Egypt’s Population Growth Decelerates Amidst Rising Poverty

Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous nation, has witnessed a significant slowdown in population growth, with the rate dropping to 1.4% in 2023, the lowest in decades. This comes as a majority of the population grapples with poverty and economic challenges.

The decline in population growth from a peak of 2.8% in 1984-85 to 1.4% in 2023 marks a notable demographic transition for Egypt. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has emphasized the need to curb the high birth rate, attributing it to straining services and the government budget.

Despite the slowdown, the current population stands at just over 106 million, with approximately 60% living below or close to the poverty line. The nation faces significant hurdles, including water scarcity, unemployment, and overcrowded educational and healthcare facilities.

Economic Strains and Social Policies

The economic landscape in Egypt is marred by challenges that have been exacerbated by the population issues. The government has initiated mega-projects aimed at providing jobs and infrastructure, yet critics argue these may divert resources and contribute to the country’s debt.

In response to the growing concerns, Egypt launched the “Two Is Enough” campaign in 2019, targeting rural areas to challenge the tradition of large families and promote family planning.

The Road Ahead

As Egypt confronts these demographic and economic challenges, the path forward requires a balanced approach. The government’s efforts to stimulate the economy and manage population growth are critical in shaping the country’s future.

The impact of these policies on poverty reduction and sustainable development will be closely monitored by both national and international observers, as Egypt strives to improve the living standards for its people.

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