Kenya’s Economy and the Population and Housing Census 2019


Kenya Population and Housing Census results showed that the population stands at 47,546,296. Out of this, 23,548,056 are males while 24,014,716 are females representing 50.5% and 1,524 are intersex. The previous census of 2009 showed a total of 37.7 million Kenyans representing a 2.2 intercensal growth rate from 2009 to 2019. The household size has also reduced from 4.2 in 2009 to 3.9 in 2019.

kenya population and economu
Kenya is he first African country to count intersex persons.

According to a report by the World Bank, Kenya, commonly known as “Silicon Savannah,” needs to create opportunities for its rising population. Through the creation of an enabling environment, citizens can create jobs or the future and promote the economy. The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector has significantly grown at a rate of 10.8% from 2016. For this reason, Kenya should start embracing digital employments.

Census in Kenya

  • 2019 census is the eighth national exercise since the country gained independence in 1963. The first census in Kenya was conducted in 1948, when Kenya was still a British colony.
  • The census recorded the number of intersex persons for the first time.
  • the five most populated counties include the capital Nairobi, Kiambu, Nakuru, Kakamega and Bungoma.
  • Kenya is the first African country to produce a completely processed census within one year after census.

Key Sectors in Kenya’s Economy

kenya census economy
iHub is one of the leading ICT hubs in the Kenyan tech ecosystem famously known as Silicon Savannah.

The major industries in Kenya’s economy are agriculture, forestry, mining, fishing, manufacturing, tourism, energy, and financial services. The second quarter for the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) indicated that the economy of Kenya grew by 5.9 percent, which is a decline from 6.4 percent in 2018. The decline in GDP was due to a slowdown in the activities of agriculture, manufacturing and transportation. Agriculture and the supply of electricity were affected by the delay of long rains while transportation was affected by the increase in fuel prices.

Among the sectors that performed well include accommodation and food services, information and communication, construction industries, and wholesale and retail trade. Information and communication grew by 11.6%, accommodation and food services increased by 10.6% while construction grew by 7.2%. The financial and insurance sector registered the highest improvement of 2.1%, followed by the construction sector registering a 1.8% improvement. In September 2019, the Consumer Price Index decreased from 201.78 in August to 201.57 in September, representing a 0.11% decrease. The rate of inflation in September 2019 stood at 3.83 percent.

The Vision 2030

Vision 2030 is Kenya’s longest development blueprint running from 2008 to 2030. It aims to transform Kenya into an industrial middle-income hub to provide a high-quality life for its citizens by 2030. The vision was developed to oversee Economic Recovery Strategy and to create employment opportunities.

Three pillars support the vision; the economic pillar, social pillar, and the political pillar. The economic pillar is to oversee economic development in the country with a respective average economic growth rate of 10% per annum. The social pillar is to ensure that Kenyans live in a cohesive society that and one with social equity and in a clean environment. The objective of the political pillar is to realize a democratic political system that protects the rights of its citizens based on the rule of law.

Doing Business in Kenya

The private sector has been leading in Kenya’s economic growth since the 2000s. It is for this reason the government rolled out Vision 2030 to oversee progress in the implementation of critical sectors of the economy. The government is focusing on key sectors of the economy; manufacturing, food security, affordable housing and universal health care in what it terms as the Big 4 Agenda.

During the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) summit of 2018 that was held in Kigali, Kenya and other 43 countries signed the agreement. The term of the agreement is to create a market with a population of over 1.2 billion. The GDP of the market is $3.4 trillion and aims at increasing the intra-African trade by $34.6 billion representing a 52.3% increase by 2022.

Establishing a company in Kenya, the initial steps involve registering the proposed company name with the registrar of companies. This is located in the Attorney General’s Chambers in the capital city. One also needs to file the memorandum of association and article of association with the registrar of companies. If he is satisfied, he goes ahead to issue a certificate of incorporation.


Kenya has a robust economy that supports investment in various sectors. The government is doing a lot to promote Small Business Enterprises, especially with the recent interest capping that will assist small businesses to borrow loans. The vision 2030 and the Big 4 Agenda are among the government initiatives to transform Kenya’s economy to a middle income to change the livelihood of Kenyans.

Vincent is a writer and researcher with an interest in finance, banking, startups, and remittance. He holds a Bachelors degree in Applied Statistics with computing. He founded Nexin Startups, an online platform offering startup advice to investors and entrepreneurs. Read more about us and our authors.