Kenya

Country Summary

Introduction

Background

Kenya gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1963. 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 devolved power and resources to 47 newly created counties.

Geography

Area

total: 580,367 sq km
land: 569,140 sq km
water: 11,227 sq km

Climate

varies from tropical along coast to arid in interior

Natural resources

limestone, soda ash, salt, gemstones, fluorspar, zinc, diatomite, gypsum, wildlife, hydropower

People and Society

Population

57,052,004 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

Kikuyu 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.)

Languages

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

Religions

Christian 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.)

Population growth rate

2.09% (2023 est.)

Government

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: Nairobi

Executive branch

chief of state: President William RUTO (since 13 September 2022); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President William RUTO (since 13 September 2022)

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament consists of:
Senate (68 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, 2 representing the disabled, and one Senate speaker; members serve 5-year terms)
National Assembly (350 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, and one Assembly speaker; members serve 5-year terms)

Economy

Economic overview

fast growing, third largest Sub-Saharan economy; strong agriculture and emerging services and tourism industries; current account deficit and high debt; broadband and mobile-money platform investments; surging inflation due to oil and food hikes; new investor-friendly incentives; environmentally fragile economy

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$251.431 billion (2021 est.)
$233.852 billion (2020 est.)
$234.438 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$4,700 (2021 est.)
$4,500 (2020 est.)
$4,600 (2019 est.)

Agricultural products

milk, tea, beef, maize, sugar cane, tomatoes, mangoes/guavas, potatoes, beans, bananas

Industries

agriculture, transportation, services, manufacturing, construction, telecommunications, tourism, retail

Exports

$11.825 billion (2021 est.)
$9.709 billion (2020 est.)
$11.471 billion (2019 est.)

Exports - partners

Uganda 14%, Pakistan 8%, Netherlands 8%, United States 8%, United Kingdom 7% (2020)

Exports - commodities

tea, cut flowers, coffee, refined petroleum, titanium (2021)

Imports

$21.853 billion (2021 est.)
$17.717 billion (2020 est.)
$20.408 billion (2019 est.)

Imports - partners

China 27%, India 11%, United Arab Emirates 7%, Japan 4%, Saudi Arabia 3% (2020)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, palm oil, broadcasting equipment, packaged medicines, cars (2020)

Exchange rates

Kenyan shillings (KES) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
109.638 (2021 est.)
106.451 (2020 est.)
101.991 (2019 est.)
101.302 (2018 est.)
103.41 (2017 est.)


Page last updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2024