Statistical information Eritrea 1996Eritrea

Map of Eritrea | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
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Eritrea in the World
Eritrea in the World

Eritrea - Introduction 1996
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Background: on 29 May 1991, ISAIAS Afworke, secretary general of the Peoples' Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), which then served as the country's legislative body, announced the formation of the Provisional Government in Eritrea (PGE) in preparation for the 23-25 April 1993 referendum on independence for the Autonomous Region of Eritrea; the referendum resulted in a landslide vote for independence which was proclaimed on 27 April 1993

Eritrea - Geography 1996
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Location: Eastern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Djibouti and Sudan

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 121,320 km²
Land: 121,320 km²
Comparative: slightly larger than Pennsylvania

Land boundaries: Total 1,630 km, Djibouti 113 km, Ethiopia 912 km, Sudan 605 km

Coastline: 1,151 km (land and island coastline is 2,234 km)

Maritime claims: NA

Climate: Hot, dry desert strip along Red Sea coast; cooler and wetter in the central highlands (up to 61 cm of rainfall annually; semiarid in western hills and lowlands; rainfall heaviest during June-September except on coastal desert

Terrain: Dominated by extension of Ethiopian north-south trending highlands, descending on the east to a coastal desert plain, on the northwest to hilly terrain and on the southwest to flat-to-rolling plains
Lowest point: Kobar Sink -75 m
Highest point: Soira 3,013 m


Natural resources:
Probably oil (petroleum geologists are prospecting for it)

Land use

Land use
Arable land: 3%
Permanent crops: 2% (coffee)
Permanent pastures: 40%
Forests and woodland: 5%
Other: 50%

Irrigated land: NA

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Eritrea - People 1996
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3,427,883 (July 1996 est.)
3,578,709 (July 1995 est.)

Growth rate:
2.79% (1996 est.)
9.04% (1995 est.)

Noun: Eritrean(s)
Adjective: Eritrean

Ethnic groups:
Ethnic Tigrays 50%
Tigre and Kunama 40%
Afar 4%
Saho (Red Sea coast dwellers) 3%

Languages: Tigre and Kunama, Cushitic dialects, Tigre, Nora Bana, Arabic

Religions: Muslim, Coptic Christian, Roman Catholic, Protestant

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years:
44% (male 755,417; female 743,135) (July 1996 est.)
43% (male 774,922; female 763,416) (July 1995 est.)

15-64 years:
53% (male 910,976; female 913,531) (July 1996 est.)
54% (male 965,435; female 965,124) (July 1995 est.)

65 years and over:
3% (male 54,310; female 50,514) (July 1996 est.)
3% (female 52,950; male 56,862) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
2.79% (1996 est.)
9.04% (1995 est.)

Birth rate:
43.32 births/1000 population (1996 est.)
44.34 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate:
15.44 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)
15.67 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)
NA migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Note: It is estimated that between 300,000 and 500,000 Eritrean refugees were still living in Sudan at the end of 1995; their repatriation is being facilitated by the UNHCR

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: famine; deforestation; desertification; soil erosion; overgrazing; loss of infrastructure from civil warfare
Current issues Natural hazards: frequent droughts
International agreements: party to_Endangered Species; signed, but not ratified_Climate Change, Desertification
International agreements note: Strategic geopolitical position along world's busiest shipping lanes; Eritrea retained the entire coastline of Ethiopia along the Red Sea upon de jure independence from Ethiopia on 27 April 1993

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.08 male(s)/female
All ages:
1.01 male(s)/female (1996 est.) Infant Mortality Rate:118.9 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)
120.6 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 50.31 years (1996 est.), 50 years (1995 est.)
Male: 48.57 years (1996 est.), 48.28 years (1995 est.)
Female: 52.1 years (1996 est.), 51.78 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate:
6.5 children born/woman (1996 est.)
6.53 children born/woman (1995 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures


School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Eritrea - Government 1996
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Country name
Conventional long form: State of Eritrea
Conventional short form: Eritrea
Local long form: none
Local short form: none
Former: Eritrea Autonomous Region in Ethiopia

Government type: Transitional government
Note: On 29 May 1991 ISAIAS Afworke, secretary general of the Peoples' Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), which then served and still serves as the country's legislative body, announced the formation of the Provisional Government in Eritrea (PGE) in preparation for the 23-25 April 1993 referendum on independence for the autonomous region of Eritrea; the result was a landslide vote for independence which was proclaimed on 27 April 1993

Capital: Asmara (formerly Asmera)

Administrative divisions: 8 provinces (singular_awraja; Akele Guzay, Barka, Denkel, Hamasen, Sahil, Semhar, Senhit, Seraye; note_information issued by the Eritrean government indicates that the administrative structure of Eritrea, which had been established by former colonial powers, will consist of only six regions when the new constitution, presently being drafted, goes into effect sometime in 1996

Dependent areas

Independence: 27 May 1993 (from Ethiopia; formerly the Eritrea Autonomous Region)

National holiday: National Day (independence from Ethiopia), 24 May (1993)

Constitution: Transitional "constitution" decreed 19 May 1993

Legal system: NA

International law organization participation


Suffrage: NA; note_the transitional constitution of 19 May 1993 did not provide rules for suffrage, but it seems likely that the final version of the constitution, to be promulgated some time in 1996, will follow the example set in the referendum of 1993 in which suffrage was universal for persons 18 years of age or older

Executive branch
Chief of state and head of government: President ISAIAS Afworke (since 22 May 1993)
Cabinet: State Council; the collective executive authority
Note: Election to be held in 1997

Legislative branch: Unicameral National Assembly:75 members of the PFDJ Central Committee (the old Central Committee of the EPLF) and 75 directly elected members serve as the country's legislative body until country-wide elections are held

Judicial branch: Judiciary

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, ECA, FAO, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IGADD, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), ITU, NAM, OAU, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of Eritrea: Red isosceles triangle (based on the hoist side) dividing the flag into two right triangles; the upper triangle is green, the lower one is blue; a gold wreath encircling a gold olive branch is centered on the hoist side of the red triangle

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Eritrea - Economy 1996
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Economy overview: With independence from Ethiopia on 27 April 1993, Eritrea faces the bitter economic problems of a small, desperately poor African country. Most of the population will continue to depend on subsistence farming. Domestic output is substantially augmented by worker remittances from abroad. Government revenues come from custom duties and income and sales taxes. Eritrea has inherited the entire coastline of Ethiopia and has long-term prospects for revenues from the development of offshore oil, offshore fishing, and tourism. For the time being, Ethiopia will be largely dependent on Eritrean ports for its foreign trade.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate:
10% (1995 est.)
2% (1994 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: Products_sorghum, livestock (including goats), fish, lentils, vegetables, maize, cotton, tobacco, coffee, sisal (for making rope)

Food processing
Clothing and textiles

Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate NA

Labor force: NA
Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: NA
Expenditures: NA, including capital expenditures of NA

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: total value. $33 million (1995 est.)
Commodities: livestock, sorghum, textiles
Partners: Ethiopia, Italy, Saudi Arabia, UK, US, Yemen

Imports: total value:$420 million (1995 est.)
Commodities: processed goods, machinery, petroleum products
Partners: NA

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: NA

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: 1 birr (Br) per US$1_6.2 (1995 est.), 5.600 (September 1994), 5.000 (fixed rate 1992-93; note_following independence from Ethiopia, Eritrea continued to use Ethiopian currency, the official rate of which was pegged to US$1 = 5.000 birr

Eritrea - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: NA kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: NA kWh

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Eritrea - Communication 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: very inadequate; about 4 telephones per 100 families, most of which are in Asmara; government is seeking international tenders to improve the system
Local: NA
Intercity: NA
International: NA

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Eritrea - Military 1996
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Eritrea - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

With paved runways over 3047 m: 1
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 1
With paved runways under 914 m: 2
With paved runways With unpaved runways over 3047 m: 1
With unpaved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 1
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 4
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 4 (1995 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Over 3047 m: 1
2438 to 3047 m: 1
Under 914 m: 2
With unpaved runways over 3047 m: 1

Airports with unpaved runways
2438 to 3047 m: 1
15-24 to 2437 m: 4
914 to 1523 m: 4 (1995 est.)






Merchant marine
Total: 14

Ports and terminals

Eritrea - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

The Fives Hotels

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