Cairo to be 'world's fastest-growing city' in 2017

Cairo to be 'world's fastest-growing city' in 2017
Greater Cairo has been named the world's fastest-growing city in 2017, with an expected population increase of 500,000 this year alone. But can authorities cope with the population explosion?
2 min read
28 February, 2017
Cairo's population will increase by half a million in 2017 [Getty]

Greater Cairo is set to top the list of the fastest-growing cities in the word, with the population forecast to grow by half a million in 2017 alone, a new report has found.

According to Euromonitor International's report on global economies and consumers, the world's urban population is growing at two percent annually.

"Some cities exceed this growth rate by a wide margin," the report concluded.

The world's fastest growing cities would be in the Middle East and Africa, including Nigeria's Abuja and Qatar's Doha - the report added.

"In the developed world, cities' populations remain relatively young, and some urban areas continue to develop at a faster rate than the developed world is accustomed to," it said.

Ranking 19th on the list, Egypt's second city Alexandria is also expected to grow by more than 100,000 people in 2017.

Authorities are already coping to provide services for Greater Cairo's 23 million residents and Egypt's 93 million plus population.

Read also: The economics behind Egypt's political unrest

Egypt's statistics chief Amal Nour al-Din projected the country's population will increase by 2 million this year.

Cairo and Alexandria recently made it to the top 10 African cities for quality of life.

However, despite topping growth and quality of life lists in Africa, Egypt is reeling after six years of political and economic turmoil involving the ousters of two presidents.

Economic growth has slowed, investment has fallen sharply, and currency reserves have plunged.

Consumer prices have surged since November when the central bank floated the Egyptian pound and slashed fuel subsidies as part of a three-year loan deal from the International Monetary Fund.

Meanwhile, at least 13 percent of working age Egyptians are unemployed, while around 28 percent of the population lives in poverty.

It has left activists concerned that the government's austerity drive will plunge the country's economy into recession and hit the poorest families even harder.

This could ultimately lead to higher unemployment and even worse poverty, and with more mouths to feed make the situation in Egypt even more precarious.