Benishangul-Gumuz (Amharic: ቤንሻንጉል ጉሙዝ), also known as Benshangul/Gumuz, is one of the nine ethnic divisions (kililoch) of Ethiopia. It was previously known as Region 6. The region's capital is Assosa. Following the adoption of the 1995 constitution, the Region was created from the westernmost portion of the Gojjam province (the part north of the Abay River), and the northwestern portion of the Welega Province (the part south of the Abay). The name of the region comes from two local ethnic groups – Berta (also called as Benishangul) and Gumuz.
The region has faced major challenges to economic development, due to lack of transportation and communications infrastructure. The Abay River (Blue Nile) divides Benishangul-Gumuz, and there was no bridge crossing it until 2012. The major road that connects the Metekel Zone and the Asosa Zone was built by the China Construction Company in 2012. The road has a 365-meter bridge that crosses the Abay. Nowadays it is simple to travel between the regional capital of Assosa and Gilgil Beles, the capital of the Metekel Zone. Previously one had to travel through Wollega and Gojjam in the neighboring regions of Oromia and Amhara, a distance of 1,250 kilometers, but it is now around 378 kilometers on the new road and bridge. Conditions for travel within zones varies, but is often poor and subject to disruption by the rainy season. On 28 July 2009, the Regional Rural Roads Authority reported that over the previous year almost 600 of the 800 kilometers of local all-weather roads had been upgraded at a cost of 11.5 million birr, and an additional 447 kilometers of roads constructed.
Based on the 2007 Census conducted by the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA), the Benishangul-Gumuz Region has a total population of 784,345, consisting of 398,655 men and 385,690 women; urban inhabitants number 105,926 or 13.51% of the population. With an estimated area of 49,289.46 square kilometers, this Region has an estimated density of 15.91 people per square kilometer. For the entire region 174,445 households were counted, which results in an average for the Region of 4.5 persons to a household, with urban households having on average 3.6 and rural households 4.7 people. The ethnic groups include the Berta (25.41%), Amhara (21.69%), Gumuz (20.88%), Oromo (13.55%), Shinasha (7.73%) and Agaw-Awi (4.22%). Main languages are the Berta (25.15%), Amharic (22.46%), Gumuz (20.59%), Oromo (17.69%), Shinasha (4.58%) and Awngi (4.01%). Concerning religion, 44.98% of the population were Muslim, 33.3% were Orthodox Christians, 13.53% were Protestant, and 7.09% practiced traditional beliefs. It had a projected population of 1,127,001 in 2018.
In the previous census, conducted in 1994, the Region's population was reported to be 460,459 of which 233,013 were men and 227,446 were women. Rural population was 424,432, while the urban population was 36,027. The five largest ethnic groups in Benishangul-Gumuz were the Berta (27%), Gumuz (23%), Amhara (22%), Oromo (13%) and Shinasha (7%). Berta is spoken in the Sherkole woreda, Gumuz is spoken along the western boundary of Guba and Dangur woredas and in the Sirba Abbay woreda, and the Shinasha are a displaced people of Kaffa scattered across Welega and Gojjam. The Berta, Gumuz and Shinasha tend to have more in common with the people of neighbouring Sudan than with other Ethiopian peoples, while the Amhara and Tigrayans, who are known as Habesha (or "highlanders") are recent arrivals, who began to settle in the region during the Derg era. According to the 1994 census 44.1% of inhabitants were Muslim, 34.8% Orthodox Christians, 13.1% followers of traditional religions and 5.8% Protestants.
According to the CSA,, 27.23% of the total population had access to safe drinking water, of whom 22.35% were rural inhabitants and 58.53% were urban. Values for other reported common indicators of the standard of living for Benishangul-Gumuz include the following: 19.1% of the inhabitants fall into the lowest wealth quintile; adult literacy for men is 47.4% and for women 23.2%; and the Regional infant mortality rate is 84 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, which is greater than the nationwide average of 77; at least half of these deaths occurred in the infants’ first month of life.
There are 2 refugee camps and 1 transit center, housing 36,440 refugees from Sudan and South Sudan, located in Benishangul-Gumuz Region.