In 2017, the country’s population was estimated to amount to almost 93 million inhabitants, a figure which is increasing, albeit relatively slowly. Among other reasons, this is likely due to the fact that Ethiopians are living longer nowadays; life expectancy at birth has remarkably improved by ten years over the last decade. While the total population is expected to increase, the World Bank documents that population growth is decreasing, as there has been a reduction in the fertility rate, from around 6 children per woman in 2005 to around 4 children per woman in 2015. Still, the country has one of the highest fertility rates worldwide.
Ethiopia’s economy is improving. It is one of the countries with the highest GDP growth rates in the world; Ethiopia's GDP is increasing steadily and is expected to surpass the 100- billion mark by 2020. However, its GDP per capita is one of the lowest in the world, which may also be due to the high fertility rate. This causes significant structural problems within the country. Additionally, Ethiopia has also struggled with inflation: After a disastrous increase to more than 33 percent in 2011 and 24 percent in 2012, the inflation rate has been reduced to around 7 to 8 percent nowadays, but this is still relatively high.
The agricultural and services sectors generate equally large shares of the economy, around 40 percent each. The rest comes from the industrial sector. For the past years, Ethiopia has reported a trade deficit, which is not likely to improve anytime soon, on the contrary - The figures for 2015 and 2016 were the most severe yet. In 2017, the country exported goods estimated to be worth 3.17 billion U.S. dollars, but imported goods worth more than 5 times as much. Ethiopia’s most important trade partners, for both imports and exports include China and the United States.