Cairo’s population is set to grow by 500,000 in 2017, the highest growth rate of any city in the world, a Euromonitor International report shows.
Greater Cairo, a metropolitan area including Cairo and parts of the Giza and Qalyubia provinces, is home to around 22.8 million people, but will hit about 23.3 million by the end of the year.
This increase in population will add more pressure to the struggling Egyptian economy that is hurting from six years of political turmoil.
Acco9rding to Mohamed Abdelgalil, an adviser to official statistics agency CAPMAS, Egypt’s national natural population growth of 2.4 percent per year is double the average of other developing countries.
Population officials in Egypt attribute the figures to the desire by poor families in the country to get many children with hopes that some will become successful.
“In rural areas, and in the south in particular, poor families have many children because they see these children as a safety net,” Maysa Shawky, the head of the National Population Council, told Reuters in an interview.
Shawky said awareness campaigns at universities and schools have begun as part of a national population strategy.