With more than 82 million inhabitants, Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa and the Arab World, and among the Next 11 emerging economies classified by Goldman Sachs.
The majority of its population lives near the Nile River, an area of 40,000 square kilometres, providing the only arable land. Regions of the Sahara desert, which constitute most of Egypt’s territory, are sparsely inhabited. Half of the country’s residents live in urban areas.
Despite political turbulence, modern Egypt is a regional and middle power, with cultural, political, and military influence in North Africa, the Middle East and the Muslim world. Its economy is one of the largest and most diversified in the Middle East, with tourism, agriculture, industry and services at almost equal production levels.
Obstacles include the limited trickle down of wealth to the average citizen; corruption is often cited as the main impediment to further economic growth.