, 13 February 2020

Egypt’s population: Growing statistics

Egypt’s population is officially 100 million plus. Al-Ahram Weekly reports on efforts to slow down population growth

Reem Leila , Wednesday 12 Feb 2020

The Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced that Egypt’s population surpassed 100 million this week. Ten million Egyptians who reside abroad are not included in this figure.

Egypt ranks 13th globally in terms of population size. A baby is born every 15 seconds. According to CAPMAS, 29 per cent of the population is younger than 29. Of the total population 50.2 per cent are male and 49.8 per cent female. Since 1 January 320,000 infants have been born.

The government has embarked on a number of family planning campaigns in recent years in an attempt to stem population growth. The Two is Enough campaign, part of the National Population Strategy announced by the cabinet in 2015 and implemented in cooperation with Ministry of Social Solidarity, targeted 1.1 million women in 10 of Egypt’s most populous, and poorest, governorates.

Randa Fares, general coordinator of the campaign, says Upper Egypt governorates account for 40 per cent of newborns.

High birth rates in Upper Egypt are a result of the region’s social and religious legacy, she says. In 2019 the campaign coordinated 2.5 million home visits with 100 non-governmental organisations to raise awareness of contraceptives and the importance of family planning. Fares told Al-Ahram Weekly that during the visits more than 400,000 women asked to be referred to family planning clinics.

According to Fares, many rural residents believe family planning is religiously forbidden. “We had to correct many misconceptions. Due to the campaign fertility rates decreased to 3.1 in 2018 from 3.5 in 2014,” she said.