This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Friday, July 5, 2013

Will Egyptians Get Back on Track for Better Lives?

The removal of Mohammed Morsi as President of Egypt by that country's military is an historic rarity, in my view; more of a "popular recall" than a military coup, even though the military carried it out. More than two years ago, after the ouster of Mubarak but prior to the election that brought Morsi to power, I blogged about the likely frustration that a large population of well-educated young Egyptians felt as they try to get ahead in life. Updating those numbers from the World Bank, we can see that as the earlier protests were taking shape in Egypt, only 15 percent of Egyptians lived on less than $2/day, compared to 30 percent in China, and 69 percent in India. Yet, the average income (GNI in PPP--no data on the GPI are available for Egypt) was $6,640 in Egypt compared to $9,210 in China and $3,840 in India. The numbers show that income in Egypt was only halfway between India and China despite the fact that poverty levels were well below either of those countries. We don't have new numbers from the World Bank that reflect any changes that might have occurred during the past year, but it is almost certain that no changes were occurring. More importantly, it seemed unlikely to a lot of people "in the street" that any changes were in the works. Violence continues in the country at the moment, but with any luck a new election, held without delay, will finally allow the country to move ahead, especially in a way that will provide real opportunity to the nation's 15 million young people aged 15-24.

1 comment:

  1. The GNI is an interesting concept. I took the basic GDP data for Egypt and divided it by the population to get $2800 US dollars per head. What interesting - indeed staggering - is that it's well above many other African countries. Kenya comes in around $800/head. Yet Kenya is plugging along and is "comparatively stable". Clearly, something is seriously wrong with how money is being spent in Egypt. Maybe they have large military spending, possibly they have other economic drains, or perhaps serious corruption. They are getting serious aid packages from the USA - but it's not helping. Unless Egypt gets itself onto a really solid economic plan for the future - then continued instability seems to be the order for the day.
    DrP, Los Angeles