Kenya Country Facts

kenya-mapCountry: Republic of Kenya, (Formerly British East Africa)

Location: Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Somalia and Tanzania.

Area: 580,367 sq km; five times the size of Ohio, slightly more than twice the size of Nevada

Climate: Varies from tropical along coast to arid in interior.

Population: 46,790,758 (July 2016 est.)

Population Growth Rate: 1.81% (2016 est.)

Fertility Rate: 3.14 children born/woman (2016 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate: 38.3 deaths/1,000 live births

Life Expectancy at Birth: 64 years

HIV/AIDS Adult Prevalence Rate: 5.91% (2015 est.)

Literacy: 78% (age > 15) (2015 est.)

Language: English (official), Kiswahili (official), numerous indigenous languages

Capital: Nairobi

Government: Presidential Republic

Religion: Christian 83% (Protestant 47.7%, Catholic 23.4%, other Christian 11.9%), Muslim 11.2%, Traditionalists 1.7%, other 1.6%, none 2.4%, unspecified 0.2% (2009 est.)

Currency: Kenyan Shilling

GDP-per capita: $3200 (in 2015 US dollars) (2015 est)

Labor Force: 75% agriculture, 25% Industry and services (2011 est.)

Agriculture Products: tea, coffee, corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruit, vegetables; dairy products, beef, fish, pork poultry, eggs

Economy: Kenya is the economic and transport hub of East Africa. Kenya’s real GDP growth has averaged over 5% for the last seven years. Since 2014 Kenya has been ranked as a lower middle income country because its per capita GDP crossed a World Bank threshold. While Kenya has a growing entrepreneurial middle class and faster growth, its economic and development trajectory is threatened by weak governance and corruption. Unemployment and under-employment are high, but reliable numbers are hard to find.

Agriculture remains the backbone of the Kenyan economy, contributing 25% of GDP. About 80% of Kenya’s population of roughly 42 million work at least part-time in the agricultural sector, including livestock and pastoral activities. Over 75% of agricultural output is from small-scale, rain-fed farming or livestock production.

Tourism holds a significant place in Kenya’s economy. Multiple terror attacks by the Somalia-based group al-Shabaab in the time since the 2013 attack on Nairobi’s Westgate mall, which killed at least 67, had a negative effect on international tourism earnings, but the sector is starting to recover. Kenya’s success in hosting a series of incident-free high-profile events in the second half of 2015, including the visit of US President Obama, has helped improve the outlook for tourism.


(Information obtained from the World Fact Book 2016 and other sources)