Egypt ranks 1st in Arab World, 3rd in Africa in population size: study

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Thu, 18 Feb 2021 - 08:20 GMT

FILE - Heavy traffic of Greater Cairo

FILE - Heavy traffic of Greater Cairo

CAIRO – 18 February 2021: The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) released a study Wednesday indicating that Egypt ranks first among Arab countries in population size, and third on the African continent.

 

The study is based on a global ranking indicating that the North African Arab state ranks 14th globally in that regard for it has a population of over 100 million.

 

The study comes in light of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi's statements made Tuesday while inaugurating a number of healthcare establishments on the risks of overpopulation.

 

“We won’t feel the impact of public spending [on national projects and infrastructure] unless annual population growth is cut to 400,000 [from 2.4 million],” the president stated.

 

"For the 100 million Egyptians to feel the impact of development programs accomplished, our annual GDP must be $100 trillion which is beyond our capacity," President Sisi added.

 

In that context, Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed warned of overpopulation saying that the cost of establishing a hospital - whose capacity is 100 beds - is LE1 billion, and that the cost of an ambulance vehicle is LE1.5 million.

 

Since family planning is key to manage the crisis, Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine al-Qabaj stated that five million visits were made to 750,000 rural women to raise their awareness on family planning within “Two Are Enough” campaign.

 

In her speech before the president during the inauguration of a number of healthcare projects Tuesday, Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said presented different scenarios pertinent to possible rates of population growth.

 

Speculations for 2052

 

"The country is witnessing a rapid and steady increase in population growth rates, noting that the number of births in 2020 recorded 2.332 million at a rate of 194,000 births per month, 6480 births per day, and one birth every 13 seconds," El-Said explained.

 

She noted that despite the efforts of the state, the general trend of the demographic issue in Egypt is moving in the direction of decline and then rise.

 

El-Said presented the analysis of the population pyramid according to the 2006 and 2017 censuses. She clarified that according to the 2006 census, the broad base was the youth from the age of 15 to the age of 24, while in the 2017 census it became from the age of zero to the age of 9 years, as it is the largest age group representing 25% of the population.

 

She stressed that if the necessary demographic policies are not taken, another population boom is expected in the period between 2030 and 2042 having infants aged between 0 and 19.

 

El-Said pointed to the goals of Egypt 2030 vision, explaining that the total fertility rate in 2017 was an average of 3.4 children per woman, and the average moderate scenario target was to reach 2.4 children per woman in 2032 to and 1.9 children per woman in 2052.

 

The best-case scenario is reaching 2.1 children per woman in 2032 and 1.6 children per woman in 2052.

 

The minister explained that if fertility rates continue at an average of 3.4 children per woman, the population will reach 130 million citizens in 2032. And, if the fertility rate is applied to the average scenario, 7 million births will not happen in 2032, and 37.6 million births in 2052.

 

While in the best-case scenario, 9.9 million births will not happen in 2032 and 47.7 million births in 2052.

 

Additional reporting by Noha El Tawil

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