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Ethiopian People

The US government estimated the total population at 96.6 million (2014 estimate). The Ethiopian population was projected by the Ethiopian Public Health Association in 2014 to steadily increase from 83.7 million in 2012 to 133.5 million in 2032 and 171.8 million in 2050, with a doubling time of 83 years in 2050. In June 2012 the US Census Bureau projected population in 2050 at 228,066,276 [more or less]. Germany, the alargest European Union country, has a population of 81,000,000, which is projected to decline to 79,000,000 by 2050.

Until the 1980s, Ethiopia had no mechanism to accurately estimate its population size. The first national census was conducted in 1984 and estimated the total population to be 42.6 million. But the census was far from comprehensive. The rural areas of Eritrea and Tigray were excluded because of hostilities. In addition, the population in the southern parts of Bale and Harerge could only be estimated because of the prevalence of pastoral nomadism.

The country is caught in a vicious cycle: efforts to improve living standards and alleviate poverty are overwhelmed by the need to provide basic services and jobs for ever-growing numbers of people. With a population doubling time of less than 30 years, Ethiopia is at the crossroads of taking serious measures that will enable the country to escape the trap of abject poverty.

Ethiopia is one of the most populous countries in Africa and ranks second only to Nigeria. Rapid population growth has hampered the country's development, making the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger difficult. In the absence of a national population policy or the provision of more than basic health services, analysts consider the high birth rate likely to continue.

A significant consequence of the high birth rate is that the population is young; children under fifteen years of age made up nearly 50 percent of the population in 1989. Thus, a large segment of the population was dependent and likely to require heavy expenditures on education, health, and social services. Factors contributing to the high death rate include infectious diseases, poor sanitation, malnutrition, and food shortages. Children are even more vulnerable to such deprivations. In Ethiopia half of the total deaths involve children under five years of age.

Women in sub-Saharan Africa continue to face a 1 in 16 chances of dying from pregnancy and childbirth when the risk for women in the industrialized world is 1 in 2,800 (3,4). Maternal mortality (673 deaths per 100,000 livebirths) in Ethiopia is among the highest in the world. Similarly, according to the 2005 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS), the infant mortality rate is also among the highest (77 deaths per 1,000 live- births). The Amhara region was observed to have the highest infant mortality (94 deaths per 1,000 live births) among the 11 regions of the country.

The urban population was 19.5% of total population in 2015. During the period 1966-1984, despite its very low level of urbanization (10.6%), Ethiopia experienced rapid urban population growth of 4.8% per annum over the period. The urban growth was more rapid at the beginning (1966-70 = 6.6%) then slowed down to 4.23% in 1970-1984. There is highly uneven regional distribution of urbanization with the core urban region accommodating close to half the urban population; within regions, the majority of the urban population is concentrated in one or very few large urban areas.

Ethiopia was under-urbanized, even by African standards. In the late 1980s, only about 11 percent of the population lived in urban areas of at least 2,000 residents. There were hundreds of communities with 2,000 to 5,000 people, but these were primarily extensions of rural villages without urban or administrative functions. Thus, the level of urbanization would be even lower if one used strict urban structural criteria. Ethiopia's relative lack of urbanization was the result of the country's history of agricultural self-sufficiency, which has reinforced rural peasant life.

Based on the 2007 single point estimate, the Government of Ethiopia (GOE) projected HIV prevalence to be 2.4% in 2010 with over 1.2 million HIV positive people in the country and a female to male ratio of 1.5:1.0. This projected national prevalence characterizes the Ethiopian epidemic as generalized. Notwithstanding, there were wide regional and urban: rural disparities with urban prevalence estimated at 7.7% or 760,475 people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).

This compared starkly with the situation in rural areas, where 85% of the country’s population resides. In this huge territory, twice the size of Texas or France, prevalence is just 0.9% (456,432 PLWHA or 37% of the national total). Regional prevalence varied substantially ranging from 0.8% in Somali region to 9.2% in Addis Ababa. There was also emerging evidence that prevalence among some most at risk populations (MARPs) is considerably greater. The GOE also projected that out of 5.4 million orphans in the country, 804,184 (15%) were due to AIDS.

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Page last modified: 30-06-2021 11:40:03 ZULU