Ethiopia is the second most populous country in Sub-Saharan Africa countries. The rapid population growth in country leads to land degradation; it includes soil degradation, vegetation degradation and water degradation, and natural resources degradation as whole. Diverse scholars indicated, decreasing tendency of forest cover in Ethiopia over time with the population increment. In Ethiopia, the high population growth leads to soil erosion and soil fertility loss; it accelerates soil erosion due to foot path, overgrazing and others, which is meanly estimated 12 tons/ ha/ yr. and, People are using animal dung and crop residue for household fuel rather than being added to the soil to improve soil fertility, which leads to soil quality declination. And, the population pressure leads the water courses to dry up, reduced the volumes of surface water, depletion of aquifers and pollution. If this rapid population growth of Ethiopia continues like the current situation, the land degradation problem is likely to be even more challengeable in the future. Therefore, this paper aims to explore rapid population growth as foremost cause land degradation in Ethiopia by taking typical evidence from different parts of the country and to suggest solutions.
Keywords: Rapid Population Growth, Foremost Cause, Land Degradation, Ethiopia