Around 85% of its people are ethnic Somalis, who have inhabited the region historically. Ethnic minorities make up the rest of the population and are concentrated primarily in the southern areas of Somalia. Non-Somali ethnic groups include Benadiri, Bravanese, Bantus, Ethiopians, Indians, Persians and Italians. The Bantus are the largest ethnic minority in Somalia and are descended from slaves brought by Arab traders. After the country gained independence, most Europeans left the region.
The official languages used in Somalia include Somali and Arabic. Italian and English are also used in the region.
Somalia Religion, Economy and Politics
Most of the people are Muslims, with the majority being Sunni. Its 15.9 million population represents a huge increase from the 8.3 million people in 1975, but civil strife in the 90's increased Somali diaspora and many of the highly educated people left.
As of the 2018 World Happiness Report as presented by Wikipedia shows Somalia ranking in at number 98 on the list of participating countries, with an overall happiness rating of 4.98 out of 10.
Somalia has seen numerous issues in the last few decades, including poor governance, protracted internal conflict, underdevelopment, economic decline, poverty, social and gender inequality and more.
The median age among the population of Somalia is only 18 years of age, with a life expectancy of 52.8 years of age overall. Males are expected to live to approximately 50 years, with females expected to live approximately 54 years. The current fertility rate is holding at more than 5 children per woman, however, a disproportionately high rate of infant mortality exists - coming in with nearly 100 infant deaths per 1,000 live births.
One factor that is likely strongly connected to this particular statistic, is the extremely low physician density in Somalia. According to the World Factbook, there are only .03 physicians per 1,000 individuals in the population. Oddly enough, there are at least 8 hospital beds available per 1,000 residents.
When we turn attention to the drinking water and sanitation statistics, things become even more grim. Only 31% of the population has access to clean drinking water and only 23% have access to improved sanitation facilities. This lack of hygienic access leaves the population prone to infections including Hepatitis A, E, and other diseases as well.
Somalia Population History
Humans have occupied the land of Somalia since ancient times, but it has gone through many changes in terms of leadership throughout time. The Ajuran Sultanate ruled the region from the 13th century until Egypt, France, and Italy began to occupy different parts of the land in the mid-late 1800s. Somalia gained independence from all of those nations in the mid-1900s after many border negotiations.
Soon after their independence, Somali encountered problems of its own when a drought caused thousands to die of starvation in 1975, and Somalia invaded Ethiopia to oppose their regime in the 1980s. In 1993 Somalia shot down two US helicopters, which ignited a battle that killed hundreds of Somalians. In December of 2004, a Tsunami displaced 10,000 along the coast. Famine killed over a quarter-million people between 2010-2012.