According to the SNNPR Regional Statistical Abstract 2007, the average population density of Wolayta is over 385 people per square kilo meter (ppkm²) making it one of the most densely populated areas in the country. Population density in some parts of the Zone is as high as 781 ppkm² in Damot Gale Wereda; and as low as 168 ppkm² in Humbo Woreda. Based on the data gathered by WODA in 2009 the population size and structure, the current total population of the zone is 1,906,244 of which 795,950 are children (0-14years) 901,276 are working age population and 29,352 are old age (65+1) population, women of reproductive age (15-49) are 42,572. The current average population density of the Zone is 428.2km2.
Regardless of what figures suggest, it is very evident that the region is one of the most densely populated rural regions in Ethiopia. Overcrowding and scarcity of farmland remain as the main problem for the inhabitants. It is currently in the midst of ecological crisis.
A sizable portion of the population lives outside Wolayta region. Many young people are forced to seek off‐farm employment opportunities in other parts of the country. Many migrate seeking seasonal employment at sugar plantation, state arms and coffee plantation areas.