Kenya Population

The 2009 census released on August 31, 2010 put Kenya’s 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 Numbers in 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 Ethnic Affiliation –  Main Tribes

  1. Kikuyu tribe – 6,622,576
  2. Luhya tribe - 5,338,666
  3. Kalenjin tribe – 4,967,328
  4. Luo tribe – 4,044,440
  5. Kamba tribe – 3,893,157
  6. Somali tribe – 2,385,572
  7. Kisii tribe – 2,205,669
  8. Mijikenda tribe – 1,960,574
  9. Meru tribe -1,658,108
  10. Turkana tribe – 988,592
  11. Maasai tribe - 841,622
  12. Teso tribe – 338,833
  13. Embu tribe – 324,092
  14. Taita tribe – 273,519
  15. Kuria tribe – 260,401
  16. Samburu tribe – 237,179
  17. Tharaka tribe – 175,905
  18. Mbeere – 168,155
  19. Borana – 161,399
  20. Basuba – 139,271
  21. Swahili – 110,614
  22. Gabra – 89,515
  23. Orma – 66,275
  24. 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.

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