Egypt Demographics Between 1931 and 1937
Population. – According to the census of March 1937, the population of Egypt is 15,904,525 residents, Including 40,000 nomadic Bedouins. The birth rate remains very high (42.1 ‰ in 1933; 39.4 in 1935) compared to 26.5 and 25.1 mortality, so that the average annual vegetative growth amounts to about 14 ‰ and is between the highest that have been observed.
Economic conditions. – According to ebizdir, despite the limitations that have been tried to introduce, cotton production continues to steadily intensify. Up until 1933 there was an increase compared to the production of 1929 which continued to grow, so that in 1936 it reached 424 thousand tons, to which 860 thousand tons of seed would have to be added. Sugar cane production also tends to grow; the sugar, taken from the numerous and grandiose sugar factories existing on the spot, has reached an average of one and a half million quintals in the last five years. On the other hand, the production of wheat such as barley and corn remains almost unchanged, insufficient for internal consumption, while an accentuated trend towards an increase is shown in the production of rice which in 1935-36 exceeded 7 million quintals, equal to the Italian production. As far as mining production is concerned, that of phosphates indicates a continuous upward trend, resulting from a production of 201 thousand tons. which it was in 1928, it has risen to 575 thousand tons. in 1936, higher than that of Algeria. Instead, it remains stationary at 200 thousand tons. that of oil, of which Egypt is the only producing territory in Africa, is annual.
Merchant Navy. – It consists of 46 ships for 69,925 tons. gross. Alexandria’s “Kedivial Mail Steamship” currently has a predominantly Egyptian capital, and in 1937 it transferred almost its entire fleet to a new company established in Egypt, the “Pharaonic Line”.
Civil aviation. – The Egyptian aviation company, formed in partnership with the English company Airwork, has formed the Misr Airwork Company, which is the only company entrusted with Egyptian air traffic. It operates the following lines: Cairo-Baghdād, via Palestine; Cairo-Lydda-Ḥaifā; Cairo-Cyprus; Cairo-Alexandria; Alexandria-Port Said-Almaza-Asyūt. The company also has its own civil driving school for obtaining the “A” and “B” patents.
Military aviation. – The military aviation of Egypt includes two groups of forces: 1. the British units of the Royal Air Force (RAF), consisting of a complex of 6 squadrons with about 80 aircraft (bombing, fighter and reconnaissance), which for the the Anglo-Egyptian treaty of 28 August 1938 must ensure cooperation with the Egyptian forces for the defense of the Suez Canal; 2. The Egyptian Army Air Force (EAAF), formed in 1932, currently comprising 2 reconnaissance and training squadrons with approximately 30 aircraft.
Finance. – The cotton crisis has had major repercussions on the budget, already exacerbated by higher military spending. It was therefore necessary to resort to loans and fiscal tightening.
As of April 30, 1937, the external debt was 95.8 million Egyptian pounds and the consolidated internal debt was 1.9 million.
Closely linked to the British pound since 1916, the Egyptian pound has followed its devaluation since September 1931. Since then, the convertibility of notes has been suspended. As of December 31, 1937, notes in circulation amounted to 20.7 million and reserves were 6.5 million in gold and 17.3 million in British treasury securities.
The National Bank of Egypt (of 1898), in addition to having the privilege of issuing (since 1916 it no longer has the obligation to hold a reserve of 50% in gold, but only has to guarantee the notes with British securities) is the main commercial bank. The other ordinary banks are essentially foreign capital, some of them are however registered as Egyptian joint-stock companies: among these we remember the Banque belge et internationale d’Égypte, the Banque commerciale de Bâle and the Italian commercial bank for Egypt (subsidiary of 1924 of the Italian Commercial Bank).