Egypt

Population

Egypt’s population increased by 65.6% between 1990 and 2016, from 56.4 million to 93.4 million. In 2016, Egypt’s population was more than double Algeria’s and Morocco’s, and 1.7 times the size of South Africa’s, and roughly half that of Nigeria’s. Egypt’s population made up 21.6% of the Middle East and North African population.[1] The country’s population growth between 1990 and 2016 was higher than Algeria’s (55.8%), Morocco’s (39.5%) and South Africa’s (51.6%), but slower than Nigeria’s (95.6%).

Table 3.1: Regional comparison: Population totals (000s) (1990–2016)

Country 1990 1995 2000 2010 2015 2016
Algeria 25,912  28,904  31,184  36,036  39,667  40,376 
Egypt 56,397  62,435  68,335  82,041  91,508  93,384 
Morocco 24,950 27,162 28,951 32,108 34,378 34,817
Nigeria 95,617 108,425 122,877 159,425 182,202 186,988
South Africa 36,793  41,427  44,897  50,979  55,012  55,770 
Middle East & North Africa 254,610 285,137 315,278 385,509 424,211 431,815
Sub-Saharan Africa 510,209 586,199 668,639 873,988 1,001,037 1,028,022

Source: World Bank, 2017[2]

Figure 3.1
Source: World Bank, 2017[3]
Figure 3.1: Regional comparison: Population, total (1990–2016)

Egypt’s population growth rate in 2015 was 2.1%, a slight decrease from 2.4% in 1990. [4] The decline is largely the result of family planning and reproductive health programmes, several of which were implemented by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the 1990s and early 2000s.[5]

Egypt’s (2.1%) population growth rate in 2015 was higher than Algeria’s (1.8%), Morocco’s (1.3%), South Africa’s (1.6%), but lower than Nigeria’s (2.6%). Egypt’s growth rate was also higher than the Middle East and North Africa’s (1.8%) and the world average of 1.2%, but lower than sub-Saharan Africa’s average rate of 2.7%.[6]

Figure 3.2
Source: World Bank, 2017[7]
Figure 3.2: Regional comparison: Population growth (annual %) (1990–2015)

The mortality rate for adult males in Egypt decreased from 231 deaths per 1,000 in 1990 to 187 deaths per 1,000 in 2015. The country’s female mortality rate also decreased, dropping from 144 deaths per 1,000 in 1990 to 111 deaths per 1,000 in 2015.[8] The female mortality rate improved at a higher rate than the male mortality rate did over this period.

Figure 3.3
Source: World Bank, 2017[9]
Figure 3.3: Mortality rates: deaths per 1,000 people (1990–2015)

Population age breakdown

Between 1990 and 2016, the working-age population (those between 15 and 64) grew by 86.7%, slightly faster than the growth in the size of the population over the age of 65, which increased by 85.8%. The population under the age of 15 showed the smallest increase of 35.3% during the same period, suggesting that the Egyptian population is aging.[10]

Table 3.2: Population age breakdown (000s) (1990–2016)

Population age group 1990 2000 2010 2015 2016
Population aged 0–14 23,114 24,831 26,203 30,344 31,283
Population aged 15–64 30,636 40,038 51,805 56,387 57,182
Population aged 65+ 2,648 3,466 4,033 4,777 4,918

Source:World Bank, 2017[11]

The population under the age of 15 years made up 41% of the total in 1990, and in 2016 only 33.5%. In contrast, the relative size of the working-age population has increased from 54.3% to 61.2% of the total over the same period.[12]

Table 3.3: Population age breakdown (% of total) (1990–2016)

Population age group 1990 2000 2010 2015 2016
Population aged 0–14 41.0 36.3 31.9 33.2 33.5
Population aged 15–64 54.3 58.6 63.1 61.6 61.2
Population aged 65+ 4.7 5.1 4.9 5.2 5.3

Source:World Bank, 2017[13]

The majority (59.3%) of people are below the age of 30 years; only 35.4% of the population is over the age of 29, and only 5.3% of the total population is above 65 years of age.[14] A more detailed age breakdown is shown in Figure 3.4 below.

Figure 3.4
Source: World Bank, 2017[15]
Figure 3:4: Age breakdown of the Egyptian population (2016)

The size of Egypt’s population under the age of 15 (as a percentage of the total population) saw a substantial decline between 1990 and 2016 (41% to 33.5%). Nonetheless, this age bracket is still larger relative to the total population than in Algeria (28.9%), Morocco (27.2%), South Africa (28.9%), the Middle East and North African average (30.2%) and the world average (26%), but significantly lower than in Nigeria (44%) and the sub-Saharan African average (42.8%).[16]

The size of Egypt’s working-age population in the total population (61.2% in 2016) was higher than in Nigeria (53.3%) and the sub-Saharan African average (54.1%) in 2016, but lower than in Algeria (65%), Morocco (66.5%), South Africa (65.9%), the Middle East and North African average (64.9%) and the world average (65.5%).[17] (See Figure 3.5 below.)

Figure 3.5
Source: World Bank, 2017[18]
Figure 3.5: Regional comparison: Population aged 15–64 (% of total) (1990–2016)

In 2016, the size of the population older than 65 years as a percentage of the total population in Egypt was 5.3% – a slight increase from 4.7% in 1990. The relative size of this age group was larger than in Nigeria (2.7%), South Africa (5.1%), the Middle East and North Africa (4.9%) and sub-Saharan Africa (3.1%), but lower than in Algeria (6.1%), Morocco (6.3%) and the world average (8.5%).[19]

Life expectancy at birth

The life expectancy at birth of Egyptians has climbed by six years from 65 in 1990 to 71 years in 2015. Furthermore, 2015 data show that Egyptian women outlive men by five years on average with an average life expectancy of 73.6 compared to 69.2 years for males respectively.[20] The rise in life expectancy may be attributable to improvements in the country’s healthcare system.

Egyptians can expect to live 14 years longer than South Africans (57 years), 18 years longer than Nigerians (53 years), and 12 years longer than the average person living in sub-Saharan Africa (59 years). However, Algerians (75 years), Moroccans (74 years) outlive Egyptians, as does the average person in the Middle East and North Africa (73 years).[21]

Figure 3.6
Source: World Bank, 2017[22]
Figure 3.6: Regional comparison: Life expectancy at birth (1990–2015)

Fertility rate

Between 1980 and 2008, contraceptive prevalence in Egypt increased from 24.2% to 60.3%.[23] Correspondingly, where an Egyptian woman of childbearing age was expected to have 4.7 children in her lifetime in 1990, by 2008 this had declined significantly, to 3.1 children.[24]

From 2008, the fertility rate increased slightly to reach 3.3 children in 2014[25], suggesting that fewer people are using contraceptives.[26] Since surveys indicate that 99% of Egyptian women are aware of measures to prevent pregnancy, this increase is possibly caused by Egyptians wanting larger families.[27]

Egypt has a higher fertility rate than Algeria (2.8), Morocco (2.5), South Africa (2.3), and the Middle East and North African average of 2.8, but one that is lower than Nigeria’s (5.6) and the sub-Saharan African average of 5 children.[28]

Figure 3.7
Source: World Bank, 2017[29]
Figure 3.7: Regional comparison: Fertility rates (1990–2015)

Population forecast to 2035

The World Bank estimates that Egypt’s population will be in the region of 125.6 million in 2035, an increase of 34.5% from 2016. The total population is estimated to increase on average by 8% every 5 years.[30]

By 2035, the population under 15 is expected to increase by 12%, and the working age population by 42.3%. The population over 65 is expected to increase by 86.1% by 2035.[31]

Egypt’s birth rate by 2035 is projected to decline to 20.2 births per 1,000 people, down from 27.3 births in 2015. The fertility rate is expected to decrease to 2.6 children by 2035, and life expectancy at birth is expected to reach 74.7 years.[32]

Table 3.4: Projection (000s) per age group: 2016–2035

Age group 2016 2020 2025 2030 2035 Increase Increase (%)
2016–2035 2016–2035
Total 93,384 100,518 108,939 117,102 125,589 32,205 34.5%
0–14 yrs 31,283 33,461 35,309 34,713 35,048 3,765 12.0%
15–64 yrs 57,182 61,545 67,039 74,532 81,389 24,207 42.3%
65+ yrs 4,918 5,512 6,592 7,857 9,152 4,234 86.1%

Source: World Bank, 2017[33]

  • Country Profile
  • Introduction
  • Broad Economic Indicators
  • Currency and Exchange Rate
  • Competitiveness and Ease of Doing Business
  • Foreign Investment and Largest Companies
  • Foreign Aid
  • Country Strategic Framework
  • Summary of Economic Conditions
  • Implications, Challenges and Recommendations
  • Population
  • Living Standards and Poverty Levels
  • Healthcare
  • Implications, Challenges and Recommendations
  • Qualifications Profile of the Population and Workforce
  • Levels of Schooling and Basic Education
  • Technical and Vocational Education and Training
  • Tertiary Education
  • Innovation in Egypt
  • Implications, Challenges and Recommendations
  • Labour Force
  • Employment by Sector
  • Employment by Skill Level
  • Employment by Occupation
  • Labour Productivity
  • Unemployment and Job Creation
  • Expatriates, Immigrants and the Egyptian Diaspora
  • Wage and Salary Trends and Social Insurance
  • Industrial Relations Framework
  • Labour Market Efficiency
  • The Fourth Industrial Revolution
  • Implications, Challenges and Recommendations

Socio-Demographic Indicators

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