Egypt Fast Facts

The Sultan Hassan Mosque and city skyline of Cairo are seen from the Muhammad Ali Mosque in Cairo's Citadel on October 21, 2013, in Cairo, Egypt.

(CNN)Here's a look at Egypt, the most populous country in the Arab world. Egypt is located in North Africa and is bisected by the Nile River. It shares a border with Israel, Sudan and Libya. It also borders the Mediterranean and the Red Sea.

About Egypt

(from the CIA World Fact Book)
Area: 1,001,450 sq km (about three times the size of New Mexico)
    Population: 104,124,440 (July 2020 est.)
    Median age: 24.1 years
    Capital: Cairo
    Ethnic Groups: 99.7%, other 0.3% (2006 est.)
    Religion: Muslim (mostly Sunni) 90%, Christian (mostly Coptic Orthodox, other Christians include Armenian Apostolic, Catholic, Maronite, Orthodox, and Anglican) 10% (2015 est.)
    GDP (purchasing power parity): $1.204 trillion (2017 est.)
    GDP per capita: $12,700 (2017 est.)
    Unemployment: 12.2% (2017 est.)

    Other Facts

    The Suez Canal connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea through Egypt.
    More than 90% of Egypt consists of desert.
    Egypt achieved full independence from Great Britain in 1952.


    3200 BC-332 BC - Ruled by a series of Egyptian dynasties.
    332 BC-600s AD - Ruled by Greeks, Romans and Byzantines.
    600s AD - The Arabic language and Islamic religion become dominant in Egypt.
    1517 - Conquered by the Ottoman Turks.
    1798-1801 - Briefly controlled by France.
    1858 - La Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez (Universal Company of the Maritime Suez Canal) is formed to dig a canal and operate it for 99 years. The company is privately owned by French and Egyptian interests and would become totally Egyptian-owned after 99 years.
    April 25, 1859 - Excavation on the Suez Canal begins.
    November 17, 1869 - The Suez Canal opens for navigation.
    1875 - The British government buys Egypt's interest in the Suez Canal company.
    1882 - To protect its investment in the Suez Canal, Great Britain takes control of Egypt's government.
    February 28, 1922 - Egypt achieves partial independence from its status as a protectorate of the United Kingdom. The country becomes a constitutional monarchy.
    May 14, 1948 - Israel declares statehood. The nations of Trans-Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria attack.
    July 23-26, 1952 - In a coup led by General Gamal Abdel Nasser, military officers overthrow the monarchy, leading to a completely independent Egypt.
    June 18, 1953 - Egypt declares itself a republic.
    1954 - Nasser becomes the prime minister of Egypt.
    1954 - Great Britain and Egypt sign a seven-year plan for British troop withdrawal from the canal zone.
    July 26, 1956 - Egypt nationalizes the canal to finance construction of the Aswan High Dam. This is the first time the canal is closed.
    March 1957 - After much negotiation with Great Britain, France, the United States, NATO and the United Nations, the Suez Canal Authority reopens the canal.
    1958-1961 - Egypt and Syria form the short-lived country of the United Arab Republic.
    June 5-10, 1967 - The Six-Day War is fought between Israel and the Arab nations of Syria, Egypt and Jordan. Israel gains the territory of the Sinai Desert from Egypt.
    1970 - The Aswan High Dam on the Nile river is completed at a cost of $1 billion.
    September 28, 1970 - Nasser dies of a heart attack. He is succeeded by his vice president, Anwar Sadat.
    1971 - A new constitution is adopted. It defines Egypt as a democratic, socialist state with Islam as the official state religion.
    October 6, 1973 - The Yom Kippur War begins when the Egyptian Air Force launches a daytime surprise attack on Israeli soldiers occupying the east bank of the Suez Canal. Within 20 minutes, the pilots report 90% of their targets hit.
    September 1978 - Sadat, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and US President Jimmy Carter meet at Camp David to discuss a peace treaty.
    March 26, 1979 - Egypt and Israel formally sign a peace treaty.
    October 6, 1981 - During a Cairo military parade commemorating Egypt's victories in 1973, Sadat is assassinated by a group of Islamic fundamentalists.
    October 6, 1981 - Hosni Mubarak assumes the presidency following Sadat's assassination. Mubarak is officially sworn in on October 14, 1981. Mubarak is re-elected in 1987, 1993, 1999 and 2005.
    1990-1991 - Egypt takes a leading role in liberating Kuwait from Iraqi occupation during the first Gulf War.
    September 7, 2005 - Egypt holds its first multi-candidate presidential election. Mubarak wins re-election with 88% of the vote.
    January 25, 2011 - Protests break out in Egypt. Thousands of people take to the streets to protest corruption and poverty in the country.
    February 2011 - Mubarak announces he will not run for re-election in September. Rioting in Cairo leaves many dead and hundreds wounded as pro and anti-government sides clash in Tahrir Square.
    February 10, 2011 - Mubarak announces he is delegating power to Vice President Omar Suleiman but remaining in office.
    February 13, 2011 - The Armed Forces Supreme Council dissolves Egypt's parliament and suspends the constitution, adding in plans to appoint a committee to propose constitutional changes to voters.
    March 7, 2011 - Essam Sharaf is sworn in as the new prime minister, along with a new cabinet.
    March 19, 2011 - Egyptians overwhelmingly approve a referendum to amend the constitution. The amendments propose limiting the president to two four-year terms and putting a six-month limit on emergency laws.