The 2009 census released on August 31, 2010 put Kenya population at 38.6 million – 19.41 million women and 19.19 million men. The count of the population was done on the night of August 24 and 25 in 2009. The people were counted according to where they spent the reference night. The method used for data was through a questionnaire administered by pre-trained personnel.
The Kenya Government spent Sh8.4 billion ($105million) on the census and funded 95 per cent of the cost, with only 5 per cent coming from development partners. Of the money spent on census, Sh5 billion ($62.5million) was paid the 239,807 census personnel. Field personnel were 5,788 senior supervisors, 111,697 enumerators and 100,000 village elders. Twelve million questionnaires were used.
In matters religion, Kenya has 9.01 million Catholics, 18.3 million Protestants, and 4.5 million other Christians, 4.3 million Muslims, 53,393 Hindus and 635,352 traditionalists. People who profess other religion are 55, 7450, those who profess none are 922,128 and 61,000 responded that they did not know.
Kenya Population Census 2009
Kenya Population by Province
Nairobi Province – 3,138,369
Central Province – 4,383,743
Coast Province – 3,325,307
Eastern Province – 5,668,123
North Eastern Province – 2,310,757
Nyanza Province – 5,442,711
Rift Valley Province – 10,006,805
Western Province – 4,334,282
Kenya Population by Religious Affiliation
Catholic Population – 9,010,684
Protestant Population – 18,307,466
Other Christian Population - 4.559,584
Muslim Population – 4,304,798
Hindu Population - 53,393
Traditionalist Population - 635,352
Other Religion Population- 557,450
No Religion Population – 922,128
Don’t Know – 61,233
Kenya Population by Tribe
- Kikuyu tribe – 6,622,576
- Luhya tribe - 5,338,666
- Kalenjin tribe – 4,967,328
- Luo tribe – 4,044,440
- Kamba tribe – 3,893,157
- Somali tribe – 2,385,572
- Kisii tribe – 2,205,669
- Mijikenda tribe – 1,960,574
- Meru tribe -1,658,108
- Turkana tribe – 988,592
- Maasai tribe - 841,622
- Teso tribe – 338,833
- Embu tribe – 324,092
- Taita tribe – 273,519
- Kuria tribe – 260,401
- Samburu tribe – 237,179
- Tharaka tribe – 175,905
- Mbeere – 168,155
- Borana – 161,399
- Basuba – 139,271
- Swahili – 110,614
- Gabra – 89,515
- Orma – 66,275
- Rendile – 60,437
Population growth in Kenya
The National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) conducted its latest national population and housing census in 2009. KNBS has since 1969 undertaken a national census every 10 years. The 2009 exercise was the ﬁfth since independence, with the last four having been conducted in 1969, 1979, 1989 and 1999.
Kenya has a huge youthful population that is currently enjoying gender balance. The majority of are in the 15 and 64 age group, accounting for over 20.7 million of the population. Those under the age of 14 account for 16.6 million. The number of Kenyans over the age of 64 is slightly over just a million. Gender distribution in the population is almost 50/50.
Kenya population growth rate
Kenya’s population has been growing at an average rate of three per cent annually — 15.3 million in 1979, 21.4 million in 1989, 28.7 million in 1999 and 38 million in 2009. This growth rate includes all peoples found in Kenya (with an exception of refugees) at the time of the census regardless of their citizenry status.
The ethnic distribution of the population according to the 2009 census indicated that the largest group of people are the Bantus, followed by the Nilotes and the minority Cushites who constitute only about two per cent of the population. In terms of communities, the Gikuyu lead in numbers constituting 17 per cent of the population, followed by Luhyas at 14 per cent, Kalenjins make up 13 per cent and Luos 10 per cent, Kamba 10 per cent, Kisii six per cent, Mijikenda five per cent, Meru four per cent, Turkana 2.5 per cent, and the Maasai 2.1 per cent. All other ethnic groups make up the remaining nine per cent and non-indigenous populations taking up another one per cent.
Population in Kenya – History of Population Growth in Kenya
For many years Kenya enjoyed the dubious distinction of registering the highest population growth in the world. Then, at the turn of the millennium, the growth rate slowed down dramatically. The high-speed growth had stemmed from the fact that, until very recently, a man’s social and economic status in Kenya was largely determined by the number of children he sired. And, since polygamy was also widely accepted, a man of consequence could boast of having fathered maybe a hundred children, often more.
Kenyan tradition also dictates that once married, a couple must name a child after each of their own parents; which means they must continue to produce children until they have two of each sex. Add to the above the fact that Kenyans universally adore children, and that most Kenyan women would not consider themselves fulfilled unless they had born at least one child (whether married or not), and the reasons for the explosive birthrate are all too clear.
Decrease in Population Growth in Kenya
As to the sudden decline in the population growth rate, this has resulted not only from the impact of AIDS on Kenyan society, but also from the growing realization, especially among the rural population, that today’s couples can neither support nor finance the education of so many children. The emergence of a Kenyan middle class has also affected the growth rate, with many professionals choosing to establish financial security before starting a family, and then opting to have only as many children as they can afford to educate to university level.
The changing social structure has also introduced a new phenomenon, the professional, and often single, Kenyan lady, who increasingly choose either to remain childless, or to have just one child.
Officially the population of Kenya is around 33.9 million, though the actual figure may be much larger, and the forecast annual growth rate is 2.56 percent (2005 estimate), which reflects the expected increased death rate due to AIDS—more than 1.2 million Kenyans are infected with the HIV Virus. Under-fourteens account for 42.5 percent of the population. Urban Kenyans, constituting )5 percent of the whole, are concentrated in a few ‘large cities such as Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, and Nakuru, while 67 percent of the people live in rural areas, mostly in the high-rainfall arable areas of the Central highlands, and Western Kenya. 80 percent of the land in Kenya, contains only 20 percent of the population.