Egypt Demographic Characteristics Egypt Located in Africa  Term Paper

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Egypt, located in Africa, is positioned on the Mediterranean Sea between the Gaza Strip and Libya.

It has a population of a little over 71 million people.

They have a birth rate of 27 per 1,000 people, 2% increase per year.

At this rate their population should more than double by the year 2050 to over 115 million people.

Egypt has about 157 people per square mile, with 40% of the population urban.

Egypt is a young country, with 34% of the population aged 14 or younger (CIA, 2002).

Egypt's population is growing more rapidly than any other country in the Arab world (CIA, 2002).

This is a potentially serious problem for Egypt in the future, because the country has limited farmable land, only 3%, to support its present population (CIA, 2002).

Egypt uses water from the Nile to irrigate some land.

Most people live in the Nile Valley or the delta.

The rest of the country, about 96%, has few inhabitants (Columbia, 2002).

One result of the pressure from Egypt's growing population is that some of the country's precious arable land has been urbanized.

The Nile River is the country's only dependable water source, and the country's water demands are already straining available water supply (CIA, 2002).

The population growth has also brought urban management problems such as sewage treatment, which requires large amounts of water.


The Gross National Income, per capita, is $3,580.

By Egyptian standards, 22% live below the poverty line (CIA, 2002).

The inflation rate in 2001 was 2.3% (CIA, 2002).

Egypt received advice from the International Money Fund over the last decade regarding economic management.

Following this advice, Egypt was able to curb inflation, reduce budget deficits, and attract foreign businesses for investment.

However, government spending has increased in the last three years, especially on the country's infrastructure (CIA, 2002).

This seems prudent given their growing population, but it has increased their budget deficit.

In the year 2001, Egypt had expenditures of $26.2 billion, but revenues of only $21.5 billion, thus illustrating their current budget deficit problems (CIA, 2002).

The country's GDP (Gross Domestic Product) grew by 2.5% during 2001 (CIA, 2002), In 1999, the country received over $2 billion in economic aid, mostly from the United States.

Egypt's economy was also negatively affected by the Al-Queda attacks on the United States last year; tourism, a major industry, dropped off significantly after the September 11 attacks (CIA, 2002).

Egypt has made remarkable gains in the past nine years, with income increasing by 88% during that time (Ragab, 2000).


In 2001, the labor force was made up of 20.6 Egyptians.

29% worded in agriculture, 22% worked in industry, and 49% worked in services (CIA, 2002).

From 1997-1999, unemployment averaged about 8.67%.

About 25% of Egypt's workers belong to a union (NRF, 2002).

However, the unions' power for collective bargaining is somewhat limited.

The minimum age to hold a job was raised in 1996 from 12 to 14 (NRF, 2002), with some exceptions.

Children make up 2.7% of the workforce (NRF, 2002).

Economic pressures and inadequate education encourage children to take jobs.

Egypt has a minimum wage that is the equivalent of $20 U.S. dollars per month.

This assumes six eight-hour days per week (NRF, 2002).

However, Egypt's complicated fringe benefits mean that many employees may earn up to three times that much in a month.

The minimum wage is mandatory for both public and private sector jobs (NRF, 2002).

While some women in Egypt work outside their homes, many have difficulty finding jobs, especially when they lack a high school education (Assad, 2002).

In rural areas, part-time work is common for both men and women.


The Egyptian government has been working hard on economic reform.

It is working to improve communication technology and the country's infrastructure.

Natural resources include petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, manganese, limestone, gypsum, talc, asbestos, lead, and zinc (CIA, 2002).

Egypt's GDP in 2001 came from three primary sources: services, 56%; industry 30%; and agriculture, 14% (CIA, 2002).

Industries include textiles, food processing, tourism, chemicals, hydrocarbons, construction, cement, and metals (CIA, 2002).

The arable land is worked intensively, sometimes producing three crops in a year (Columbia, 2002).

Construction of the Aswan Dam increased the amount of tillable land, but not enough to keep up with long-term projected population growth.

Cotton is the main crop, but Egypt…

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