Just The Facts

Kenya’s Challenges

The meteoric growth of Kenya’s population raises development and stability questions.

Credit: Nicolas Raymond - www.flickr.com

Takeaways


  • Kenya is the seventh most populous country in Africa today -- and the 30th worldwide.
  • By 2050, Kenya is expected to become the 20th most populous country in the world.
  • Kenya’s economy is the 70th-largest worldwide, while Spain’s is the world’s 15th largest economy.

1. With a population of 46 million in 2015, Kenya has the same population size as Spain.

2. Kenya is the seventh most populous country in Africa today — and the 30th worldwide.

3. Kenya’s economy is the 70th-largest worldwide (in purchasing-power-adjusted terms), while Spain’s is the world’s 15th largest economy.

4. The average annual income (in the same terms) is $3,060 in Kenya, whereas in Spain it is more than 11 times greater at nearly $35,000.

5. By 2050, Kenya’s population is expected to double. At a level of 96 million then, it will become the 20th most populous country in the world.

6. In 1950, still under British rule, Kenya’s population was just 6 million.

7. Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, Kenya’s president and deputy president, respectively, were elected in 2013 on an ethnic unity ticket in an attempt to mend fences after the ethnic violence fatalities that followed the 2007 election.

8. Both faced International Criminal Court prosecutions – now dropped – for their roles in inciting the earlier clashes.

9. Kenya today also contends with terrorism, including the September 2013 Westgate mall attack and the 1998 U.S. embassy bombing.

10. Kenya has had repeated tangles with al Qaeda and neighboring Somalia’s Shabab organization.

Sources: The Globalist Research Center, United Nations Population Division 2015 Revision, World Bank, BBC, Guardian

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