Kenya Country Overview
Where is Kenya located? The state of Kenya is located in East Africa and borders the Indian Ocean. On the time zone map, which divides the world into world time zones along the lines of longitude, Kenya is in a time zone called “East Africa Time” (EAT). This time zone has a standard difference of 3 hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The regional clocks are then 3 hours ahead of the world clock. This time shift is referred to as UTC+3. As in most African countries, there is no changeover to daylight saving time in summer.
As of 2023, the latest population of Kenya is 53,527,936, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).
|Population growth rate||2.20%|
|Birth rate||23.90 births per 1,000 people|
|65 years and above||3.08%|
|Median age||19.30 years|
|Gender ratio (Male to Female)||1.00|
|Population density||92.23 residents per km²|
|approx. 40 ethnic groups: over 60% Bantu (including 17% Kikuyu, 14% Luhya, 10% Kamba, 6% Kisii, 5% Mijikenda, 4% Meru), 13% Kalenjin, 10% Luo, 2% Maasai and others|
|Protestants 45%, Catholics (Roman Catholic) 33%, Indigenous Religions 10%, Muslims 10%, Others 2% Note: A large number of Kenyans are Christians: but estimates of the number of followers of Islam or traditional religions vary widely.|
|Human Development Index (HDI)||0.579|
|HDI ranking||147th out of 194|
People in Kenya
More than 40 ethnic groups live in Kenya, all of whom speak their own languages. Most people, 67 out of 100, belong to a Bantu people. 30 out of 100 belong to a people of the Nilots. This distinction is made primarily according to the language of a people. Bantu people speak a Bantu language, Nilots speak a Nilotic language. A small part of the Kenyan population speaks a Kushitic language, such as the Somali and the Oromo. They live in the northeast of the country.
The largest group are the Kikuyu, a fifth of Kenyans belong to this Bantu tribe. The second largest group, the Luhya, are also a Bantu people. The third largest group are the Kalendjin, a Nile people. The Luo, also Nilots, live to a large extent on Lake Victoria. Their livelihood is fishing.
Nilots are also the Maasai. These are certainly the best known group in Kenya, although only a very small part of the Kenyans are Maasai. The Turkana, who also belong to the Nilots, live on Lake Turkana. Like the Maasai, they keep animals, namely camels, cattle, sheep and goats.
The population is growing
More than 50 million people live in Kenya and the number is steadily increasing. The north with the desert is very sparsely populated. Most people live on a third of the country’s surface. And that is in the fertile highlands, on the coast and in the three largest cities in the country, which are called Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
Although more and more people are settling in the cities, most of them earn their living from agriculture. They live in small villages and run small farms. There are also large farms that primarily cultivate tea and coffee for export.
Why do Kenyans want so many children?
It is believed that Kenya’s population could double over the next 20 years. This is a big problem because the country cannot feed so many people. There is also no work for everyone. In a country where there is no pension or health insurance, however, children are an important insurance for old age. Because the young take care of the old, so dictate the tribal laws. More and more people have to live on the little land on which they can farm.
Languages in Kenya
The official languages in Kenya are Swahili and English. There are also around 30 other African languages. Like the ethnic groups, these are divided into Bantu languages, Nilotic languages and Cushitic languages. Kikuyu is the most widely spoken Bantu language as the Kikuyu are the largest ethnic group in the country.
English is still a legacy of colonial times. In schools, too, teachers mostly teach in English. However, Swahili is mostly spoken in the country. Swahili is an important language for people to understand throughout East Africa.
Religions in Kenya
82 out of 100 people in Kenya are Christians. They are predominantly Protestants and here mainly belong to the Anglican Church. Catholics make up around a quarter of Christians. Muslims also live along the coast. But they only make up one percent of the population. Officially, fewer and fewer people still live their traditional African faith. But Kenyans of Christian faith also mix these old traditions.
Many people believe that the spirits of the dead continue to have a great influence on the living. They worship them with offerings. This is not unusual in any of Africa. In this way, the old faith traditions are still preserved despite other religions. This is especially true for people in rural areas.