In Kenya, men have a lower expectancy compared to women. The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics manages all the demographics of the country. With Kenya presently having 44 tribes and many other small groups, the demographics are important not only for the government but for public and private companies alike.
Life Expectancy in Kenya
The average life expectancy of Kenyans is 64.6 years. The male life expectancy is at 63.1 years while that for women is 66.1 years. These are 2018 estimates which are higher than the 61.68 years in 2009. The reasons for the improved figures include decreases in deaths from avoidable causes such as cardiovascular diseases and improving health services.
Families also now focus on raising fewer children but providing them with a better quality of life. The government’s efforts to ensure the production of safe products and the provision of subsidized health services. Is also key in the improvement of life expectancy and reduced death rates.
These aspects, if maintained, will lead to even improved birth rates and reduced death rates in the future.
In general, the fertility, birth and death rates in Kenya are declining from the first time they were recorded in the mid-1900s. The life expectancy at birth has improved from an average of 61.68 years in 2009 to 64.6 years in 2019. As such, the demographics for the Kenyan population are generally improving.
A number of important factors affect the Kenyan population. Let’s dive deeper and understand the demographics in detail and see how they contribute to the birth rates and death rates in our statistics.
1. Population Census
In 1962, Kenya had a population of about 9 million people. At the moment (2019), that population is estimated to be at 52 million people or more. As of July 2018, the population of Kenya was estimated at 48,397,527 people. With Kenya set to carry out a population census in 2019, official figures will soon be released to the public.
2. Fertility and Births
The total fertility rate for 2014 was 3.9 children per 1000 people and the birth rate at 30.3. The northeastern parts of Kenya had the highest fertility rate with 6.4 children per 1000 people. Nairobi had the lowest at 2.7 children per 1000 people.
3. Population and Age Structure
The structure of the Kenyan population is as follows:
- The largest population is made up of those aged 14 years and below as they make up 39.03%.
- This followed by those aged between 25 and 54 years who make up 34.27%.
- The smallest part of the population, 3.08%, is made up of those aged 65 years and over.
These figures have remained mostly the same in relation to each other.
4. Population Growth Rate
The population growth rate for Kenya is 1.57% as estimated in 2018. That means that the population will add 1.57% more people year over year. To calculate the population for the next year, simply multiply it by 101.57% (100% + 1.57%).
5. Median Age
The median age in Kenya is 20 years. This is the age that’s in the middle of the extreme ages (the lowest and the highest age). This age isn’t the average age but the most common age in the country.
5. Birth Rate in Kenya
The birth rate is estimated (as of 2018) to be at 22.6 births per 1000 people. It simply means that, for every 1000 Kenyans, at least 22.6 kids are expected each year. The same figure translates to 226 kids per 10,000 Kenyans per year.
6. Kenyan Fertility Rate
With the total fertility rate at 2.81 children born per woman, it means that the average Kenyan woman is expected to give birth to 2.81 children in their lifetime. This makes Kenya number 59 worldwide in terms of the total fertility rate.
This figure has reduced significantly given that, at independence (1963), it was much higher. It is part of the reason for the high population growth rate from that period to the present.
Another statistic related to this is the mean age of the mother at first birth. For Kenya, the age is 20.3 years as estimated in 2014. It means that the average Kenyan woman gives birth to her first child at the age of 20.3 years.
7. Death Rate in Kenya
The rate of death for Kenya is at 6.7 deaths per 1000 people. It means that, for every 1000 Kenyans, 6.7 are expected to die within the year. When extrapolated, it translates into 67 deaths per 10,000 people.
8. Religious Profile
Kenya is largely made up of Christians (83%). Of these, 47.7% are Protestants, 23.4% are Catholics while others make up 11.9%. Muslims make up 11.2% as traditionalists (1.7%), other (1.6%), non-religious (2.4%) and the unspecified (0.2%) make up the rest.
9. Net Migration Rate
The net migration rate refers to the frequency at which people from outside the country move into the country. Kenya’s rate is at -0.2 migrants per 1000 people. It means that more people leave the country than they enter.
Urbanization refers to the rate of growth of urban areas such as cities and towns. For Kenya, the urban population makes up 27% of the total population as of 2018.
11. Dependency Ratio
The dependency ratio is the number of those who are not in the labor force and those who depend on them. For Kenya, they’re as follows as estimated in 2015:
- Total dependency ratio: 78.3%
- Elderly dependency ratio: 4.6%
- Youth dependency ratio: 73.7%
- Potential support ratio: 21.7%
These figures tend to vary with the population size and size of the economy.
12. School Life Expectancy
The school life expectancy refers to the time one is expected to spend in school. While the Kenyan education system requires that one spends at least 16 years up to college, the average school life expectancy in Kenya is only 11 years.
13. Literacy Levels
The literacy level refers to the percentage of people aged 15 and above who can read and write. For Kenya, the estimate is 78% of the total population. Of these, more men (81.1%) are literate compared to women (74.9%).
14. Health Statistics
While the life expectancy for Kenya has improved steadily from the 1950s when it was just 42.3 years to the present 64 years, there are a number of issues plaguing Kenya health-wise. These include a high level of infant mortality, HIV/AIDS and malnourishment.
At the moment, for example, 32% of the population is estimated to be malnourished while 5.4% of the adults are living with HIV/AIDS. The infant mortality rate for 2006 was estimated at 59.26 deaths per 1000 live births. While this figure went down to 54.7 deaths per 1000 live births in 2010, it’s still high compared to the rest of the world and the World Health Organisation expectations.
Improved Life Expectancy
These demographics point to a general improvement in the health of Kenyans. Decreasing death and infant mortality rates, and an increasing life expectancy are signs of an improving nation. However, when using the developed countries as a yardstick, Kenya still has a long way to go.
The United States, for example, has a life expectancy of 80 for males and 84 years for females. That’s almost 20 years better than Kenya. When problems such as poor and equitable health are dealt with, the life expectancy of the country is deemed to improve even further.