Egypt's population came to 67.9 million in the year 2000, making it the most populous Arab country, with 24% of the Arab world's population and the second-most populous on the African continent, with nearly 79 million people. It was the third largest country in the Middle East after Turkey and Iran in terms of demography.
The ancient Egyptians believed that they as people defined ideal human survival. The Egyptians are said to be fairly heterogeneous people. The Greek and Italian of the Mediterranean region and the Arabs influences are seen in the North and also some native black populations in the South. Many theories have been propounded regarding the origin of the Egyptians, and the most widely accepted is that the Egyptian society was the result of a mix of East African and Asiatic people who moved to the Nile Valley after the ice age.
Almost most of the population is concentrated along the Nile River, especially along the Alexandria and Cairo, the Nile Delta and near the Suez Canal. Egyptians are undoubtedly the largest ethnic group in Egypt with 76.4 million or 97-98% of the total population. Ethnic minorities include the Bedouin Arab tribes living in the Eastern deserts and the Sinai Peninsula, the ancient Nubian communities clustered along the Nile in the southernmost part of Egypt with interspersed communities of Beja who become more consolidated and concentrated in the south-eastern-most corner of the country, the Berber-speaking (Amazigh) Siwis of the Siwa Oasis, and a number of Roma clans mostly in the Nile Delta and Fayyum who are increasingly losing their identity as urbanization increases.
About 90% of Egyptian population adheres to Islam and the rest to Christianity, specially the Coptic faith. Though the Egyptians are a heterogeneous group they still maintain cultural ties with the ancient Egyptian society which has forever been regarded as rural and most populous compared to the neighboring demographics. The Egyptians also hosts some 90,000 refugees and asylum seekers, made up mostly of 70,000 Palestinian refugees and 20,000 Sudanese refugees. The once-vibrant Jewish community in Egypt has practically disappeared, with only a small number remaining in Egypt and few who visit on religious occasions.
As of July 2006 there are 78,887,007 people, and the population growth rate was 1.75%.