Form of Government: Presidential republic
Area: 1 010 408 sq km
Population: 97 147 368 inhab. (estimate 2018)
Density: 96.15 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 32° - 22° N; long. 24° - 37° E
Capital: Cairo=Al-Qāhirah (capital) 9 293 612 inhab. (2018); Greater Cairo 20 076 000 inhab. (2018), urban agglomeration
Currency: Egyptian pound (100 piastres)
Human development index: 0.696 (rank: 115)
President: Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (independent), elected 28 May 2014, in office since 8 June 2014, reconfirmed 26-28 March 2018
Prime Minister: Muṣṭafā Madbūlī (independent), since 7 June 2018
House of Representatives: seats based on the elections of 17 October-2 December 2015: Free Egyptians Party (liberal), 65; Nation's Future Party (populist), 53; New Wafd (nationalist-liberal), 36; Homeland Defenders Party, 18; Republican People's Party, 13; Conference Party, 12; Al-Nour Party (Salafi Islamism), 11; independents, 351; others, 37
Internet: www.capmas.gov.eg (Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics)
Member of Arab League, AU, COMESA, EBRD, OAS observer, OIC, UN, WTO
International license plate code ET
International dialling code 0020
Travel vaccinations requirement yellow fever (required only if traveling from a country with risk of transmission)
Electricity (Voltage) 220
Driving side rigth
Internet code .eg
DST not applied
Annual average temperature (°C) Cairo 21.3; Assuan 25.6; Hurghada 21.9; Luxor 24.5
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Cairo 14/28; Assuan 14.5/33.5; Hurghada 15.5/29.5; Luxor 14/32.5
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Cairo 11/7; Assuan 12/9.5; Hurghada 11.5/8; Luxor 12/9.5
Annual average precipitation (mm) Cairo 26; Assuan 0; Hurghada 5; Luxor 1
Days of rainfall (annual average) Cairo 6; Assuan 0; Hurghada 0; Luxor 0
Politics and current affairs
A referendum held on 20/22 April 2019 approved changes to the constitution that will allow President el-Sisi to run again in 2024. Furthermore, the Senate will also be restored, the power of the executive branch has grown and the president’s mandate was extended to six years, during which he can appoint high judicial positions.
Egypt is bordered by Israel and Gaza Strip to the north-east, by Sudan to the south, by Libya to the west; the Mediterranean Sea lies off its northern coast and the Red Sea off its east coast. The cultivated and inhabited area of the country lies along the valley of the River Nile. The section of the Nile to the north of the second cataract flows through Egypt. The valley itself and the area of the Nile Delta occupy a small part of the country, the rest of which is desert. The eastern part of Egypt comprises the Sinai Peninsula, situated between the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba. It has a desert climate with very high temperatures. The Ḥalā’ib Triangle, along the south-eastern border, is disputed with Sudan.
Formerly a British protectorate, Egypt became a formally independent monarchy on 18 February 1922. On 18 June 1953, it was declared a republic and, in 1954, Colonel Gamal Abd el-Nasser seized power. In 1956, Nasser announced the nationalization of the Suez Canal Company. This led to armed intervention by France, the United Kingdom and Israel (the Suez Crisis). Israeli troops occupied the Gaza Strip (formerly part of Palestine and governed by Egypt from 1948-1949) and the Sinai Peninsula. Decisive action taken by the United Nations, with the consensus of the USA and USSR, forced Israel to withdraw. In 1967, a new war broke out with Israel (the “Six-Day War”), ending in Egypt’s defeat and the Israeli occupation of the Sinai and Gaza. In an effort to free Sinai, in 1973, Egypt re-opened hostilities with the “War of Yom Kippur”. In 1978, the Egyptian President, Anwar el-Sadat, and the Israeli Premier Menachem Begin signed the peace accord at Camp David which restored Sinai to Egypt but not Gaza (Gaza subsequently came under Palestinian administration). After the assassination of President Sadat (1981) by an Islamic extremist group, his Vice-President Hosni Mubarak, took his place. He held absolute power for 30 years until 11 February 2011, when he handed in his resignation when widespread demonstrations demanded that he should step down.
The first free presidential elections (16-17 June 2012) were won by Mohamed Morsi, the candidate backed by the Muslim Brotherhood Islamic party, who had also won by a landslide in the 2011-12 legislative elections. In 2013, after growing street protests, the army led by the minister of defence Abdel Fattah el-Sisi removed President Morsi from office (on 3 July) and appointed in his stead Adly Mansour, head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, effectively taking control of the country. Supporters of the ousted President Morsi staged large demonstrations led by the Muslim Brotherhood (organization which was officially disbanded by a court in September 2013); the harsh repression by the police resulted in hundreds of victims.
In the presidential elections on 26/27 May 2014, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi won a landslide majority, inaugurating a regime that has repressed dissent and limited civil liberties.
The country aspires to have a leading role in the fight against Islamic armed groups in its interior (Sinai) and in nearby countries, mainly in Libya, where Egypt has actively intervened since 2015.
According to the Constitution approved in 2014 and amended in 2019, the President, who holds executive powers, is elected by direct suffrage for a six-year term and can be re-elected only once. The Parliament is made up of a House of Representatives (450 members, elected for five years, with 112 seats reserved for women) and a Senate, re-established in 2019, which will consist of 120 elected members and 60 appointed by the President.
Defence and justice.
In addition to the armed forces, there are two paramilitary corps: the Central Security Forces and the National Guard. The legal system combines features of British Common Law, the Napoleonic Codes and Islamic Law.
|Crimes||4.2||per 100 000 pop.||2008|
|Homicides||2.5||per 100 000 pop.||2012|
|Cairo=Al-Qāhirah||9 293 612||inhab.||2018|
|Alexandria=Al-Iskandarīyah||5 107 530||inhab.||2018|
|Greater Cairo||20 076 000||inhab.||2018|
|Population by age and gender (% - 2018)|
In 2018-19, the growth rate increased following a drive in private consumption and an increase in investments and gas exports. Since 2014, the government has been engaged in an extensive reform program to stimulate the economy: in October 2016, a value-added tax was introduced, and in November, the Egyptian pound was allowed to fluctuate freely; measures were also taken to encourage foreign investments and reduce spending. The public debt remains very high despite the fact that the deficit in the public accounts is shrinking. Inflation, caused by the devaluation of the pound, is dropping, as is the deficit of the current accounts. Inflation and subsidy cuts have, however, created widespread discontent among the people, who are already reeling from high unemployment and unequal wealth distribution.
|Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)||124.43||index||2016|
|Balance of trade||-44 376||M US$||2018|
|Active population||31 853 534||units||2018|
|Active population, Females||23.7||%||2018|
|Unemployment rate, Females||47.9||%||2018|
|Expenses||1 205 728||M LCU||2018|
|Revenues||834 622||M LCU||2018|
|Currency in circulation||477.22||BN LCU||2018|
|International reserves||41 839.2||M US$||2018|
In Egypt agriculture is dependent on irrigation. Cultivated land is limited to the area of the Nile Delta and the Nile Valley. Since the land will yield as many as three crops a year, the crops are known by special names, depending on the season: shetwi are winter crops (wheat, forage, beans, barley, onions, linen), sefi are summer crops (cotton, rice, maize, sugar-cane, peanuts, sesame), nili are autumn crops (rice and maize). Cotton of the long-fibre variety is mainly grown in the Nile Delta.
In terms of value, the most important crops include: vegetables (especially tomatoes), rice, grapes, wheat, citrus fruit, sugar cane and dates. Fishing is practiced inland (tilapia, catfish, carp), in the Mediterranean (sardines, shrimp, mullet) and in the Red Sea (round scad, sardines, anchovy), and through farming industries (tilapia, mullet).
|cereals, total||23 216.824||1000 t||2017|
|potatoes||4 325.478||1000 t||2017|
|roots and tubers, total||4 839.613||1000 t||2017|
|beans, dry||98.132||1000 t||2017|
|beans, green||283.52||1000 t||2017|
|grapes||1 703.394||1000 t||2017|
|sesame seed||44||1000 t||2017|
|sugar beet||12 106.661||1000 t||2017|
|sugar cane||15 260.597||1000 t||2017|
|seed cotton||300||1000 t||2017|
|flax fibre and tow||8.123||1000 t||2017|
|citrus fruits||4 396.242||1000 t||2017|
|citrus fruits, nes||6.219||1000 t||2017|
|bananas||1 228.458||1000 t||2017|
|dates||1 590.414||1000 t||2017|
|sweet potatoes||13.087||1000 ha||2017|
|beans, dry||39.665||1000 ha||2017|
|beans, green||27.255||1000 ha||2017|
|sesame seed||34||1000 ha||2017|
|sugar beet||236.732||1000 ha||2017|
|sugar cane||135.404||1000 ha||2017|
|seed cotton||91||1000 ha||2017|
|flax fibre and tow||9.201||1000 ha||2017|
|citrus fruits||181.069||1000 ha||2017|
|citrus fruits, nes||0.445||1000 ha||2017|
|timber||18 067 550||m³||2017|
|cattle||5 064.509||1000 heads||2017|
|cattle and buffaloes||8 440.236||1000 heads||2017|
|buffaloes||3 375.727||1000 heads||2017|
|sheep||5 697.716||1000 heads||2017|
|goats||4 351.545||1000 heads||2017|
|asses||1 493.369||1000 heads||2017|
|asses and mules||1 496.027||1000 heads||2017|
|birds||174 077||1000 heads||2017|
|silk, raw||0.007||1000 t||2014|
|crustaceans and molluscs||31 771||t||2017|
|freshwater fishes||1 362 738||t||2017|
Egypt’s main mineral resources are hydrocarbons: its petroleum deposits lie in the area of the Red Sea, Sinai (Abū Zanīmah, Abū Rudays, Alma and Wādī Fayrān), the Gulf of Suez (Balā’im Barrī, Morgan, Garra, July, Amal, Ra’s Badrān, Ramaḍān) and El Alamein (Abū al Gharādīq, Umm Barakah, Māliḥah); there are natural gas fields at Abū Māḍī, Abū Qīr, Abū al Gharādīq and Obayed, off Port Said (Zohr).
The main oil pipelines run from Suez to Cairo, and from Suez to Alexandria via Cairo (320 km). There are also deposits of phosphates, manganese, iron ore and coal. There are working saltpans along the Mediterranean coast.
Energy and industry.
The largest thermoelectric power plants are at Cairo, Alexandria, Banī Suwayf, Damietta, Port Said and Suez. Most of the hydroelectric power produced is generated by the facilities at Aswan. The main iron and steel centres are Ḥulwān and Ad Dukhaylah; aluminium is produced at Naj’Ḥammādī. Oil refineries are located at Alexandria, Asyūṭ, Cairo (Mostorod), Suez and Ṭanṭā; two natural gas liquefaction plants operate in Damietta and Idku, on the Mediterranean coast.
The main products of the chemical industry are fertilizers and superphosphates (at Aswan, Kafr-az-Zayyāt, Suez, Alexandria and Ḥulwān). Vehicle assembly at Ḥulwān. There are numerous cotton factories (in Alexandria, Cairo, Al-Maḥallah al-Kubrā, Kafr ad-Dawwār, Damietta, Port Said and Az-Zaqāzīq), silk factories (at Damietta and Cairo), wool and jute factories (Shubrā al-Khaymah, Bilbays), and rayon-processing factories (at Misr and Kafr ad-Dawwār).
Other important activities include tobacco-processing, sugar production (at Kawm Umbū, Armant, Naj’Ḥammādī, Abū Qurqāṣ, Ash Shaykh Faḍl and Al-Ḥawāmidīyah), paper (at Alexandria) and cement (Al-‘Arish, Alexandria, Aswān, Asyūṭ, Cairo, Banī Suwayf, Ḥulwān, Qinā, Samālūt and Suez).
|coal, total||44||1000 t||2015|
|iron ore||1 500||1000 t||2016|
|- thermal||167 922.54||M kWh||2016|
|- hydro||13 325||M kWh||2016|
|- thermal||41 320||1000 kW||2016|
|- hydro||2 850||1000 kW||2016|
|total net generation||183 475.54||M kWh||2016|
|total installed capacity||45 115||1000 kW||2016|
|coke, metall.||217||1000 t||2016|
|commercial vehicles||52 100||no.||2018|
|air conditioners||981 000||no.||2016|
|petrol||4 673.7||1000 t||2014|
|ammonia||2 800||1000 t||2018|
|artificial tow||3.4||1000 t||2001|
|carpets||7 095.3||1000 m²||2015|
|cotton fabrics||10.3||M m²||2016|
|footwear||1 087 000||pairs||2015|
|beer of barley||100||1000 t||2014|
|cottonseed oil||21.2||1000 t||2014|
|cigarettes||99 600||M units||2017|
|cigars and cigarettes||99 600||M units||2017|
|chemical pulp||41||1000 t||2017|
|chemi-mechanical pulp||41||1000 t||2017|
|cement||55 000||1000 t||2018|
|sheet glass - t||220.2||1000 t||2017|
|chemicals production||4 535.6||M US$||2016|
|food, beverages and tobacco production||7 377.6||M US$||2016|
(M US$ - 2017) crude oil and petroleum products 4 623, fruit and vegetables 2 336, gold 2 107, electrical and electronic equipment 1 728, plastics 1 507, apparel and accessories 1 377
Finance and banking.
The Central Bank of Egypt carries out the functions of the country’s central bank. The stock exchanges are located in Cairo and Alexandria.
|manufactures||51.703||% of goods exports||2018|
|fuels||25.853||% of goods exports||2018|
|Italy||2 053||M US$||2018|
|Turkey||2 016||M US$||2018|
|China||11 517||M US$||2018|
|Saudi Arabia||5 671||M US$||2018|
Tourism. Tourism is one of the main sources of foreign currency, but it is sensitive to the country’s political situation. The most popular destinations, apart from the capital, are the archaeological sites along the Nile (Abu Simbel, Luxor, Thebes, Memphis and Giza) and the Red Sea coastal resorts (Sharm el-Sheikh, Hurghada and Marsa Alam).
|Expenditures||2 419||M US$||2017|
|Number of arrivals||8 157 000||units||2017|
The road and railway networks have been developed almost exclusively in the Nile Valley and the Nile Delta. The River Nile and its many canals are used intensively by shipping.
Opened on 17 November 1869 and nationalized on 26 July 1956, the canal is managed by the Suez Canal Authority. On 6 August 2014, the doubling with a new 72 km waterway was inaugurated. Total length: 193 km; width at 11 m deep: 205-225 m; depth: 24 m; maximum draught allowed: 20 m; time to travel: approximately 11 hours; full capacity: about 97 ships/day.
Media and telecommunication.
Egypt is one of the principal centres of radio, television and film production in Africa.
|Civil aviation, km flown||68 700 000||km flown||2004|
|Civil aviation, passengers carried||12 017.2||1000 units||2017|
|Broadband subscribers||53.543||per 1000 pop.||2017|
|Computers||39.2||per 1000 pop.||2008|
Social and welfare
Education and culture.
Education is compulsory and free between the ages of 6 and 14; primary schooling lasts for six years, while secondary schooling is divided into two cycles of 3 years. The Al-Azhar University in Cairo is the Arab world’s leading university.
|Expected years of schooling||13.1||years||2016|
|Teachers, primary level||511 478||units||2017|
|Teachers, secondary level||587 512||units||2017|
|Social protection spending||29||% of total expenses||2015|
|Hospital beds||1.3||per 1000 pop.||2017|
|Physicians||1.1||per 1000 pop.||2017|
|HIV||-0.1||% of adults||2017|
|Archaeological sites, visitors||8 109 000||units||2016|
|Research and development spending||0.6||% of GDP||2017|
|Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking||97.62||%||2016|
|Access to electricity||100||%||2017|