Kenya is one of the most varied lands on the planet both in terms of its geography and its ethnic population. The Republic of Kenya sits on the equator where it’s bordered by the Indian Ocean, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Somalia. In 2018, Kenya has an estimated population of 50.95 million, which ranks 29th in the world.
The last official census took place in Kenya back in 2009 when it was confirmed that 38,610,097 peoplewere living in the country. Estimates are released on a regular basis, and in 2011, it was claimed that those numbers had risen to 41 million, which has since increased to 50.95 million in 2018.
As far as population density is concerned, Kenya is the 47th largest country in the world in terms of pure land mass. It is relatively sparsely populated, however, and for every square kilometer of land, there is an average of 79.2 people (205 per square mile) and this means that Kenya is the 140th most densely populated country on earth.
The capital and largest city in Kenya is Nairobi, which is famous for having the world’s only game reserve in a large city. Nairobi is the second-largest city in the African Great Lakes area with 3.5 million residents. With the suburbs included, Nairobi is Africa’s 14th largest city with 6.54 million people.
Nairobi is home to one of the largest slums in the world. The slum, Kibera, houses approximately 250,000 of the 2.5 million slum dwellers in the city. Most people in Kibera live on less than $1 per day and HIV is rampant. There is a shortage of clean water and education and rape and assault cases are common. The slum is so large that it has many villages.
Other major cities include Mombasa (pop: 1.2 million), Kisumu (400,000), and Nakuru (300,000).
Kenya Demographics 2018
Coming back to the issue of diverse ethnicity, it’s interesting to consider the many varied groups that make up the population of Kenya. Based on data from the CIA World Factbook, they can be divided as follows:
Kikuyu 17% Luhya 14% Luo 11% Kalenjin 13% Kamba 10% Kisii 6% Meru 4% Other African 13% Non-African (Asian European, and Arab) 1%
Kenya’s population is very diverse and home to most of Africa’s linguistic and ethnoracial groups. There are believed to be at least 42 communities, although Nilotes (30%) and Bantus (67%) account for a majority, followed by Cushitic groups, Arabs, Indians, and Europeans.
Kenya has a very young population that has led to very rapid population growth. Almost three-quarters of the population is under the age of 30 and Kenya has grown from 2.9 million to almost 40 million people within a century.
Kenya has sustained population growth, but it has both high birth and infant mortality rates. This is consistent with Africa as a whole. There has been marked improvement in life expectancy, particularly in recent years. In 2006, the average level stood at 48.9 years. This figure rose, however, to around 59 years in 2016.
Components of Population Change
One birth every 20 seconds
One death every 2 minutes
One net migrant every 53 minutes
Net gain of one person every 25 seconds
Kenya Population Clock
The population of Kenya (as of 3/6/2018)?
Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2018)
Births Per Day
Deaths Per Day
Net Migrations Per Day
Net Change Per Day
Population Change Since January 1st
Net Increase of 1 person every 25 seconds
Population estimated based on interpolation of World Population Prospects data.
Kenya Population Indicators
Crude Birth Rate
Crude Death Rate
Crude Net Migration Rate
Life Expectancy (Both Sexes)
Male Life Expectancy
Female Life Expectancy
Total Fertility Rate
Net Reproduction Rate
1.715 surviving daughters/woman
Sex Ratio At Birth
1.03 males per female
Infant Mortality Rate
34.695 deaths/1,000 live births
Under Five Mortality
Mean Age at Childbearing
Rate of Natural Increase
2009 census and population distribution of Kenya
Kenyan Population by Tribe – Kenya Population
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
What’s the population of Kenya? the latest census, carried out in 2009 revealed that Kenya has a population of 38.6 million people. Currently, Kenya’s population is estimated to have hit over 40 million. According to a report on CIA World Fact book, Kenya population hit 41.7 in July 2011.
In terms of age, the Kenya population figures indicates there are more people in the younger age bracket than the elderly, with the age bracket of 0 to 15 making up a huge percentage.
At the time of this survey, the population statistics reveal more than two out of every five persons were found to be under the age of 15 – making about 43% of the total Kenya population. Going by the current trend it’s expected that by the year 2030, Kenya population will grow to about 65.9 million.
2009 Kenya population statistics and distribution
The following table outlines Kenya’s population conducted in 2009 and released in 2011.
Total Figures (millions)
Number of Women (millions)
Number of Men (millions)
Below age 15 (%)
Source: 2009 Kenya Population and Housing Census – Kenya National Bureau of Statistics 2010.
Inadequate availability and/or use of birth control methods are noted as being instrumental to the increased growth rate.
According to the findings by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, out of all married women between the ages of 15 to 49, only 46% use birth control.
Kenya population demographics by ethnicity
The following numbers represent the ethnic composition of Kenya population as compiled in the 2009 census.