With 107 million people, Egypt is the 14th largest population in the world. However, Egypt’s population isn’t just enormous, it’s also fascinating in many other surprising ways. To mark World Population Day on July 11th, we thought we’d find some surprising and extraordinary facts about Egypt’s population that may just make you look at the country in a different light.
While the country itself is old, its population is incredibly young with Egyptians under 25 years of age making up a whopping 51.2% of the population. The median age of Egyptians is a very young 23.9 and those over 75 years of age only make up a tiny 1.3% of the population.
With 24.4% of the world’s Arabs living in Egypt, the country is by far the biggest Arab country. The Arab population of Egypt is larger than the Arab populations of Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Palestine, Libya, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Tunisia, and Syria combined!
95 percent of Egyptians live in less than only 5 percent of the country’s entire land mass, mostly hugging the Nile and in the Delta. While most Egyptians live in areas with a density of 1540 people per square kilometre, if Egyptians were spread out throughout the country evenly, this would only be a mere 96 persons per square kilometre.
Greater Cairo has an estimated population of 21.7 million as of 2022, although some say that the actual number is much larger. Greater Cairo even has a larger population than many countries with vast territories, such as Mali, Romania, Chile, Syria, and the Netherlands. To put things in perspective, Greater Cairo is about three Lebanons or about 60 Icelands.
During the time of the Late Old Kingdom in ancient Egypt when the Great Pyramids of Giza were being built at around 2500 BC, the population of Egypt was estimated to be only 1.6 million, which is 67 times smaller than today’s Egypt. Looking to more recent history, at the time of Napoleon Bonaparte’s invasion of Egypt in 1798, it was estimated that the population was only 3 million, roughly 35 times smaller than it is now 224 years later. And in just 50 years from 1972 until today in 2022, Egypt’s population has roughly tripled from 36.1 million to todays 107 million.
The modern Egyptian population has a diverse genetic background reflecting the country’s history as a melting pot of many of the world’s peoples. According to the National Geographic Genographic Project, another of the surprising facts about Egypt’s population is that modern Egyptians are only 17% Arab according to their DNA, with the rest of modern Egyptians’ genetic makeup being 68% north African, 4% Jewish, 3% east African, 3% from Asia Minor and another 3% south European.
In Egypt, there is approximately a birth every 12 seconds and a death every 52 seconds. This correlates into on average 6957 Egyptians born everyday. Looking towards the future, some estimate that Egypt’s population will double in size by 2078. This is based on annual growth rates of roughly 2%, which correlates to two million more Egyptians every year; however, government efforts have been increasingly focussed on controlling population growth, so time will tell!