Ethiopian Rural Household Surveys (ERHS)


The Ethiopia Rural Household Survey (ERHS) is a unique longitudinal household data set covering households in a number of villages in rural Ethiopia. Data collection started in 1989, when a team visited 6 farming villages in Central and Southern Ethiopia. In 1989, IFPRI conducted a survey in seven Peasant Associations located in the regions Amhara, Oromiya and the Southern Ethiopian People’s Association (SNNPR). Civil conflict prevented survey work from being undertaken in Tigray. Under extremely difficult field conditions, household data were collected in order to study the response of households to food crises. The study collected consumption, asset and income data on about 450 households. In 1994, the survey was expanded to cover 15 villages across the country. An additional round was conducted in late 1994, with further rounds in 1995, 1997, 1999, 2004, and 2009. In addition, nine new villages were selected giving a sample of 1477 households. The nine additional communities were selected to account for the diversity in the farming systems in the country, including the grain-plough areas of the Northern and Central highlands, the enset-growing areas and the sorghum-hoe areas. Topics addressed in the survey include household characteristics, agriculture and livestock information, food consumption, health, women’s activities, as well as community level data on electricity and water, sewage and toilet facilities, health services, education, NGO activity, migration, wages, and production and marketing.

Video interviews with Dr. Stefan Dercon, Dr. Tassew Woldehanna, and the survey enumerators

External publication citing this dataset: Sepahvand, Mohammad. 2009. The analysis of rural poverty in Ethiopia: Regarding the three measurements of poverty. Uppsala, Sweden: Uppsala University, Department of Economics.


The survey was conducted in collaboration with Economics Department, Addis Ababa University (Economics/AAU) and the Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), University of Oxford. The funding for the survey was provided by Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC); Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA); United States Agency for International Development (USAID); and the World Bank.

How to cite: 

Ethiopia Rural Household Survey Dataset, 1989-2009. 2011. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) (datasets).

Publication date: 
Kind of data: 
356MB (Uncompressed), 46.3MB (Compressed)

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