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State of Eritrea
Hagere Ertra (Arabic)
Dawlat Iritriyá (Tigrigna)

Political Status: Former Italian colony; became part of UN-sponsored Ethiopian-Eritrean Federation in September 1952; annexed as a province of Ethiopia in November 1962; declared independent on May 24, 1993, following secessionist referendum of April 23–25; new constitution approved by the Constitutional Assembly on May 23, 1997, but largely unimplemented as of mid-2014.

Area: 46,774 sq. mi. (121,144 sq. km).

Population: 5,775,132 (2014E—UN); 6,380,803 (2014E—U.S. Census). (A national census has not been conducted since 1984, when the population was reported to be 2,748,304. The World Bank in 2012 estimated the population at 5.4 million or less, citing a large exodus of Eritreans in recent years.)

Major Urban Centers (2005E): ASMARA (554,000), Keren (89,000).

Principal Languages: Tigrinya, Arabic, and English.

Monetary Unit: Nakfa (government rate of ...

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