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The urban population is estimated to be 11 percent of the total population.
The rural lowland population is composed of many nomadic and seminomadic peoples.
The plateau is between six thousand and ten thousand feet above sea level, with the highest peak being Ras Deshan, the fourth-tallest mountain in Africa.
Addis Ababa is the third-highest capital city in the world.
The Great Rift Valley (known for discoveries of early hominids such as Lucy, whose bones reside in the Ethiopian National Museum) bisects the central plateau.
Amharic has been the dominant and official language for the last 150 years as a result of the political power of the Amhara ethnic group.The bulk of the rain in the highlands falls in the major rainy season from mid-June to mid-September, with an average of forty inches of rain during that season.A minor rainy season occurs from February to April. In the year 2000, the population was approximately 61 million, with over eighty different ethnic groups.Ethiopia is the only African country never to have been colonized, although an Italian occupation occurred from 1936 to 1941.In addition to the monarchy, whose imperial line can be traced to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church was a major force in that, in combination with the political system, it fostered nationalism with its geographic center in the highlands.