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Tigray-Tigrinya people

Ras Alula · Abuna Paulos · Ras Mengesha
Yohannes IV · Meles Zenawi · Isaias Afwerki
Ethnic group
Population8 800 000

     Home | Ethnic Group | Tigray-Tigrinya people

Tigray-Tigrinya are an ethnic group who live in the southern, central and northern parts of Eritrea and the northern highlands of Ethiopia's Tigray province. A few also live in Ethiopia's former provinces of Begemder and Wollo, which are today mostly part of Amhara Region, though a few regions (e.g. Wolqayt) were incorporated instead into modern Tigray Region. Their language is called Tigrinya. They make up approximately 96.6% of the inhabitants of the Tigray Region, and are 6.1% of the population of Ethiopia as a whole, numbering about 5.5 million. Tigrinya speakers are 55% of the population in neighboring Eritrea at about 3.3 million people.

Not to be confused with the Tigre people who speak Tigre, a closely related language, see Tigrinya language. Proto-Tigrayans were the main ethnicity of kingdom of Axum in the first millennium CE. Their language, a form of Ge'ez, remained the language of later Ethiopian imperial court as well as the Ethiopian Church.

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