Ethiopia Rural Socioeconomic Survey (ERSS) Survey Report

Type Corporate Author
Title Ethiopia Rural Socioeconomic Survey (ERSS) Survey Report
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 0-0
URL survey report.pdf
Survey Objectives and Design: The Ethiopia Rural Socioeconomic Survey (ERSS) is
implemented in collaboration with the World Bank Living Standards Measurement Study
(LSMS) team as part of the Integrated Surveys on Agriculture program. The objectives include
the development of an innovative model for collecting agricultural data, inter-institutional
collaboration, and comprehensive analysis of welfare indicators and socio-economic
characteristics. ERSS is a nationally representative survey of 3,969 households living in rural
and small town areas. It is integrated with the CSA’s Annual Agricultural Sample Survey
(AgSS); the rural households included in the ERSS are a sub-sample of the AgSS sample
households. ERSS is a panel survey. The first wave was implemented in 2011-2012 and second
wave is scheduled for 2013-2014. This report compiles a set of basic statistics from the first
Demographic Characteristics: The survey finds that average household size in rural and small
town areas is 5.1 and 3.9 persons per household respectively. Dependency ratio in rural areas is
higher (105 percent) than that of the small town areas (74 percent).
Education: Educational outcome of household members is captured in the survey by selfreported
literacy, attainment, attendance/ enrollment, and constraints such as proximity to
primary and secondary schools and school expenses. The survey finds that literacy level (for
reading and writing in any language) is 53 percent for males while it is 36 percent for females.
About 40 percent of boys and 37 percent of girls (7-18 years) are not in school. About 60 percent
are enrolled in primary schools and the remaining few (less than 3 percent) are enrolled in
secondary school.
Health: survey questions gathered information on prevalence of illness, disability, health care
facility utilization, and child anthropometrics. Prevalence of self-reported illness for the 2
months preceding the survey is 17 percent for males and 19 percent for females. Disability,
measured by difficulties of hearing, seeing, walking or climbing, remembering or concentrating,
self-care including washing, dressing and feeding, and communicating or understanding, is
higher for the oldest group (age 51 and above), with females exhibiting more disabilities than
males in that age group. The overall health care utilization for treatment or checkup is about 15
percent. The reasons for not seeking consultation include distance and affordability. However,
the most important reason is that people do not normally go to health facilities for regular
Child anthropometrics results show that in rural areas one in two children (50.5 percent) aged 6-
59 months are stunted (short for their age); about 27 percent are underweight (thin for their age);
and 12 percent are wasted (thin for their height). Children in small town areas have better
nutritional status. For example, stunting is 31 percent which is about 19 percentage points lower
than the rate in rural areas. Similarly, underweight is 15 percent among children in small town
areas which is 12 percentage points lower than the rate in rural areas.
Housing Characteristics: The survey collected information on housing tenure and characteristics
as well as other assets that owned by the household. The finding shows that over 90 percent of
households own the houses they live in. A number of housing quality indicators show that the
majority of households live in congested houses that have poor flooring, walls and roofing
structure, and lack basic utilities and sanitation facilities. Housing quality tend to vary more
across rural areas and small towns than across region. As expected, households in small town
areas live in much better quality houses than those in rural areas.
Household Assets: Households were asked if they owned farm implements, furniture and
kitchenware, entertainment and communication equipment, personal items such as jewelries, as
well as vehicles, tools and machineries. Farm implements are important assets found in most of
the rural households who own few assets. On the other hand, households in small town areas
own a more diversified set of assets.
Agriculture: The ERSS agriculture modules cover crop farming and livestock rearing. The
implementation closely follows the CSA’s annual Agricultural Sample Survey (AgSS) with
some modifications on content of the questionnaires and the scope of the survey. Agriculture is
practiced by 93 percent of the rural and 42 percent of the small town households. On average, a
farm household has 12 fields. The average household land holding is 1.37 hectares which varies
by place of residence and the gender of the household head.
The two modern agricultural inputs used by farmers are fertilizer and herbicides. Fertilizer is
used in over half of major food grain fields. For example, fertilizer is applied in about 68 percent
of maize and wheat fields and 66 percent of teff fields. It is also used in about 56 percent of
barley fields. The least in the top five food grains is sorghum with about 28 percent of the fields
get fertilizer application. It is also common to use herbicides and insecticides to control weeds,
fungus, pests and insects. Herbicides or insecticides are used in close to half of teff and wheat
fields and 1 in 4 fields of barley, maize and sorghum. However, improved seed coverage is very
The crop disposition pattern of the major cereal crops shows that production is mainly for
consumption (from 60 to 80 percent). Sales account for 10-20 percent of crops produced. The
composition varies by crop type. Farm households tend to sell more of high value crops such as
teff and consume more of low value cereal crops such as sorghum and maize.
About 92 percent of rural households and 32 percent of small town area households are livestock
holders. Cattle are the most important types of livestock owned by both rural and small town
households. About 92 percent of households that own livestock have cattle. Most of the cattle are
indigenous breeds and are mainly kept for dairy, draught power, and breeding purposes.
Modern input use in livestock is limited. For example, participation in other livestock
development packages is almost non-existent (less than 1 percent). However, nearly half of
livestock holding households reported use of immunization services in the last 12 months.
Non-farm Enterprises: The rural economy is not all about agriculture. Non-farm enterprises
(NFE) are important as well. Over half of small town area households and one in five rural
households own one or more NFE. These are very small household businesses, mostly not
employing any outside labor. Lack of financial services, markets and transport infrastructures
constrain setting up or expanding an NFE business.
Other Income and Assistance: Cash and food transfers are the most common types of other
incomes available to households. About 10 percent of households receive cash transfer from
friends and relatives with an annual average amount of Birr 1,535 (approximately USD 82).
Households also receive food, cash or other non-food in kind assistance from government and
non-government programs.
Time Use: The time use section collected information on time spent collecting fuel wood or
water or working on agricultural activities, non-farm activities, temporary/casual work or
salaried job. Household members were also asked about time spent on apprentice/unpaid type of
activities. As expected, agricultural activities are more important in rural areas than in small
town areas. These activities are carried out by both male and female household members. Male
household members are more likely to participate in agriculture activities than female members.
Conversely, non-farm activities are more important in small town than rural areas. These
activities are more likely to be carried out by female than male household members.
Consumption, Expenditure, Food Security, Shocks and Coping: The survey included questions
on expenditure on food and non-food items, food security, shocks, and coping mechanisms.
Cereals (rice, sorghum, barley, wheat) are the most important food items with over 90 percent of
all households reporting consuming one of these items almost daily. Households who reported
consumption of teff daily are 78 percent in small town areas and 42 percent in rural areas. The
survey also finds that, when compared with rural households, small town households consume a
more diverse diet.
Clothing and shoes are the most important in the non-food expenditure category. However,
households also spend substantial amount on laundry soap, kerosene, fuel wood, charcoal,
transport, and taxes and levies. The average household level expenditure is higher in small town
areas than in rural areas.
Households were asked to report the month in which they had had food shortage in the 12
months preceding the survey. The result shows that food availability is seasonal. Planting
seasons- April to September- are major slack months particularly in rural areas. Small town
households tend to be less affected by seasonal food shortage than rural households.
Major shocks that affect households negatively are, in order of importance, rise in the price of
food items, increase in the price of inputs, illness of a household member, and drought.
Households mainly deplete savings or sell livestock to cope with these major shocks.

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