I replaced the 2008 population projections (source ) with the actual 2007 census data (source ), which
I think are more reliable.
ISO 3166-2 Newsletter number I-4, dated 2002-12-10, adds Dire Dawa administration to the list of subdivisions;
changes the status of Addis Ababa from "capital city" to administration; and includes the Amharic names of the
subdivisions. I have added the new code for Dire Dawa to the table below.
Change Notice 7 to FIPS PUB 10-4 is dated 2002-01-10. Previously, the FIPS standard listed thirty regions.
In this update, those regions are expunged, to be replaced with eleven divisions (nine states and two
Europeans have used the names Ethiopia and Abyssinia interchangeably for the country in this location.
Italy had territorial ambitions over the region in the 19th century. However, as of 1900, Italy in fact
controlled only Eritrea. Ethiopia's independence was recognized by the European powers in 1906. In 1935,
Italy invaded, and in 1936-06 Ethiopia was made part of Italian East Africa (Africa Orientale Italiana), along
with Eritrea and Italian Somaliland. The British expelled the Italians in 1941 and liberated Ethiopia. The
United Nations voted to create a federation of Eritrea and Ethiopia, which lasted from 1952 until 1962, when
Ethiopia annexed Eritrea. Eritrea became an independent country again on 1993-05-27. The boundaries of
Ethiopia have changed somewhat during the century, and the border with Somalia has never been finally
Other names of country:
- Amharic: Ityopia
- Danish: Etiopien
- Dutch: Ethiopië, Federale Democratische Republiek Ethiopië (formal)
- English: People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (formal)
- Finnish: Etiopia
- French: Éthiopie f
- German: Äthiopien n
- Icelandic: Etíópía
- Italian: Etiopia f
- Norwegian: Den føderale demokratiske republikk Etiopia (formal) (Bokmål), Den føderale demokratiske republikken Etiopia (formal) (Nynorsk), Etiopia
- Portuguese: Etiópia, República f Democrática Federal da Etiópia f (formal)
- Russian: Абиссиния (obsolete), Федеративная Демократическая Республика Эфиопия (formal)
- Spanish: Etiopía, República f Popular Democrática de Etiopía f (formal)
- Swedish: Etiopien
- Turkish: Habeşistan (obsolete), Etiyopya Federal Demokratik Cumhuriyeti (formal)
Origin of name:
Greek Aithiopis, from aithe: burn, opsis: appearance (i.e. dark-skinned natives appeared
Ethiopia is divided into nine kilil (states) and two astedader (administrations).
|Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples|
- State: except for Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa, which are administrations.
- HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes. If
periods are replaced by
hyphens, these are the same as the state codes from ISO standard 3166-2.
- FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4, a U.S. government standard.
- Population: 2007-05-28 census (source ).
The total population in the 2007 exceeds the sum of the state populations by 96,754. The census report
assigns that extra amount to an "Especial Enumeration Area."
See the Zones of Ethiopia page.
As of 1953, there were twelve teklay ghizatoch (provinces), subdivided into 76 awraji ghizatoch
(subprovinces), which were subdivided into wereda (districts), which were subdivided into mikitil wereda
(subdistricts). By 1965, the number of provinces had increased to 14, and the number of subprovinces to 82.
In 1974, the new military government changed the status of the fourteen provinces to kifle hager (regions),
and reorganized their subdivisions. As a result, there were 102 awraja subdivided into 556 wereda. After
the reorganization in 1991, there were about 600 wereda. The 2008 data show 63 zones and 529 wereda.
In the territorial division which prevailed up until 1987, Gojam contained the island of Daga, or Dek, in
Lake Tana. Eritrea contained many Red Sea islands, as described in the country listing for Eritrea.
Dire Dawa lies on the border between Oromia and Somali regions.
Origins of names:
- Addis Ababa: Amharic for the new flower
- Harar: Amharic harar, corruption of a word meaning commercial station
- Somali: see Somalia
- 1936: Italian East Africa was formed by merging Italy's colonies, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Italian
Somaliland. It was subdivided into six governments: Amhara, Eritrea, Galla and Sidama, Harar, Shoa
(Addis Abeba), and Somalia.
- 1952-09-15: Eritrea joined Ethiopia in a federation.
- 1962: Eritrea became a province of Ethiopia.
- Source  lists the following provinces of Ethiopia (modified to take into account the 1952 federation
with Eritrea). The capitals are taken from an Ethiopian government source. I've added HASC codes in order
to serve as a reference for the Zones of Ethiopia page.
- ~1963: Bale province (capital Bale, HASC code
ET.BL) split from Harar.
- ~1963: Capital of Gamo Gofa province moved from Chencha to Arba Minch.
- 1974: Provinces changed to regions.
- ~1978: Capital of Ilubabor province moved from Gorie to Metu; capital of Sidamo province moved from
Yirga Alem to Awasa.
- 1981: Addis Ababa region split from Shewa; Aseb region split from Eritrea
- This was the division of Ethiopia prevailing in 1987:
|Addis Ababa||1,654,327||218||100||Addis Ababa|
- FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4
- Population: 1988 estimate
- Awr: number of awraja by province
- 1987-09: Ethiopia reorganized into 25 administrative regions and five autonomous regions. The autonomous
regions were Āseb, Dirē Dawa, Eritrea, Ogadēn, and Tigray. This new administrative structure
may never have been fully implemented. Here is a table describing the new divisions. Note that this table
shows 27 autonomous regions instead of the 25 expected. The Central Statistical Authority of Ethiopia doesn't
mention Gamo Gofa or Nazrēt. The FIPS document doesn't mention East Shewa or South Omo, and uses the
name Omo rather than North Omo.
|East Shewa||1,026,180||934,500||12,800||4,900||Misrak Shewa|
|South Omo||269,197||248,000||22,000||8,500||Debub Omo|
- FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4
- Pop-1993: 1993 estimate
- Pop-1982: 1982 estimate
- 1991: Ethiopia reorganized into twelve rasgez akababiwach (autonomous regions) and two chartered cities.
This division didn't last long enough to be recognized by the FIPS standard. Sources differ about the names
of these divisions. The best reconstruction I can make is that Addis Ababa and Harer were the chartered
cities, and the autonomous regions were Afar, Agew, Amhara, Benishangul, Gambela, Gurage-Hadiya-Kambata,
Kefa, Omo, Oromo, Sidamo, Somali, and Tigray.
- 1993-05-27: Eritrea became independent. Āseb and Eritrea ceased being regions of Ethiopia.
- 1994-12: Under a new constitution, Ethiopia reorganized into nine astedader akababiwach (administrative
regions) and one federal capital district.
- ~1998: Dire Dawa became an administration.
Other names of subdivisions:
Amharic uses its own alphabet. Many of the variants shown here are just different transliterations from
the Amharic alphabet.
- Addis Ababa: Āddīs Ābaba, Addis Abeba, Adis-Abeba, Ādīs Ābeba (variant); Adís Abeba (Spanish)
- Afar: Affar (variant)
- Amhara: Amara (variant)
- Arsi: Arssi, Arusi, Arussi, Ārsī (variant)
- Bale: Balē, Mendebo (variant)
- Begemdir: Begemder & Semien (variant)
- Benshangul-Gumaz: Benishangul, Beni Shangul, Bénishangul, Benishangul-Gumuz, Binshangul Gumuz (variant)
- Eritrea: Ertra (variant; see also country listing for Eritrea)
- Gambela Peoples: Gambela Hizboch (Amharic); Gambella (variant)
- Gamo Gofa: Gamu Gofa, Gemu Gefa, Gemu Gofa, Gemu Goffa, Gemu Gwefa (with or without hyphen) (variant)
- Gojam: Gojjam, Gwejam (variant)
- Gonder: Bagemder, Begemder, Begemdir, Begemdir and Simen, Gondar (variant)
- Gurage-Hadiya-Kambata: Gurage-Hadiya-Wolayta, Gurage Kembatahadiya (variant)
- Harari People: Harer (variant); Hareri Hizb (Amharic)
- Harerge: Harar, Hararge, Harargue, Harer, Hārergē (variant)
- Ilubabor: Illabobor, Illubabor, Ilubbabor, Īlubabor (variant)
- Kefa: Kafa, Kaffa (variant)
- Oromia: Oromiya (variant)
- Shewa: Shawa, Shoa (variant)
- Sidamo: Sidama, Sīdamo, Sidamo-Boran, Sidamo-Borana (variant)
- Somali: Sumale (variant)
- Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples: S.N.N.P. (abbreviation); YeDebub Biheroch Bihereseboch na Hizboch (Amharic)
- Tigray: Tegré, Tigrai, Tigre (variant); Tigré (French)
- Welega: Walaga, Wallaga, Wallega, Wellega, Wollega (variant)
- Welo: Elo, Wallo, Wollo (variant)
-  Library of Congress country study (retrieved 1999).
-  "People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Facts and Figures". Central Statistical Authority, Addis Ababa, 1990.
-  "Administrative Sub-divisions of Ethiopia" (as of 1964-07-07). Ministry of Interior, Central Statistical Office, Imperial
Ethiopian Government. Addis Ababa, July 1964.
-  Population
and Housing Census Report - Country - 2007. Central Statistical Agency,
2010-07 (retrieved 2014-02-12).
-  Encyclopædia Britannica World Atlas, 1957 edition.
-  Europa World Year Book 2001. Europa Publications, London, 2001.
-  "Ershiyi (21) Shiji Shijie Diming Lu", Beijing, 2001.
-  A report on the website of the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia, headed "Section-B Population"
(http://www.csa.gov.et/text_files/national%20statistics%202007/Population.pdf, dead link, retrieved
2008-03-15). It showed populations and areas for the primary, secondary, and tertiary subdivisions of
Ethiopia. The populations were based on projections from the 1994 census. Areas were measured from maps used
to take the census, and were missing for Afar and Somali regions. I used the CIA World Factbook to get the
total area of the country.