Ethiopia

In ethnically diverse Ethiopia, Catholicism takes its cue from Orthodox Christianity, which dominates the national historical narrative. The Catholic Church here encompasses both the Latin rite liturgy, which is more contemporary and spoken in the vernacular, and the Ethiopian rite, a much longer Mass spoken in the antiquated Ge’ez language and sung in a style of chanting called zema, which dates to the sixth century. Ethiopians are especially endeared to angels — Gabriel, Michael and Raphael — whom they see as messengers between God and man and as protectors from evil. 74% of Ethiopians believe in angels, and 62% in miracles. 

Nearly 80% of all Ethiopians, and 77% of Christians, report that religion is very important in their lives. While this number is low for Africa, it is much higher than in all of Latin America, Europe and North America. Read more...

    Religious Affiliation
    Chart source: Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures Project, 2010
    Total Population
    107,534,882 1
    Urban
    20.80% 1
    Rural
    79.20% 1
    Immigrants as % of Population
    1.1% 2
    Homicides
    7.60 per 100,000 people (global median 6.9) 3
    Level of Public Corruption
    108 (1=lowest, 176=highest corruption) 4
    Gender Equality in the Economy, Health, Education and Politics
    109 (1=most equal, 144=least equal) 7
    Fertility Rate
    4.28 births per adult woman 5
    Children Who Do Not Live to Age 5
    5.90% 5
    Life Expectancy at Birth
    65 years 5
    Adult Literacy Rate
    39.00% 5
    Internet Users
    3% 5
    Gross National Income per Capita
    US$550 5
    Population Living Below US$1.90 per Day
    33.5% 5

    These statistics are derived from the Vatican's official publication, Statistical Yearbook of the Church 2020 (Vatican City: Librera Editrice Vaticana, 2022). The numbers may differ from data reported by other sources on this site.

    Baptized Catholics
    854,000
    Baptized Catholics as % of Total Population
    0.85
    Baptisms per Year (Under age 7)
    22,691
    Baptisms per Year (Over age 7)
    12,179
    First Communions per Year
    11,213
    Confirmations per Year
    10,550
    Students Enrolled in Catholic Primary Schools
    99,951
    Students Enrolled in Catholic Secondary Schools
    30,381
    Students Enrolled in Catholic Higher Education
    5,070
    Church Marriages per Year
    2,849
    Church Marriages in Which Both Spouses are Catholics
    1,287
    Priests
    594
    Women Religious (Nuns & Sisters)
    813
    Catholics per Priest
    1,437
    Parishes
    298
    Mission Stations (no resident priests)
    898
    Catholic Hospitals
    16
    Homes for Aged, Handicapped, Invalids
    18
    • 1 United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2018). World Urbanization Prospects: The 2018 Revision, Online Edition.
    • 2 United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Trends in International Migrant Stock: The 2015 revision.
    • 3 United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, Homicide Statistics 2015.
    • 4 Transparency International, Corruption Perceptions Index 2016.
    • 5 UNICEF, State of the World's Children, 2016.
    • 6 Statistical Yearbook of the Church 2020 (Vatican City: Librera Editrice Vaticana, 2022).
    • 7 World Economic Forum, The Global Gender Gap Report, 2016.