Infographics: Urban Development in Egypt

URBANET’s latest infographic series takes you to Egypt, offers interesting facts and figures about urbanisation and urban development – in a country that already saw cities and urban life 5,500 years ago.

Urban and Rural Population

The graphic displays the growth of Egypt’s rural and urban population. Today, more Egyptians are living in rural areas than in cities. While both curves have been showing a steady growth, the urban population is projected to outnumber people living in rural areas for the first time in 2041. By then, 69 million people will live in urban areas.

Egypt's urban population is projected to outnumber people living in rural areas for the first time in 2041. By then, 69 million people will live in urban areas.

Urbanisation in Egypt – Urban and Rural Population in Egypt | Egypt Infographics © GIZ

Size of Settlements

Egypt has only 13 cities with a population of more than 300.000, a rather small number considering its area. While 11 of these cities have a population of less than 500,000, the two largest cities have populations many times that of the next smaller ones: Alexandria with more than 5 million inhabitants and, far ahead, the capital Cairo with more than 20 million.

Egypt has only 13 cities with a population of more than 300.000, a rather small number considering its area. The biggest are Alexandria with more than 5 million inhabitants and, far ahead, the capital Cairo with more than 20 million.

Urbanisation in Egypt – Size of Settlements in Egypt | Egypt Infographics © GIZ

The 6 Largest Cities

The graphic shows the population size of Egypt’s six largest cities in 2015 and 2030, respectively. With over 25 million people in 2030, Cairo is projected to stay the largest city by far.

The graphic shows the population size of Egypt's six largest cities in 2015 and 2030, respectively. With over 25 million people in 2030, Cairo is projected to stay the largest city by far.

Urbanisation in Egypt – Largest Cities in Egypt | Egypt Infographics © GIZ

Urbanisation in Egypt – Key Figures

Egypt’s current annual urban growth rate of 2 per cent means that Egyptian cities have to accommodate almost 1 million new citizens – every year. Cairo alone saw half a million new inhabitants in 2017, making it the fastest growing city in the world. In the Greater Cairo Region, almost two thirds of residents live in informal settlements, which is currently the pre-dominant mode of urban development in the country. Due to poor water and sewage management and increasing droughts caused by climate change, Egypt is expected to face a critical shortage of water by 2025. This makes Cairo one of the most threatened cities worldwide that could soon be running out of drinking water.

By far the largest share of Egypt’s area is desert with no human settlements, leaving only 6 per cent that are densely populated. This is supposed to increase to 12 per cent with the national government’s plans to build new cities in the desert.

Interesting figures of urbanisation and urban development in Egypt

Urbanisation in Egypt – Key Figures | Egypt Infographics © GIZ