About Egypt

Egypt (Arab Republic of Egypt)


The regularity and richness of the annual Nile River flood, coupled with semi-isolation provided by deserts to the east and west, allowed for the development of one of the world’s great civilizations. A unified Kingdome arose circa 3200 B.C. and a series of dynasties ruled in Egypt for the next three millennia. The last native dynasty fell to the Persians in 341 B.C. who in turn were replaced by the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. It was the Arabs who introduced Islam and the Arabic language in the 7thcentury and who ruled for the next six centuries. A local military caste, the Mamluks took control about 1250 and continued to govern after the conquest of Egypt by the Ottoman Turks in 1517. Following the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869, Egypt became an important world transportation hub, but also fell heavily into debt. Britain seized control of Egypt’s government in 1882, but nominal allegiance to the Ottoman Empire continued until 1914. Partially independent from the UK in 1922, Egypt acquired full sovereignty with the overthrow of the British-backed monarchy in 1952. The completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1971 and the resultant Lake Nasser have altered the time-honored place of the Nile River in the agriculture and ecology of Egypt. A rapidly growing population (the largest in the Arab world), limited arable land, and dependence on the Nile all continue overtax resources and stress society. The government has struggled to meet the demands of Egypt’s growing population through economic reform and massive investment in communications and physical infrastructure.



Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea ,between Libya and Gaza strip, and the Red Sea north of Sudan and includes the Asian Sinai Peninsula.

Geographic coordinates:

27 00 N, 30 00 E



1,001,450 sq km


995,450 sq km


6,000 sq km

Land boundaries:


2,665 km

Border countries:

Gaza Strip 11 km, Israel 266 km, Libya 1,115 km, Sudan 1,273 km.


2,450 km


Desert; hot, dry summers with moderate winters.


Vast desert plateau interrupted by Nile valley and delta.

Elevation extremes:

Lowest Point:

Qattara Depression -133 m

Highest Point:

Mount Catherine 2,629 m

Natural resources:

Petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, manganese, limestone, gypsum, talc, asbestos, lead, zinc.

Environment –Current issues:

Agricultural land being lost to urbanization and windblown sands; increasing soil salination below Aswan High Dam; desertification; oil pollution threatening coral reefs, beaches, and marine habitats; other water pollution from agricultural pesticides, raw sewage, and industrial effluents; limited natural fresh water resources away from the Nile, which the only perennial water resource; rapid growth in population overstraining the Nile and natural resources.

Environment –international agreements:

Party to:

Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands.



83,082,869 (July 2009 est.)

Age Structure:

0-14 years:

31.4 % (male 13,345,500/female 12,743,878)

15-64 years:

63.8 % (male 26,823,127/female 26,169,421)

65 years and over:

4.8 %( male 1,701,068/female 2,299,875)

 (2009 est.)

Population growth rate:

1.642 % (2009 est.)

Birth rate:

22.12 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Death rate:

5.09 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Net migration rate:

-0.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)


Urban Population:

43 % of total population (2008)

Rate of Urbanization:

1.8 % annual rate of change (2005-2010)

Sex Ratio:

At Birth:

1.05 male(s)/female

Under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years:

1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over:

0.74 male(s)/female

Total population:

1.02 male(s)/female (2009 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

Total population:

72.12 years




74.81 years (2009 est)

Total fertility rate:

2.66 children born/woman (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS-adult prevalence rate:

Less than0.1 % (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS- people living with HIV/AIDS:

9,200 (2007 est.)






Ethnic groups:

Egyptian 99.6%, other 0.4% (2006 census)


Muslim (mostly Sunni) 90%, Coptic 9%, other Christian 1%


Arabic (official), English and French widely understood by educated classes



Age 15 and over can read and write.

Total population:





59.4% (2005 est.)

Educational expenditures:

4.2 of GDP (2006)


Country name:

Conventional long form:

Arab Republic of Egypt

Conventional short form:


Local long form:

Jumhuriyat Misr al-Arabiyah

Local short form:



United Arab Republic (with Syria)

Government Type:




Geographic coordinates:

30 03 N, 31 15 E

Time difference:

UTC+2 (1 hours ahead of London during Standard Time)

Daylight saving time:

+1hr begins last Friday in April; ends last Thursday in September.


28 February 1922 (from the UK)

National Holiday:

Revolution Day, 23 July (1952)

Legal System:

Based on Islamic and civil law (particularly Napoleonic codes); judicial review by Supreme Court and Council of State (oversees validity of administrative decisions); accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations.


18 years of age; universal and compulsory.

Executive branch:

Chief of state:

President Mohamed Hosni MUBARAK (since 14 October 1981).

Head of government:

Prime Minister Ahmed Mohamed NAZIF (since 9 July 2004)


Cabinet appointed by the president.

Legislative branch:

Bicameral system consists of the People’s Assembly or Majilis al Sha’b (454 seats; 444 elected by popular vote, 10 appointed by the president; members serve five-year term) and the Advisory Council or Majilis al-Shura (Shura Council) (264 seats; 176 elected by popular vote, 88 appointed by the president; members serve six-year terms; mid-term elections for half of the elected members).

Economy- Overview:-

Occupying the northeast corner of the African continent, Egypt is bisected by the highly fertile Nile valley, where most economic activity takes place. Egypt’s economy was highly centralized during the rule of former President Gamal Abdel NASSER but has opened up considerably under former President Anwar EL-SADAT and current President Mohamed Hosni MUBARAK. Cairo has aggressively pursued economic reforms to encourage inflows of foreign investment and facilitate GDP growth. In 2005 Prime Minister Ahmed NAZIF’s government reduced personal and corporate tax rates, reduced energy subsidies, and privatized several enterprises. The stock market boomed, and GDP grew about 7 % each year since 2006. Despite these achievements, the government has failed to raise living standards for the average Egyptian, and has had to continue providing subsidies for basic necessities. The subsidies have contributed to a sizeable budget deficit-roughly 7% of GDP in 2007-08 and represent a significant drain on the economy. Foreign direct investment has increased significantly in the past two years. 

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$442.6 billion (2008 est.) $414.1 billion (2007) $386.6 billion (2006)

Labor Force:

24.72 million (2008 est.)







Unemployment rate:

8.7% (2008 est.)

Agriculture - Products:

Cotton,rice,corn,wheat,beans,fruits,vegetables,cattle,water bufflalo,sheep,goats.


Textiles,foodprocessing,tourism,chemicals,pharmaceuticals,hydrocarbons,construction,cement,metals,light manufactures.

Electricity – Production:

109.1 billion KWh (2006 est.).

Most areas 220 volts AC, 50Hz. certain rural parts still use 110 volts AC.

Oil – Production:

664,000 bbl/day (2007 est.)

Natural gas – Production:

47.5 billion cu m (2007 est.)


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