I am humbled by your reactions and the moving words of appreciation from many, many, many readers. Thank you so very much for your marvelous words of encouragement, expressed in so many thoughtful ways. There were questions and criticisms as well (at a ratio of about  1 to 100), and I am immensely thankful for those too. I have listed them all below. I have also added a sample offer of a collaborative work.

Please note, however, that this is not a finished product. It will be a never-ending work in progress, and I will continue to rely on your wisdom, support, and inputs to make improvements and achieve the goal of presenting a true demographic picture of our people. I promised that the site will be interactive, and here I am reacting to what you had written. I have given direct replies to all of you who have left an e-mail address and have already obeyed the wishes of the Brother from San Diego California. I will not say your name out of respect for your privacy but I am sure you have noticed the changes. I fully agreed with you.

To the brother who objected to a single word (moribund) in the introductory diagram I say, thank you. I agree with you too, but I have explanations. I am not in anyway denigrating the wisdom, ingenuity, creativity, and resourcefulness of our people. I do contend however, that lack of proper guidance and misplaced priorities on the part of governments have ensured a very very very very slow pace of change. The intellectual capabilities of educated Ethiopians (in agriculture, economics, soil science, forestry, ecology, conservation, environmental science, etc. ) remain to be deployed in full. As a result (unfortunately), the word will continue to have a rightful place in the diagram.

For those who had/have questions regarding the population data used, I suggest reading the concluding sections of lesson 2 on Population Data Sources. It explains why I relied heavily on the 2008 projections rather than the 2007 census data. 

I have posted sample comments - only those that raised questions or are of a critical nature (below). Will you the readers help me address the first one?  Please look for postings of new questions and criticisms in the coming days and weeks.


"Dear  DR!

Forgive if I intrude on your profession . It  will be a novel task to have a demography data on Ethiopians Diasporas

.When I think of  about mass migration of Ethiopians since 1974 revolution as refugees, migrant workers in Mideast, Europe ,and America it is alarming in its obscurity in numbers

.Among us there are  professionals , maid worker,business Entrepreneur , homeless ,high-school dropout . This  demography data have a big weight for our country  .

I will say arrogantly it is your national duty to try at least as preliminary  data.
.Preliminary data can be collect from churches, restaurants ,yellow pages web site ,government censors center ,Embassies, universities . well I am a pharmacist I can not go farther . I apologize for my arrogance it does not hurt to say what I feel for the cause of national interest"

My reply:

Hello Brother .....

This is not arrogance, and please feel free to speak your mind. Any time! I appreciate the depth of your feelings on this matter. I will do my best to address your requests. I might add a page where individuals from all around the world can send data entries on estimates of the number of  Ethiopians in the the countries where they live.


"Dear Dr. Adugna,

This is great beginning,  I like how you organized the contents. It is easily
accessible as well. Few comments. This website could a very important source for
all kind of researchers. But you should not mix some political staff into it.
keep it clean of that.
For example, why was t necessary to write a historical background for Oromos but
not others? It might not be your intention but others, including my self
perceive this as an attempt to mislead your readers. In similar fashion you
compared Oromia with Amhara region, and one cannot help but notice the fact that
this was intended to "repudiate" the claim made by Oromos about being oppressed
by Amharas.
I have no problem people writing controversial staff. But please not on this
website. This is way more valuable. You have put too much energy and time into
it, you should keep it clean.
If you would like to me give you a detailed feedback, please contact me at ......"

My reply:

Thank you very much for your comments. I have recived praises at ratios of 100 to 1 to criticisms but although I welcome them with humble gratitude it was not my goal to elicit praises or adulation. So, I look forward to comments/questions like yours.

Regarding your comments 1) I have given a paragraph or two of background information on all major groups (emphasis on all). I have made it brief because as you have noted, controversial/political issues should be left out. 2) As far as approaches that masked the exploitation/operation of one group by another I honestly would love to know more about how comparing Oromo women's birth histories to that of Amhara women achieves that result?  Aynalem..


"Hello Aynalem Adugna,
How are you?
I am really pleased to see how you are doing!
But one thing!
I imagine, to make your efforts valid, you need to reconcile the outlooks of our
demographic picture between the officially agreed based on government counts and
the controversies stated in abound by most other groups!
Otherwise, it could be very contentions to take the output of your website and
trying to spare time in that direction."

No e-mail address. So, no reply.


"I would like to appreciate and thank you for providing
us demographic information. I really found it very useful and interesting. I
want to mention one subject that I think is missing in the Ethiopia in Picture
page that is Wild Life(Wild Animals).Would you please consider Wild Life as part
of Ethiopia in Picture?"


Thank you Brother Abebe

I will be sure to add more photographs including pictures of Ethiopia's wild game as soon as I am able to acquire them. Thanks again. Aynalem.




Demographers use data based on aggregations at various administrative levels, but have no say in the creation of those administrative units.


Dear Dr. Aynalem Adugna.
Greetings to you.
Your effort is really amazing and should be appreciated.
I have the following suggestions if you don't mind?
(1)Please,show the AFRICAN continent, so that people could understand which part
of Ethiopia is located on the African map.From my experinece, there are a lot of
people who don't even know where the African continent is located, leave alone
(2)Please try to indicate all provinces USING THE old time map BY PUTTING under
with best regard,


I use a tracking system, and am happy to report based on early impressions that nearly all visitors are Ethiopians. Regarding old place names, please note that all digital maps now in existence show the current boundary divisions. Another issue with old maps would be the inevitable mismatch between place names and the available statistical data which is based on new administrative divisions.  If it is any consolation, I would like to remind you that we still have the old Wereda names.


As a person who will be in the health profession, I understanding finding health data in
Ethiopia is one of the most frustrating. Hopefully such information will lead to
more people to carry out studies.

My suggestion is to improve the site design.  While the content is very solid,
maybe some spelling mistakes here and there, the site can definitely use a
better layout.


Thank you for your comments and suggestions. On site design, this is work in progress and improvements will be made. I have noticed many typos upon a revisit myself. Those will be taken care of, but some errors will persist until I get volunteers to proof-read all texts. Thanks again.


Dr. Aynalem,

Congradulations for your good work. I am delighted by the content richness of
your site. I am sure that it will be of tremendous value for many researchers.

I am not sure whether you are aware of the site http://atlas.amharic.net that I
built in 2002 and still functioning well. I wish I had known you by then that we
could collaborate and make a perfect web atlas of Ethiopia. BTW, I'm a GIS
expert by profession and taught GIS, Land Use Planning, mathematics at ........
University for many years. Since 2003, I live in ....... and am consultant for

I will be delighted if there is any chance that we work together in realizing a
more robust and useful web atlas for Ethiopia.

I will be glad to send you my resume for your review and to keep it for any
possible collaboration.

Congratulations again and please feel free to contact me for anything that I
might be of help.


Hello Brother ........:

Thank you so much for your comments. Your encouraging words come from someone who knows what it really takes to try and shine a light on the affairs of the country we love. I have visited your atlas web site, and know it takes a lot of commitment and willingness to put in hundreds, perhaps thousands of unpaid hours.  I can tell you right away that there are an infinite number of things we can do together especially in the area of web-based interactive maps using population and health data. Thanks again. Ayanalem.


Where is the Ethiopian population data? That would be
the first thing one'd look for in such a topic as the "Ethiopian population

Aug and Oct 2008 clips won't meet the "news" category I presume.

- good demographic search items and computation.

Just comments


Thank you for your comments. Click on region names and find data down to Wereda and town levels (total population sizes). Scroll further down for more in-depth look at demographic data. More data in the Lesson 1, and a lot more in other chapters.   Also, please take a look at the concluding remarks and tables in lesson 2 to see how much this work and others like it will be handicapped by the questionable outcomes of the 2007 census efforts. Finally, one could just go to the main source - the Central Statistical Authority web site and other sites listed in the reference section. On news worthiness, I would just say that not much has changed since August and October  ( ref: recent warnings by the Prime Minister). 

Dear Dr. Aynalem,
I want to congratulate you on your newly launched demographic website. It is timely and if handled with the non-partisan care you promised could turn into a resource center for all types of researchers. I am also very encouraged by the fact that the site is interactive, educative and run by an Ethiopian!

Brother M....

Thank you so much. Thanks a million. I will answer your questions as follows

Here are few questions that you already may have the answers to.
1. What is different about your site that CIA Factbook or World Bank or any number of UN etc agencies could not provide?

Answer:  You said it above. This one is by an Ethiopian. Moreover, the disparate data and facts all over the net including CIA facts are pulled together to present a coherent picture about one country - Ethiopia. I would like to encourage you to make your own comparisons

2. Is there a professional Advisory Board to oversee the project? [I can see you are highly qualified to run the project; I suggest you list Board members and their qualifications in the site. Caution: some individuals may be qualified in the professional sense but their involvement in partisan politics could actually be a liability.]

Answer: I thank you for your advice to be cautious about who gets involved. Fortunately or unfortunately no one else is involved. Please read my objectives (second slide when you click on "start here"). If you believe I need to set up a board despite my limited goal of helping undergraduate Ethiopians needing information on population and health, I would be happy to oblige.

3. Do you have a plan in place not only to maintain but also to sustain the project? [Many projects simply disappear shortly after launching.]

Yes sir, yes ,yes, yes, and I am hopping to get help doing so.

4. Will you expand your data to include religion, etc?

Please click on region names (for example Amhara) and see what we have.  Note: I missread the word "religion" as "region" 

5. Do you plan to seek funding from any number of private/federal agencies?

I have not been paid a penny by anyone. However, I can use all the help I can get, especially in light of my plans to go and get data right from the source (ke minchu) - travel expenses, and other expenses. I financed such a trip out of pocket during my trip in December. What happened at departure has left a very bad taste in my mouth but I am not bitter. Mover, I would be happy to accept a position where I can spend ALLof my time working on Ethiopian demography and health.

In the end you will have to earn credibility by the the timely update, selection, uniqueness, accessibility, web design [layout, etc] and explanation of data, etc.

As far as credibility, I am not worried too much. Demography is a truth teller. I am not in a position to alter numbers, I do not have the powers to so so, and if I did I would reliquish my duties as an academic before tampering with facts, for that would leave me hollow. My interpretation and explanation of data will only be limited by my abilities and not by my unwillingness to let the data speak the truth.  

Thanks again. Aynalem.


First of all I would like to thank you for your special
endevour to do such thing.
when I browse your website I am very surprised by population figures that posted
in the site. For example you posted that the population number of Sekota 
"150131" is quite very surprised for me and others since the population of of
the town is not much more than 15000-20000.  For this fact the reliablity of the
figures put it in dought.
Thank you,
Bahir Dar.


Dear Brother G...

Thank you for visiting the site, and for your comments. It seems that you have confused Sekota the town with Sekota the Wereda. Please re-visit. You will find that the population of Sekota (the Town) includes 7242 males and 7786 females for a total population of 15,028 which is very close to your lower estimate of 15,000.  Aynalem.


It is Leninist /Barbaric to divide the regions
tribaly/langudge / etc , it cold have been accourdin their geographical out
look, population distribution, and resources. Their bounderies could have been
mountains and rivers.

How is it posible to creat oromo following every oromos house ?
Hwo is it posible to creat x tribe following every x teibes house ?

Oromia,,Somalia,,Tigray,,Amhara are evrlasting war inviting divisions!!!!!!

MORE....Many differnt Ethiopian people in milions live in every reguion than the
name stands for,,,WE ar mixed to the extreem !!!! How maney people you whant to
heart and disapoint !!!!One accepted administration and education languadge for
all...free econommy,,,free movement,, 

Shame Woyane !! any way you are what you are logic is your enemy !!!


Have nothing to say to you Sir/Madam. Aynalem.

A visitor to your Web site has filled out the form located at:

Dear Dr. Aynalem,

I have come across this website developed by you. I have found it to be very  informative and educational. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you  for tremendous efforts in making this interesting website available to people who are interested to conduct research or teach or just appreciate as to what is happening in Ethiopia as regards the country's population development.

I assume that while indicating the extent and magnitude of such population dynamics as migration and fertility is important, it may also be equally essential to envisage mechanisms of comprehending the mentality of people back home as regards these issues of demographics. This may help identify the major triggers and thereby develop strategies in order to curb problems. I may give one example. It is a well-known fact that many Ethiopians are attracted to the thought of moving abroad. Some become successful after several ups and downs,
while others simply get lost somewhere with nobody caring about them. We always hear horrible stories about migrants. Some get sunk in water while trying to cross the Red Sea or Indian Ocean or perish in the sand in the Sahara desert while trying to escape to Europe through Libya. Others pass a terrible life in prisons in dozens of African and Arabian countries. But what are the real causes of all these problems? What makes people decide to migrate and suffer from the consequences? Is this really because push factors out way pull factors as always
claimed in several discussions and research? Or is it because of attitude problems that they think life elsewhere is better than life at home? Or is it because earlier migrants provide them with "false" information about their life styles abroad so that they kind of induce people at home do the same? What are the missing links between migrants abroad and families back home? Are migrants meaningfully contributing to the socio-economic transformation of their country? How can governments tap into the potentials of migrants for the benefit of Ethiopia? These are some of the issues that come to my head whenever I think of  migration. I am writing just to share my ideas not for specific answers.

Thank you!


Bamlak Alamirew (Ph.D student)


I would like to invite all readers to supply inputs that could help me address the issues rasised by brother Bamlak

How sure are you with the demographics of Oromiyaa  because it is just a map that just seems to be wrong and are you getting it from
the british? That is also seems to be wrong, tell the truth the population of  oromiyaa is beyond 50 million including wallo which seems not to be on ther  because you have the wrong information.


No e-mail address. So, no reply. Honestly (e-mail address or not), I don;t believe I have a reply for you. Sorry.

A visitor to your Web site has filled out the form located at:

Dear Dr Adugna,

congrats on a great page. Found a lot of information and in great 'digested'
way, i.e. the summary of the DHS is really userfriendly and brilliant to quickly
understand the key points (esp. when you don't have the time to read the 400
page of the DHS report...).

thanks very much and I hope that you'll find the time to update all this with
the hopefully soon forthcoming new DHS.

Equally great are your chapters on various health topics, totally amazing, and
exactly what I was looking for, thanks so much again!

All the best,
ANONYMOUS from Germany

Thank you very much, and yes DHS 2010 update will be made as soon as results are announced.


Dear Dr. Aynalem,

Thank you for creating this site.  I was a Fulbright Senior Fellow at Addis
Ababa University in the spring of 2009 and have been trying to pull together
socio-economic data for some research I have been pursuing.  I came across your
site and commend you for the effort you have undertaken.  Keep up the good work.

P.  L.
Emeritus Professor of Economics
Montclair State University
Montclair, New Jersey
Thank you professor. Thanks a millioon.

Dr Aynalem
i appreciate your effort. the information that you are providing are well organized and qualitative but some of the data you use are taken from the Ethiopian government.most of the data are not acceptable. actually you can use but you have to indicate as they are the disputed one .
1. for example  humera ,tegede telemit ,wolkait , raya of tirai and  metekel zone benshangul region are Amara lands. these lands  are De facto . this is  unacceptable teaching.
2.  the 2007 Ethiopian population size report is  not "census" . 
          31.2% Ethiopian population  Amara but  it is reported to be  26.9%. and the population size of Amara region is reduced from 22 million to 17.2 million.

these and other data are not acceptable.   
using any data is you right but sort the disputed ones


Most African censuses undercount the population with the exception of politically-motivated over-counts such as have been witnessed in Nigeria and other countries. The nine regions of Ethiopia are no exception but I have argued on several pages of this website that the Amhara region may have suffered greater degrees of under-counts than others during the 2007 census. I have also argued in a paper submitted to IDR that no evidence of an intentional tampering/foul-play on the part of the government was found. Unfortunately I have nothing to say regarding the issues of territories and which Weredas belong to which regions. I just don't know enough about the reasons behind the boundary redrawing that took place in the early/mid 1990s and is continuing to take place now.

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Ethiopian Demography and Health