Egypt is the most populous country in the Arab World and the third-most populous on the African continent (after Ethiopia and Nigeria). About 95% of the country’s 93 million people (2017) live along the banks of the Nile and in the Nile Delta, which fans out north of Cairo; and along the Suez Canal. These regions are among the world’s most densely populated, containing an average of over 3,820 persons per square mile (1,540 per km².), as compared to 181 persons per sq. mi. for the country as a whole.
The Nile River is commonly regarded as the longest river in the world, flowing for 4,258 miles (6,853 kilometers) over 11 countries in northeastern Africa.
In this Overview, it is shown flowing north through Egypt, forming a large triangular delta before emptying into the Mediterranean Sea. Civilizations since ancient times have depended on the waters of the Nile river to food and fertilize surrounding desert lands.