From David Leonhardt whose caught density equals growth fever:
Almost 50 percent of East Asians now live in cities. And Egypt? It is the only large country to have become less urban in the last 30 years, according to the World Bank.
Egypt’s economic problem is quite profound. It’s not rich enough for households to shrug off increases in the price of wheat and other commodity foodstuffs and it doesn’t have the power to halt negative shocks to world food supply from climate change and poor management of water resources. Consequently as long as Egypt grows slower than the world average, it’s going to be at risk for fall-behind immiseration every time the world has a bad harvest season. And it’s not the only country in this boat.