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Kenya Demographics Profile

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Population54,685,051 (July 2021 est.)

note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
Nationalitynoun: Kenyan(s)

adjective: Kenyan
Ethnic groupsKikuyu 17.1%, Luhya 14.3%, Kalenjin 13.4%, Luo 10.7%, Kamba 9.8%, Somali 5.8%, Kisii 5.7%, Mijikenda 5.2%, Meru 4.2%, Maasai 2.5%, Turkana 2.1%, non-Kenyan 1%, other 8.2% (2019 est.)
LanguagesEnglish (official), Kiswahili (official), numerous indigenous languages

major-language sample(s):
The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information. (English)

The World Factbook, Chanzo cha Lazima Kuhusu Habari ya Msingi. (Kiswahili)
ReligionsChristian 85.5% (Protestant 33.4%, Catholic 20.6%, Evangelical 20.4%, African Instituted Churches 7%, other Christian 4.1%), Muslim 10.9%, other 1.8%, none 1.6%, don't know/no answer 0.2% (2019 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 38.71% (male 10,412,321/female 10,310,908)

15-24 years: 20.45% (male 5,486,641/female 5,460,372)

25-54 years: 33.75% (male 9,046,946/female 9,021,207)

55-64 years: 4.01% (male 1,053,202/female 1,093,305)

65 years and over: 3.07% (male 750,988/female 892,046) (2020 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 69.8

youth dependency ratio: 65.5

elderly dependency ratio: 4.3

potential support ratio: 23.5 (2020 est.)
Median agetotal: 20 years

male: 19.9 years

female: 20.1 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate2.15% (2021 est.)
Birth rate26.78 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Death rate5.09 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Net migration rate-0.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Population distributionpopulation heavily concentrated in the west along the shore of Lake Victoria; other areas of high density include the capital of Nairobi, and in the southeast along the Indian Ocean coast as shown in this population distribution map
Urbanizationurban population: 28.5% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 4.09% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)
Major cities - population4.922 million NAIROBI (capital), 1.341 million Mombassa (2021)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.02 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth20.3 years (2014 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-49
Maternal mortality rate342 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 28.81 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 31.93 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 25.63 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 69.32 years

male: 67.65 years

female: 71.03 years (2021 est.)
Total fertility rate3.36 children born/woman (2021 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate59.7% (2019)
Drinking water sourceimproved: urban: 89% of population

rural: 60.4% of population

total: 68% of population

unimproved: urban: 11% of population

rural: 39.6% of population

total: 32% of population (2017 est.)
Health expenditures5.2% (2018)
Physicians density0.16 physicians/1,000 population (2018)
Hospital bed density1.4 beds/1,000 population (2010)
Sanitation facility accessimproved: urban: 78.8% of population

rural: 41.2% of population

total: 51.2% of population

unimproved: urban: 21.2% of population

rural: 58.8% of population

total: 48.8% of population (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate4.2% (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS1.4 million (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths29,000 (2020 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and Rift Valley fever

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies
Obesity - adult prevalence rate7.1% (2016)
Food insecurityexceptional shortfall in aggregate food production/supplies: due to poor seasonal rains, and desert locusts - about 2 million people were estimated to be severely food insecure in the March-May 2021 period, reflecting the poor performance of both the October-December 2020 “short-rains” and the March-May 2021 “long-rains” that affected crop and livestock production in northern and eastern pastoral, agro-pastoral and marginal agriculture areas; other limiting factors include the measures implemented to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic which affected off-farm income earning opportunities, including petty trade, charcoal and firewood sales, and to localized but significant locust-induced pasture losses (2021)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight11.2% (2014)
Education expenditures5.3% of GDP (2018)
Demographic profile

Kenya has experienced dramatic population growth since the mid-20th century as a result of its high birth rate and its declining mortality rate. More than 40% of Kenyans are under the age of 15 because of sustained high fertility, early marriage and childbearing, and an unmet need for family planning. Kenya’s persistent rapid population growth strains the labor market, social services, arable land, and natural resources. Although Kenya in 1967 was the first Sub-Saharan country to launch a nationwide family planning program, progress in reducing the birth rate has largely stalled since the late 1990s, when the government decreased its support for family planning to focus on the HIV epidemic. Government commitment and international technical support spurred Kenyan contraceptive use, decreasing the fertility rate (children per woman) from about 8 in the late 1970s to less than 5 children twenty years later, but it has plateaued at just over 3 children today.

Kenya is a source of emigrants and a host country for refugees. In the 1960s and 1970s, Kenyans pursued higher education in the UK because of colonial ties, but as British immigration rules tightened, the US, the then Soviet Union, and Canada became attractive study destinations. Kenya’s stagnant economy and political problems during the 1980s and 1990s led to an outpouring of Kenyan students and professionals seeking permanent opportunities in the West and southern Africa. Nevertheless, Kenya’s relative stability since its independence in 1963 has attracted hundreds of thousands of refugees escaping violent conflicts in neighboring countries; Kenya shelters more than 300,000 Somali refugees as of April 2017.

Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 81.5%

male: 85%

female: 78.2% (2018)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 11 years

male: 11 years

female: 11 years (2009)

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on September 18, 2021

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