Typical Characteristics of Ethiopic Africa

The data from the Country Similarity Index groups just Ethiopia and Eritrea into their region 4-D, Ethiopic Africa. It is one of the 27 world sub-regions identified by the Index. Here are some of the traits these two countries share:

Most Ethiopians and Eritreans have a mix of Sub-Saharan African and Caucasian ancestry. Their people tend to be quite young, since these countries have a high birth rate, but low life-expectancy. The population’s average height and weight is much lower than the world average. These countries also have a high rate of poverty. Most of their people work in agriculture. The average person in the region has not even completed elementary school education.

Photo by Damien Halleux Radermecker 

Most people in Ethiopia and Eritrea speak Semitic languages, however unlike Arabic, they use the unique Ge’ez script for their writing. The two biggest religious denominations in the region are Sunni Muslims and Oriental Orthodox Christians. Both countries have Orthodox Christmas and Orthodox Easter as well as Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha as national holidays. The diet of Ethiopians and Eritreans is low in meat. Their cuisine features many vegetarian dishes. Sorghum, wheat, and corn are staple grains in the region. The divorce rate is quite high in these countries, while cigarette and drug consumption is quite low. Both excel at long distance running and have won medals at the Olympics in it.

Photo by Giustino

The laws in Ethiopia and Eritrea are quite similar. Same sex marriage and polygamy are criminalized. Unorganized prostitution is legal. Abortion is allowed in the case of birth defects, rapes, and the mother’s health. Alcohol is legal for everyone over 18. However, Ethiopia’s government is more democratic than Eritrea’s. The structure of their governments is also different. Eritrea’s government uses the presidential system, while Ethiopia uses the parliamentary system. Furthermore, Eritrea has a unicameral legislature, while Ethiopia’s legislature is bicameral. Both countries are part of COMESA and the African Union.

Photo by UK Department for International Development

The infrastructure in Eritrea and Ethiopia is not well developed. These countries have few cars per person and little railroad infrastructure. Both countries drive on the right, but their standard railroad track gauges are different. A low percentage of people have access to electricity and improved sanitation. Few households have internet or even television. The PAL analog broadcasting format is still widely used there. Both countries use Type C electrical outlets. The electrical voltage is between 220 and 240 volts and the frequency is 50 hertz. Almost all the electrical power in the region is created using oil. Their weapons are primarily Russian-made.

Photo by Peter Crook

Eritrea and Ethiopia are located in the Horn of Africa. They border each other and are located in the same time zone. However, their climates are slightly different. Eritrea has more desert, while Ethiopia has more tropical savannas and montane regions. Much of their lands are sparsely vegetated. There is a relatively little low percentage of agricultural land, but sorghum is the most common crop. Both countries are quite mountainous. Their cities have few high rise buildings. One difference is that Ethiopia is landlocked, while much of land in Eritrea is close to the Red Sea.

Photo by Armin Hamm

The Ethiopic Region‘s Most Representative CountryEthiopia (76.1 regional average)

Most Similar Region to the Ethiopic Region: Sahel Region (4-A)

(Statistics as of 2020)

Photo by Giustino

List of countries by region


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