CAIRO: The childbearing rate of Egyptian women has been reduced from more than five to 3.5 children per woman in her lifetime, with a rate of 2.4 targeted by 2030, Minister of Population Hala Youssef told Al Kaher wal Nas channel Saturday.
The rate was three children per woman in 2008, but Egypt’s population increased by three million since the January 25 Revolution in 2011, totaling 87 million inside Egypt.
“We will continue with [birth control] campaigns, but at the same time we will pay attention to new messages that were not conveyed to the people before. We told people not to conceive. No, we want to tell people to educate their children, keep them enrolled in schools,” Youssef said.
A March report by the Ministry of Population stated early marriage and lack of education as factor to overpopulation, citing that an estimated 500,000 girls between 15 and 19 years of age have been married.
In 2008, Egypt rose the marriageable age for females to 18, the same age for males. Marriage under the age of 18 is considered child marriage by UNICEF.
Other than birth control and trying to expand the gap between each birth, the ministry aims to reduce the effects of overpopulation by geographical redistribution with the help of the government, as the strategy needs a national development plan, Youssef told Al Kaher Wal Nas.
From February 2014 to August 2014, one million babies were born at a rate of 3.9 births per minutes, according to the State Information Service. If the rate continues as it is, however, Egypt’s population would reach 120 million in 2030, according to a March report by the Ministry of Population.