Governorates of Egypt

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On 2015/04/24, Ahram Online reported that President El-Sisi has canceled Egypt's daylight saving time. On 2016/04/28, Ahram Online reported that Egypt's daylight saving time was reinstated, at least for 2016.

Sorin Cosoveanu notified me that Egypt created three new governorates on 2014-08-17. Central Sinai is being formed from parts of South Sinai and North Sinai. Al-Alamein is splitting from Matruh. The third is Al-Wahhat Al-Bahariya, also known as Wahat or Oases; from the maps I've seen, it appears to be formed from parts of Al Jizah and Al Wadi al Jadid. (Note that there was a governorate called Bahariya Oases in 1947. It's the name of a landform, whether or not it's an administrative division.) At the same time, there are many territorial adjustments to the other governorates. The smaller governorates will acquire desert land from the large, sparsely populated ones. In theory, this will allow the small ones to move their surplus population outward and release arable land for cultivation. Confirmation is provided by source [10].

Looking further ahead, the government envisages the creation of governorates called 10 Ramadan and 26 January in the vicinity of Cairo. Recalling the brief career of Helwan and Sixth of October, I wonder whether these changes will remain in effect.

Egypt stopped observing daylight saving time from 2010 to 2013, but it is resuming it in 2014.

Update 6 to "Geopolitical Entities and Codes" was dated 2011-11-30. For Egypt, it rescinded the FIPS codes that had been assigned to Helwan and Sixth of October governorates. ISO 3166-2 deleted the same governorates on 2014-10-29.

Update 1 to the U.S. standard "Geopolitical Entities and Codes" is dated 2010-08-20. It assigns FIPS codes to the three newest governorates, Al Uqsur, Helwan, and Sixth of October. Newsletter II-2, an update to the ISO 3166-2 standard, is dated 2010-06-30. It assigns ISO codes to Helwan and Sixth of October governorates.

ISO 3166-2 has come out in a second edition, dated 2007-12-15. This contains the ISO code for Luxor, as shown below.

Country overview: 

Short nameEGYPT
ISO codeEG
LanguageArabic (ar)
Time zone+2~


Egypt had been part of the Ottoman Empire before 1879. The British military occupied it in 1882, setting up a government subservient to British interests, although it remained technically a tributary state of the Ottoman Empire. On 1914-11-18, Great Britain declared Egypt to be its protectorate. After World War I, with Turkey defeated, Egypt was granted a large measure of independence, effective as of 1922-02-28. A constitutional monarchy was established. In 1952, the monarchy fell to a coup led by Gamal Abdel Nasser. Nasser's government formed a union with Syria, the United Arab Republic (U.A.R.), on 1958-02-01. Egypt and Syria became regions of the U.A.R. Syria withdrew from the union on 1961-09-29. Egypt continued to call itself the U.A.R. until 1971-09-01. On that date, a loose federation was formed, the Federation of Arab Republics, comprising Egypt, Syria, and Libya. Egypt's official name became the Arab Republic of Egypt. In the Six-Day War of 1967, Israel occupied the Sinai Peninsula up to the banks of the Suez Canal, later withdrawing to a cease-fire line a few kilometers to the east. The canal remained closed from 1967 to 1975. The Sinai was restored to Egypt in stages by the terms of the peace treaty negotiated at Camp David and signed on 1979-03-26.

Other names of country: 

  1. Arabic: Misr, Jumhuriyat Misr al-Arabiya (formal)
  2. Danish: Egypten, Ægypten, Egypten
  3. Dutch: Egypte, Arabische Republiek Egypte (formal)
  4. English: Arab Republic of Egypt (formal), United Arab Republic (obsolete)
  5. Finnish: Egypti
  6. French: Égypte f
  7. German: Ägypten n
  8. Icelandic: Egiptaland
  9. Italian: Egitto m
  10. Norwegian: Den arabiske republikk Egypt (formal) (Bokmål), Den arabiske republikken Egypt (formal) (Nynorsk), Egypt
  11. Portuguese: Egipto, Egito (Brazil), República f Árabe do Egipto m (formal)
  12. Russian: Арабская Республика Египет (formal)
  13. Spanish: Egipto, República f Árabe de Egipto m (formal)
  14. Swedish: Egypten
  15. Turkish: Mısır Arap Cumhuriyeti (formal)

Origin of name: 

Ancient Greek Aigyptios, from Egyptian hut-ka-ptah: castle of the soul of Ptah

Primary subdivisions: 

Egypt is divided into 27 muhāfazāt (governorates).

Ad DaqahlīyahEG.DQDKEG01L444,985,1873,4711,340Al Mansūrah
Al Bahr al AhmarEG.BABAEG02D84288,233203,68578,643Al Ghurdaqah
Al BuhayrahEG.BHBHEG03L224,737,12910,1293,911Damanhūr
Al FayyūmEG.FYFYMEG04U632,512,7921,827705Al Fayyūm
Al GharbīyahEG.GHGHEG05L314,010,2981,942750Tantā
Al IskandarīyahEG.IKALXEG06C21,234,110,0152,6791,035Al Iskandarīyah
Al Ismā`īlīyahEG.ISISEG07L41942,8321,442557Al Ismā`īlīyah
Al JīzahEG.JZGZEG08U126,272,57185,10532,859Al Jīzah
Al MinūfīyahEG.MFMNFEG09L323,270,4041,532592Shibīn al Kawm
Al MinyāEG.MNMNEG10U614,179,3092,262873Al Minyā
Al QāhirahEG.QHCEG11C117,786,64021483Al Qāhirah
Al QalyūbīyahEG.QLKBEG12L134,237,0031,001387Banhā
Al UqsurEG.UQLXEG28C83451,3185521Al Uqsur
Al Wādī al JadīdEG.WJWADEG13D72187,256376,505145,369Al Khārijah
Ash SharqīyahEG.SQSHREG14L355,340,0584,1801,614Az Zaqāzīq
As SuwaysEG.SWSUZEG15C43510,93517,8406,888As Suways
Banī SuwayfEG.BNBNSEG18U622,290,5271,322510Banī Suwayf
Būr Sa`īdEG.BSPTSEG19C42570,7687228Būr Sa`īd
Janūb Sīnā'EG.JSJSEG26D46149,33533,14012,795At Tur
Kafr ash ShaykhEG.KSKFSEG21L332,618,1113,4371,327Kafr ash Shaykh
MatrūhEG.MTMTEG22D51322,341212,11281,897Marsa Matrūh
Shamal Sīnā'EG.SSSINEG27D45339,75227,57410,646Al `Arish
27 governorates72,579,030997,690385,210
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • Reg: These have been called regions, but they are actually classes of governorate.
    • C: (City) urban governorates
    • D: (Desert) frontier governorates
    • L: Governorates of Lower (downstream) Egypt
    • U: Governorates of Upper Egypt
  • PC: Egypt uses five-digit postal codes. The first two digits indicate the governorate.
  • Population: 2006-11-11 census (source [3]).

Further subdivisions:

See the Markazes of Egypt page.

Egypt's subdivisions at the secondary level include markazes and kisms. The markazes are more rural than the kisms. Some small areas in port cities are under the separate jurisdiction of a police department. There are also territories, mostly desert, that are not in any of those subdivisions.

Territorial extent: 

Egypt ceded two sparsely inhabited areas to Libya in 1919 and 1926. These cessions left the border in its modern position, following the meridian of 25° East quite closely.

The legal boundary between Egypt and Sudan follows the parallel of 22° North, except for a small jog where the Nile crosses it. At the Nile, Sudan owns territory north of that parallel, mostly inundated by Lake Nasser. However, near the Red Sea, the administrative boundary deviates from the legal boundary. There is a small region in Sudan, south of 22°, administered by Egypt, and a larger area in Egypt, north of the parallel, administered by Sudan.

Egypt owns some islands in the Red Sea. They belong to Al Bahr al Ahmar governorate. The largest of them include Jazīrat Shākir and Jazīrat Zabarjad.

The UN LOCODE page  for Egypt lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.

Origins of names: 

  1. Al Fayyūm: from Coptic Fiom: the lake
  2. Al Gharbīyah: Arabic for Western
  3. Al Iskandarīyah: founded by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C.
  4. Al Ismā`īlīyah: named for Ismail Pasha (1830-1895), viceroy of Egypt during the building of the Suez Canal
  5. Al Jīzah: Egyptian er-ges-her: beside the great pyramid
  6. Al Qāhirah: Arabic for the victorious one, an epithet of the planet Mars, which was in the ascendant when construction began on 969-07-06
  7. Ash Sharqīyah: Arabic for Eastern
  8. As Suways: after a nearby spring, Bīr Suweis
  9. Aswān: Ancient Egyptian suanit: market
  10. Asyūt: Ancient Egyptian syawt: guardian
  11. Būr Sa`īd: Arabic for Port Said, which was named for Mohammed Said Pasha, viceroy of Egypt when work began on the Suez Canal

Change history: 

There have been numerous border adjustments. Typically, one of the smaller governorates annexes adjacent territory from a frontier governorate.

According to source [6], the divisions of Egypt in 1913 were as follows. El-Arish is in what is now Shamal Sīnā' (North Sinai).

Port SaidG49,8844
  • Typ: G = (urban) governorate;
    L = governorate of Lower Egypt;
    U = governorate of Upper Egypt.
  • Population: 1907 census.
  • Area: excludes desert areas.


By the time of the 1947 census, the divisions were as follows (sources [8], [9], and others). Bahariya Oases seems to have come and gone over the span of a few years. When it was eliminated, it became part of Giza.

Bahariya OasesD6,678
Beni SuefU612,027561,2391096Beni Suef
MinufiyaL1,165,0151,157,4331611Shibin el-Kom
Red SeaD15,9299,90662
Southern DesertD32,50329,092122
Western DesertD68,16152,544189
  • Typ: D = frontier district; G = (urban) governorate;
    L = province of Lower Egypt; U = province of Upper Egypt.
  • Pop-47: 1947-03-26 census.
  • Pop-37: 1937 census.
  1. ~1950: Kafr ash Shaykh governorate split from Gharbiya. Canal governorate split into Ismailia, Port Fuad, Port Suez, and Western-Qantara governorates (source [7]).
  2. ~1960: Capital of Girga governorate moved from Girga to Sūhāj, and name changed to match.
  3. 1980s: Several sources show a governorate named At Tahrīr (Liberation), capital Nasr. This governorate was apparently swallowed up by the growth of the governorates of Al Iskandarīyah and Al Buhayrah.
  4. ~1984: Sīnā' governorate split into Janūb Sīnā' (South) and Shamal Sīnā' (North).
  5. ~1987: Name of Marsā Matrūh governorate, and its capital, changed to Matrūh.
  6. 2008-04-17: By decree of President Hosni Mubarak, Helwan governorate split from Al Qāhirah; Sixth of October governorate split from Al Jīzah. According to source [4], "The final borders of Helwan, Fayoum, Beni Sweif, Minya, and Sixth of October governorates will be fixed by the beginning of May [2008]...."
  7. 2009-12-07: Luxor governorate officially split from Qina by Hosni Mubarak. I saw evidence as early as 2001-08-10 that this split had occurred, but apparently it was misleading.
  8. 2011-04-12: By Supreme Council of Armed Forces decree no. 63, Helwan governorate merged with Al Qāhirah, and Sixth of October governorate merged with Al Jīzah, reversing the changes of 2008-04-17. During their brief existence, Helwan had HASC code EG.HW, ISO HU, FIPS EG30, and capital Helwan; Sixth of October had the respective codes EG.SO, SU, EG29, and its capital was Sixth of October City.
  9. 2014-08-17: Central Sinai governorate formed from parts of South Sinai and North Sinai. Al-Alamein governorate split from Matruh. Al-Wahhat Al-Bahariya governorate, also known as Wahat or Oases, formed from parts of Al Jīzah and Al Wadi al Jadid (tentative). Other governorates transferred territory to their neighbors. These changes are not yet shown in the table.

Other names of subdivisions: 

Spelling notes:
Place names are officially written in Arabic script. Some names may be translated, but most are transliterated or transcribed into the Roman alphabet. There are many possible methods of transliteration. Some of this variety is shown in the table of variant names.
The initial elements Ad, Al, As, Ash, At, and Az are articles. Sometimes, especially in older sources, they are spelled Ed, El, Es, and so on. Sometimes they are connected to the following word with hyphens. Some sources omit them entirely.
I have not attempted to reproduce the "dot below" diacritical mark that modifies some h's, s's, and t's. The ayn is shown as a back apostrophe (`), and the hamza as an apostrophe (').

  1. Ad Daqahlīyah: Dacahlia, Dagahlia, Dakahlieh, Dakahliya, Dakalieh, Daqahlīya (variant); Dakahlia, Dekahlia (Anglicized)
  2. Al Bahr al Ahmar: Mar Rojo (Spanish); Mar Rosso (Italian); Mar Vermelho (Portuguese); Mer Rouge (French); Red Sea (Anglicized); Röda havet (Swedish); Rødehavet (Norwegian); Rotes Meer (German)
  3. Al Buhayrah: Beheira, Behera (Anglicized); El Buhayra (variant); Béhéra (French)
  4. Al Fayyūm: El Faiyum, el Fayoum, Faium, Faiyūm, Fayum (variant); Fayoum, Fayyum (Anglicized)
  5. Al Gharbīyah: al-Garbīyah, Al Gharbya, El Gharbiya, Garbia, Gharbieh, Gharbīya (variant); Gharbia (Anglicized)
  6. Al Iskandarīyah: Alejandría (Spanish); Alessandria (Italian); Alexandria (Anglicized); Alexandrie (French); El Iskandariya (variant)
  7. Al Ismā`īlīyah: Ismailia (Anglicized); Ismaïlia (French); Isma'iliya (variant)
  8. Al Jīzah: El Giza, El Gīzah, Gizeh (variant); Giza (Anglicized); Guizèh (French)
  9. Al Minūfīyah: Menoufieh, Menufia, Menūfīya, Minūfīya, Munufia (variant); Menoufia, Minufia, Monofiya (Anglicized)
  10. Al Minyā: Minia, Minieh (variant); Menia, Minya (Anglicized)
  11. Al Qāhirah: Cairo (English, Portuguese); El Cairo (Spanish); El Qahira (variant); Il Cairo (Italian); Kairo (Danish, German, Norwegian, Swedish); Le Caire (French); Каир (Russian)
  12. Al Qalyūbīyah: Caliubia, Kalioubieh, Kalioubiya, Qaliyubia, Qalyubiya (variant); Kalyobiya, Kalyoubia, Kalyubia (Anglicized)
  13. Al Uqsur: Al-Qusur, Al-Uqsor (variant); Luxor, Luxur City (Anglicized)
  14. Al Wādī al Jadīd: El-Wadi El-Gidid (variant); New Valley (Anglicized); Novo Vale (Portuguese); Ouādi El Guedīd (French); Southern Desert (obsolete)
  15. Ash Sharqīyah: Charkieh, Sharqia, Sharqīya, Sharquia (variant); Sharkia, Sharqeia (Anglicized)
  16. As Suways: El Suweiz, Es Suweis (variant); Suez (Anglicized)
  17. Aswān: Assouan (French); Assuã (Portuguese); Assuan (Italian, Norwegian); Assuán (Spanish); Aswan (Anglicized); Syene (ancient)
  18. Asyūt: Assiout (French); Assiut, Assyut (variant); Asyout, Asyut (Anglicized)
  19. Banī Suwayf: Bani Souwaif, Beni Suef (Anglicized); Beni Souef (French)
  20. Būr Sa`īd: Canal (obsolete); Port Said (Anglicized); Port-Saïd (French)
  21. Dumyāt: Damietta (Anglicized, Italian); Damiette (French); Dumiāt (variant)
  22. Janūb Sīnā': Sina al-Janubiyah, Sina' al-Janūbīyah, Sinai al Janūbīa (variant); South Sinai (Anglicized); Sud Sinaï (French)
  23. Kafr ash Shaykh: Kafr ash Shaikh, Kafr ash-Shayk, Kafr el Sheik (variant); Kafr el Sheikh (Anglicized)
  24. Matrūh: Marsā Matrūh, Mersa Matruh, Western Desert (obsolete); Matrouh (Anglicized, French)
  25. Qinā: Kena, Qena (Anglicized); Quena (variant)
  26. Shamal Sīnā': Nord Sinaï (French); North Sinai (Anglicized); Sina ash-Shamālīyah, Sinai ash Shamālīya (variant)
  27. Sūhāj: Girga, Girgeh (obsolete); Sawhāj, Sohag (variant); Suhag (Anglicized)

Population history:

Ad Daqahlīyah1,218,5021,413,9051,849,0002,285,0002,732,7563,500,4704,223,6554,985,187
Al Bahr al Ahmar9,91415,929N/A38,00056,19190,491155,695288,233
Al Buhayrah1,061,5961,244,4951,484,0001,979,0002,517,2923,257,1683,981,2094,737,129
Al Fayyūm602,122669,696765,000935,0001,140,2451,544,0471,989,8812,512,792
Al Gharbīyah1,967,8942,327,0311,567,0001,901,0002,294,3032,870,9603,404,8274,010,298
Al Iskandarīyah685,736919,0241,290,0001,801,0002,318,6552,917,3273,328,1964,110,015
Al Ismā`īlīyah   345,000351,889544,427715,009942,832
Al Jīzah685,331818,1681,117,0001,650,0002,419,2473,700,0544,779,8656,272,571
Al Minūfīyah1,159,7011,165,0151,260,0001,458,0001,710,9822,227,0872,758,4993,270,404
Al Minyā928,2591,044,2011,476,0001,706,0002,055,7392,648,0433,308,8754,179,309
Al Qāhirah1,312,0962,090,6541,726,0004,220,0005,084,4636,052,8366,789,4797,786,640
Al Qalyūbīyah610,157693,908758,0001,212,0001,674,0062,514,2443,302,8604,237,003
Al Uqsur      360,503451,318
Al Wādī al Jadīd29,10932,503N/A59,00084,645113,838141,737187,256
Ash Sharqīyah1,120,8261,345,8291,635,0002,108,0002,621,2083,420,1194,287,8485,340,058
As Suways49,686107,244163,000264,000194,001326,820417,610510,935
Banī Suwayf561,312612,027793,000928,0001,108,6151,442,9811,860,1802,290,527
Būr Sa`īd161,146245,932416,000283,000262,620399,793469,533570,768
Janūb Sīnā'     28,98854,495149,335
Kafr ash Shaykh  832,0001,118,0001,403,4681,800,1292,222,9202,618,111
Shamal Sīnā'18,01137,670N/A131,00010,104171,505252,750339,752


The 1966 census is described as a "sample census".


  1. [1] Recensements Africains, 1ere partie, Monographes Méthodologiques, suite. Groupe de Travail de Démographie Africaine, Paris, 1981.
  2. [2] Statistical Year Book, Arab Republic of Egypt 1952-1993. 1994.
  3. [3] Egypt's Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics  (CAPMAS). This site has figures for the 1996 population which differ slightly from those shown under Population history; the total population of Egypt differs by 4,290, less than 0.01%.
  4. [4] Al-Ahram Weekly On-line , Issue No. 894, 2008-04-24 describes the creation of Helwan and Sixth of October governorates (retrieved 2008-04-19).
  5. [5] Ahram Online  describes the revocation of Helwan and Sixth of October governorates (dated 2011-04-14, retrieved 2011-09-03).
  6. [6] Keltie, J. Scott, ed. The Statesman's Year-Book 1913. Macmillan, London, 1913.
  7. [7] Encyclopædia Britannica World Atlas, 1957 edition.
  8. [8] Demographic Yearbook , 7th Ed. Statistical Office of the United Nations, New York, 1955 (retrieved 2011-08-20).
  9. [9] Encyclopædia Britannica World Atlas, 1951 edition.
  10. [10] Sisi reviews plan for governorates new demarcation , dated 2014-08-19, and Sisi holds meeting on governorate demarcation , dated 2014-09-01. State Information Service (retrieved 2014-10-07).
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