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Cities in EGYPT

El gouna Hurghada Makadi bay
Marsa alamSharm el sheikh



The population (97,041,072 in 2017) is 90% of East Hamitic descent, but has been fully Arabized socially, culturally and politically over time.

Other small populations include the Berber nomads in the remote oasis of Siwa, the Nubians (in the south) and the Copts (in Upper Egypt).

Siwa is the most remote oasis and is an un-Egyptian world, whose inhabitants do not speak Arabic, but a Berber dialect, Siwi.

The Nubians are an important population group (approx. 6 million), which can also be found further upstream in Sudan (Dongola). Most Nubians live in villages along the banks of the Nile between Aswan and Luxor, notably in Kawm Umbu. Due to the construction of the dam at Aswan, they lost their original habitat in 1970 when it was flooded. Half of the Egyptian Nubians left for Sudan.

There are also several tens of thousands of Bedouins (estimates vary between 50,000 and 70,000), who partly still adhere to their (semi-) nomadic lifestyle. Most of them live in the Sinai and originate from the Arabian Peninsula. The Aulad Ali, Bedouins from Libya, live along the Mediterranean coast. However, they have traded their tents for stone houses and often work in Cairo and Alexandria.

Egyptian bedouins in the SinaïEgyptian bedouins in the SinaïPhoto: Someone10x CC 2.0 Generic no changes made

Demographic data

There is a rapid population growth (2.45% in 2017) which is a direct consequence of a high birth rate (29.6 per 1000 inhabitants in 2017) and a decreasing death rate (4.6 per 1000 inhabitants in 2017). The government promotes birth control, yet about 1 million people are added every nine months. In a century, Egypt's population has grown nearly tenfold.

33% of the population is younger than 15 years old and only 4.% is older than 65 years. Life expectancy at birth is more than 71.6 years for men and 74.4 years for women. (2017)

Distribution of population

Almost 95% of the total population lives in the Nile Valley and Delta, which is only 3.5% of the territory. The population density in the inhabited and cultivated land is more than 1600 inhabitants. per km2 (the national average is approximately 90 inhabitants per km2). An additional problem is the increasing urbanization in Cairo (Greater Cairo, including suburbs, more than 18 million inhabitants), Alexandria (4 million inhabitants) and Giza (3 million inhabitants). These are the largest urban concentrations. In some parts of Cairo and Alexandria, the population density is a gigantic 140,000 inhabitants per km2. Greater Cairo is Africa's largest city and in terms of population, Egypt is Africa's second largest country after Nigeria.

Busy El Moez Street in Caïro, largest city of AfricaBusy El Moez Street in Caïro, largest city of AfricaPhoto: Omar Attallah CC 4.0 International no changes made

By building cities in the desert and developing the Suez Canal Zone, the government is trying to alleviate the population pressure in the Nile Valley. Major construction projects have also been started in the western oases. Several million Egyptians work as 'guest workers' in other Arab countries.


Ambros, E. / Egypte
Het Spectrum

Botje, H. / Egypte : mensen, politiek, economie, cultuur, milieu
Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen

Dunford, J. / Egypte
Van Reemst

Grünfeld, R. / Reishandboek Egypte

Innemee, K. / Egypte

Kreissl, B. / Egypte

Laet, R. de

Rooi, M. de / Egypte

Sattin, A. / Egypte
Van Reemst

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated June 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info