By Belachew Ayele
Population data, also known as a demographic study, plays a crucial role in a nation’s social, cultural, economic, and political development. It forms the basis for population forecasting, resource allocation, and comprehensive planning. Many nations conduct periodic counts and surveys to gather information on the size, composition, and associated characteristics of their population.
The United States has a long-standing tradition of conducting a decennial Census every ten years, supplemented by the “American Community Surveys (ACS)” using various methodologies, which provide a range of data measures. The most recent decennial census, carried out in 2020, furnishes detailed population figures for the USA at various geographical levels, including National, State, County, County Subdivision (Municipality), Tracts, Block Group, and Blocks. Additionally, it offers information for specific demographic categories such as “Ethiopian Alone” or “Ethiopian Alone or Any Combination.”
This article will focus on the segment of the United States population identified as “Ethiopian Alone” and “Ethiopian Alone or Any Combination.” The analysis will encompass the states and counties where Ethiopians reside, as well as provide specific population figures for each state and county. This data is invaluable for strategic planning and the implementation of activities that directly impact the Ethiopian community, ranging from establishing businesses to facilitating Ethiopian-related institutions like churches, mosques, entertainment centers, and political gatherings.
Ethiopian population data was sourced from the US Census 2020 Decennial product. The US conducts a comprehensive population count every ten years. The questionnaire used in this count allows for the differentiation of individuals by ethnic group, categorizing them as either “belonging solely to a specific ethnic group” or “identifying with a combination of ethnicities.” Consequently, Ethiopians are classified into two groups: “Ethiopian Alone” and “Ethiopian Alone or Any Combination.” It is assumed that this count includes legally resident Ethiopians in the country. The analysis of population distribution was conducted using data from both of these sources.
Decennial U.S. census figures are based on actual counts of persons dwelling in U.S. residential structures. They include citizens, non-citizen legal residents, non-citizen long-term visitors, and undocumented immigrants. The Census Bureau bases its decision about whom to count on the concept of usual residence.1
BI. Observation/ Analysis
According to the decennial census of 2020, there were a total of 291,175 individuals identified as “Ethiopian Alone” and 319,106 as “Ethiopian Alone or Any Combination.” Comparing these figures to the total population of the USA (331,449,281 2), the Ethiopian population accounted for approximately 0.09%.
While Ethiopians are dispersed throughout all states in the country, the ten states with the highest Ethiopian populations (in descending order) are Maryland, Virginia, California, Texas, Minnesota, Washington, Georgia, Colorado, Nevada, and Ohio (refer to Maps 1 & 2, and Figures 1 & 2 below). The top three states collectively comprise over 30% of the total Ethiopian population.
Regarding county distribution, the ten counties with the highest Ethiopian populations are Montgomery (Maryland), Kings (Washington), Fairfax (Virginia), Dallas (Texas), Clark (Nevada), Dekalb (Georgia), Los Angeles (California), Arapahoe (Colorado), Hennepin (Minnesota), and the District of Columbia (DC) (refer to Maps 3 & 4, Figures 3 & 4).
Population count and study form the bedrock of informed decision-making in various aspects of society. Their importance spans from resource allocation and economic development to public policy formulation and environmental sustainability. As our world continues to evolve, accurate and up-to-date population data will remain a cornerstone for building inclusive, equitable, and thriving communities. Among these, are resource allocation and planning, economic development, public policy formulation, healthcare and epidemiology, education and workforce planning, social and cultural understanding, economic sustainability, political representation, and many more.
In this respect, the author of this article believes that the knowledge of the distribution of Ethiopians in the United States has a significant impact on where to focus, energy, time, and resources to reach Ethiopians.
Ethiopian Population in the United States (by State