Demographics of Eritrea

2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: African Geography

Eritrea's population is comprised of nine ethnic groups, most of which speak Semitic or Cushitic languages. The Tigrinya and Tigre make up four-fifths of the population and speak different, but related and somewhat mutually intelligible, Semitic languages. Tigrinya and Arabic are the most frequently used languages for commercial and official transactions, but English is widely spoken and is the language used for secondary and university education. In general, most of the Christians live in the highlands, while Muslims and adherents of traditional beliefs live in the lowland regions.

The present composition of the Eritrean population is the result of a complex and extensive intermixing of different peoples of North African, Near and Middle Eastern, and south-Saharan origin. The two main groups inhabiting the country are the Tigray, descended from Arabian conquerors. On the basis of historical, linguistic, and genetic data, it has been suggested that the Eritrean and Ethiopian population has been strongly affected by Caucasoid migrations since Neolithic times.

Current Demographic data (2006)

Population: 4,786,994 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 44% (male 1,059,458; female 1,046,955)
15-64 years: 52.5% (male 1,244,153; female 1,268,189)
65 years and over: 3.5% (male 82,112; female 86,127) (2006 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.47% (2006 est.)

Birth rate: 34.33 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate: 9.6 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.95 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 46.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 59.03 years
male: 57.44 years
female: 60.66 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.08 children born/woman (2006 est.)

noun: Eritrean(s)
adjective: Eritrean

Ethnic groups: There are 9 ethnic groups: Afar, Bilen, Beja ( Hedareb), Kunama, Nara, Rashaida, Saho, Tigre and Tigrinya.

U.S. State Department: Tigrinya 50%, Tigre 31.4%, Saho 5%, Afar 5%, Beja 2.5%, Bilen 2.1%, Kunama 2%, Nara 1.5%, and Rashaida .5%.

CIA Factbook: Tigrinya: 50%, Tigre and Kunama: 40%, Afar: 4%, Saho: 3%

Religions: Coptic Christian, Sunni Islam, Roman Catholic, Protestant

Languages: Afar, Arabic (spoken by the Rashaida), Beja (spoken by the Hedareb), Blin, Kunama, Nara, Saho, Tigre, Tigrinya, English as a second language. Tigrinya and Arabic are the foremost second languages.

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 58.6%
male: 69.9%
female: 47.6% (2003 est.)

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