According to threergroup, the population of Ethiopia is a problem that has not yet been solved: in fact the country is inhabited largely by very ancient people who belong to a characteristic human type, Ethiopian, different from the Negroid one with whom, however, there have been repeated crossings up to the present times. It is certain that in prehistoric times there were mixes with people of the Nile valley, while nothing is known for previous periods. However, it should be emphasized that in various areas of the acrocorus (Afar, Omo valley, Turkana basin) the oldest fossil remains of hominids, certainly human, belonging to the species Homo habilis, have been found.. In historical times, the country has been affected by Semitic influences from southern Arabia, which have determined today’s ethnic stratification. The Semitic contribution is also due to the affirmation of the culture that was at the origin of the kingdom of Axum and that gave unity to the people of the plateau. The Abyssinians constitute a very representative nucleus of the country; the Amhara and the Eritrean people who speak Tigrinya and the related Tigrè are part of it. After the independence of Eritrea, the Amhara and Tigrayans are no longer the dominant ethnic group, constituting respectively 26.9% and 6.1%, being now more numerous than that of the Oromo (or afloat), with 34.5%. The Amhara, which are located between Lake T’ana and the Tacazzè river, differ slightly from the Eritreans (mensa, maria, habab, etc.) who live further N up to the coast, and from the shoa, who occupy the acrocoro. central. The other great ethnic group is represented by the different peoples who have not undergone a direct Semitic influence and have preserved, above all, the Cushitic language as a distinctive element of their Hamitic origin.
They form both small scattered groups, like the Agau, both extended and compact groups of shepherds and farmers, as the surface (Borana, Arussi, Wollo, gugi etc.), and the smaller southern groups: sidama (4%), ghimira, caffini etc. Cushitic are also the populations of northern Eritrea (begia, bileni), the Afar or danàchili (1.7%), settled in Danekil, and the Somalis (6.2%) of the eastern regions. Paleonegritic minorities (disparagingly called sciangalla) are linked to the most ancient ethnic stratifications, as well as more or less Hamitized Negroid people, such as the baria and cunama of Eritrea. In the western and southwestern peripheral areas there are groups of Nilotic populations of shepherds and farmers, such as the anuak and nuer (abigar), and nilotocamitiche, such as the mekan, bako and conso, who live in the area of Lake Turkana (Rudolph) and the Ch’ew Bahir (lake Stefania), mainly practicing pastoralism. Among the numerous minorities (which amount in total to 22.7%), the Falascià are included (a few thousand individuals), of Jewish religion, based N of Lake T’ana (a few thousand “black” Jews were transferred to Israel by airlift towards the end of 1984 and others in the spring of 1991, with the so-called “Operation Solomon”, completing the exodus from Ethiopia) and Arab groups, along the Red Sea coast. According to a 2007 estimate, the average population density is 67 residents / km², however there are strong variations from area to area in relation to the environment and the corresponding kinds of life. The highest values are recorded on the plateau, where the favorable environmental conditions, with a temperate climate and abundant rainfall, allow for relatively developed and diversified agriculture; moreover the altitude guarantees the absence of malaria. L’ The Addis Ababa area is in fact the most populated, and in any case the urban population is only one sixth of the total. The least populated are the more peripheral areas on the border with Somalia and Sudan and Denakil, given its desert characteristics. There are precise limits between areas with different degrees of density: they are in fact ecological limits linked to different altitudes and general conditions, more or less favorable to agriculture and sedentary activities in general. A common element of the country, despite the ethnic diversity, the environmental and climatic variety and the regional economic conditions, is the scarcity of the scattered settlement in favor of the village, which guarantees a minimum collective security. In the Abyssinian area the inhabited centers, which often serve as a market for local products, are dominated by A common element of the country, despite the ethnic diversity, the environmental and climatic variety and the regional economic conditions, is the scarcity of the scattered settlement in favor of the village, which guarantees a minimum collective security. In the Abyssinian area the inhabited centers, which often serve as a market for local products, are dominated by Coptic asked. The market is a fundamental aspect of the life and territorial organization of the country: it is the only center of coagulation of elementary interests in often very large spaces. The development of these centers occurs especially along the main roads, which are the true axes of the anthropic geography of Ethiopia, linking together the few cities of the country, according to partly ancient reasons, partly due to the Italian occupation and its interventions in the communications network.
An urbanism already existed in Ethiopia in ancient times: Gonder (Gondar) and Aksum are precisely the testimony of a civilization with fundamentally urban characteristics. Modern urbanism, however, has developed following the promotion of the old market centers located in the most populous and strategic areas from the point of view of traffic. A case in itself is constituted by Addis Ababa, born from the choice of Menelik II who wanted it at the center of his empire. The first enhancement of the city is due to the construction of the railway to Djibouti, on the Gulf of Aden, then to the roads that have connected it with Asmara and other centers of the plateau as well as to the port of Aseb (Assab), on the Red Sea. The capital is in fact the fulcrum of the entire Ethiopian territorial organization and has acquired the dimensions of a large city that alone hosts over a third of the entire urban population of the country, of which it is the greatest cultural, political and economic center. The loss of Asmara, formerly the second city in the country and now the capital of independent Eritrea, has accentuated the imbalance of the Ethiopian urban fabric, where Addis Ababa sees its character as a hegemonic city strengthened, while all the other main centers are located on the same hierarchical order, without forming an organic network or integrating their functions. An important and lively city is Harar (Hārer), in an area of rich commercial agriculture (especially coffee) and enhanced by the proximity to the railway to Djibouti, on which Diredaua (Dirē Daua) is also a notable commercial center, seat of industries. Gonder, Dessiè (Desē), Adama and Gimma (Jima) are active markets. Particular interest presents Gonder, which was the capital of Abyssinia from the century. XVII to XIX, a period in which it was enriched with numerous churches and sumptuous castles.