High birth rate in Egypt is harming economy

23 September 2003
President Mubarak on 22 September blamed rapid population growth for the country's economic difficulties. Mubarak said that the government was doing all that it could to rectify the country's economic problems, but that the real problem was the high birth rate.

IMF figures put annual population growth in the country at 1.8 per cent. Mubarak said that this would bring the 70.5-million population to about 85 million in 10 years. Although the Egyptian economy is growing at over 3 per cent a year, population growth at this level is unsustainable, he added. Opposition newspapers have called on Mubarak and his government to resign for failing to tackle the country's economic problems.

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