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Demographics of Egypt

From Academic Kids

Egypt is the most populous country in the Arab world and the second-most populous on the African Continent. Nearly 100% of the country's 74 million people live in Cairo and Alexandria; elsewhere on the banks of the Nile; in the Nile delta, which fans out north of Cairo; and along the Suez Canal. These regions are among the world's most densely populated, containing an average of over 3,820 persons per square mile (1,540 per sq. km.), as compared to 181 persons per sq. mi. for the country as a whole.

Small communities spread throughout the desert regions of Egypt are clustered around oases and historic trade and transportation routes. The government has tried with mixed success to encourage migration to newly irrigated land reclaimed from the desert. However, the proportion of the population living in rural areas has continued to decrease as people move to the cities in search of employment and a higher standard of living.

Like other North Africans, Egyptians are not blacks. While northern Egyptians have on vast part maintained their reddish-white to reddish-brown skin, in reality not all Egyptians have the same skin colour. Egyptians living south of Cairo are usually darker than those in Northern Egypt.

The Egyptians are a fairly homogeneous people. Mediterranean and Arab influences appear in the north, and there is some mixing in the south with the Nubians of northern Sudan. Many theories has been proposed on the origins of the Egyptians; however, none are conclusive, and the most widely accepted theory is that Egyptian society was the result of a mix of East African and Asiatic people who moved to the Nile Valley after the Ice Age. The bulk of Modern Egyptian society still maintains a homogenous genetic tie to the ancient Egyptian society which has always been regarded as rural and most populous compared to the neighboring demographics. The Egyptian people spoke only languages from the Afro-Asiatic family (previously known as Hamito-Semitic) throughout their history starting with Old Egyptian, to modern Arabic.

Ethnic minorities include a small number of Bedouin Arab nomads in the Sinai and eastern and western deserts, as well as some Nubians clustered along the Nile in Upper (southern) Egypt who are estimated for about 0.8% of the population.

The literacy rate is about 55% of the adult population. Education is free through university and compulsory from ages six through 15. Rates for primary and secondary education have strengthened in recent years. Ninety-three percent of children enter primary school and about one-quarter drop out after the sixth year; in 1994-95, 87% entered primary school and about half dropped out after the sixth year. There are 20,000 primary and secondary schools with some 10 million students, 13 major universities with more than 500,000 students, and 67 teacher colleges. Major universities include Cairo University (100,000 students), Alexandria University, and the 1,000-year-old Al-Azhar University, one of the world's major centers of Islamic learning.

Egypt's vast and rich literature constitutes an important cultural element in the life of the country and in the Arab world as a whole. Egyptian novelists and poets were among the first to experiment with modern styles of Arabic literature, and the forms they developed have been widely imitated. Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz was the first Arab to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Egyptian books and films are available throughout the Middle East.

Egypt has endured as a unified state for more than 5,000 years, and archeological evidence indicates that a developed Egyptian society has existed for much longer. Egyptians take pride in their pharaonic heritage and in their descent from what many consider mankind's earliest civilization. The Arabic word for Egypt is Misr, which originally connoted "civilization" or "metropolis".

Archeological findings show that primitive tribes lived along the Nile long before the dynastic history of the pharaohs began. By 6000 B.C., organized agriculture had appeared.

Population: 76,124,000 (June 2004 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 35% (male 12,260,343; female 11,701,253)
15-64 years: 61% (male 21,111,615; female 20,714,511)
65 years and over: 4% (male 1,131,760; female 1,440,497) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.72% (2000 est.) The population probably increased by more than 1.3 million in 2000.

Birth rate: 25.38 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 7.83 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.35 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 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: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 62.32 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 63.33 years
male: 61.29 years
female: 65.47 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.15 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Egyptian(s)
adjective: Egyptian

Ethnic groups: Egyptians, Bedouins) 99%, Nubians 0.8%, other (Greeks, Armenians, Italians, French) 0.2%

Religions: Muslim (mostly Sunni) 90%, Coptic Christian and other 10%

Languages: Arabic (official), Egyptian (Coptic), English and French widely understood by educated classes

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 51.4%
male: 63.6%
female: 38.8% (1995 est.)

See also : Egyptfr:Démographie de l'Égypte
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