Gambela or Gambella, (ጋምቤላ) also officially known as Gambela Peoples' Region, is one of the nine ethnic divisions (kililoch) of Ethiopia. Previously known as "Region 12", its capital is Gambela. The Region is situated between the Baro and Akobo Rivers, with its western part including the Baro salient.
Located in Gambela is Gambela National Park, which covers approximately 5,061 square kilometers or 17% of the Region's territory.
Based on the 2007 Census conducted by the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA), the Gambela Region has total population of 307,096, consisting of 159,787 men and 147,309 women; urban inhabitants number 77,925 or 25.37% of the population. With an estimated area of 29,782.82 square kilometers, this region has an estimated density of 10 people per square kilometer. For the entire Region 66,467 households were counted, which results in an average for the Region of 4.6 persons to a household, with urban households having on average 3.8 and rural households 4.9 people. The Gambela Region is mainly inhabited by various Nilotic ethnic minority populations (Nuer 46.66%, Anuak 21.16%, Mezhenger 4%), as well as some Omotic groups (Kafficho 5.04%, Shakacho 2.27%), Afro-Asiatic populations (Amhara 8.42%, Oromo 4.83%, Kambaata 1.44%, Tigray 1.32%), and other ethnic groups predominantly from southern Ethiopia 4.86%. Nuer is spoken as a first language by 48.35%, 22.02% speak Anuak, 11.11% Amharic, 4.85% Afaan Oromoo, 4.65% Kafa, 2.48% Shakacho, 1.47% speak Kambaata, and 1.32% speak Tigrinya; the remaining 3.75% spoke all other primary languages reported. 70.1% of the region's population are Protestant, 16.8% Orthodox Christian, 4.9% Muslim, 3.8% practice traditional religions, 3.4% Catholic The projected population for 2017 was 435,999.
Gambela is the historic home of the indigenous Anuak. In recent years there has been significant violence between the Anuak and more recently arrived Ethiopians, who are generally referred to as "Highlanders". The 1994 national census reported the regions population to be 181,862 in 35,940 households, of whom 92,902 were men and 88,960 women; 27,424 or 15.08% of the population were urban inhabitants. (This total also includes an estimate for all 19 kebeles of one woreda and 6 kebeles in two other woredas, which were not counted; these areas were estimated to have 19,465 inhabitants, of whom 9,203 were men and 10,262 women.) The six largest ethnic groups of the region were the Nuer (39.7%), the Anuak (27.45%), Amhara (7.74%), Oromo (6.49%), Mezhenger (5.76%), and Kafficho (4.18%); all other ethnic groups made up 8.68% of the population. Nuer is spoken as a first language by 39.72%, 27.47% speak Anuak, 8.44% Amharic, 6.45% Afaan Oromoo, and 5.75% speak Majang; the remaining 12.17% spoke all other primary languages reported. A plurality of the inhabitants said they were Protestant, with 44.01% of the population reporting answers in that category, while 24.13% professed Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, 10.28% practiced traditional religions, 5.15% were Muslim, and 3.21% were Catholic.
Values for reported common indicators of the standard of living for Gambela include the following: 44% of the inhabitants fall into the lowest wealth quintile; adult literacy for men is 57.5% and for women 22.8%; and the Regional infant mortality rate is 92 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.