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Urban Population

Title of the Session

Urban Population

Time and Venue

14 June 2015, Marriott Zamalek – 2:30 pm-4:00 pm


Egypt’s population reached 87 million in 2014. The population growth rate has been on the rise since the mid-1990s. The time it takes to add an additional million Egyptians to the population pyramid has decreased from almost 1 year in 1990 to less than 6 months in 2013, when 2.6 million new Egyptians were born. Likewise, the total fertility rate has risen to 3.5 children per woman in 2014, which brings the country back to the level witnessed in 1995/2000. At the current fertility level, the total population would reach 169 million in 2050. With 62% of the population below the age of 30 and the potential for further increases make investing in young people and reap the potential benefits of the demographic dividend an imperative.

Simultaneously, most population and reproductive health indicators, including those related to family planning, have virtually stagnated since the late 90s and early 2000’s. In 2005/2006 the crude birth rate began to increase after more than 20 years of sustained decreases that were the result of changes in fertility behavior. Gains made in previous decades in terms of access to voluntary family planning came to a stall, with contraceptive prevalence rate standing still at around 60% and the unmet need for FP stabilizing at around 10-12%. Internally, the country is characterized by important urban-rural and socio-economic differences and by a consistent gap between Upper Egypt and the rest of the country.

The strong demographic pressure explains the high urban density rate, not only in Cairo and Alexandria, but also in middle-sized and small cities which are developing in a “conurbation” process. The planning strategies have to be reconsidered regarding to this process, as well as to the intensification of international migrations due to the regional crisis.

Objectives of the session

  • Provide an analysis on demographic trends and drivers in Egypt.
  • Explain how demography is related to urban economy
  • Provide insightful information about migration challenges and adequate urban policies
  • Present the various initiatives undertaken by the Government of Egypt and other stakeholders to manage demographic growth and invest in human development
  • Consult with civil society, private sector, academia, decision- makers and public organizations and agencies.


  • Dr Magued Osman – Baseera
  • Dr Walid Bayoumi, Cairo University
  • Dr Fatma Zenati, Demographic Health Survey
  • Mr Amr Taha, IOM Egypt Coordinator
  • Dr Isam Taha – UNFPA Regional Unit
  • Dr Hala Youssef, Minister of Population


  • Dr Roman Stadnicki, Geographer & Political Scientist, CEDEJ (Cairo)

Format of the session

Dr.  Magued Osman, Baseera (10mn)

What is the current status of the population in Egypt (urban and rural- can include history and population projections, should also focus on the increase in the average fertility rate from 3.0 in 2008 to 3.5 in 2014).

Dr Walid Nabil, Cairo University (10mn)

What are the drivers of urban population growth in Egypt? And how did that effect on the hierarchy of cities in Egypt?

Dr. Fatma Zenati, Demographic Health Survey (DHS) (10mn)

To what extent is there inequity among urban population: between rural and urban population? Between different governorates and regions? And gender?

Amr Taha, International Office for Migrations (IOM) Egypt Coordinator (10mn)

What are the current trends of internal and external migrations? What is the impact of migration on urban population? What are the needs originated by migrations (and refugees) regarding urban population?

Isam Taha, UNFPA (10mn)

What is the link between the demographic dividend and economy? Population is essentially about people; but it also affects – and is affected – by the economy. How is urban economy and population related? And what is needed for enhancing women’s and youth economic empowerment?

Dr. Hala Youssef, Minister of Population (10mn)

What has been the government strategy in relation to population growth? What is expected role of the different development partners in implementing this strategy?