“Unraveling the Somali Population: Data, Challenges, and Resilience”

The written data on the Somali population reveals some interesting statistics. According to the 2008 census conducted by the Central Statistical Authority, Somalis ranked as the third largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, with a population of 4,560,000, making up 6.2% of the total population. This placed them behind the Oromo (34.4%) and Amhara (27%) ethnic groups.

An interesting fact is that based on the 1994 census projection for 2008, approximately 4.5 million Somalis were found to reside in the Somali Region of Ethiopia. This indicates a significant concentration of the Somali population within that specific area.

Moving to Kenya, there is a considerable presence of Somalis who are citizens and residents of the country. They trace their ethnic heritage back to Somalia and have historically inhabited the North Eastern Province, previously known as the Northern Frontier District.

This region was originally part of the Jubaland area in southern Somalia during the colonial period. Following the outbreak of the civil war in Somalia in 1991, many Somalis sought refuge in the Somali-inhabited enclaves of Kenya.

According to the 2019 Kenya census, it is estimated that approximately 2,780,502 ethnic Somalis currently reside in Kenya. Additionally, there are around 300,000 internationally migrating ethnic Somalis who have settled in other parts of East and South Africa. Notably, these ethnic Somalis are distinct from the Bantus and other minority groups from Somalia. USAID reports that the majority of the estimated 413,170 refugees from Somalia in Kenya belong to these other groups.

Looking beyond Africa, migration estimates from the United Nations suggest that around 1,998,764 people from Somalia were living abroad as of 2015. However, the number of refugees registered with the UNHCR had decreased to 763,933 by March 2020, down from a peak of approximately 990,000 in June 2013.

As of September 27, 2023, the current population of Somalia stands at 18,277,184, based on data from the United Nations. However, it’s worth noting that the actual data on the Somali population is not accurately recorded due to the lack of comprehensive birth and death registration for all Somalis. Despite this, Somalis are known to possess a rich and ancient culture, with a unique language.

Somalis have faced fragmentation as a result of European colonial powers, yet they have displayed resilience and perseverance against all odds. Although the true population of Somalia remains something of a mystery, what remains certain is that Somalis are a highly enterprising people with a long-standing history.

This history, unfortunately, has not been adequately recorded, but it is clear that Somali civilization has historically engaged in trade with various ancient civilizations across the world.

Somalia has faced numerous challenges over the past two centuries, including the interference of foreign powers attempting to establish stable governance. However, the country continues to grapple with ongoing difficulties. Despite the hurdles, Somalia possesses significant natural resources such as oil, gas, and minerals, including uranium.

Somalia holds a unique place among global alliances. As a non-aligned nation, it is a member of the Arab League, OIC, AU, and other international organizations. As the world undergoes a transformation into a multipolar landscape, Somalia has yet to align itself firmly with any group.

However, given its strategic location and Ethiopia’s recent collaboration with BRICS, Somalia has the potential to become an influential friend to any power that approaches it with prudence.

Conversely, it is important to note that Somalia cannot be easily swayed by empty promises; the Somali people desire tangible evidence and transparency from prospective allies.

In terms of demographics, Somalia’s estimated population for 2023 is 18,143,378, representing approximately 0.23% of the total world population. The country is ranked 69th on the list of nations by population.

Furthermore, Somalia’s population density is relatively low, with 29 people per square kilometer (75 people per square mile). The total land area of Somalia covers 627,340 square kilometers (242,217 square miles). Additionally, as of 2023, approximately 46.5% of the population resides in urban areas, equating to 8,434,610 individuals.

Overall, Somalia faces both challenges and opportunities as it navigates its complex history, diverse population, and strategic position in the global arena. The end.

Mohamed Mohamoud Adde is an academic and a political Analyst specialising in offering expert analysis, insight and recommendations on Political developments.

(His goal is to aid stakeholders in making informed decisions and comprehending the complex dynamics of political systems

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