Africa :: Kenya
  • Introduction :: Kenya
  • Background:

    Founding president and liberation struggle icon Jomo KENYATTA led Kenya from independence in 1963 until his death in 1978, when Vice President Daniel MOI took power in a constitutional succession. The country was a de facto one-party state from 1969 until 1982, after which time the ruling Kenya African National Union (KANU) changed the constitution to make itself the sole legal party in Kenya. MOI acceded to internal and external pressure for political liberalization in late 1991. The ethnically fractured opposition failed to dislodge KANU from power in elections in 1992 and 1997, which were marred by violence and fraud, but were viewed as having generally reflected the will of the Kenyan people. President MOI stepped down in December 2002 following fair and peaceful elections. Mwai KIBAKI, running as the candidate of the multiethnic, united opposition group, the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), defeated KANU candidate Uhuru KENYATTA, the son of founding president Jomo KENYATTA, and assumed the presidency following a campaign centered on an anticorruption platform.

    KIBAKI's reelection in December 2007 brought charges of vote rigging from Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) candidate Raila ODINGA and unleashed two months of violence in which approximately 1,100 people died. African Union-sponsored mediation led by former UN Secretary General Kofi ANNAN in late February 2008 resulted in a power-sharing accord bringing ODINGA into the government in the restored position of prime minister. The power sharing accord included a broad reform agenda, the centerpiece of which was constitutional reform. In August 2010, Kenyans overwhelmingly adopted a new constitution in a national referendum. The new constitution introduced additional checks and balances to executive power and significant devolution of power and resources to 47 newly created counties. It also eliminated the position of prime minister following the first presidential election under the new constitution, which occurred in March 2013. Uhuru KENYATTA won the election and was sworn into office in April 2013; he began a second term in November 2017.

  • Geography :: Kenya
  • Location:
    Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Somalia and Tanzania
    Geographic coordinates:
    1 00 N, 38 00 E
    Map references:
    Africa
    Area:
    total: 580,367 sq km
    land: 569,140 sq km
    water: 11,227 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 50
    Area - comparative:
    five times the size of Ohio; slightly more than twice the size of Nevada
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries:
    total: 3,457 km
    border countries (5): Ethiopia 867 km, Somalia 684 km, South Sudan 317 km, Tanzania 775 km, Uganda 814 km
    Coastline:
    536 km
    Maritime claims:
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
    Climate:
    varies from tropical along coast to arid in interior
    Terrain:
    low plains rise to central highlands bisected by Great Rift Valley; fertile plateau in west
    Elevation:
    mean elevation: 762 m
    elevation extremes: 0 m lowest point: Indian Ocean
    5199 highest point: Mount Kenya
    Natural resources:
    limestone, soda ash, salt, gemstones, fluorspar, zinc, diatomite, gypsum, wildlife, hydropower
    Land use:
    agricultural land: 48.1% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 9.8% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0.9% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 37.4% (2011 est.)
    forest: 6.1% (2011 est.)
    other: 45.8% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land:
    1,030 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution:
    population 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
    Natural hazards:

    recurring drought; flooding during rainy seasons

    volcanism: limited volcanic activity; the Barrier (1,032 m) last erupted in 1921; South Island is the only other historically active volcano

    Environment - current issues:
    water pollution from urban and industrial wastes; water shortage and degraded water quality from increased use of pesticides and fertilizers; flooding; water hyacinth infestation in Lake Victoria; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; poaching
    Environment - international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    Geography - note:
    the Kenyan Highlands comprise one of the most successful agricultural production regions in Africa; glaciers are found on Mount Kenya, Africa's second highest peak; unique physiography supports abundant and varied wildlife of scientific and economic value
  • People and Society :: Kenya
  • Population:
    48,397,527 (July 2018 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

    country comparison to the world: 29
    Nationality:
    noun: Kenyan(s)
    adjective: Kenyan
    Ethnic groups:
    Kikuyu 21.6%, Luhya 15.3%, Kalenjin 12%, Kamba 11.7%, Luo 11%, Kisii 5.8%, Meru 5.7%, Mijikenda/Swahili 5.3%, Somali 2.5%, Maasai 1.9%, Turkana 1.2%, Taita/Taveta 1%, Embu 1%, other 4% (2014 est.)
    Languages:
    English (official), Kiswahili (official), Kiswahili numerous indigenous languages
    Religions:
    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.)
    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.

    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 39.03% (male 9,474,968 /female 9,416,609)
    15-24 years: 19.61% (male 4,737,647 /female 4,752,896)
    25-54 years: 34.27% (male 8,393,673 /female 8,193,800)
    55-64 years: 4% (male 894,371 /female 1,040,883)
    65 years and over: 3.08% (male 640,005 /female 852,675) (2018 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios:
    total dependency ratio: 78.3 (2015 est.)
    youth dependency ratio: 73.7 (2015 est.)
    elderly dependency ratio: 4.6 (2015 est.)
    potential support ratio: 21.7 (2015 est.)
    Median age:
    total: 20 years
    male: 19.9 years
    female: 20.2 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 191
    Population growth rate:
    1.57% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    Birth rate:
    22.6 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    Death rate:
    6.7 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    Net migration rate:
    -0.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    Population distribution:
    population 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
    Urbanization:
    urban population: 27% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 4.23% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population:
    4.386 million NAIROBI (capital), 1.214 million Mombassa (2018)
    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.01 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    55-64 years: 0.84 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    total population: 1 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth:
    20.3 years (2014 est.)

    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

    Maternal mortality rate:
    510 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    Infant mortality rate:
    total: 36.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    male: 40.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    female: 31.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 64.6 years (2018 est.)
    male: 63.1 years (2018 est.)
    female: 66.1 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    Total fertility rate:
    2.81 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    Contraceptive prevalence rate:
    61.6% (2016)
    Health expenditures:
    5.7% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    Physicians density:
    0.2 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
    Hospital bed density:
    1.4 beds/1,000 population (2010)
    Drinking water source:
    improved: urban: 81.6% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 56.8% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 63.2% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 18.4% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 43.2% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 36.8% of population (2015 est.)
    Sanitation facility access:
    improved: urban: 31.2% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 29.7% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 30.1% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 68.8% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 70.3% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 69.9% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
    4.8% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
    1.5 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    HIV/AIDS - deaths:
    28,000 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    Major infectious diseases:
    degree of risk: very high (2016)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever (2016)
    vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and Rift Valley fever (2016)
    water contact diseases: schistosomiasis (2016)
    animal contact diseases: rabies (2016)
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
    7.1% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
    11% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    Education expenditures:
    5.3% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    Literacy:
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
    total population: 78% (2015 est.)
    male: 81.1% (2015 est.)
    female: 74.9% (2015 est.)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
    total: 11 years (2009)
    male: 11 years (2009)
    female: 11 years (2009)
  • Government :: Kenya
  • Country name:
    conventional long form: Republic of Kenya
    conventional short form: Kenya
    local long form: Republic of Kenya/Jamhuri ya Kenya
    local short form: Kenya
    former: British East Africa
    etymology: named for Mount Kenya; the meaning of the name is unclear but may derive from the Kikuyu, Embu, and Kamba words "kirinyaga," "kirenyaa," and "kiinyaa" - all of which mean "God's resting place"
    Government type:
    presidential republic
    Capital:
    name: Nairobi
    geographic coordinates: 1 17 S, 36 49 E
    time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    Administrative divisions:
    47 counties; Baringo, Bomet, Bungoma, Busia, Elgeyo/Marakwet, Embu, Garissa, Homa Bay, Isiolo, Kajiado, Kakamega, Kericho, Kiambu, Kilifi, Kirinyaga, Kisii, Kisumu, Kitui, Kwale, Laikipia, Lamu, Machakos, Makueni, Mandera, Marsabit, Meru, Migori, Mombasa, Murang'a, Nairobi City, Nakuru, Nandi, Narok, Nyamira, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Samburu, Siaya, Taita/Taveta, Tana River, Tharaka-Nithi, Trans Nzoia, Turkana, Uasin Gishu, Vihiga, Wajir, West Pokot
    Independence:
    12 December 1963 (from the UK)
    National holiday:
    Jamhuri Day (Independence Day), 12 December (1963); note - Madaraka Day, 1 June (1963) marks the day Kenya attained internal self-rule
    Constitution:
    history: previous 1963, 1969; latest drafted 6 May 2010, passed by referendum 4 August 2010, promulgated 27 August 2010 (2017)
    amendments: proposed by either house of Parliament or by petition of at least one million eligible voters; passage of amendments by Parliament requires approval by at least two-thirds majority vote of both houses in each of two readings, approval in a referendum by majority of votes cast by at least 20% participation of eligible voters in at least one-half of Kenya’s counties, and approval by the president; passage of amendments introduced by petition requires approval by a majority of county assemblies, approval by majority vote of both houses, and approval by the president (2017)
    International law organization participation:
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship:
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Kenya
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 4 out of the previous 7 years
    Suffrage:
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Uhuru KENYATTA (since 9 April 2013); Deputy President William RUTO (since 9 April 2013); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Uhuru KENYATTA (since 9 April 2013); Deputy President William RUTO (since 9 April 2013); note - position of the prime minister abolished after the March 2013 elections
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president, subject to confirmation by the National Assembly
    elections/appointments: president and deputy president directly elected on the same ballot by qualified majority popular vote for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); in addition to receiving an absolute majority popular vote, the presidential candidate must also win at least 25% of the votes cast in at least 24 of the 47 counties to avoid a runoff; election last held on 26 October 2017 (next to be held in 2022)
    election results: Uhuru KENYATTA reelected president; percent of vote - Uhuru KENYATTA (Jubilee Party) 98.3%, Raila ODINGA (ODM) 1%, other 0.7%; note - Kenya held a previous presidential election on 8 August 2017, but Kenya's Supreme Court on 1 September 2017 nullified the results, citing irregularities; the political opposition boycotted the October vote
    Legislative branch:
    description: bicameral parliament consists of:
    Senate (67 seats; 47 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 20 directly elected by proportional representation vote - 16 women, 2 representing youth, and 2 representing the disabled; members serve 5-year terms)
    National Assembly (349 seats; 290 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 47 women in single-seat constituencies elected by simple majority vote, and 12 members nominated by the National Assembly - 6 representing youth and 6 representing the disabled; members serve 5-year terms)
    elections:
    Senate - last held on 8 August 2017 (next to be held in August 2021)
    National Assembly - last held on 8 August 2017 (next to be held in August 2021)
    election results:
    Senate - percent of vote by party/coalition - NA; seats by party/coalition - Jubilee Party 24; National Super Alliance 28, other 14, independent 1
    National Assembly - percent of vote by party/coalition - NA; seats by party/coalition - Jubilee Party 165, National Super Alliance 119, other 51, independent 13
    Judicial branch:
    highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of chief and deputy chief justices and 5 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: chief and deputy chief justices nominated by Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and appointed by president with approval of the National Assembly; other judges nominated by the JSC and appointed by president; chief justice serves a nonrenewable 10-year term or till age 70 whichever comes first; other judges serve till age 70
    subordinate courts: High Court; Court of Appeal; military courts; magistrates' courts; religious courts
    Political parties and leaders:
    Alliance Party of Kenya or APK [Kiraitu MURUNGI]
    Amani National Congress or ANC [Musalia MUDAVADI]
    Federal Party of Kenya or FPK [Cyrus JIRONGA]
    Forum for the Restoration of Democracy-Kenya or FORD-K [Moses WETANGULA]
    Forum for the Restoration of Democracy-People or FORD-P [Henry OBWOCHA]
    Jubilee Party [Uhuru KENYATTA]
    Kenya African National Union or KANU [Gideon MOI]
    National Rainbow Coalition or NARC [Charity NGILU]
    National Super Alliance [Raila ODINGA] (includes ODM, ANC, WDM-K, FORD-K)
    Orange Democratic Movement Party of Kenya or ODM [Raila ODINGA]Wiper Democratic Movement-K or WDM-K (formerly Orange Democratic Movement-Kenya or ODM-K) [Kalonzo MUSYOKA]
    International organization participation:
    ACP, AfDB, AU, C, CD, COMESA, EAC, EADB, FAO, G-15, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NAM, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WMO, WTO
    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Robinson Njeru GITHAE (since 18 November 2014)
    chancery: 2249 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 387-6101
    FAX: [1] (202) 462-3829
    consulate(s) general: Los Angeles
    consulate(s): New York
    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Robert F. GODEC (since 16 January 2013)
    embassy: United Nations Avenue, Nairobi; P.O. Box 606 Village Market, Nairobi 00621
    mailing address: American Embassy Nairobi, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-8900
    telephone: [254] (20) 363-6000
    FAX: [254] (20) 363-6157
    Flag description:
    three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and green; the red band is edged in white; a large Maasai warrior's shield covering crossed spears is superimposed at the center; black symbolizes the majority population, red the blood shed in the struggle for freedom, green stands for natural wealth, and white for peace; the shield and crossed spears symbolize the defense of freedom
    National symbol(s):
    lion; national colors: black, red, green, white
    National anthem:
    name: "Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu" (Oh God of All Creation)
    lyrics/music: Graham HYSLOP, Thomas KALUME, Peter KIBUKOSYA, Washington OMONDI, and George W. SENOGA-ZAKE/traditional, adapted by Graham HYSLOP, Thomas KALUME, Peter KIBUKOSYA, Washington OMONDI, and George W. SENOGA-ZAKE

    note: adopted 1963; based on a traditional Kenyan folk song

  • Economy :: Kenya
  • Economy - overview:

    Kenya is the economic, financial, and transport hub of East Africa. Kenya’s real GDP growth has averaged over 5% for the last decade. 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 steady growth, its economic development has been impaired by weak governance and corruption. Although reliable numbers are hard to find, unemployment and under-employment are extremely high, and could be near 40% of the population. In 2013, the country adopted a devolved system of government with the creation of 47 counties, and is in the process of devolving state revenues and responsibilities to the counties.

    Agriculture remains the backbone of the Kenyan economy, contributing one-third of GDP. About 75% of Kenya’s population of roughly 48.5 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 also holds a significant place in Kenya’s economy. In spite of political turmoil throughout the second half of 2017, tourism was up 20%, showcasing the strength of this sector. Kenya has long been a target of terrorist activity and has struggled with instability along its northeastern borders. Some high visibility terrorist attacks during 2013-2015 (e.g., at Nairobi’s Westgate Mall and Garissa University) affected the tourism industry severely, but the sector rebounded strongly in 2016-2017 and appears poised to continue growing.

    Inadequate infrastructure continues to hamper Kenya’s efforts to improve its annual growth so that it can meaningfully address poverty and unemployment. The KENYATTA administration has been successful in courting external investment for infrastructure development. International financial institutions and donors remain important to Kenya's growth and development, but Kenya has also successfully raised capital in the global bond market issuing its first sovereign bond offering in mid-2014, with a second occurring in February 2018. The first phase of a Chinese-financed and constructed standard gauge railway connecting Mombasa and Nairobi opened in May 2017.

    In 2016 the government was forced to take over three small and undercapitalized banks when underlying weaknesses were exposed. The government also enacted legislation that limits interest rates banks can charge on loans and set a rate that banks must pay their depositors. This measure led to a sharp shrinkage of credit in the economy. A prolonged election cycle in 2017 hurt the economy, drained government resources, and slowed GDP growth. Drought-like conditions in parts of the country pushed 2017 inflation above 8%, but the rate had fallen to 4.5% in February 2018.

    The economy, however, is well placed to resume its decade-long 5%-6% growth rate. While fiscal deficits continue to pose risks in the medium term, other economic indicators, including foreign exchange reserves, interest rates, current account deficits, remittances and FDI are positive. The credit and drought-related impediments were temporary. Now In his second term, President KENYATTA has pledged to make economic growth and development a centerpiece of his second administration, focusing on his "Big Four" initiatives of universal healthcare, food security, affordable housing, and expansion of manufacturing.

    GDP (purchasing power parity):
    $163.7 billion (2017 est.)
    $156 billion (2016 est.)
    $147.4 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 74
    GDP (official exchange rate):
    $79.22 billion (2017 est.) (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate:
    4.9% (2017 est.)
    5.9% (2016 est.)
    5.7% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $3,500 (2017 est.)
    $3,400 (2016 est.)
    $3,300 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 187
    Gross national saving:
    10.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
    11% of GDP (2016 est.)
    11.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    GDP - composition, by end use:
    household consumption: 79.5% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 14.3% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 18.9% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: -1% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 13.9% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -25.5% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
    agriculture: 34.5% (2017 est.)
    industry: 17.8% (2017 est.)
    services: 47.5% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products:
    tea, coffee, corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruit, vegetables; dairy products, beef, fish, pork, poultry, eggs
    Industries:
    small-scale consumer goods (plastic, furniture, batteries, textiles, clothing, soap, cigarettes, flour), agricultural products, horticulture, oil refining; aluminum, steel, lead; cement, commercial ship repair, tourism, information technology
    Industrial production growth rate:
    3.6% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    Labor force:
    19.6 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    Labor force - by occupation:
    agriculture: 61.1%
    industry: 6.7%
    services: 32.2% (2005 est.)
    Unemployment rate:
    40% (2013 est.)
    40% (2001 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 214
    Population below poverty line:
    36.1% (2016 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 37.8% (2005)
    highest 10%: 37.8% (2005)
    Distribution of family income - Gini index:
    48.5 (2016 est.)
    42.5 (2008 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    Budget:
    revenues: 13.95 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 19.24 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues:
    17.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
    -6.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 190
    Public debt:
    54.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
    53.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    Fiscal year:
    1 July - 30 June
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):
    8% (2017 est.)
    6.3% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 197
    Central bank discount rate:
    10% (1 January 2017)
    11.5% (1 January 2016)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    Commercial bank prime lending rate:
    13.67% (31 December 2017 est.)
    16.56% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    Stock of narrow money:
    $14.07 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $12.77 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    Stock of broad money:
    $14.07 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $12.77 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    Stock of domestic credit:
    $32 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $29.88 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    Market value of publicly traded shares:
    $19.33 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    $26.48 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $26.16 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    Current account balance:
    -$5.021 billion (2017 est.)
    -$3.697 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    Exports:
    $5.792 billion (2017 est.)
    $5.695 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    Exports - partners:
    Uganda 10.8%, Pakistan 10.6%, US 8.1%, Netherlands 7.3%, UK 6.4%, Tanzania 4.8%, UAE 4.4% (2017)
    Exports - commodities:
    tea, horticultural products, coffee, petroleum products, fish, cement, apparel
    Imports:
    $15.99 billion (2017 est.)
    $13.41 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    Imports - commodities:
    machinery and transportation equipment, oil, petroleum products, motor vehicles, iron and steel, resins and plastics
    Imports - partners:
    China 22.5%, India 9.9%, UAE 8.7%, Saudi Arabia 5.1%, Japan 4.5% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
    $7.354 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $7.256 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    Debt - external:
    $27.59 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $37.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
    $8.738 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $5.317 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
    $1.545 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $335.5 million (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    Exchange rates:
    Kenyan shillings (KES) per US dollar -
    102.1 (2017 est.)
    101.5 (2016 est.)
    101.504 (2015 est.)
    98.179 (2014 est.)
    87.921 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Kenya
  • Electricity access:
    population without electricity: 35.4 million (2013)
    electrification - total population: 20% (2013)
    electrification - urban areas: 60% (2013)
    electrification - rural areas: 7% (2013)
    Electricity - production:
    9.634 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    Electricity - consumption:
    7.863 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    Electricity - exports:
    39.1 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    Electricity - imports:
    184 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    Electricity - installed generating capacity:
    2.401 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    Electricity - from fossil fuels:
    33% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
    34% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    Electricity - from other renewable sources:
    33% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    Crude oil - production:
    0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    Crude oil - exports:
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    Crude oil - imports:
    12,550 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    Crude oil - proved reserves:
    0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    Refined petroleum products - production:
    13,960 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    Refined petroleum products - consumption:
    109,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    Refined petroleum products - exports:
    173 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    Refined petroleum products - imports:
    90,620 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    Natural gas - production:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    Natural gas - consumption:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    Natural gas - exports:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    Natural gas - imports:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    Natural gas - proved reserves:
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
    17.98 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
  • Communications :: Kenya
  • Telephones - fixed lines:
    total subscriptions: 69,861 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    Telephones - mobile cellular:
    total subscriptions: 42,815,109 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 90 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    Telephone system:
    general assessment: the mobile-cellular system is generally good, especially is urban areas; fixed-line telephone system is small and inefficient; trunks are primarily microwave radio relay; business data commonly transferred by a very small aperture terminal (VSAT) system (2017)
    domestic: sole fixed-line provider, Telkom Kenya, privatized in 2013 and is now 60% owned by Helios Investment Partners, a London-based equity fund, and 40% owned by the Kenyan Government; multiple providers in the mobile-cellular segment of the market fostering a boom in mobile-cellular telephone usage with teledensity reaching 90 per 100 persons in 2017 (2017)
    international: country code - 254; landing point for the EASSy, TEAMS and SEACOM fiber-optic submarine cable systems; satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat (2017)
    Broadcast media:
    about a half-dozen large-scale privately owned media companies with TV and radio stations, as well as a state-owned TV broadcaster, provide service nationwide; satellite and cable TV subscription services available; state-owned radio broadcaster operates 2 national radio channels and provides regional and local radio services in multiple languages; many private radio stations broadcast on a national level along with over 100 private and non-profit provincial stations broadcasting in local languages; transmissions of several international broadcasters available (2014)
    Internet country code:
    .ke
    Internet users:
    total: 12,165,597 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 26% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions:
    total: 288,303 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
  • Transportation :: Kenya
  • National air transport system:
    number of registered air carriers: 16 (2015)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 106 (2015)
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 4,874,590 (2015)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 286,414,683 mt-km (2015)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
    5Y (2016)
    Airports:
    197 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 16 (2017)
    over 3,047 m: 5 (2017)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 2 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2017)
    914 to 1,523 m: 6 (2017)
    under 914 m: 1 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways:
    total: 181 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 14 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 107 (2013)
    under 914 m: 60 (2013)
    Pipelines:
    4 km oil, 928 km refined products (2013)
    Railways:
    total: 3,806 km (2014)
    standard gauge: 472 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
    narrow gauge: 3,334 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    Roadways:
    total: 161,452 km (2017)
    paved: 14,420 km (8,500 km highways, 1,872 urban roads, and 4,048 rural roads) (2017)
    unpaved: 147,032 km (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    Waterways:
    none specifically; the only significant inland waterway is the part of Lake Victoria within the boundaries of Kenya; Kisumu is the main port and has ferry connections to Uganda and Tanzania (2011)
    Merchant marine:
    total: 20 (2017)
    by type: oil tanker 2, other 18 (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 139
    Ports and terminals:
    major seaport(s): Kisumu, Mombasa
    LNG terminal(s) (import): Mombasa
  • Military and Security :: Kenya
  • Military expenditures:
    1.4% of GDP (2017)
    1.32% of GDP (2016)
    1.32% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    Military branches:
    Kenya Defence Forces: Kenya Army, Kenya Navy, Kenya Air Force (2012)
    Military service age and obligation:
    18-26 years of age for male and female voluntary service (under 18 with parental consent), with a 9-year obligation (7 years for Kenyan Navy); applicants must be Kenyan citizens and provide a national identity card (obtained at age 18) and a school-leaving certificate; women serve under the same terms and conditions as men; mandatory retirement at age 55 (2012)
  • Terrorism :: Kenya
  • Terrorist groups - foreign based:
    al-Shabaab:
    aim(s): establish Islamic rule in Kenya’s northeastern border region and coast; avenge Kenya's past intervention in Somalia against al-Shabaab and its ongoing participation in the African Union mission; compel Kenya to withdraw troops from Somalia; attract Kenyan recruits to support operations in Somalia
    area(s) of operation: maintains an operational and recruitment presence, mostly along the coast and the northeastern border (April 2018)
  • Transnational Issues :: Kenya
  • Disputes - international:
    Kenya served as an important mediator in brokering Sudan's north-south separation in February 2005Kenya provides shelter to an estimated 580,000 refugees, including Ugandans who flee across the border periodically to seek protection from Lord's Resistance Army rebelsKenya works hard to prevent the clan and militia fighting in Somalia from spreading across the border, which has long been open to nomadic pastoraliststhe boundary that separates Kenya's and Sudan's sovereignty is unclear in the "Ilemi Triangle," which Kenya has administered since colonial times
    Refugees and internally displaced persons:
    refugees (country of origin): 255,980 (Somalia) (refugees and asylum seekers), 114,391 (South Sudan) (refugees and asylum seekers), 40,709 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (refugees and asylum seekers), 27,811 (Ethiopia) (refugees and asylum seekers), 13,265 (Burundi) (refugees and asylum seekers), 10,190 (Sudan) (refugees and asylum seekers) (2018)
    IDPs: 159,000 (represents people displaced since the 1990s by ethnic and political violence and land disputes and who sought refuge mostly in camps; persons who took refuge in host communities or were evicted in urban areas are not included in the data; data is not available on pastoralists displaced by cattle rustling, violence, natural disasters, and development projects; the largest displacement resulted from 2007-08 post-election violence (2017)
    stateless persons: 18,500 (2017); note - the stateless population consists of Nubians, Kenyan Somalis, and coastal Arabs; the Nubians are descendants of Sudanese soldiers recruited by the British to fight for them in East Africa more than a century ago; Nubians did not receive Kenyan citizenship when the country became independent in 1963; only recently have Nubians become a formally recognized tribe and had less trouble obtaining national IDs; Galjeel and other Somalis who have lived in Kenya for decades are included with more recent Somali refugees and denied ID cards
    Illicit drugs:
    widespread harvesting of small plots of marijuana; transit country for South Asian heroin destined for Europe and North America; Indian methaqualone also transits on way to South Africa; significant potential for money-laundering activity given the country's status as a regional financial center; massive corruption, and relatively high levels of narcotics-associated activities