Kenya

POPULATION

46.05 million (2015)

PEOPLE LIVING BELOW THE POVERTY LINE

45.5% of the population (2012)

GDP PER CAPITA (PPP)

USD 1,377 (2015)

Life expectancy at birth: 61.6 years (2014)

The capital of Kenya, Nairobi, boasts of being the only capital to have a national wildlife reserve within its territory, and Kenya is famous for its national parks and safari adventures. Kenya is a democracy ruled by a president, currently Uhuru Kenyatta. It is a multi-ethnic country, with approximately 42 different tribes, including the famous Maasai warrior tribe. The two official languages of Kenya are Swahili and English although another 66 languages are spoken throughout the country.

The Kenyan economy is growing well, and the growth is likely to be poverty-reducing. The government is currently focusing on regional inequalities, reducing high youth unemployment and the security situation. Over the last several years Al Shabaab, a Somali terrorist group, has been waging guerilla warfare in Kenya in response to Kenya’s assistance to stabilize Somalia.

Kenya is largely an agricultural country, and much of the population is rural. Kenya also has a number of nomadic and semi-nomadic peoples living in the north of the country. These people are often poorer than other groups, and are particularly vulnerable to climate-related shocks such as drought.

There are a number of success stories in poverty reduction in Kenya and it is estimated that poverty has reduced from the 2005 high of 45.9% to a current level of 34-42% (although a national census is required to confirm this).  Challenges to reducing poverty and improving quality of life for all include service delivery, high levels of inequality, low investment and low productivity.

Data sourced from the World Bank and United Nations sites, January 2016