50 Fascinating Facts about Ethiopia

Ethiopia is a country that is located in what is known as the Horn of Africa. Its official name is the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. This African country is the 27th largest in the world by area, which measure 426,400 square miles. The country's population exceeds 100 million, making it the 12th most populous in the world. The country is a federal parliamentary republic. It does not have an official language, but Amharic is a working langage, and the country has multiple regional languages. The main religion in the country is Christianity, while about one-third of residents practice Islam. The country's currency is the Birr, and its flag features three strips of green, gold, and red, with the country's emblem located in the center of the flag.

Ethiopia Facts

1
The GDP of Ethiopia is $174.7 billion.
2
The nominal GDP per capita is $1,900.
3
Ethiopia is a federal parliamentary republic.
4
The Ethiopian calendar has a 13th month that has just five or six days.
5
Ethiopia was established around 980 BC and is one of the oldest countries on Earth.
6
Nearly one in five Ethiopian girls is married before she is 15 years old.
7
Nearly two out of every five girls are married before she turns 18.
8
More than 80 different languages are spoken in Ethiopia.
9
The oldest fossilized skeleton of a human was found in this country. The skeleton is thought to be over three million years old.
10
The national dish of Ethiopia is wat, a type of spicy stew.
11
Ethiopia has a total of nine UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the holy city of Lalibela.
12
Addis Ababa Mercato is the largest open-air market in Africa.
13
Ethiopia is the second most populous country in Africa, coming in second only to Nigeria.
14
About 70% of Africa’s mountains are found in Ethiopia.
15
Africa’s first gold medal was won by Abebe Bikila in 1960.
16
Coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia’s Kaffa region.
17
Ethiopians celebrate New Year’s in the month of September.
18
Amharic is the official language of Ethiopia. However, Oromo is also widely spoken in the country, while other languages are also spoken as well.
19
Camels and donkeys were first domesticated in this country.
20
Ethiopia is the 5th poorest country in the world.
21
Approximately two-thirds of the population live on less than $1 per day.
22
Most children in Ethiopia take their father’s first name as their last name.
23
One of Ethiopia’s delicacies is raw meat.
24
In some areas of Ethiopia, residents wear a large disc in their lip. This is considered beautiful among the people in these regions.
25
A famine that struck the country in the 1980s killed at least 400,000 and may have led to the deaths of as many as one million people.
26
Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world.
27
Dallol, Ethiopia was the hottest place on earth. It is now considered a ghost town and has no residents.
28
Almost half of the Ethiopian population is under the age of 15.
29
The Ethiopians have their own indigenous written alphabet.
30
Ethiopia was mentioned in the Bible and the Koran.
31
Slavery was legal in Ethiopia until 1942.
32
The first hotel in Ethiopia was constructed in 1898, and it is still in operation.
33
Ethiopia is the 10th largest country in Africa.
34
Italy attempted to invade Ethiopia twice and was defeated both times.
35
Consuming animal products on Wednesdays and Fridays is forbidden in Ethiopia.
36
Ethiopia has a different way of measuring time from the rest of the world. Six a.m. is considered to be 12 and is seen as the start of the day.
37
Stick fighting is a popular sport in certain regions in Ethiopia.
38
Buhe is similar to Halloween and is celebrated in August in Ethiopia. Boys go door to door, singing songs and receiving bread. In some cities, they may also be paid money after they finish singing.
39
Ethiopia is called the Roof of Africa because of how many mountains are located in the country.
40
Addis Ababa is the third-highest capital in the world, sitting at 8,000 feet.
41
Primary school enrollments have quadrupled over the last 20 years.
42
Child mortality has decreased by 50% over the past two decades.
43
The number of people in Ethiopia that have access to clean water has tripled in recent years.
44
Because the Ethiopian calendar has an additional month, it is now about eight years behind traditional calendars used in the United States and other countries.
45
The Ethiopian wolf and the Gelada baboon reside in Ethiopia and can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
46
The Blue Nile runs through Ethiopia.
47
It is considered impolite in Ethiopian culture to turn down a cup of coffee
48
Traditional societies in Ethiopia believe that having twins is a sign of bad luck. Some go so far as to say that twins are evil.
49
Ethiopia has one of the lowest life expectancies in the world, with the average for men at 48 years and 50 years for women.
50
Ancient laws prohibit females from entering certain holy spots in the country. This doesn’t just apply to women, but to female animals as well.

Economically, Ethiopia has always fallen behind much of the world's other countries. Famine and poverty have stricken the country over the years and continue to impact many of its residents.

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