Based on figures from the Central Statistical Agency in 2005, Hosaena has an estimated total population of 57,439 of whom 28,163 were males and 29,276 were females. The 1994 national census reported this town had a total population of 31,701 of whom 15,593 were males and 16,108 were females. It is the largest town in Limo woreda.
In 1929, a pair of missionaries settled in the town, their efforts leading to Hosaena becoming a center of Protestant Christianity in southern Ethiopia; as early as December 1949, the town hosted a Bible conference, attended by 800 persons. In April 1970, the administrative center of the Kembata Synod of the Mekane Yesus Church was officially moved from Durame to Hosaena; the synod was later renamed the "South Central Synod."
Hosaena currently is one of the nineteen reform cities of the SNNPR.