File Photo: 6.5 million elderly people in Egypt in 2019. AP
Egypt’s population has increased from 19 million in 1950 to 100 million in 2020, Prime Minsiter Mostafa Madbouly said on Sunday in a televised speech, during the Armed Forces' 32nd cultural symposium, noting that Egypt now receives a new baby every 13.5 seconds.
The symposium was attended by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel-Aal, and a number of state officials and public figures.
Madbouly said Egypt’s annual rate of increase in population was equivalent to that of Italy in 1950, but has now become equivalent to that of Italy, France, Spain, UK, Sweden and Belgium put together.
He referred to these countries’ strong economies, adding that Egypt now has a big budget deficit despite all efforts to provide services to the growing population.
In 2020, Egypt’s revenue has reached EGP 1.309 trillion in addition to grants and loans worth EGP 550 billion; and government spending has reached EGP 1.74 trillion, Madbouly said.
In 2000, the country’s revenue was EGP 97 million and spending was EGP 112 billion, Madbouly said, up from EGP 10 million in spending and a revenue of EGP 10 million in 1950.
The impact of rapid population increase
In 1950, 19 million people inhabited 3.5-4 percent of Egyptian territory, Madbouly said, noting that the country should have increased the inhabited area to 18 percent by now to cope with the 400 percent increase in population since then.
He added that despite all significant efforts to expand this area, the population only inhabits 7 percent of the total area of Egypt.
Madbouli said 35 million people have been added to the population since 2000, forcing the state to increase subsidies from EGP 15 billion formerly to EGP 326 billion in 2020.
In this regard, the person’s share of grants, subsidies and social benefits in general has become EGP 3,231 instead of only EGP 227 in 2000, the prime minister said. Also, per capita expenditures increased from EGP 1,700 to EGP 22,700.
Spending on health and education has reached EGP 93.5 billion and EGP 158 billion respectively, instead of EGP 8.3 billion and EGP 20.4 billion, Madbouli added.
44.7 million from the total population are under 20 years of age, Madbouli said, adding that the state spends EGP 13,100 per person to provide services to each of them. This means the state will spend a total of EGP 584.3 billion of this year’s budget on minors alone.
These services include education, medical care, social protection, improvement of life conditions, and youth and cultural care, Madbouli explained.
In 2017, President El-Sisi warned against terrorism and population growth, saying they are two of the biggest threats facing Egypt.
El-Sisi said that the current rate of population growth in Egypt poses a threat to the nation, restricting Egypt's progress.