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Map of Ethiopia showing Oromia Region
|• Total||284,538 km2 (109,861 sq mi)|
|• Density||95/km2 (250/sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||ET-OR|
Oromia (spelled Oromiyaa in the Oromo language; Amharic: ኦሮሚያ) is one of the nine ethnically based regional states of Ethiopia, covering 284,538 square kilometers. It is bordered by the Somali Region to the east; the Amhara Region, the Afar Region and the Benishangul-Gumuz Region to the north; South Sudan, Gambela Region, and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region to the west; and Kenya to the south. The 2007 census reported Oromia Region population is 26,993,933; making it the largest state in population and area.
Oromia includes the former Arsi Province along with portions of the former Bale, Hararghe, Illubabor, Kaffa, Shewa, Sidamo, and Welega provinces. Important cities and towns included in Oromia are: Adama, Ambo, Asella, Bishoftu, Chiro, Dembidolo, Fiche, Gimbi, Robe, Goba, Dello Buna, Jimma, Metu, Negele Boran, Moyale, Nekemte, Shashamane, Haramaaya and Waliso.
The Oromia Region was inhabited by non-Oromo ethnic communities for centuries. The earliest people to live in Oromia Region were the Muslim Gurage people from southern Ethiopia, under the kingdom of Sultanate of Showa. The Sultanate of Ifat, Adal Sultanate, Sultanate of Showa, Kingdom of Damot, Kingdom of Ennarea, Ganz province, Sultanate of Bale, Maya, Hadiya Sultanate, Sultanate of Dawaro, Fatagar, Gumar, Gidim, Werjih, Gurage, Gafat were some of the kingdoms and peoples in the area before the 16th century Oromo expansion. Most of these ancient Kingdoms situated in present-day Oromia Region were semi-autonomous provinces of Ethiopian Empire. After the brutal conquest of these region by the Oromo people, the indigenous inhabitants were reduced to Gabaros (serfs) and were Oromized through collective adoption process known as Gudifacha and Mogasa. The affiliated groups were given new genealogies and started counting their putative ancestors in the same way as their adoptive kinsmen. The native ancient names of the territories were replaced by the name of the Oromo clans who conquered it.
Before 2000, the regional capital of Oromia was Addis Ababa, also known as "Finfinne" (in the Oromo language). The relocation of the regional capital to Finfinne sparked considerable controversy, and this forced the government to bring back the capital to Addis Ababa. Critics of the move believed the Ethiopian government wished to de-emphasize Addis Ababa's location within Oromia. On the other hand, the government maintained that Addis Ababa "has been found inconvenient from the point of view of developing the language, culture and history of the Oromo people."
Oromia shares a boundary with almost every region of Ethiopia except for the Tigray Region. This boundary has been disputed with Oromia's neighbors in a number of cases, most notably between Oromia and the Somali Region. One attempt to resolve the dispute between the two regions was the October 2004 referendum held in about 420 kebeles in 12 woredas across five zones of the Somali Region. According to the official results of the referendum, about 80% of the disputed areas have fallen under Oromia administration, though there were allegations of voting irregularities in many of them. The results led over the following weeks to minorities in these kebeles being pressured to leave. In Oromya, estimates based on figures given by local woreda and kebele authorities suggest that 21,520 people have been displaced in border woredas, namely Mieso, Doba, and Erer in the Mirab and Misraq Hararghe Zones. Federal authorities believe that this number may be overstated by as much as 11,000. In Doba, the Ministry of Federal Affairs put the number of IDPs at 6,000. There are also more than 2,500 displaced persons in Mieso. In addition, there were reports of people being displaced in the border area of Moyale and Borena zones due to this conflict.
On 5 August 2016 protests broke out across Ethiopia and centered around the Oromia Region. Dozens of protesters were killed in the first days of the protests and internet service was cut to many parts of the region.
Based on the 2007 census conducted by the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA), Oromia Region has a total population of 26,993,933, consisting of 13,595,006 men and 13,398,927 women; urban inhabitants number 3,370,040 or 11.3% of the population. With an estimated area of 353,006.81 square kilometers, this region has an estimated population density of 76.93 people per square kilometer. For the entire region 5,590,530 households were counted, which results in an average for the region of 4.8 persons to a household, with urban households having on average 3.8 and rural households 5.0 people.
In the previous census, conducted in 1994, the region's population was reported to be 17,088,136; urban inhabitants number 621,210 or 14% of the population.
According to the CSA, as of 2004[update], 32% of the population had access to safe drinking water, of whom 23.7% were rural inhabitants and 91.03% were urban. Values for other reported common indicators of the standard of living for Oromia as of 2005[update] include the following: 19.9% of the inhabitants fall into the lowest wealth quintile; adult literacy for men is 61.5% and for women 29.5%; and the regional infant mortality rate is 76 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, which is about the same as the nationwide average of 77; at least half of these deaths occurred in the infants' first month of life.
|Ethnic group||1994 Census||2007 Census|
|Gurage (some of Sebat Bet Gurage, Soddo Gurage, and Silt'e)||0.98%||0.93%|
|other ethnic groups||4.6%||4%|
Figures of full ethnic background are disputed, since many ethnically mixed Ethiopians are difficult to categorize. Particularly, Shewa Oromos and urban Oromos are known to have assimilated with ethnic Amhara and others, while southwestern Oromos have mixed with the Sidama and other ethnicities. The census and the general system of governance has remained controversial and related to the politics of the country. For instance, mixed Ethiopians with an Oromo father and Amhara mother are registered into the census using only their father's ethnic label. Similarly, Ethiopians with an Amhara father (or from another ethnic background) and Oromo mother are registered using only their father's ethnic label.
|Religion||1994 Census||2007 Census|
|other religious groups||1.6%||1%|
|Religion||1994 Census||2007 Census|
|other religious groups||–||1.5%|
Oromo (afaan oromoo), which is written with Latin characters, is the most commonly spoken language, spoken by 83.5% of the population. Other major languages are Amharic (11%) (especially in eastern Welega and northern Shewa), Gurage languages (Sebat Bet Gurage, Soddo, Silt'e), Hadiya, Gedeo (0.98%), especially in western and eastern Shewa; and Tigrigna (0.25%). Omotic languages are spoken by significant minorities in Jimma, Illubabor and western Welega; and some Nilo-Saharan languages (including Komo, Majang, Gumuz, and Berta) are spoken in communities scattered in the west.
The CSA reported that for 2004–2005 115,083 tons of coffee were produced in Oromia, based on inspection records from the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority. This represents 50.7% of the total production in Ethiopia. Farmers in the Region had an estimated total of 17,214,540 cattle (representing 44.4% of Ethiopia's total cattle), 6,905,370 sheep (39.6), 4,849,060 goats (37.4%), 959,710 horses (63.25%), 63,460 mules (43.1%), 278,440 asses (11.1%), 139,830 camels (30.6%), 11,637,070 poultry of all species (37.7%), and 2,513,790 beehives (57.73%).
According to a March 2003 World Bank publication, the average rural household has 1.14 hectares of land compared to the national average of 1.01 hectares, 24% of the population is in non-farm related jobs compared to the national average of 25%.
The Oromia is subdivided into 20 administrative zones:
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