Islamic history and the oldest Muslim settlement on the continent. Muslims account for 34% of the population.
Despite its wealth in culture, Ethiopia, unfortunately, does not suffer the same fate economically. With a significantly agriculture-based economy, it is not surprising that in today's technologically thriving world, Ethiopia has one of the lowest incomes per capita. Its reliance on domestic investment restricts foreign investment, which could otherwise account for a comparatively successful economy. However, improvement in agricultural practices has shown a decrease in the level of starvation that the country had been previously accustomed to. The GDP is also increasing, showing a 7% increase in 2014. The composition of the labor force is almost 40%, accounting for another step toward progress. However, only if the conditions of the average Ethiopian get better will the country be able to witness a better tomorrow.
The median age in Ethiopia is approximately 17.9 years of age. 60% of the population in Ethiopia is under the age of 25.
In terms of access to clean drinking water and sanitation, the numbers are still quite grim in this country. According to the World Factbook, only 57% of the country has improved access to clean drinking water, while 42% still struggle to find clean water. Only 28% of the population has access to improved sanitation services, while 72% struggle to maintain sanitation. This likely contributes greatly to the very high degree of risk with transmittable diseases and illnesses in the area.
Only 49% of the population over 15 years of age is literate and many children only attend school for 8 or 9 years.
Ethiopia Population History
The conditions of poverty entail deterioration in health for many of Ethiopia's inhabitants. The most common diseases that cause mortality among many Ethiopians are AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and various communicable diseases that occur due to improper sanitation and malnutrition. Most women give birth to children outside of the vicinity of hospitals. Often the mothers are only attended to by an elderly midwife. The mortality rate of mothers while giving birth is high. Various organizations, governmental and non-governmental, seek to improve the deplorable health conditions in Ethiopia. The World Health Organization is working to initiate a healthy Ethiopia. Low literacy levels also support the inferior health conditions. Therefore, it is important to provide the Ethiopians with adequate knowledge regarding common diseases and their appropriate medication and cure. The empowerment of women could also help achieve improvements in the circumstances pertaining to the well-being of Ethiopians.