Overview of the Region


The Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples’ Regional State (SNNPR) is the third largest administrative region of Ethiopia and represents about 20% of the country’s population.  According to 2007 census, in 2014 the regional population estimated to be 18.9 million, it is the most diverse region in the country in terms of language, culture and ethnic background.  According to the 2007 census figures, about 93% of the population is rural, and 50% is within productive age range indicating that about half of the population is economically dependent.  When we see the age distribution of the population, from a total population under 1 yrs of age consist 3.19% while less than 5 yrs of age consist 15.6%, women of child bearing age(15-49) comprises 23.3% of the population which 3.46% are pregnant women. Administratively the Region is divided into 16 zones, 7 special woredas, with a total of 130 woredas, 27 city administrations 3,058 rural kebeles and 324 urban kebeles. The region has an area of 118,000 sq.km and which consists of 10% of the total area of the country. There are 5 climatic zones: arid consisting 6.2%, desert consisting 48%, semi-highland consisting 36.8%, highland consisting 6.5% and frost consisting 0.7% of the total. The region consist with the lowest landscape, 376 meters above sea level, located in South Omo and the highest landscape, 4,207 meters above sea level, in Gamo and Gofa zones. Central, eastern and north eastern parts of the region are densely populated with 92 persons per square km; while southern and south western parts are sparsely populated with a predominantly pastoralist population. The Region’s economy is based on agriculture with subsistence crop production resulting in a very poor standard of living in the rural community.