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Africa :: Ethiopia Print
Page last updated on November 24, 2020
  • Introduction :: Ethiopia
  • Background field listing
    Unique among African countries, the ancient Ethiopian monarchy maintained its freedom from colonial rule with the exception of a short-lived Italian occupation from 1936-41. In 1974, a military junta, the Derg, deposed Emperor Haile SELASSIE (who had ruled since 1930) and established a socialist state. Torn by bloody coups, uprisings, wide-scale drought, and massive refugee problems, the regime was finally toppled in 1991 by a coalition of rebel forces, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). A constitution was adopted in 1994, and Ethiopia's first multiparty elections were held in 1995.

    A border war with Eritrea in the late 1990s ended with a peace treaty in December 2000. In November 2007, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Border Commission (EEBC) issued specific coordinates as virtually demarcating the border and pronounced its work finished. Alleging that the EEBC acted beyond its mandate in issuing the coordinates, Ethiopia did not accept them and maintained troops in previously contested areas pronounced by the EEBC as belonging to Eritrea. This intransigence resulted in years of heightened tension between the two countries. In August 2012, longtime leader Prime Minister MELES Zenawi died in office and was replaced by his Deputy Prime Minister HAILEMARIAM Desalegn, marking the first peaceful transition of power in decades. Following a wave of popular dissent and anti-government protest that began in 2015, HAILEMARIAM resigned in February 2018 and ABIY Ahmed Ali took office in April 2018 as Ethiopia's first ethnic Oromo prime minister. In June 2018, ABIY announced Ethiopia would accept the border ruling of 2000, prompting rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea that was marked with a peace agreement in July 2018 and a reopening of the border in September 2018. In November 2019, Ethiopia's nearly 30-year ethnic-based ruling coalition - the EPRDF - merged into a single unity party called the Prosperity Party, however, one of the four constituent parties refused to join.
  • Geography :: Ethiopia
  • Location field listing
    Eastern Africa, west of Somalia
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    8 00 N, 38 00 E
    Map references field listing
    Area field listing
    total: 1,104,300 sq km
    land: 1,096,570 sq km
    water: 7,730 sq km
    note: area numbers are approximate since a large portion of the Ethiopia-Somalia border is undefined
    country comparison to the world: 28
    Area - comparative field listing
    slightly less than twice the size of Texas
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 5,925 km
    border countries (6): Djibouti 342 km, Eritrea 1033 km, Kenya 867 km, Somalia 1640 km, South Sudan 1299 km, Sudan 744 km
    Coastline field listing
    0 km (landlocked)
    Maritime claims field listing
    none (landlocked)
    Climate field listing
    tropical monsoon with wide topographic-induced variation
    Terrain field listing
    high plateau with central mountain range divided by Great Rift Valley
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 1,330 m
    lowest point: Danakil Depression -125 m
    highest point: Ras Dejen 4,550 m
    Natural resources field listing
    small reserves of gold, platinum, copper, potash, natural gas, hydropower
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 36.3% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 15.2% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 1.1% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 20% (2011 est.)
    forest: 12.2% (2011 est.)
    other: 51.5% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    2,900 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    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
    Natural hazards field listing

    geologically active Great Rift Valley susceptible to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions; frequent droughts

    volcanism: volcanic activity in the Great Rift Valley; Erta Ale (613 m), which has caused frequent lava flows in recent years, is the country's most active volcano; Dabbahu became active in 2005, forcing evacuations; other historically active volcanoes include Alayta, Dalaffilla, Dallol, Dama Ali, Fentale, Kone, Manda Hararo, and Manda-Inakir

    Environment - current issues field listing
    deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; loss of biodiversity; water shortages in some areas from water-intensive farming and poor management; industrial pollution and pesticides contribute to air, water, and soil pollution
    Environment - international agreements field listing
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
    signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea
    Geography - note field listing
    note 1: landlocked - entire coastline along the Red Sea was lost with the de jure independence of Eritrea on 24 May 1993; Ethiopia is, therefore, the most populous landlocked country in the world; the Blue Nile, the chief headstream of the Nile by water volume, rises in T'ana Hayk (Lake Tana) in northwest Ethiopia

    note 2: three major crops are believed to have originated in Ethiopia: coffee, grain sorghum, and castor bean
  • People and Society :: Ethiopia
  • Population field listing
    108,113,150 (July 2020 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: 13
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Ethiopian(s)
    adjective: Ethiopian
    Ethnic groups field listing
    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) .6%, other 12.6% (2016 est.)
    Languages field listing
    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.)
    Religions field listing
    Ethiopian Orthodox 43.8%, Muslim 31.3%, Protestant 22.8%, Catholic 0.7%, traditional .6%, other 0.8% (2016 est.)
    Demographic profile field listing

    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 field listing
    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.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 76.8
    youth dependency ratio: 70.6
    elderly dependency ratio: 6.3
    potential support ratio: 16 (2020 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 19.8 years
    male: 19.6 years
    female: 20.1 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    Population growth rate field listing
    2.56% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    Birth rate field listing
    31.6 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    Death rate field listing
    5.9 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    Net migration rate field listing
    -0.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    Population distribution field listing
    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
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 21.7% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 4.63% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030: PDF
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    4.794 million ADDIS ABABA (capital) (2020)
    Sex ratio field listing
    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 field listing
    20 years (2016 est.)

    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    401 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 35.8 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 40.8 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 30.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 67.5 years
    male: 65.5 years
    female: 69.7 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 180
    Total fertility rate field listing
    4.14 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    40.1% (2018)
    Drinking water source field listing
    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 field listing
    3.5% (2017)
    Physicians density field listing
    0.1 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    0.3 beds/1,000 population (2016)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    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 field listing
    1.1% (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    670,000 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    12,000 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    Major infectious diseases field listing
    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 field listing
    4.5% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight field listing
    21.1% (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    Education expenditures field listing
    4.7% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    Literacy field listing
    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) field listing
    total: 9 years
    male: 8 years
    female: 8 years (2012)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 field listing
    total: 25.2%
    male: 17.1%
    female: 30.9% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
  • Government :: Ethiopia
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
    conventional short form: Ethiopia
    local long form: Ityop'iya Federalawi Demokrasiyawi Ripeblik
    local short form: Ityop'iya
    former: Abyssinia, Italian East Africa
    abbreviation: FDRE
    etymology: the country name derives from the Greek word "Aethiopia," which in classical times referred to lands south of Egypt in the Upper Nile region
    Government type field listing
    federal parliamentary republic
    Capital field listing
    name: Addis Ababa
    geographic coordinates: 9 02 N, 38 42 E
    time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    etymology: the name in Amharic means "new flower" and was bestowed on the city in 1889, three years after its founding
    Administrative divisions field listing
    9 ethnically based regional states (kililoch, singular - kilil) and 2 self-governing administrations* (astedaderoch, singular - astedader); Adis Abeba* (Addis Ababa), Afar, Amara (Amhara), Binshangul Gumuz, Dire Dawa*, Gambela Hizboch (Gambela Peoples), Hareri Hizb (Harari People), Oromiya (Oromia), Sumale (Somali), Tigray, Ye Debub Biheroch Bihereseboch na Hizboch (Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples)
    Independence field listing
    oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest in the world - at least 2,000 years (may be traced to the Aksumite Kingdom, which coalesced in the first century B.C.)
    National holiday field listing
    Derg Downfall Day (defeat of MENGISTU regime), 28 May (1991)
    Constitution field listing
    history: several previous; latest drafted June 1994, adopted 8 December 1994, entered into force 21 August 1995
    amendments: proposals submitted for discussion require two-thirds majority approval in either house of Parliament or majority approval of one-third of the State Councils; passage of amendments other than constitutional articles on fundamental rights and freedoms and the initiation and amendment of the constitution requires two-thirds majority vote in a joint session of Parliament and majority vote by two thirds of the State Councils; passage of amendments affecting rights and freedoms and amendment procedures requires two-thirds majority vote in each house of Parliament and majority vote by all the State Councils
    International law organization participation field listing
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Ethiopia
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 4 years
    Suffrage field listing
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: President SAHLE-WORK Zewde (since 25 October 2018)
    head of government: Prime Minister ABIY Ahmed (since 2 April 2018); Deputy Prime Minister DEMEKE Mekonnen Hassen (since 29 November 2012); note - Prime Minister HAILEMARIAM Desalegn (since 21 September 2012) resigned on 15 February 2018 and continued as caretaker until the new prime minister was sworn into office on 2 April 2018
    cabinet: Council of Ministers selected by the prime minister and approved by the House of People's Representatives
    elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by both chambers of Parliament for a 6-year term (eligible for a second term); snap election held on 25 October 2018 due to resignation of President MULATA Teshome (next election postponed by Prime Minister ABIY due to the COVID-19 pandemic); prime minister designated by the majority party following legislative elections
    election results: SAHLE-WORK Zewde elected president; Parliament vote - 659 (unanimous)
    note: SAHLE-WORK Zewde is the first female elected head of state in Ethiopia; she is currently the only female president in Africa. Former President Dr. Mulatu TESHOME resigned on 25 October 2018, one year ahead of finishing his six-year term.
    Legislative branch field listing
    description: bicameral Parliament consists of:
    House of Federation or Yefedereshein Mikir Bete (153 seats; members indirectly elected by state assemblies to serve 5-year terms)
    House of People's Representatives or Yehizb Tewokayoch Mekir Bete (547 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote; 22 seats reserved for minorities; all members serve 5-year terms)
    elections: House of Federation - last held 24 May 2015 (next originally scheduled on 29 August 2020 but postponed a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic)
    House of People's Representatives - last held on 24 May 2015 (next originally scheduled on 29 August 2020 but postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic)
    election results: House of Federation - percent of vote by coalition/party - NA; seats by coalition/party - NA; composition - men 104, women 49, percent of women 32%
    House of Representatives - percent of vote by coalition/party - NA; seats by coalition/party - EPRDF 501, SPDP 24, BGPDUP 9, ANDP 8, GPUDM 3, APDO 1, HNL 1; composition - men 335, women 212, percent of women  38.8%; note - total Parliament percent of women 37.3%
    note: House of Federation is responsible for interpreting the constitution and federal-regional issues and the House of People's Representatives is responsible for passing legislation
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Federal Supreme Court (consists of 11 judges); note - the House of Federation has jurisdiction for all constitutional issues
    judge selection and term of office: president and vice president of Federal Supreme Court recommended by the prime minister and appointed by the House of People's Representatives; other Supreme Court judges nominated by the Federal Judicial Administrative Council (a 10-member body chaired by the president of the Federal Supreme Court) and appointed by the House of People's Representatives; judges serve until retirement at age 60
    subordinate courts: federal high courts and federal courts of first instance; state court systems (mirror structure of federal system); sharia courts and customary and traditional courts
    Political parties and leaders field listing
    Afar National Democratic Party or ANDP [Taha AHMED]
    Argoba People Democratic Organization or APDO
    Benishangul Gumuz People's Democratic Unity Party or BGPDUP
    Ethiopian Federal Democratic Unity Forum or MEDREK or FORUM [Beyene PETROS] (includes ESD-SCUP, OFC, SLM, and UTDS)
    Ethiopia Citizens for Social Justice or ECSJ Party (formed in May 2019 from 7 other parties, including Patriotic Genbot 7, Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP), All Ethiopian Democratic Party (AEDP), Semayawi Party, New Generation Party, Gambella Regional Movement (GRM), Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) Party [Berhanu Negu])
    Prosperity Party or PP [ABIY Ahmed] (created in November 2019 from member parties of the former Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front or EPRDF, which included the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM),  Oromo People's Democratic Organization (OPDO), Southern Ethiopian People's Democratic Movement  (SEPDM), Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), plus other ERPRF allies
    Ethiopian Social Democracy-Southern Coalition Unity Party or ESD-SCUP
    Gambella Peoples Unity Democratic Movement or GPUDM
    Harari National League or HNL [Murad ABDULHADI]
    Oromo Fderalist Congress or OFC
    Sidama Liberaton Movement or SLM
    Somali People's Democratic Party or SPDP
    Union of Tigraians for Democracy & Sovergnty or UTDS
    Tigray Independence Party [Girmay BERHE] (2020)
    International organization participation field listing
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Ato FITSUM Arega (since 9 April 2019)
    chancery: 3506 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 364-1200
    FAX: [1] (202) 587-0195
    consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, Seattle
    consulate(s): Houston, New York
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Michael RAYNOR (since 3 October 2017)
    telephone: [251] 11 130-6000
    embassy: Entoto Street, P.O. Box 1014, Addis Ababa
    mailing address: P.O. Box 1014, Addis Ababa
    FAX: [251] 11 124-2401
    Flag description field listing
    three equal horizontal bands of green (top), yellow, and red, with a yellow pentagram and single yellow rays emanating from the angles between the points on a light blue disk centered on the three bands; green represents hope and the fertility of the land, yellow symbolizes justice and harmony, while red stands for sacrifice and heroism in the defense of the land; the blue of the disk symbolizes peace and the pentagram represents the unity and equality of the nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia

    note: Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa, and the three main colors of her flag (adopted ca. 1895) were so often appropriated by other African countries upon independence that they became known as the Pan-African colors; the emblem in the center of the current flag was added in 1996

    National symbol(s) field listing
    Abyssinian lion (traditional), yellow pentagram with five rays of light on a blue field (promoted by current government); national colors: green, yellow, red
    National anthem field listing
    name: "Whedefit Gesgeshi Woud Enat Ethiopia" (March Forward, Dear Mother Ethiopia)
    lyrics/music: DEREJE Melaku Mengesha/SOLOMON Lulu

    note: adopted 1992

  • Economy :: Ethiopia
  • Economy - overview field listing

    Ethiopia - the second most populous country in Africa - is a one-party state with a planned economy. For more than a decade before 2016, GDP grew at a rate between 8% and 11% annually – one of the fastest growing states among the 188 IMF member countries. This growth was driven by government investment in infrastructure, as well as sustained progress in the agricultural and service sectors. More than 70% of Ethiopia’s population is still employed in the agricultural sector, but services have surpassed agriculture as the principal source of GDP.

    Ethiopia has the lowest level of income-inequality in Africa and one of the lowest in the world, with a Gini coefficient comparable to that of the Scandinavian countries. Yet despite progress toward eliminating extreme poverty, Ethiopia remains one of the poorest countries in the world, due both to rapid population growth and a low starting base. Changes in rainfall associated with world-wide weather patterns resulted in the worst drought in 30 years in 2015-16, creating food insecurity for millions of Ethiopians.

    The state is heavily engaged in the economy. Ongoing infrastructure projects include power production and distribution, roads, rails, airports and industrial parks. Key sectors are state-owned, including telecommunications, banking and insurance, and power distribution. Under Ethiopia's constitution, the state owns all land and provides long-term leases to tenants. Title rights in urban areas, particularly Addis Ababa, are poorly regulated, and subject to corruption.

    Ethiopia’s foreign exchange earnings are led by the services sector - primarily the state-run Ethiopian Airlines - followed by exports of several commodities. While coffee remains the largest foreign exchange earner, Ethiopia is diversifying exports, and commodities such as gold, sesame, khat, livestock and horticulture products are becoming increasingly important. Manufacturing represented less than 8% of total exports in 2016, but manufacturing exports should increase in future years due to a growing international presence.

    The banking, insurance, telecommunications, and micro-credit industries are restricted to domestic investors, but Ethiopia has attracted roughly $8.5 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI), mostly from China, Turkey, India and the EU; US FDI is $567 million. Investment has been primarily in infrastructure, construction, agriculture/horticulture, agricultural processing, textiles, leather and leather products.

    To support industrialization in sectors where Ethiopia has a comparative advantage, such as textiles and garments, leather goods, and processed agricultural products, Ethiopia plans to increase installed power generation capacity by 8,320 MW, up from a capacity of 2,000 MW, by building three more major dams and expanding to other sources of renewable energy. In 2017, the government devalued the birr by 15% to increase exports and alleviate a chronic foreign currency shortage in the country.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $200.6 billion (2017 est.)
    $181 billion (2016 est.)
    $167.6 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 64
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $80.87 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    10.9% (2017 est.)
    8% (2016 est.)
    10.4% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $2,200 (2017 est.)
    $2,000 (2016 est.)
    $1,900 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 204
    Gross national saving field listing
    32.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
    32.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
    32.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 69.6% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 10% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 43.5% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: -0.1% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 8.1% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -31.2% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 34.8% (2017 est.)
    industry: 21.6% (2017 est.)
    services: 43.6% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    cereals, coffee, oilseed, cotton, sugarcane, vegetables, khat, cut flowers; hides, cattle, sheep, goats; fish
    Industries field listing
    food processing, beverages, textiles, leather, garments, chemicals, metals processing, cement
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    10.5% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    Labor force field listing
    52.82 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 72.7%
    industry: 7.4%
    services: 19.9% (2013 est.)
    Unemployment rate field listing
    17.5% (2012 est.)
    18% (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    Population below poverty line field listing
    29.6% (2014 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: 4.1%
    highest 10%: 25.6% (2005)
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 11.24 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 13.79 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    13.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -3.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    Public debt field listing
    54.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
    53.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    Fiscal year field listing
    8 July - 7 July
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    9.9% (2017 est.)
    7.3% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    Current account balance field listing
    -$6.551 billion (2017 est.)
    -$6.574 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    Exports field listing
    $3.23 billion (2017 est.)
    $2.814 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    Exports - partners field listing
    Sudan 23.3%, Switzerland 10.2%, China 8.1%, Somalia 6.6%, Netherlands 6.2%, US 4.7%, Germany 4.7%, Saudi Arabia 4.6%, UK 4.6% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    coffee (27%, by value), oilseeds (17%), edible vegetables including khat (17%), gold (13%), flowers (7%), live animals (7%), raw leather products (3%), meat products (3%)
    Imports field listing
    $15.59 billion (2017 est.)
    $14.69 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    Imports - commodities field listing
    machinery and aircraft (14%, by value), metal and metal products, (14%), electrical materials, (13%), petroleum products (12%), motor vehicles, (10%), chemicals and fertilizers (4%)
    Imports - partners field listing
    China 24.1%, Saudi Arabia 10.1%, India 6.4%, Kuwait 5.3%, France 5.2% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $3.013 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $3.022 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 110
    Debt - external field listing
    $26.05 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $24.82 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    Exchange rates field listing
    birr (ETB) per US dollar -
    25 (2017 est.)
    21.732 (2016 est.)
    21.732 (2015 est.)
    21.55 (2014 est.)
    19.8 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Ethiopia
  • Electricity access field listing
    population without electricity: 60 million (2019)
    electrification - total population: 47% (2019)
    electrification - urban areas: 96% (2019)
    electrification - rural areas: 34% (2019)
    Electricity - production field listing
    11.15 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    9.062 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    Electricity - exports field listing
    166 million kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    Electricity - imports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    2.784 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    3% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 207
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    86% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    11% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    Crude oil - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    428,000 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    74,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    69,970 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    Natural gas - production field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    24.92 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    12.18 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
  • Communications :: Ethiopia
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 1,095,946
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1.04 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 38,147,361
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 36.2 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    Telecommunication systems field listing
    general assessment: Ethio Telecom maintained a monopoly over telecommunication services until recently and is now part-private; new expansion of LTE services; in 2019 govt. approved legislations which opened the market to competition and provides much needed foreign investment; one of the tech companies is Chinese company Huawei; govt. reduces tariffs by up to 50% in 2018, the result is an increase in data and voice traffic; govt. launches mobile app as part of e-govt initiative to build tech city (2020)
    domestic: fixed-line subscriptions at 1 per 100 while mobile-cellular stands at 36 per 100; the number of mobile telephones is increasing steadily (2019)
    international: country code - 251; open-wire to Sudan and Djibouti; microwave radio relay to Kenya and Djibouti; 2 domestic satellites provide the national trunk service; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Pacific Ocean) (2016)
    note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media field listing
    6 public TV stations broadcasting nationally and 10 public radio broadcasters; 7 private radio stations and 19 community radio stations (2017)
    Internet country code field listing
    Internet users field listing
    total: 19,118,470
    percent of population: 18.62% (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 580,120
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
  • Transportation :: Ethiopia
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 1 (2020)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 75
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 11,501,244 (2018)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 2,089,280,000 mt-km (2018)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    ET (2016)
    Airports field listing
    57 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 17 (2017)
    over 3,047 m: 3 (2017)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 8 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2017)
    under 914 m: 2 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 40 (2013)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 9 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 20 (2013)
    under 914 m: 8 (2013)
    Railways field listing
    total: 659 km (Ethiopian segment of the 756 km Addis Ababa-Djibouti railroad) (2017)
    standard gauge: 659 km 1.435-m gauge (2017)

    note: electric railway with redundant power supplies; under joint control of Djibouti and Ethiopia and managed by a Chinese contractor

    country comparison to the world: 105
    Roadways field listing
    total: 120,171 km (2018)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 11
    by type: general cargo 9, oil tanker 2 (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    Ports and terminals field listing
    Ethiopia is landlocked and uses the ports of Djibouti in Djibouti and Berbera in Somalia
  • Military and Security :: Ethiopia
  • Military and security forces field listing
    Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF): Ground Forces, Ethiopian Air Force (Ye Ityopya Ayer Hayl, ETAF) (2020)

    note: in January 2020 the Ethiopian Government announced it had re-established a navy, which was disbanded in 1996; in March 2019 Ethiopia signed a defense cooperation agreement with France which stipulated that France would support the establishment of an Ethiopian navy

    in 2018, Ethiopia established a Republican Guard for protecting senior officials; the Republican Guard is a military unit accountable to the Prime Minister

    Military expenditures field listing
    0.7% of GDP (2019)
    0.7% of GDP (2018)
    0.7% of GDP (2017)
    0.7% of GDP (2016)
    0.7% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    Military and security service personnel strengths field listing
    estimates for the size of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) vary; approximately 150,000 active duty troops, including about 3,000 Air Force personnel (no personnel numbers available for the newly-reestablished Navy) (2020)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions field listing
    the ENDF's inventory is comprised mostly of Soviet-era equipment; since 2010, Russia and Ukraine are the leading suppliers of largely second-hand weapons and equipment to the ENDF, followed by China and Hungary; Ethiopia has a modest industrial defense base centered on small arms and licensed production of light-armored vehicles (2019 est.)
    Military deployments field listing
    15-20,000 Somalia (includes about 4,400 under AMISOM); 800 Sudan (UNAMID); 3,600 Sudan (UNISFA); 2,100 South Sudan (UNMISS) (2020)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    18 years of age for voluntary military service; no compulsory military service, but the military can conduct callups when necessary and compliance is compulsory (2013)
    Military - note field listing
    each of the nine states has a regional, a special police force, or both that report to regional civilian authorities; local militias operate across the country in loose and varying coordination with these regional police, the Ethiopian Federal Police (EFP), and the military; the EFP reports to the Ministry of Peace, which was created in October of 2018 (2019)
  • Terrorism :: Ethiopia
  • Transnational Issues :: Ethiopia
  • Disputes - international field listing

    Eritrea and Ethiopia agreed to abide by the 2002 Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission's (EEBC) delimitation decision, but neither party responded to the revised line detailed in the November 2006 EEBC Demarcation Statement; the undemarcated former British administrative line has little meaning as a political separation to rival clans within Ethiopia's Ogaden and southern Somalia's Oromo region; Ethiopian forces invaded southern Somalia and routed Islamist courts from Mogadishu in January 2007; "Somaliland" secessionists provide port facilities in Berbera and trade ties to landlocked Ethiopia; civil unrest in eastern Sudan has hampered efforts to demarcate the porous boundary with Ethiopia; Ethiopia's construction of a large dam (the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam) on the Blue Nile since 2011 has become a focal point of relations with Egypt and Sudan; as of 2020, four years of three-way talks between the three capitals over operating the dam and filling its reservoir had made little progress; Ethiopia plans to start filling the dam in July 2020

    Refugees and internally displaced persons field listing
    refugees (country of origin): 362,787 (South Sudan), 201,465 (Somalia), 178,559 (Eritrea), 43,729 (Sudan) (2020)
    IDPs: 1,735,481 (includes conflict- and climate-induced IDPs, excluding unverified estimates from the Amhara region; border war with Eritrea from 1998-2000; ethnic clashes; and ongoing fighting between the Ethiopian military and separatist rebel groups in the Somali and Oromia regions; natural disasters; intercommunal violence; most IDPs live in Sumale state) (2019)
    Illicit drugs field listing
    transit hub for heroin originating in Southwest and Southeast Asia and destined for Europe, as well as cocaine destined for markets in southern Africa; cultivates qat (khat) for local use and regional export, principally to Djibouti and Somalia (legal in all three countries); the lack of a well-developed financial system limits the country's utility as a money laundering center