Facts about Egypt as it votes for new parliament

The following is a fact sheet about Egypt, where elections for a new, 508-seat parliament were held Sunday:

Population: 80 million, growing at an annual rate of nearly 2 percent.

Religion: About 90 percent Muslim, 10 percent Christian.

Literacy: 71.4 percent of the population.

Gross Domestic product: $469.8 billion (2009).

GDP Growth Rate: 5.5 percent (2010 projected)

GDP Per Capita: $6,000

Inflation Rate: about 11 percent

Unemployment: 9.4 percent

The country has 24 registered political parties, but almost all are small with almost no popular following. The main political forces are:

— The ruling National Democratic Party led by President Hosni Mubarak, which is virtually assured of a sweeping victory. It controlled nearly 70 percent of the outgoing, 454-seat parliament elected in 2005, and is likely to increase its majority.

— The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most organized opposition force even though it is outlawed. It runs its candidates as independents. Holding 20 percent of the seats in the outgoing legislature, it is aiming to win 30 percent of the seats in the new chamber, but has been subject to a fierce crackdown on supporters and candidates ahead of the vote.

— The New Wafd party, a secular opposition group that has appeared to grow closer to the government the past year. With a handful of seats in the outgoing legislature, it may marginally increase them in Sunday's vote.

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