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 Demographics of Ethiopia

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PostSubject: Demographics of Ethiopia   Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:45 pm

Ethiopia's population has grown from 33.5 million in 1983 to 75.1 million in 2006.[109] The population was only about 9 million in the 19th century.[110] The 2007 Population and Housing Census results show that the population of Ethiopia grew at an average annual rate of 2.6% between 1994 and 2007, down from 2.8% during the period 19831994. The country's population is highly diverse. Most of its people speak an Afro-Asiatic language, mainly of the Semitic or the Cushitic branches. The Oromo, Amhara, Tigray and Somali make up three-quarters of the population, but there are more than 80 different ethnic groups within Ethiopia. Some of these have as few as 10,000 members.

Ethiopians and Eritreans, especially Semitic-speaking ones, collectively refer to themselves as Habesha or Abesha, though others reject these names on the basis that they refer only to certain ethnicities.[111] The Arabic form of this term (Al-Habasha) is the etymological basis of "Abyssinia," the former name of Ethiopia in English and other European languages.[112]

According to the Ethiopian national census of 2007, the Oromo are the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, at 34.49% of the nation's population. The Amhara represent 26.89% of the country's inhabitants, while the Somali and Tigray represent 6.20% and 6.07% of the population, respectively. Other prominent ethnic groups are as follows: Sidama 4.01%, Gurage 2.53%, Wolayta 2.31%, Afar 1.73%, Hadiya 1.74%, Gamo 1.50%, Kefficho 1.18% and others 11%.[1][2]

In 2007, Ethiopia hosted a population of refugees and asylum seekers numbering approximately 201,700. The majority of this population came from Somalia (approximately 111,600 persons), Sudan (55,400) and Eritrea (23,900). The Ethiopian government required nearly all refugees to live in refugee camps

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