Egypt is one of the most populous countries in Africa and the Middle East, and the 15th most populated in the world. The great majority of its over 82 million people live near the banks of the Nile River, where the only arable land is found, in an area of about 40,000 square kilometers (15,000 sq mi). The large regions of the Sahara Desert, which constitute most of Egypt's territory, are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypt's residents live in urban areas, with most spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo, Alexandria and other major cities in the Nile Delta.
Monuments in Egypt such as the Giza pyramid complex and its Great Sphinx were constructed by its ancient civilization. Its ancient ruins, such as those of Memphis, Thebes, and Karnak and the Valley of the Kings outside Luxor, are a significant focus of archaeological study. Egypt's rich cultural legacy, as well as the attraction of its Red Sea Riviera, has made tourism a vital part of the economy, employing about 12% of the country's workforce.
The economy of Egypt is one of the most diversified in the Middle East, with sectors such as tourism, agriculture, industry and services at almost equal production levels. Egypt has significant cultural, political, and military influence in the region, and is a major power in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Muslim world.