Population Density in Ethiopia

By Sisi Baker

Ethiopia will not thrive in the years ahead because its population is rapidly growing causing environmental issues and poverty.

Ethiopia has an extremely high population. The population is increasing by 2 million people every year. The population keeps growing because women have a lot of children. Ethiopians believe a larger family is more financially sound and with more individuals, it is easier to care for the elderly family members. Ethiopian women average approximately 6 children each. One out of every 14 women dies from complications during pregnancy, and 114 infants die for every 1000 births. Many girls get married at an early age and continue having children until late into their middle years. They are not encouraged to use any family planning methods such as birth control. (Population)

Map of Ethiopia

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"Ethiopia Map." N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Print.

Over population affects the environment

With the rapid population growth comes over-farming and deforestation. Forests are diminishing because trees are being cut down and cleared land is being over-farmed. The forest coverage has dropped from 40 percent 75 years ago, to only 3 percent today. Ethiopians must travel farther to find firewood, the principal fuel, which reduces time for farming. Without firewood, many resort to burning animal feces, prohibiting them to use it to fertilize their soil. Without trees to help hold the soil in place, erosion occurs from the steep highlands. This transforms habitable areas into drylands and desert. (Population)


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Deforestation in Ethiopia. N.d. Ethiopian-News. Web. 29 Apr. 2016.

Poverty in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is one of the world's poorest countries. 80% of the people rely on agriculture and farming as their main lively hood even though Ethiopia's climate is arid. The lack of rain often kills the crops. 78% of Ethiopians receive an income less than 2 US dollars per day. (Poverty)
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Poverty in Ethiopia. N.d. Youtube. Web. 29 Apr. 2016.

What the Government is Doing to Help

Ethiopia's government is not doing a good job fixing these issues. “Eighty-five percent of the population lives in rural areas, mainly in the central and northeastern highlands, where population growth and poverty are much higher than in urban areas” (Population). The government has attempted to put policies and goals in place such as the Millennium Development Goals ("a roadmap and vision of a world free from poverty and hunger, with universal education, better health, environmental sustainability, freedom, justice and equality for all") (Millennium) and environmental policy. However, the people are not applying the goals or obeying the policies. Some people say “Ethiopia's government seems to be more interested in developing policies than implementing them” (Population).

Works Cited

Deforestation in Ethiopia. N.d. Ethiopian-News. Web. 29 Apr. 2016.

"Ethiopia Map." N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Print.

"Millennium Development Goals." Millennium Development Goals. UNDP., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2016.

"Population, Development, and Environment in Ethiopia." Wilson Center. Event Co-sponsors, 14 Apr. 2005. Web. 29 Apr. 2016.

"Poverty In Ethiopia." World Finance. World Finance, n.d. Web. 02 May 2016.