The population of Ethiopia in 2003 was estimated by the United Nations at 70,678,000, which placed it as number 17 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In that year approximately 3% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 44% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 99 males for every 100 females in the country in 2003. According to the UN, the annual population growth rate for 2000–2005 is 2.46%, with the projected population for the year 2015 at 93,845,000. The population density in 2002 was 61 per sq km (159 per sq mi). The area of greatest density is the High Plateau, with more than 70% of the population.
It was estimated by the Population Reference Bureau that 18% of the population lived in urban areas in 2001. The capital city, Addis Ababa, had a population of 2,534,000 in that year. Other urban centers include Dire Dawa, Dese, Harer, Jima, Nazret, and Gonder. Ethiopia's next census is slated for 2004. According to the United Nations, the urban population growth rate for 2000– 2005 was 5.0%.
The prevalence of AIDS/HIV has had a significant impact on the population of Ethiopia. The United Nations estimated that6.5% of adults between the ages of 15–49 were living with HIV/AIDS in 2001. The AIDS epidemic causes higher death and infant mortality rates, and lowers life expectancy. Life expectancy in Ethiopia is 45 years.