Kenya People, Population, Religion and Nationality


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Kenya People

Browse the information below for demographic information on Kenya, including population, religion, nationality and more. If you do not find the Kenya information you need on the people page, check out our complete listing on the Kenya Country Page.

  • Kenya Geography
  • Kenya Government
  • Kenya Economy
  • Kenya History

    Nationality: Noun and adjective--Kenyan(s).
    Population (1999 est.): 28.7 million.
    Annual growth rate (1996 est.): 2.4%.
    Ethnic groups: African--Kikuyu 21%, Luhya 14%, Luo 13%, Kalenjin 11%, Kamba 11%, Kisii 6%, Meru 5%. Non-African--Asian, European, Arab 1%.
    Religions: Indigenous beliefs 10%, Protestant 40%, Roman Catholic 30%, Muslim 20%.
    Languages: English, Swahili, more than 40 local ethnic languages.
    Education: Years compulsory--None, but first 8 years of primary school are provided through cost-sharing between government and parents. Attendance--73% for primary grades. Literacy (in English)--59%.
    Health: Infant mortality rate--115/1,000. Life expectancy--49 yrs.
    Work force (1.7million wage earners): Public sector 30%; private sector 70%. Informal sector workers--3.7 million. Services--45%; industry and commerce--35%; agriculture--20%.

    People of Kenya
    Kenya has a very diverse population that includes most major language groups of Africa. Traditional pastoralists, rural farmers, Muslims, and urban residents of Nairobi and other cities contribute to the cosmopolitan culture. The standard of living in major cities, once relatively high compared to much of Sub-Saharan Africa, has been declining in recent years. Most city workers retain links with their rural, extended families and leave the city periodically to help work on the family farm. About 75% of the work force is engaged in agriculture, mainly as subsistence farmers. The national motto of Kenya is harambee, meaning "pull together." In that spirit, volunteers in hundreds of communities build schools, clinics, and other facilities each year and collect funds to send students abroad.

    The five state universities enroll about 38,000 students, representing some 25% of the Kenyan students who qualify for admission. There are four private universities.


  • Kenya Geography
  • Kenya Government
  • Kenya Economy
  • Kenya History