[Country map of Egypt]



Location: Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Libya and the Gaza Strip

Map references: Africa

total area: 1,001,450 sq km
land area: 995,450 sq km
comparative area: slightly more than three times the size of New Mexico

Land boundaries: total 2,689 km, Gaza Strip 11 km, Israel 255 km, Libya 1,150 km, Sudan 1,273 km

Coastline: 2,450 km

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

International disputes: administrative boundary with Sudan does not coincide with international boundary creating the "Hala'ib Triangle," a barren area of 20,580 sq km, tensions over this disputed area began to escalate in 1992 and remain high

Climate: desert; hot, dry summers with moderate winters

Terrain: vast desert plateau interrupted by Nile valley and delta

Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, manganese, limestone, gypsum, talc, asbestos, lead, zinc

Land use:
arable land: 3%
permanent crops: 2%
meadows and pastures: 0%
forest and woodland: 0%
other: 95%

Irrigated land: 25,850 sq km (1989 est.)

current issues: agricultural land being lost to urbanization and windblown sands; increasing soil salinization 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 natural resources
natural hazards: periodic droughts; frequent earthquakes, flash floods, landslides, volcanic activity; hot, driving windstorm called khamsin occurs in spring; duststorms, sandstorms
international agreements: party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified - Desertification, Tropical Timber 94

Note: controls Sinai Peninsula, only land bridge between Africa and remainder of Eastern Hemisphere; controls Suez Canal, shortest sea link between Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea; size, and juxtaposition to Israel, establish its major role in Middle Eastern geopolitics


Population: 62,359,623 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 37% (female 11,380,668; male 11,872,728)
15-64 years: 59% (female 18,250,706; male 18,641,830)
65 years and over: 4% (female 1,204,477; male 1,009,214) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.95% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 28.69 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 8.86 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.35 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 74.5 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 61.12 years
male: 59.22 years
female: 63.12 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.67 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Egyptian(s)
adjective: Egyptian

Ethnic divisions: Eastern Hamitic stock (Egyptians, Bedouins, and Berbers) 99%, Greek, Nubian, Armenian, other European (primarily Italian and French) 1%

Religions: Muslim (mostly Sunni) 94% (official estimate), Coptic Christian and other 6% (official estimate)

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

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1990 est.)
total population: 48%
male: 63%
female: 34%

Labor force: 16 million (1994 est.)
by occupation: government, public sector enterprises, and armed forces 36%, agriculture 34%, privately owned service and manufacturing enterprises 20% (1984)
note: shortage of skilled labor; 2,500,000 Egyptians work abroad, mostly in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arab states (1993 est.)


conventional long form: Arab Republic of Egypt
conventional short form: Egypt
local long form: Jumhuriyat Misr al-Arabiyah
local short form: none
former: United Arab Republic (with Syria)

Digraph: EG

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, Asyu't, Bani Suwayf, Bur Sa'id, Dumyat, Janub Sina, Kafr ash Shaykh, Matruh, Qina, Shamal Sina, Suhaj

Independence: 28 February 1922 (from UK)

National holiday: Anniversary of the Revolution, 23 July (1952)

Constitution: 11 September 1971

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 (sworn in as president on 14 October 1981, eight days after the assassination of President SADAT); national referendum held 4 October 1993 validated Mubarak's nomination by the People's Assembly to a third 6-year presidential term
head of government: Prime Minister Atef Mohammed Najib SEDKY (since 12 November 1986)
cabinet: Cabinet; appointed by the president

Legislative branch: bicameral
People's Assembly (Majlis al-Cha'b): elections last held 29 November 1990 (next to be held NA November 1995); results - NDP 86.3%, NPUG 1.3%, independents 12.4%; seats - (454 total, 444 elected, 10 appointed by the president) NDP 383, NPUG 6, independents 55; note - most opposition parties boycotted; NDP figures include NDP members who ran as independents and other NDP-affiliated independents
Advisory Council (Majlis al-Shura): functions only in a consultative role; elections last held 8 June 1989 (next to be held NA June 1995); results - NDP 100%; seats - (258 total, 172 elected, 86 appointed by the president) NDP 172

Judicial branch: Supreme Constitutional Court

Political parties and leaders: National Democratic Party (NDP), President Mohammed Hosni MUBARAK, leader, is the dominant party; legal opposition parties are; New Wafd Party (NWP), Fu'ad SIRAJ AL-DIN; Socialist Labor Party, Ibrahim SHUKRI; National Progressive Unionist Grouping (NPUG), Khalid MUHYI-AL-DIN; Socialist Liberal Party (SLP), Mustafa Kamal MURAD; Democratic Unionist Party, Mohammed 'Abd-al-Mun'im TURK; Umma Party, Ahmad al-SABAHI; Misr al-Fatah Party (Young Egypt Party), Gamal RABIE; Nasserist Arab Democratic Party, Dia' al-din DAWUD; Democratic Peoples' Party, Anwar AFIFI; The Greens Party, Kamal KIRAH; Social Justice Party, Muhammad 'ABD-AL-'AL
note: formation of political parties must be approved by government

Other political or pressure groups: 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 has moved more aggressively in the past year to block its influence; trade unions and professional associations are officially sanctioned


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Ahmed Maher El SAYED
chancery: 3521 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 895-5400
FAX: [1] (202) 244-4319, 5131
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, New York, and San Francisco

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Edward S. WALKER, Jr.
embassy: (North Gate) 8, Kamel El-Din Salah Street, Garden City, Cairo
mailing address: APO AE 09839-4900
telephone: [20] (2) 3557371
FAX: [20] (2) 3573200

Flag: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black with the national emblem (a shield superimposed on a golden eagle facing the hoist side above a scroll bearing the name of the country in Arabic) centered in the white band; similar to the flag of Yemen, which has a plain white band; also similar to the flag of Syria that has two green stars and to the flag of Iraq, which has three green stars (plus an Arabic inscription) in a horizontal line centered in the white band


Overview: Half of Egypt's GDP originates in the public sector, most industrial plants being owned by the government. Overregulation holds back technical modernization and foreign investment. Even so, the economy grew rapidly during the late 1970s and early 1980s, but in 1986 the collapse of world oil prices and an increasingly heavy burden of debt servicing led Egypt to begin negotiations with the IMF for balance-of-payments support. Egypt's first IMF standby arrangement concluded in mid-1987 was suspended in early 1988 because of the government's failure to adopt promised reforms. Egypt signed a follow-on program with the IMF and also negotiated a structural adjustment loan with the World Bank in 1991. In 1991-93 the government made solid progress on administrative reforms such as liberalizing exchange and interest rates but resisted implementing major structural reforms like streamlining the public sector. As a result, the economy has not gained momentum and unemployment has become a growing problem. Egypt probably will continue making uneven progress in implementing the successor programs with the IMF and World Bank it signed onto in late 1993. Tourism has plunged since 1992 because of sporadic attacks by Islamic extremists on tourist groups. President MUBARAK has cited population growth as the main cause of the country's economic troubles. The addition of about 1.2 million people a year to the already huge population of 62 million exerts enormous pressure on the 5% of the land area available for agriculture along the Nile.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $151.5 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 1.5% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $2,490 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 8% (1994 est.)

Unemployment rate: 20% (1994 est.)

revenues: $18 billion
expenditures: $19.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $3.8 billion (FY94/95 est.)

Exports: $3.1 billion (f.o.b., FY93/94 est.)
commodities: crude oil and petroleum products, cotton yarn, raw cotton, textiles, metal products, chemicals
partners: EU, US, Japan

Imports: $11.2 billion (c.i.f., FY93/94 est.)
commodities: machinery and equipment, foods, fertilizers, wood products, durable consumer goods, capital goods
partners: EU, US, Japan

External debt: $31.2 billion (December 1994 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate 2.7% (FY92/93 est.)

capacity: 11,830,000 kW
production: 44.5 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 695 kWh (1993)

Industries: textiles, food processing, tourism, chemicals, petroleum, construction, cement, metals

Agriculture: cotton, rice, corn, wheat, beans, fruit, vegetables; cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats; annual fish catch about 140,000 metric tons

Illicit drugs: a transit point for Southwest Asian and Southeast Asian heroin and opium moving to Europe and the US; popular transit stop for Nigerian couriers; large domestic consumption of hashish from Lebanon and Syria

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $15.7 billion; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-88), $10.1 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $2.9 billion; Communist countries (1970-89), $2.4 billion

Currency: 1 Egyptian pound (#E) = 100 piasters

Exchange rates: Egyptian pounds (#E) per US$1 - 3.4 (November 1994), 3.369 (November 1993), 3.345 (November 1992), 2.7072 (1990); market rate: 3.3920 (January 1995), 3.3920 (1994), 3.3704 (1993), 3.3300 (1992), 2.0000 (1991), 1.1000 (1990)

Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June


total: 4,895 km (42 km electrified; 951 km double track)
standard gauge: 4,548 km 1,435-m gauge (42 km electrified; 951 km double track)
narrow gauge: 347 km 0.750-m gauge

total: 47,387 km
paved: 34,593 km
unpaved: 12,794 km

Inland waterways: 3,500 km (including the Nile, Lake Nasser, Alexandria-Cairo Waterway, and numerous smaller canals in the delta); Suez Canal, 193.5 km long (including approaches), used by oceangoing vessels drawing up to 16.1 meters of water

Pipelines: crude oil 1,171 km; petroleum products 596 km; natural gas 460 km

Ports: Alexandria, Al Ghurdaqah, Aswan, Asyut, Bur Safajah, Damietta, Marsa Matruh, Port Said, Suez

Merchant marine:
total: 168 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,187,442 GRT/1,821,327 DWT
ships by type: bulk 19, cargo 83, container 2, oil tanker 15, passenger 30, refrigerated cargo 1, roll-on/roll-off cargo 14, short-sea passenger 4

total: 91
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 11
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 35
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 17
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 3
with paved runways under 914 m: 14
with unpaved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 2
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 7


Telephone system: 600,000 telephones; 11 telephones/1,000 persons; large system by Third World standards but inadequate for present requirements and undergoing extensive upgrading
local: NA
intercity: principal centers at Alexandria, Cairo, Al Mansurah, Ismailia Suez, and Tanta are connected by coaxial cable and microwave radio relay
international: 2 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean), 1 ARABSAT, and 1 INMARSAT earth station; 5 coaxial submarine cables, microwave troposcatter (to Sudan), and microwave radio relay (to Libya, Israel, and Jordan)

broadcast stations: AM 39, FM 6, shortwave 0
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 41
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Air Defense Command

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 16,113,413; males fit for military service 10,455,955; males reach military age (20) annually 648,724 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $3.5 billion, 8.2% of total government budget (FY94/95)