A scientific explanation for the vastly different rates of growth reported in the 2007 census isone where there are significant differences in mortality and fertility, leading to definitedifferences in the rates of natural increase; when significant in-migration is added on, theincrease of the in-migrating ethnic group can be larger. However, there is no evidence of suchdevelopments either.The last possibility for a dramatic change in ethnic composition is if there has been a systematicprocess of intentionally miscounting or misreporting the Amara, or otherwise throwing awaycensus records before and during data processing; this may be the only possible explanation.However, no amount of record review can undo such damage, and this is what Addisu Legesse’sCensus Commission wants to do to cover up work that is very badly done !If none of the above scenarios had applied - and they did not - the ethnic composition of 1984should have remained almost the same after the censuses of 1994 and 2007, and that wouldstill keep the Oromo as the largest ethnic group with about 29.1% of the population. Amaraswould be the second largest ethnic group with about 28.3% of the population, a difference of only 0.8%, and not one of 7.6%, as given in the census of May 2007, shown in Table 1 below.If the ethnic structure had remained about the same as that of 1984, which is normal incensuses of countries like Ethiopia, the difference in population sizes between Oromo andAmara should have been about 600,000 in the population census of May 2007, and not over5,000,000. Likewise, the population of Amara region should have been larger by at least3,000,000.However, it is interesting to note that in the census of 1994, the population counts by mothertongue gave those whose mother tongue as Amharic as the largest, and those with Oromignaas a mother tongue as the second largest group. Hence, one wonders which one of the twoethnic groups is the largest.The Sidama’s percent share should have also remained around 2.96%, the level of 1984, but it,too, has shot up to 4.02% in 2007, as shown in Table 1 below..
Table 1: Share of selected regions and ethnic groups inEthiopia’s census populationsRegion/ethnic groupsMay 1984Census
October 1994censusMay 2007census
Annual growthRates(%)(Millions)(%) (Millions)(%) (millions)(%) 1984-20071994-2007Ethiopia 42.62 100.053.13 100.073.92 100.0 2.394 2.64
Amara … …. 13.83 26.0 17.21