Ethiopia People - 2021


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese


110,871,031 (July 2021 est.)

note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected

country comparison to the world: 12


noun: Ethiopian(s)

adjective: Ethiopian

Ethnic groups

Oromo 34.9%, Amhara (Amara) 27.9%, Tigray (Tigrinya) 7.3%, Sidama 4.1%, Welaita 3%, Gurage 2.8%, Somali (Somalie) 2.7%, Hadiya 2.2%, Afar (Affar) 0.6%, other 12.6% (2016 est.)


Oromo (official working language in the State of Oromiya) 33.8%, Amharic (official national language) 29.3%, Somali (official working language of the State of Sumale) 6.2%, Tigrigna (Tigrinya) (official working language of the State of Tigray) 5.9%, Sidamo 4%, Wolaytta 2.2%, Gurage 2%, Afar (official working language of the State of Afar) 1.7%, Hadiyya 1.7%, Gamo 1.5%, Gedeo 1.3%, Opuuo 1.2%, Kafa 1.1%, other 8.1%, English (major foreign language taught in schools), Arabic (2007 est.)

printed major-language sample:
የአለም እውነታ መጽሐፍ፣ ለመሠረታዊ መረጃ እጅግ አስፈላጊ የሆነ ምንጭ። (Amharic)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.


Ethiopian Orthodox 43.8%, Muslim 31.3%, Protestant 22.8%, Catholic 0.7%, traditional 0.6%, other 0.8% (2016 est.)

Demographic profile

Ethiopia is a predominantly agricultural country – more than 80% of the population lives in rural areas – that is in the early stages of demographic transition. Infant, child, and maternal mortality have fallen sharply over the past decade, but the total fertility rate has declined more slowly and the population continues to grow. The rising age of marriage and the increasing proportion of women remaining single have contributed to fertility reduction. While the use of modern contraceptive methods among married women has increased significantly from 6 percent in 2000 to 27 percent in 2012, the overall rate is still quite low.

Ethiopia’s rapid population growth is putting increasing pressure on land resources, expanding environmental degradation, and raising vulnerability to food shortages. With more than 40 percent of the population below the age of 15 and a fertility rate of over 5 children per woman (and even higher in rural areas), Ethiopia will have to make further progress in meeting its family planning needs if it is to achieve the age structure necessary for reaping a demographic dividend in the coming decades.

Poverty, drought, political repression, and forced government resettlement have driven Ethiopia’s internal and external migration since the 1960s. Before the 1974 revolution, only small numbers of the Ethiopian elite went abroad to study and then returned home, but under the brutal Derg regime thousands fled the country, primarily as refugees. Between 1982 and 1991 there was a new wave of migration to the West for family reunification. Since the defeat of the Derg in 1991, Ethiopians have migrated to escape violence among some of the country’s myriad ethnic groups or to pursue economic opportunities. Internal and international trafficking of women and children for domestic work and prostitution is a growing problem.

Age structure

0-14 years: 39.81% (male 21,657,152/female 21,381,628)

15-24 years: 19.47% (male 10,506,144/female 10,542,128)

25-54 years: 32.92% (male 17,720,540/female 17,867,298)

55-64 years: 4.42% (male 2,350,606/female 2,433,319)

65 years and over: 3.38% (male 1,676,478/female 1,977,857) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 76.8

youth dependency ratio: 70.6

elderly dependency ratio: 6.3

potential support ratio: 16 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 19.8 years

male: 19.6 years

female: 20.1 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 197

Population growth rate

2.5% (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 22

Birth rate

31.03 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 29

Death rate

5.8 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 169

Net migration rate

-0.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 107

Population distribution

highest density is found in the highlands of the north and middle areas of the country, particularly around the centrally located capital city of Addis Ababa; the far east and southeast are sparsely populated as shown in this population distribution map


urban population: 22.2% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 4.4% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

5.006 million ADDIS ABABA (capital) (2021)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

19.3 years (2019 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 20-49

Maternal mortality rate

401 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 26

Infant mortality rate

total: 34.62 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 39.56 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 29.53 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 47

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 67.9 years

male: 65.79 years

female: 70.06 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 182

Total fertility rate

4.07 children born/woman (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 27

Contraceptive prevalence rate

37% (2019)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 97% of population

rural: 61.7% of population

total: 68.9% of population

unimproved: urban: 3% of population

rural: 38.3% of population

total: 31.1% of population (2017 est.)

Current Health Expenditure

3.3% (2018)

Physicians density

0.08 physicians/1,000 population (2018)

Hospital bed density

0.3 beds/1,000 population (2016)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 49.7% of population

rural: 5.7% of population

total: 14.7% of population

unimproved: urban: 50.3% of population

rural: 94.3% of population

total: 85.3% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.9% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 48

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

620,000 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 13

HIV/AIDS - deaths

13,000 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 16

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

4.5% (2016)

country comparison to the world: 185

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

21.1% (2019)

country comparison to the world: 17

Education expenditures

4.7% of GDP (2015)

country comparison to the world: 70


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 51.8%

male: 57.2%

female: 44.4% (2017)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 9 years

male: 8 years

female: 8 years (2012)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 25.2%

male: 17.1%

female: 30.9% (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 54

NOTE: The information regarding Ethiopia on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Ethiopia 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Ethiopia 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.