Overcrowding of Residential Houses in Ethiopia: A Study of Selected Demographic and Socio-Economic Correlates

  • Terefe Degefa
  • Yanyi K. Djamba
Keywords: Ethiopia, housing, household heads, overcrowding


Existing housing related evidences attest to the fact that many Ethiopians live in houses that are not conducive for healthy life. This article examines the nature of overcrowding of residential units in Ethiopia using the 2007 Population and Housing Census data supported by literature. Descriptive and multivariate statistical analyses are employed to generate empirical evidences that demonstrate the extent to which many live in overcrowded houses. The results show that more than half of Ethiopians live in overcrowded housing units. Findings from multivariate analyses show that overcrowding is strongly linked to demographic and socio-economic characteristics of households, their migration status and type of place of residence. In particular, housing units headed by males are more likely to be overcrowded than those headed by females. Education is negatively associated with overcrowding suggesting that exposure to formal schooling leads to smaller families. There are also significant differences in the level of overcrowding by ethnicity and religion. It is implied from the results that variations in the level of overcrowding of housing units, and hence housing conditions, remain to be one of the indicators of differentiated livelihood situations in the country, which needs to be redressed through investments and instituting the required housing standards.

Keywords: Ethiopia, housing, household heads, overcrowding


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2520-582X
print ISSN: 1810-4487