How Will Egypt Rein In Its Explosive Population Growth?

By Joe Bish, Population Media Center

“No matter how many economic projects we launch, the population growth will consume that development.”

Egypt’s Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) recently announced that, according to their calculations, the population growth rate in that northern African country is currently 2.4% per year. If accurate, this measure dwarfs the growth rate associated with the U.N.’s high variant assumption for the years 2015 to 2020 — which is “just” 2.06%. As you know, a 2.4% growth rate means the population doubling time works out to 29 years.

Shockingly, according to CAPMAS, the 2.4% rate has to be considered progress — marking a decrease from 2.55% in 2014.Precision of the numbers aside, what has happened in Egypt is that the national family planning program was driven into a ditch in the wake of 2011’s political instability. As the article below points out, this dereliction has created a systemic, long-lasting challenge: Egypt’s population pyramid now has an enormous bulge at its base. Hania Sholkamy, an associate professor at the American University in Cairo’s Social Research Center, is wise to suggest that the country must heavily invest in this young cohort with good-quality education, health services, and sexual and reproductive health curriculum. In this way, they will be predisposed to “contribute positively to family planning strategies” when they reach reproductive age. The question is, will anybody listen to Ms. Sholkamy’s advice?

Egypt’s Population Pyramid, 2016 How will Egypt rein in its explosive population growth?Egypt’s population is growing at a rate five times higher than that of developed countries, and twice as high as developing countries, according to the state-run Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).

Cairo, Egypt

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