The population of the North Sinai Governorate as at 2014 was 421,984 people, predominantly Bedouin tribesmen. The Governorate covers an area of 27,574 square kilometers. The population density is 15 inhabitants per square kilometer.
A significant economic activity of the Bedouin tribes has been smuggling. They have been active in the smuggling of supplies and weapons into the Gaza Strip by way of cross-border tunnels as well as assisting illegal migrants into Israel. These activities have been curtailed by the Egyptian government crackdown of smuggling into the Gaza Strip and by the building of the Israel-Egypt barrier.
North Sinai has since 2011 been especially affected by the Sinai insurgency and measures by government forces to combat it, which has resulted in many casualties.