Overview: Eritrea

Population: 5,918,919 (July 2017 est.)

Urban: 40.1% of total Population (2018)

Population growth: 0.85% (2017 EST)

Ethnic groups: nine recognized ethnic groups: Tigrinya 55%, Tigre 30%, Saho 4%, Kunama 2%, Rashaida 2%, Bilen 2%, other (Afar, Beni Amir, Nera) 5% (2010 est.)

Languages:Tigrinya (official), Arabic (official), English (official), Tigre, Kunama, Afar, other Cushitic languages

Religions: Muslim, Coptic Christian, Roman Catholic, Protestant

Age structure: 0-14 years: 40.17% (male 1,195,210/female 1,182,603); 15-24 years: 19.57% (male 576,315/female 582,143); 25-54 years: 32.63% (male 950,121/female 981,163); 55-64 years: 3.7% (male 94,767/female 124,528); 65 years and over: 3.92% (male 97,530/female 134,539) (2017 est.)

Dependency: Total dependency ratio: 85; youth dependency ratio: 78.3; elderly dependency ratio: 6.8; and potential support ratio: 14.8 (2015 est.)

Area: total: 117,600 sq. km; land: 101,000 sq. km; water: 16,600 sq. km

Irrigated land: 210 sq km (2012)

Physicians density: 0.05 physicians/1,000 Population

Health expenditure: 3.3% of GDP (2014)

Drinking water stats:
Improved: Urban: 73.2% of population; Rural: 53.3% of population; and Total: 57.8% of population
Unimproved: Urban: 26.8% of population; Rural: 46.7% of population; and Total: 42.2% of Population (2015 est.)

Major infectious diseases : Degree of risk: high; Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vector-borne diseases: malaria and dengue fever (2016)

Education expenditure: 2.17% of GDP (2006

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 73.8%; Male: 82.4%; and female: 65.5% (2015 est.)

Unemployment youth ages: N/A

Government type
Presidential republic

Administrative divisions: 6 regions (zobatat, singular – zoba); Anseba, Debub (South), Debubawi K’eyih Bahri (Southern Red Sea), Gash Barka, Ma’akel (Central), Semenawi Keyih Bahri (Northern Red Sea)

History: ratified by the Constituent Assembly 23 May 1997 (not fully implemented); note – drafting of a new constitution, which began in 2014, continued into 2017

Amendments: proposed by the president of Eritrea or by assent of at least one-half of the National Assembly membership; passage requires at least an initial three-quarters majority vote by the Assembly and, after one year, final passage by at least four-fifths majority vote by the Assembly (2017)

Legal system: Mixed legal system of civil, customary, and Islamic religious law

Citizenship by birth: no
Citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Eritrea
Dual citizenship recognized: no
Residency requirement for naturalization: 20 years

Legislative branch
Description: unicameral National Assembly (Hagerawi Baito) (150 seats; 75 members indirectly elected by the ruling party and 75 directly elected by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms

Elections: in May 1997, following the adoption of the new constitution, 75 members of the PFDJ Central Committee (the old Central Committee of the EPLF), 60 members of the 527-member Constituent Assembly, which had been established in 1997 to discuss and ratify the new constitution, and 15 representatives of Eritreans living abroad were formed into a Transitional National Assembly to serve as the country’s legislative body until countrywide elections to form a National Assembly were held; although only 75 of 150 members of the Transitional National Assembly were elected, the constitution stipulates that once past the transition stage, all members of the National Assembly will be elected by secret ballot of all eligible voters; National Assembly elections scheduled for December 2001 were postponed indefinitely due to the war with Ethiopia

Executive branch
Chief of state: President ISAIAS Afworki (since 8 June 1993); note – the president is both chief of state and head of government and is head of the State Council and National Assembly

Head of government: President ISAIAS Afworki (since 8 June 1993

Cabinet: State Council appointed by the president

Elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the National Assembly for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); the only election was held on 8 June 1993, following independence from Ethiopia (next election postponed indefinitely

Election results: ISAIAS Afworki elected president by the transitional National Assembly; percent of National Assembly vote – ISAIAS Afworki (PFDJ) 95%, other 5%)

Judiciary Branch
Highest court(s): High Court (consists of 20 judges and organized into civil, commercial, criminal, labor, administrative, and customary sections

Judge selection and term of office: High Court judges appointed by the president
Subordinate courts: regional/zonal courts; community courts; special courts; sharia courts (for issues dealing with Muslim marriage, inheritance, and family); military courts

Exports commodities: gold and other minerals, livestock, sorghum, textiles, food, small industry manufactures

Exports partners: China 62%, South Korea 28.3% (2017)

Imports commodities: machinery, petroleum products, food, manufactured goods

Imports partners: UAE 14.5%, China 13.2%, Saudi Arabia 13.2%, Italy 12.9%, Turkey 5.6%, South Africa 4.6% (2017)

Electricity access:
Population without electricity: 4,300,000
Electrification – total population: 32%)
Electrification – urban areas: 86%)
Electrification – rural areas: 17% (2013)

Internet users: Total: 69,095; and percent of population: 1.2% (July 2016 est.)

Source: CIA World Factbook

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