Most Ethiopians live in rural areas under
scarce conditions. The country is often suffering from
famine and the rapid population increase is tempting to
already strained resources. Despite major investments in
health care and education since the 1990s, Ethiopia
ranks far below the UN index on human development.
In the mid-1990s, almost half the population lived in
poverty, a proportion that fell to just under a quarter
20 years later. Yet, around 25 million Ethiopians were
estimated to be poor in 2019. Still, illiteracy is
widespread, food shortages are a major problem and
mortality in infectious diseases is high.
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Ethiopia, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
The proportion of residents with too low nutrient
intake decreased from almost half of 2004 to less than a
third a few years into the 2010s. It is still a high
level and many people also risk being starved again if
the crops fail.
However, life expectancy has increased rapidly and
mortality among children has decreased. The most common
cause of death is diarrhea, usually caused by waterborne
parasitic diseases that lead to dehydration. The
proportion of residents with access to clean water is
steadily increasing, but from a low level. More than a
third of the population is now estimated to have clean
water, while fewer than one in ten residents have a
functioning drainage system.
Infectious diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and
AIDS are a major health problem. Malaria contributes to
many of the deaths of children under five. However, much
is spent on preventative work and many children now
sleep protected by impregnated mosquito nets.
AIDS does not spread as widely in Ethiopia as in some
other countries in Africa, but the viral disease is
still a major societal problem. About one in 100 adult
residents are estimated to be HIV infected. Women are
affected to a much greater extent than men, and urban
residents more than rural residents. Investments are
being made in information campaigns to reduce the spread
of HIV and to increase the distribution of brake
The few Ethiopians who have a formal job are entitled
to pensions and certain social benefits, but most are
outside the weak social insurance system. Informal
systems exist, where people within a neighborhood,
profession or family gather funds and help one another
In general, life is somewhat easier in the cities.
But housing shortages prevail and slums are growing. To
remedy the housing problems, the authorities have built
large residential complexes in the suburbs of Addis
Adeba. In the countryside, schools and health centers
have been built, which were previously rare outside the
A traditional dwelling is a round hut with a peaked
roof and walls made of braided branchwork and cushions
The woman has a vulnerable position. Domestic
violence is common. Many are given away as young,
although by law you must be 18 years old to enter into
marriage. Rural women carry the greatest workload and
are often forced to walk several hours a day to fetch
water. Maternal mortality is very high. Many women
suffer from complications during childbirth because of
their genital mutilation. About three out of four women
in Ethiopia are estimated to have been subjected to
genital mutilation, although it is now prohibited by
law. The proportion of young people is lower.
Child marriage is common, it happens that girls are
given away when they are only seven years old. In the
state of Amhara, the average age of marriage is 15 years
In most ethnic groups, a patriarchal family pattern
dominates, with men having a dominant role.
Relationships are counted on both sides but are more
important on the father's side. In marriage, the
newlywed couple usually settles near the husband's
family. Often there is a wedding gift from the husband's
family to the woman's. What it consists of varies, it
can be livestock or money. Marriage is considered to
represent a union between two families, they are
generally arranged even though those involved often have
something to say about. Divorce is unusual.
It is not uncommon for large families where three or
four generations live together under one roof. High age
gives status and adult children are expected to take
care of their parents as they age. The upbringing of the
children is the responsibility of the whole family.
Children, especially in rural areas, are expected to
participate in household chores. Girls often have more
tasks than boys and are more often forced to stay home
from school because of it. Body saga is formally
prohibited in school, but it is common anyway.
Homosexuality is prohibited by law and can result in
long prison sentences. In society, LGBTQ people are
generally discriminated against.
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
39 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected
1.0 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
0.4 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men
0.2 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
39.1 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
7.3 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
4.0 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
28 US dollars (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
39 percent (2018)
Ethiopian troops enter Somalia
Hundreds of Ethiopian soldiers are reported to enter Somalia. The troops move
to the town of Guriel in central Somalia where they join a Somali militia group
that stands on the Mogadishu government's side in the fight against al-Shabaab
guerrillas. The troop movement is said to be the largest since Ethiopia's
intervention in Somalia in 2006. The data is denied by the Ethiopian government.
Large food shortage due to drought
The UN reports on alarmingly high death rates among Somali refugee children.
The number of refugees across the border is increasing rapidly due to the
ongoing drought disaster. Even in Ethiopia, many are suffering from the famine;
The UN Food Program WFP reports that 3.7 million Ethiopians are assisting with
Death sentences are converted
The president transforms the death sentences into life imprisonment for 23 of
those convicted of crimes during the military regime 1974-1991. The death
sentence remains against the former dictator Mengistu and two others who are
abroad - pardon can by law only include those who serve a prison sentence.
The government is accused of killing civilians
The ONLF rebel group claims that the government has killed around 100
civilians in connection with a military operation in Ogaden.
Aggressive tone against Eritrea
The government strikes a more aggressive tone against Eritrea, threatening to
oust Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki.
Opposition Alliance Medrek claims that over 250 members, mainly oromos, have
been arrested for over a week. At the end of the month, the government confirms
that 121 are being held in custody.