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. Completion of the Suez Canal in 1869 elevated Egypt as an important world transportation hub. 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 from Britain in 1952. The completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1971 and the resultant Lake Nasser have reaffirmed 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 meet the demands of Egypt's fast-growing population as it implements far-reaching economic reforms, including the reduction of select subsidies, large-scale infrastructure projects, energy cooperation, and foreign direct investment appeals. Inspired by the 2010 Tunisian revolution, Egyptian opposition groups led demonstrations and labor strikes countrywide, culminating in President Hosni MUBARAK's ouster in 2011. Egypt's military assumed national leadership until a new legislature was in place in early 2012; later that same year, Muhammad MURSI won the presidential election. Following protests throughout the spring of 2013 against MURSI's government and the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian Armed Forces intervened and removed MURSI from power in July 2013 and replaced him with interim president Adly MANSOUR. Simultaneously, the government began enacting laws to limit freedoms of assembly and expression. In January 2014, voters approved a new constitution by referendum and in May 2014 elected former defense minister Abdelfattah ELSISI president. Egypt elected a new legislature in December 2015, its first Hose of Representatives since 2012. ELSISI was reelected to a second four-year term in March 2018. In April 2019, Egypt approved via national referendum a set of constitutional amendments extending ELSISI’s term in office through 2024 and possibly through 2030 if re-elected for a third term. The amendments would also allow future presidents up to two consecutive six-year terms in office, re-establish an upper legislative house, allow for one or more vice presidents, establish a 25% quota for female legislators, reaffirm the military’s role as guardian of Egypt, and expand presidential authority to appoint the heads of judicial councils.



27.0° N, 30. 0° E
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


1,001,450 sq km
995,450 sq km
6,000 sq km

land boundaries

2,612 km


2,450 km


desert; hot, dry summers with moderate winters


vast desert plateau interrupted by Nile valley and delta


321 m
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
  • rare earth elements
  • zinc

land use

arable land
2.8 %
permanent crops
0.8 %
permanent pasture
0 %
0.1 %
96.3 %

population distribution

approximately 95% of the population lives within 20 km of the Nile River and its delta; vast areas of the country remain sparsely populated or uninhabited



  • 104,124,440
  • 14
    global rank


  • Egyptian(s)
  • Egyptian

ethnic groups

99.7 %
0.3 %


  • Arabic
  • Arabic
  • English
  • and French widely understood by educated classes


90 %
10 %

birth rate

  • 27.2
    per 1,000 population
  • 42
    global rank

death rate

  • 4.4
    per 1,000 population
  • 209
    global rank

urban population

42.8 %

major urban areas

  • Cairo
    pop. 20,901,000
  • Alexandria
    pop. 5,281,000

life expectancy

  • 73.7
    total population
  • 140
    global rank

adult obesity rate

  • 32%
    percent of adults
  • 18
    global rank


country name


  • Arab Republic of Egypt
    long form
  • Egypt
    short form


  • Jumhuriyat Misr al-Arabiyah
    long form
  • Misr
    short form

government type

presidential republic


30.3 N, 31.15 E


national holidays

  • Revolution Day
    23 July

legal system

mixed legal system based on Napoleonic civil and penal law, Islamic religious law, and vestiges of colonial-era laws; judicial review of the constitutionality of laws by the Supreme Constitutional Court

age of suffrage


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; the band colors derive from the Arab Liberation flag and represent oppression (black), overcome through bloody struggle (red), to be replaced by a bright future (white)

national colors

  • red
  • white
  • black

national anthem

"Bilady, Bilady, Bilady" (My Homeland, My Homeland, My Homeland)



Occupying the northeast corner of the African continent, Egypt is bisected by the highly fertile Nile valley where most economic activity takes place. Egypt's economy was highly centralized during the rule of former President Gamal Abdel NASSER but opened up considerably under former Presidents Anwar EL-SADAT and Mohamed Hosni MUBARAK. Agriculture, hydrocarbons, manufacturing, tourism, and other service sectors drove the country’s relatively diverse economic activity. Despite Egypt’s mixed record for attracting foreign investment over the past two decades, poor living conditions and limited job opportunities have contributed to public discontent. These socioeconomic pressures were a major factor leading to the January 2011 revolution that ousted MUBARAK. The uncertain political, security, and policy environment since 2011 has restricted economic growth and failed to alleviate persistent unemployment, especially among the young. In late 2016, persistent dollar shortages and waning aid from its Gulf allies led Cairo to turn to the IMF for a 3-year, $12 billion loan program. To secure the deal, Cairo floated its currency, introduced new taxes, and cut energy subsidies - all of which pushed inflation above 30% for most of 2017, a high that had not been seen in a generation. Since the currency float, foreign investment in Egypt’s high interest treasury bills has risen exponentially, boosting both dollar availability and central bank reserves. Cairo will be challenged to obtain foreign and local investment in manufacturing and other sectors without a sustained effort to implement a range of business reforms.


1,204,000,000,000 USD

agriculture products

  • cotton
  • rice
  • corn
  • wheat
  • beans
  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • cattle
  • water buffalo
  • sheep
  • goats

poverty level



  • 42,320,000,000
    revenue (USD)
  • 62,610,000,000
    expenditures (USD)



    fixed lines

  • 7,865,286
    total subscriptions
  • 21
    global rank

    mobile cellular

  • 93,784,497
    total subscriptions
  • 16
    global rank

broadcast media

mix of state-run and private broadcast media; state-run TV operates 2 national and 6 regional terrestrial networks, as well as a few satellite channels; dozens of private satellite channels and a large number of Arabic satellite channels are available for free; some limited satellite services are also available via subscription; state-run radio operates about 30 stations belonging to 8 networks; privately-owned radio includes 8 major stations, 4 of which belong to 1 network (2019)


country code


  • 46,644,728
  • 46.92
    % of population
  • 18
    global rank


electricity access



air transport

    national system

  • 14
    registered air carriers
  • 10,159,464
    annual passenger traffic


  • 83
  • 72


5,085 km
total length


65,050 km
total length


3,500 km
total length



expenditures here

service age