CAIRO: Egypt is preparing for the birth of its 100 millionth baby. The forecast was made by the digital population clock at the front of the headquarters of the Central Agency for Mobilization and Statistics in central Cairo.
The clock will announce the arrival of Egyptian citizen number 100 million within seven days. As of noon on Saturday, the population had reached 99,949,398.
Alexander Poderosa, representative of the UN Population Fund in Egypt, said the expected child will join a nation where 60 percent of its people are below the age of 29.
Many Arab and African countries are struggling with population increases, but Poderosa said the pressure on Egypt is much greater since 97 percent of its people live on less than 8 percent of the country’s land. The population is crowded mainly around the area near the Nile Valley and Nile Delta.
Egypt’s population is growing at a rate of 2.5 million each year. Egyptian officials say they have managed to reduce fertility rates due to the “two is enough” campaign, which aims to convince families not to have not more than two children unless they can afford to.
According to a UN study, the fertility rate in Egypt fell to 3.1 in 2018 from 3.5 in 2014. At the current fertility rate, the population is expected to reach 153 million by 2052.