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Demographics of Kenya - statistics & facts

With nearly 53.8 million inhabitants, Kenya ranks among the 10 most populated nations in Africa. By 2050, this number is forecast to almost double, and the country will be home to some 92.6 million people. Kenya has a diverse population, formed by over 40 different native ethnic groups. Furthermore, some 1.1 million international migrants live on Kenyan territory, while nearly 490 thousand people are refugees or asylum seekers.

Young country

Following a common trend in Africa, Kenya has a young population, with the median age being 20.1 years in 2020. Besides that, over 50 percent of Kenyans are aged under 25 years old, a result of high fertility rates. In the 1970s, some eight births per woman were registered in the country. The rate, however, declined to five in 2005 and reached 3.4 in 2020. As fertility declines and life expectancy increases, an expansion of the working age population is expected, leading to a lower dependency ratio and, consequently, diminishing the burden on Kenya’s society.

Growing economy, poor population

In 2022, over 7.3 million people lived in extreme poverty in Kenya, with the poverty threshold at 1.90 U.S. dollars a day, a number that contrasts with the country’s position as one of the leading economies in Africa. Considering the national poverty line, the poverty headcount ratio was calculated at nearly 42 percent in 2020, increasing from 29 percent in 2019, an effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Most of the Kenyans in extreme poverty live in rural areas. However, the poverty incidence in these regions declined in recent years at a stronger rate than in urban areas.

Increasing urbanization

Only 30 percent of Kenya’s population dwell in urban areas. This share is increasing, though not as quickly as in other African countries. Kenya’s urbanization rate is not only below the continent’s average - it ranks as one of the lowest in Africa. Over four million inhabitants populate Nairobi County, which is formed by the country’s capital and its surroundings. From the total urban population, 46.5 percent live in poor settlements. In numbers, that equals some 6.5 million people residing in slums, the second-largest figure among countries in East Africa.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 31 most important statistics relating to "Demographics of Kenya".

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