The world’s sixth-highest capital city, Asmara rests at an elevation of 7,628 feet (2,325 meters).
Asmara is nicknamed Little Rome for its Italian-style architecture. According to The Economist, one moniker for Eritrea is The North Korea of Africa reflecting its unlimited military conscription. Eritrea has one of the largest militaries in Africa.
Historic landmarks in Asmara are the Hotel Albergo Italia built in 1889 and the Embasoira previously the Old Imperial hotel constructed in 1919. In contrast, Asmara’s Fiat Tagliero Building reflects a modern city flare.
Asmara Brewery was built in 1939 under the name Melotti. Asmara Brewery beverages include its famous Asmara beer as well as rum and gin.
In addition, Asmara is the birthplace of model and actress Ella Thomas, known for roles in TV series Ballers, Mistresses and All My Children as well as performances in movies including Nina and Ice.
Research website numbeo lacks sufficient data to rank capital city Asmara on its comprehensive global quality of life rating which benchmarks 250 cities worldwide. Numbeo does evaluate the country Eritrea on several individual factors. For instance, Eritrea’s health care score ranks in the bottom 14% while its property price to income ratio is the off-the-charts highest. On the positive side, Eritrea has a pollution score among the lowest 3% albeit based on limited data.
From an international trade perspective, Eritrea exported an estimated US$332.8 million worth of products around the globe in 2019. Its most valuable exports include zinc ores and concentrates (66.4% of Eritrea’s global total), copper ores and concentrates (31.6%), unknitted and non-crocheted men’s shirts (0.5%), gold (0.4%), peppers (0.3%), motor cars (0.1%), malt beer (0.1%), and cloves (also 1%) according to the International Trade Centre.
Capital Facts for Asmara, Eritrea: Quick Reference
Below, you will find 10 of the most famous people born in Asmara, Eritrea.
- Isaias Afwerki, president (born Feb. 2, 1946)
- Ella Thomas, actress (born Aug. 15, 1981)
- Meb Keflezighi, long distance runner (born May 5, 1975)
- Gianfranco Rosi, film director & producer (born Nov. 30, 1963)
- Ella Thomas, actress & costume designer (born Aug. 15, 1981)
- Yared Asmerom, marathon runner (born Feb. 4, 1980)
- Salvatore Marino, actor (born Jan. 2, 1960)
- Massimo Antonelli, director & writer (born May 18, 1942)
- Nando Cicero, actor & director (born Jan. 22, 1931)
- Semhar Tadesse, social media/reality show star (born Sep. 12, 1986)
Note: Data for our Famous People tab was sourced from Google searches mostly targeting published Wikipedia articles specific to each person’s name.
Demonym for an Asmara resident: Asmarino
Population: 962,985 (Asmara) at September 14, 2020
Density: 56,646 people per square mile (21,400 per square kilometer)
Population: 3,556,818 (Eritrea) at September 14, 2020
Density: 91 people per square mile (35 per square kilometer)
Median age for all Eritrea: 19.2 years old
GDP: US$6.526 billion for 2019 (Eritrea)
GDP per person: $1,060
Note: The above country-level GDP metrics are on a Purchasing Power Parity basis and are in U.S. dollars. Credible city GDP statistics for Asmara were unavailable.
Official currency used in Asmara: Eritrean nakfa
Capital landmarks: Cathedral of Asmara, Nda Mariam Orthodox Church, Al Khulafa Al Rashiudin Mosque, Asmara Theater and Opera House and the Eritrean National Museum
Brookings Institution, Global Metro Monitor Report (includes GDP data).
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Field Listing: Major Urban Areas.
CityMetric, Where are largest cities in the world? 2015 edition.
Demographia, World Urban Area, 12th Annual Edition.
Guinness World Records, Largest sea turtle ever.
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Databases.
International Trade Centre, Trade Map.
Numbeo, Quality of Life Index by City.
Official Government Website, Eritrea–Ministry of Information: Asmara.
The Economist, Eritrea’s gulag state is crumbling.
Wikimedia Commons, City Flags.
Note: Some city flags were unavailable. If so, attribution belongs to Wikimedia Commons for pertinent country flags.
Wikipedia, Ella Thomas.
WorldOMeter, Eritrea Population.
World Population Review, Asmara Population.
Eritreans celebrate Independence Day each May 24 since that same date in 1993 when Eritrea broke away from Ethiopia.
Asmara’s land area equals 17 square miles (45 square kilometers), home to 962,985 Asmarinos at September 14, 2020.
At the country level, Eritrea’s land area extends over a total 38,996 square miles (101,000 square kilometers) with an overall population of 3.6 million residents.
Population density is more concentrated within Eritrea’s capital city Asmara, averaging 56,646 Asmarinos per square mile (21,400 per square kilometer).
Zooming out to Eritrea’s land boundaries, population density dilutes to 91 inhabitants per square mile (35 per square kilometer).