Egypt has a total land area of 995,450 sq. km of which only 2.8% is arable. Egypt had an estimated population of 82,999,393 in 2009, and has had a constant average growth rate of about 1.8% per year since 2007. In 2009, per capita GDP was estimated at US$2,270 and about 22% of the total population lived under the national poverty line. In 2006, with the growth of the private sector, GDP shares of the basic economic sectors of agriculture, industry, electricity, construction and transportation decreased. The share for petroleum, the Suez Canal, tourism, social insurance and social services sectors grew. About 97% of the Egyptian population lives on 4% of Egypt’s total land area in the Nile Valley and Delta. This yields an average population density of 1,435 persons per square kilometer and exerts tremendous strain on the River Nile’s ecosystem.
The Egyptian terrain consists of a vast desert plateau that is interrupted by the Nile Valley and Delta. With no natural forest systems and most of the agriculture concentrated near the banks of the River Nile, agriculture remains the biggest employer (over 31.2% of the total population). Agriculture contributed 14% to GDP in 2009, and consumes about 80% of all freshwater resources. Egypt developed an industrial plan aimed at achieving a gradual shift from resource based, low technology industries to medium and high technology industries. Most of Egypt’s population and infrastructure are concentrated in the Nile Delta and along the Mediterranean coast, which makes the country vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise, particularly inundation and salt intrusion.
Selected Indicators for Impacts and Vulnerabilities