In 2022, 17 percent of Kenya’s population lived below 1.90 U.S. dollars per day. This meant that over 8.9 million Kenyans were in extreme poverty, most of whom were in rural areas. Over 7.8 million Kenyans in rural communities lived on less than 1.90 U.S. dollars daily, an amount 6.5 times higher than that recorded in urban regions. Nevertheless, the poverty incidence has declined compared to 2020. That year, businesses closed, unemployment increased, and food prices soared due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Consequently, the country witnessed higher levels of impoverishment, although improvements were already visible in 2021. Overall, the poverty rate in Kenya is expected to decline to 14 percent by 2025.
Poverty triggers food insecurity
Reducing poverty in Kenya puts the country on the way to enhancing food security. As of November 2021, 7.9 million Kenyans lacked sufficient food for consumption. That corresponded to 15.4 percent of the country's population. Also, in 2021, over one-quarter of Kenyan children under five years suffered from chronic malnutrition, a growth failure resulting from a lack of adequate nutrients over a long period. Another 4.2 percent of the children were affected by acute malnutrition, which concerns a rapid deterioration in the nutritional status over a short period.
A country where prosperity and poverty walk side by side
The poverty incidence in Kenya contrasts with the country's economic development. In 2021, Kenya ranked among the ten highest GDPs in Africa, at 106 billion U.S. dollars. Moreover, its gross national income per capita has increased to 1,760 U.S. dollars over the last 10 years, a growth of above 80 percent. Generally, while poverty decreased in the country during the same period, Kenya still seems to be far from reaching the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030.
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World Data Lab. (November 30, 2021). Extreme poverty rate in Kenya from 2016 to 2025 [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved November 27, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/1227076/extreme-poverty-rate-in-kenya/
World Data Lab. "Extreme poverty rate in Kenya from 2016 to 2025." Chart. November 30, 2021. Statista. Accessed November 27, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1227076/extreme-poverty-rate-in-kenya/
World Data Lab. (2021). Extreme poverty rate in Kenya from 2016 to 2025. Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: November 27, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1227076/extreme-poverty-rate-in-kenya/
World Data Lab. "Extreme Poverty Rate in Kenya from 2016 to 2025." Statista, Statista Inc., 30 Nov 2021, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1227076/extreme-poverty-rate-in-kenya/
World Data Lab, Extreme poverty rate in Kenya from 2016 to 2025 Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1227076/extreme-poverty-rate-in-kenya/ (last visited November 27, 2022)