WIT Press

The Comprehensive Urbanization Level Index (CULI) As A New Approach To Reclassifying Urban And Rural Settlements In Egypt


Free (open access)





Page Range

297 - 308




1,041 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


M. Mehaina, I. El-Bastawissi, H. Ayad


Classifying communities into urban and rural is essential in the governmental and institutional decision making process. However, the notion of urban and rural varies from one country to another. Some nations classify settlements into urban and rural according to a population threshold, others according to prevailing professions in the community and another method is from a social aspect. The Egyptian State’s method to classify urban and rural communities depends on the Ministry of Interior (MoI) decrees based primarily on population numbers along with other factors like the existence of certain land uses. Within this context, the research pinpointed some ambiguous facts related to that classification. Hence, the current study is pursuing a new method to address this issue. This is to be done by constructing a composite index (CI) that ranges from 0–1 with a threshold value of 0.5 where the lower values are considered rural and the higher are inferred to as urban. The research followed the OECD method to construct the index. The analytical study is carried out on 6 governorates and the data entry for the 34 utilized indicators is made on 459 “sheiakha” which is the smallest administrative unit to collect data upon. Data entry and the construction of the index along with its validation is done using SPSS. The CI results ranges from 0.27 to 0.76 with a cut-off value of 0.56. Accordingly, all “sheiakha” are reclassified and cross-compared to the existing classification. Furthermore, spatial analysis of the index outcomes, using ArcGIS-ArcInfo, shows that high/low levels of urbanization cluster together with no sharp cutting edge, but rather a piecemeal decrease in urbanization level from the centre of the urban cluster to the outer suburbs.


urbanization, urban rural classification, composite index, spatial analysis, Egypt