Egypt Egypt

Statistical Snapshot



Egypt is the most populous country in the Arab Region and ranks 14th globally with a population exceeding 101 million inhabitants in 2021. Almost 60 percent of the total population are below the age of 30 according to the latest available national data. Total land area in Egypt is 1 million square kilometres, mostly desert,[1] and population density is estimated at 104.7 inhabitants per km2 in 2021 up from 69.1 inhabitants in 2000.[2]


Egypt’s Human Development Index (HDI) value for 2019 is 0.707— which put the country at the lower range of the high human development category— positioning it at 116th out of 189 countries and territories. When adjusted for inequality, the country loses 29.7 percent of its HDI value largely due to inequality in education and income.[3]


Under an economic and financial program supported by the IMF Extended Fund Facility (EFF) in 2016, Egypt has implemented a series of macro-economic and structural reforms that stabilized the economy,[4] spurred growth and improved the business climate for more active private sector participation. As per the World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business report, the regulatory improvements included simplifying the process of starting a business, improving the reliability of electricity supply through automated systems to monitor power outages, and introducing digital tax payments.[5]


Nevertheless, the adverse repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic have destabilised this progress and emphasized existing structural challenges. These mainly comprise a slow private (formal) sector activity and hence a weak job-creation, underperforming non-oil exports and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), increased government debt-to-GDP ratio (despite its significant decrease in 2018), and a budget structure assigning very limited allocations to the health* and education sectors. 

Real GDP growth reached 5.6 percent in 2019 [1] the highest rate in a decade before it registers a growth of 3.6 percent in 2020, as the COVID-19 crisis caused a year-on-year contraction of 1.7 percent from April to June 2020 before recovering to 2 percent in October-December 2020 with the lifting of the curfew and easing of social distancing measures.[6] Growth is projected to decline to 2.5 percent in 2021 [7], given the impact of the pandemic, the renewed increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, and the slow vaccine roll-out in Egypt and abroad.


Positioned as a strategic trade hub, Egypt is the largest non-OPEC oil producer in Africa and one of the leading dry natural gas producers in the region. According to the latest available data from the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), crude oil production accounts for around 30 million tons and natural gas production for 35 million tons. Egypt is an important transit route for oil and liquified natural gas (LNG) through the Suez Canal.[1] However, the COVID-19 pandemic –and resulting restrictions on international travel and collapse in demand –severely affected tourism, Suez Canal revenues, and goods export. Goods and services exports have decreased by 21.7 percent in 2020 compared to an increase of 31.6 percent in 2018. The current account deficit is projected to widen from 3.1 percent of GDP in 2020 to 3.4 percent in 2021.[6]

Similarly, amidst the global economic slowdown, FDI inflows are projected to decrease from 2.1 percent of GDP in 2020 to around 1 percent of GDP in 2021.[6]


Unemployment decreased to 7.2 by the end of 2020, after reaching 9.6 percent in mid-2020, with labor force participation and employment rates remaining below potential at 43.5 percent and 40.4 percent of the working-age population.[6] Unemployment is particularly high among women at 21.6 percent.[8]

Inflation has been declining since the 23.5 percent peak in 2017, reaching 5.7 percent in 2020 and projected at 4.8 percent in 2021.[7]

The budget deficit improved to an estimated 8.1 percent of GDP in 2019 from 9.7 percent in 2018 due to reduced energy subsidies and to an increase in revenues collected from the value-added tax  (VAT) and the income tax.[5] The budget deficit is estimated at 8 percent in 2020 and is projected to reach 8.2 percent of GDP in 2021, with the increase in subsidies, social protection and public investment. This would lead to an increase in the government debt-to-GDP ratio from 87.5 percent by end-2020 to above 90 percent of GDP by end-2021, despite its significant lessening from 97.3 percent of GDP in mid-2018,[8] a decline that is mostly due to a decrease in the domestic debt.[5]


Social conditions remain difficult in Egypt, with around 30 percent of the population living below the national poverty line (according to the household survey results for October 2019—March 2020) [6], with the highest poverty rates persisting in rural areas.

To lessen the adverse effects of the pandemic on the poor, the government has announced stimulus policies in the $6.13billion package (EGP 100 billion, the equivalent of 1.7 percent of GDP) to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19.[6] Key measures include an exceptional monetary grant to irregular workers and the expansion of existing cash transfer programs;[6] these programs replaced the  generalized consumer subsidies for energy and food by more poverty and human development targeted programs.[9]


In parallel with phasing out energy subsidies, Egypt has been investing in renewables. The govenment in 2015 launched the 1,460 MW Benban solar power facility in Aswan Governorate, Africa’s largest solar park. It will allow Egypt to increase the share of electricity provided by renewables from a meagre amount to 20 percent by 2022 and 42 percent by 2035.[10]


As for COVID-19, Egypt registered 249,238 confirmed cases between January 3, 2020 and May 20, 2021, with 14,498 reported deaths. The number of administered vaccines as of May 10, 2021 was 1,371,976 vaccine doses.[11] Egypt is expected to receive a total of 4.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine through COVAX facility. As of May 2021, Egypt received 2 shipments of the AstraZeneca vaccine (1st one is a total of 854,400 doses and the 2nd one 1,768,000 doses).[12]

This overview was last updated in May 2021. Priority is given to the latest available official data published by national statistical offices and/or public institutions.


[1] Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics. 2021. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 21 May 2021].

[2] Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. 2019. World Population Prospects. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 21 May 2021].

[3] United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). 2020. Human Development Report. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 21 May 2021].

[4] International Monetary Fund (IMF). April 2020. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 25 November 2020].

[5] The World Bank. 2020. Doing Business 2020: Comparing Business Regulation in 190 Economies. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 25 November 2020].

[6] The World Bank. 2021. Egypt's Economic Update, April 2021 [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 25 May 2021].

[7] International Monetary Fund (IMF). April 2021. World Economic Outlook.  [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 25 May 2021].

[8] International Labor Organization. 2020. Country Profiles. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 21 May 2021].

[9] Al-Ahram Weekly. 2019. Decent life. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 25 November 2020].

[10] Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE). 2019. Arab Future Energy Index (AFEX) Renewable Energy 2019 [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 25 November 2020].

[11] World Health Organization. May 2021. WHO Coronavirus (COVID-19) Dashboard. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 21 May 2021].

[12] World Health Organization, Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean. 2021. Egypt receives second shipment of 1.77 million COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility [ONLINE] Available at:  [Accessed 21 May 2021].


*According to the WHO, government health expenditure in Egypt is 1.7 percent of GDP, less than one fifth of the global 10 percent average, and out-of-pocket health expenditures account for 60 percent of current health expenditure, compared to a much lower global average of 33 percent.[4]

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Data Highlights

  • Egypt is the most populous country among Arab countries with a population of 91.5 million in 2015, growing at an annual rate of 2%. The population is dense around the Nile basin with a global population density of 92 inhabitants per square kilometer in 2015 up from 69 inhabitants per square kilometer in 2000. The Egyptian population is young with almost 77% of its population below 30 years.

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