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By Out Links > Visit Detail > Country Facts for Egypt
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Map of Egypt
IntroductionTop
Background:The regularity and richness of the annual Nile River flood, coupled with semi-isolation provided by deserts to the east and west, allowed for the development of one of the world's great civilizations. A unified kingdom arose circa 3200 B.C. and a series of dynasties ruled in Egypt for the next three millennia. The last native dynasty fell to the Persians in 341 B.C., who in turn were replaced by the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. It was the Arabs who introduced Islam and the Arabic language in the 7th century and who ruled for the next six centuries. A local military caste, the Mamluks took control about 1250 and continued to govern after the conquest of Egypt by the Ottoman Turks in 1517. Following the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869, Egypt became an important world transportation hub, but also fell heavily into debt. Ostensibly to protect its investments, Britain seized control of Egypt's government in 1882, but nominal allegiance to the Ottoman Empire continued until 1914. Partially independent from the UK in 1922, Egypt acquired full sovereignty following World War II. The completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1971 and the resultant Lake Nasser have altered the time-honored place of the Nile River in the agriculture and ecology of Egypt. A rapidly growing population (the largest in the Arab world), limited arable land, and dependence on the Nile all continue to overtax resources and stress society. The government has struggled to ready the economy for the new millennium through economic reform and massive investment in communications and physical infrastructure.
GeographyTop
Location:Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Libya and the Gaza Strip, and the Red Sea north of Sudan, and includes the Asian Sinai Peninsula
Geographic coordinates:27 00 N, 30 00 E
Map references:Africa
Area:total: 1,001,450 sq km
land: 995,450 sq km
water: 6,000 sq km

Area - comparative:slightly more than three times the size of New Mexico
Land boundaries:total: 2,665 km
border countries: Gaza Strip 11 km, Israel 266 km, Libya 1,115 km, Sudan 1,273 km

Coastline:2,450 km
Maritime claims:territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Climate:desert; hot, dry summers with moderate winters
Terrain:vast desert plateau interrupted by Nile valley and delta
Elevation extremes:lowest point: Qattara Depression -133 m
highest point: Mount Catherine 2,629 m

Natural resources:petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, manganese, limestone, gypsum, talc, asbestos, lead, zinc
Land use:arable land: 2.87%
permanent crops: 0.48%
other: 96.65% (2001)

Irrigated land:33,000 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:periodic droughts; frequent earthquakes, flash floods, landslides; hot, driving windstorm called khamsin occurs in spring; dust storms, sandstorms
Environment - current issues:agricultural land being lost to urbanization and windblown sands; increasing soil salination below Aswan High Dam; desertification; oil pollution threatening coral reefs, beaches, and marine habitats; other water pollution from agricultural pesticides, raw sewage, and industrial effluents; very limited natural fresh water resources away from the Nile which is the only perennial water source; rapid growth in population overstraining the Nile and natural resources
Environment - international agreements:party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:controls Sinai Peninsula, only land bridge between Africa and remainder of Eastern Hemisphere; controls Suez Canal, a sea link between Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea; size, and juxtaposition to Israel, establish its major role in Middle Eastern geopolitics; dependence on upstream neighbors; dominance of Nile basin issues; prone to influxes of refugees
PeopleTop
Population:77,505,756 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:0-14 years: 33% (male 13,106,043/female 12,483,899)
15-64 years: 62.6% (male 24,531,266/female 23,972,216)
65 years and over: 4.4% (male 1,457,097/female 1,955,235) (2005 est.)

Median age:total: 23.68 years
male: 23.31 years
female: 24.05 years (2005 est.)

Population growth rate:1.78% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:23.32 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:5.26 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:-0.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio:at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.74 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2005 est.)

Infant mortality rate:total: 32.59 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 33.31 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 31.83 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:total population: 71 years
male: 68.5 years
female: 73.62 years (2005 est.)

Total fertility rate:2.88 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:12,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:700 (2003 est.)
Nationality:noun: Egyptian(s)
adjective: Egyptian

Ethnic groups:Eastern Hamitic stock (Egyptians, Bedouins, and Berbers) 99%, Greek, Nubian, Armenian, other European (primarily Italian and French) 1%
Religions:Muslim (mostly Sunni) 94%, Coptic Christian and other 6%
Languages:Arabic (official), English and French widely understood by educated classes
Literacy:definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 57.7%
male: 68.3%
female: 46.9% (2003 est.)

GovernmentTop
Country name:conventional long form: Arab Republic of Egypt
conventional short form: Egypt
local long form: Jumhuriyat Misr al-Arabiyah
local short form: Misr
former: United Arab Republic (with Syria)

Government type:republic
Capital:Cairo
Administrative divisions:26 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Ad Daqahliyah, Al Bahr al Ahmar, Al Buhayrah, Al Fayyum, Al Gharbiyah, Al Iskandariyah, Al Isma'iliyah, Al Jizah, Al Minufiyah, Al Minya, Al Qahirah, Al Qalyubiyah, Al Wadi al Jadid, Ash Sharqiyah, As Suways, Aswan, Asyut, Bani Suwayf, Bur Sa'id, Dumyat, Janub Sina', Kafr ash Shaykh, Matruh, Qina, Shamal Sina', Suhaj
Independence:28 February 1922 (from UK)
National holiday:Revolution Day, 23 July (1952)
Constitution:11 September 1971; amended 22 May 1980
Legal system:based on English common law, Islamic law, and Napoleonic codes; judicial review by Supreme Court and Council of State (oversees validity of administrative decisions); accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage:18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch:chief of state: President Mohammed Hosni MUBARAK (since 14 October 1981)
head of government: Prime Minister Ahmed NAZIF (since 9 July 2004)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for six-year term; note - a national referendum in May 2005 approved a constitutional amendment that changed the presidential election to a multicandidate popular vote; previously the president was nominated by the People's Assembly and the nomination was validated by a national, popular referendum; last referendum held 26 September 1999; next election under terms of constitutional amendment scheduled for 7 September 2005
election results: national referendum validated President MUBARAK's nomination by the People's Assembly to a fourth term

Legislative branch:bicameral system consists of the People's Assembly or Majlis al-Sha'b (454 seats; 444 elected by popular vote, 10 appointed by the president; members serve five-year terms) and the Advisory Council or Majlis al-Shura - which functions only in a consultative role (264 seats; 176 elected by popular vote, 88 appointed by the president; members serve six-year terms; mid-term elections for half the members)
elections: People's Assembly - three-phase voting - last held 19 October, 29 October, 8 November 2000 (next to be held October-November 2005); Advisory Council - last held May-June 2004 (next to be held May-June 2007)
election results: People's Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NDP 388, Tagammu 6, NWP 7, Nasserists 3, Al-Ahrar 1, independents 37 (2 seats determined by a later byelection, 10 seats appointed by President); Advisory Council - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA

Judicial branch:Supreme Constitutional Court
Political parties and leaders:Al-Ahrar Party [Helmi SALEM]; Nasserist Arab Democratic Party or Nasserists [Dia' al-din DAWUD]; National Democratic Party or NDP [Mohammed Hosni MUBARAK (governing party)]; National Progressive Unionist Grouping or Tagammu [Rifaat EL-SAID]; New Wafd Party or NWP [No'man GOMAA]
note: formation of political parties must be approved by the government

Political pressure groups and leaders:despite a constitutional ban against religious-based parties, the technically illegal Muslim Brotherhood constitutes MUBARAK's potentially most significant political opposition; MUBARAK tolerated limited political activity by the Brotherhood for his first two terms, but moved more aggressively since then to block its influence; civic society groups are sanctioned, but constrained in practical terms; trade unions and professional associations are officially sanctioned
International organization participation:ABEDA, ACCT, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AU, BSEC (observer), CAEU, EBRD, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, ONUB, OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMIK, UNMIL, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Flag description:three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black; the national emblem (a gold Eagle of Saladin facing the hoist side with a shield superimposed on its chest above a scroll bearing the name of the country in Arabic) centered in the white band; design is based on the Arab Liberation flag and similar to the flag of Syria, which has two green stars, Iraq, which has three green stars (plus an Arabic inscription) in a horizontal line centered in the white band, and Yemen, which has a plain white band
EconomyTop
Economy - overview:Lack of substantial progress on economic reform since the mid 1990s has limited foreign direct investment in Egypt and kept annual GDP growth in the range of 2%-3% in 2001-03. However, in 2004 Egypt implemented several measures to boost foreign direct investment. In September 2004, Egypt pushed through custom reforms, proposed income and corporate tax reforms, reduced energy subsidies, and privatized several enterprises. The budget deficit rose to an estimated 8% of GDP in 2004 compared to 6.1% of GDP the previous year, in part as a result of these reforms. Monetary pressures on an overvalued Egyptian pound led the government to float the currency in January 2003, leading to a sharp drop in its value and consequent inflationary pressure. In 2004, the Central Bank implemented measures to improve currency liquidity. Egypt reached record tourism levels, despite the Taba and Nuweiba bombings in September 2004. The development of an export market for natural gas is a bright spot for future growth prospects, but improvement in the capital-intensive hydrocarbons sector does little to reduce Egypt's persistent unemployment.
GDP:purchasing power parity - $316.3 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:4.5% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:purchasing power parity - $4,200 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:agriculture: 17.2%
industry: 33%
services: 49.8% (2004 est.)

Labor force:20.71 million (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:agriculture 32%, industry 17%, services 51% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate:10.9% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line:16.7% (2000 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: 4.4%
highest 10%: 25% (1995)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:34.4 (2001)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):9.5% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):15.8% of GDP (2004 est.)
Budget:revenues: $15.42 billion
expenditures: $20.76 billion, including capital expenditures of $2.7 billion (2004 est.)

Public debt:102.7% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:cotton, rice, corn, wheat, beans, fruits, vegetables; cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats
Industries:textiles, food processing, tourism, chemicals, hydrocarbons, construction, cement, metals
Industrial production growth rate:2.5% (2004 est.)
Electricity - production:81.27 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - production by source:fossil fuel: 81%
hydro: 19%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - consumption:75.58 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports:0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:0 kWh (2002)
Oil - production:740,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:562,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:NA
Oil - imports:NA
Oil - proved reserves:2.7 billion bbl (2004 est.)
Natural gas - production:21.2 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:21.2 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:1.264 trillion cu m (2004)
Current account balance:$2.113 billion (2004 est.)
Exports:$11 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:crude oil and petroleum products, cotton, textiles, metal products, chemicals
Exports - partners:Italy 13.1%, US 11.6%, UK 7.5%, Germany 5.1%, Spain 4.5%, France 4.2% (2004)
Imports:$19.21 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, wood products, fuels
Imports - partners:US 13.2%, Germany 7.2%, Italy 7.1%, France 6.1%, China 5.5%, UK 4.9%, Saudi Arabia 4.4% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$14.03 billion (2004 est.)
Debt - external:$33.75 billion (2004 est.)
Currency (code):Egyptian pound (EGP)
Currency code:EGP
Exchange rates:Egyptian pounds per US dollar - 6.1963 (2004), 5.8509 (2003), 4.4997 (2002), 3.973 (2001), 3.4721 (2000)
Fiscal year:1 July - 30 June
CommunicationsTop
Telephones - main lines in use:9.6 million (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:8,583,940 (2005)
Telephone system:general assessment: large system; underwent extensive upgrading during 1990s and is reasonably modern; Internet access and cellular service are available
domestic: principal centers at Alexandria, Cairo, Al Mansurah, Ismailia, Suez, and Tanta are connected by coaxial cable and microwave radio relay
international: country code - 20; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean), 1 Arabsat, and 1 Inmarsat; 5 coaxial submarine cables; tropospheric scatter to Sudan; microwave radio relay to Israel; a participant in Medarabtel

Radio broadcast stations:AM 42 (plus 15 repeaters), FM 14, shortwave 3 (1999)
Radios:20.5 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:98 (September 1995)
Televisions:7.7 million (1997)
Internet country code:.eg
Internet hosts:3,401 (2004)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):50 (2000)
Internet users:4.2 million (2005)
TransportationTop
Railways:total: 5,063 km
standard gauge: 5,063 km 1.435-m gauge (62 km electrified) (2004)

Highways:total: 64,000 km
paved: 49,984 km
unpaved: 14,016 km (1999 est.)

Waterways:3,500 km
note: includes Nile River, Lake Nasser, Alexandria-Cairo Waterway, and numerous smaller canals in delta; Suez Canal (193.5 km including approaches) navigable by oceangoing vessels drawing up to 17.68 m (2004)

Pipelines:condensate 289 km; condensate/gas 94 km; gas 6,115 km; liquid petroleum gas 852 km; oil 5,032 km; oil/gas/water 36 km; refined products 246 km (2004)
Ports and harbors:Alexandria, Damietta, El Dekheila, Port Said, Suez, Zeit
Merchant marine:total: 77 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 1,194,696 GRT/1,754,815 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 14, cargo 34, container 2, passenger/cargo 5, petroleum tanker 14, roll on/roll off 8
foreign-owned: 10 (Denmark 1, Greece 6, Lebanon 2, Turkey 1)
registered in other countries: 34 (2005)

Airports:87 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:total: 72
over 3,047 m: 13
2,438 to 3,047 m: 38
1,524 to 2,437 m: 17
under 914 m: 4 (2004 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:total: 15
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 7 (2004 est.)

Heliports:2 (2004 est.)
MilitaryTop
Military branches:Army, Navy, Air Force, Air Defense Command
Military manpower - military age and obligation:18 years of age for conscript military service; 3-year service obligation (2001)
Military manpower - availability:males age 18-49: 18,347,560 (2005 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:males age 18-49: 15,540,234 (2005 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:males: 802,920 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:$2.44 billion (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:3.4% (2004)
Transnational IssuesTop
Disputes - international:Egypt and Sudan retain claims to administer the two triangular areas that extend north and south of the 1899 Treaty boundary along the 22nd Parallel, but have withdrawn their military presence; Egypt is developing the Hala'ib Triangle north of the Treaty line; since the attack on Taba and other Egyptian resort towns on the Red Sea in October 2004, Egypt vigilantly monitors the Sinai and borders with Israel and the Gaza Strip; Egypt does not extend domestic asylum to some 70,000 persons who identify as Palestinians but who largely lack UNRWA assistance and, until recently, UNHCR recognition as refugees
Refugees and internally displaced persons::refugees (country of origin): 70,215 (Palestinian Territories) (2004)
Illicit drugs:transit point for Southwest Asian and Southeast Asian heroin and opium moving to Europe, Africa, and the US; transit stop for Nigerian couriers; concern as money-laundering site due to lax financial regulations and enforcement



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