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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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Fertility is on the Rise in Egypt

Thanks to Abu Daoud for linking me a to a story about census workers in Egypt finding more babies than they expected. The latest census is underway--a year late (the last census was in 2006 and Egypt has been conducting censuses every ten years; this one got delayed a bit) and there are more young kids being found than were expected.
Census workers going door to door in Egypt’s teeming neighborhoods and crowded towns are discovering a new country — of more than 20 million people born in the last decade alone.
Family planning efforts have lapsed over the past decade, particularly during the chaotic years following the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak. Today the government is mainly focused on combatting Islamic militancy and repairing the tattered economy.
But the staggering growth rate in the most populous Arab country, already home to more than 93 million people, could worsen both problems by giving rise to yet another bulging generation with few job prospects and widespread reliance on dwindling government assistance.
“In 10 years, we’ve made what can be considered an entirely new country,” said Hussein Sayed, the coordinator of the national census. The results will be finalized and released in August.
Now, to be fair, if you are a regular reader of this blog, you won't be surprised by these findings, since they were heralded by the 2014 Egyptian Fertility Survey, which revealed an unexpected rise in Egyptian fertility over the past few years, as I noted at the time. 

Nonetheless, to have the census confirm this finding is important and, with luck, when the results are made available we should be able to track the spatial demographic patterns of changing fertility in this important and populous country.

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