Facts about Egypt as it votes for a new president
CAIRO—The following is a fact sheet about Egypt, where an election runoff for a new president will be held Saturday and Sunday:
-- Population: 82 million in the country, along with another estimated 8 million citizens living abroad.
-- Religion: About 90 percent Muslim, 10 percent Christian.
-- Land Area: About 1 million square kilometers (620,000 square miles), bordering the Palestinian Gaza Strip, Israel, Sudan and Libya. The population is concentrated on about 7 percent of the land, mostly along the Nile River.
-- GDP growth in 2011: 1.8 percent.
-- Unemployment rate in 2011: 10.4 percent.
-- Literacy: 71.4 percent.
-- Inflation in 2012: 8.3 percent, according to Central Bank of Egypt.
-- Key moments in modern history:
Egypt was a monarchy until a 1952 military coup. Since then Egypt's last four presidents have all hailed from the military. The late President Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981 by Islamist militants after signing the first peace treaty between Israel and an Arab state. His vice president at the time, Hosni Mubarak, assumed power.
Mubarak ruled for nearly 30 years, allowing the Muslim Brotherhood to contest parliamentary elections as independent candidates while banning the group from officially forming a party. Thousands of people were tortured and some died in the country's notorious prisons during Mubarak's rule. Many believe his son, Gamal, was being groomed to take over the presidency. Corruption, widespread poverty and curbs on freedoms sparked the Jan. 25, 2011 uprising engineered by youth activists inspired by a successful revolt in Tunisia. Nearly 900 deaths and 18 days later, Mubarak was forced to step down and his longtime Defense Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi heading a council of military generals assumed power.