582,650 sq km

Major Languages

English (official), Kiswahili (official), numerous indigenous languages

Life expectancy

Total population: 57.86 years
Male: 57.49 years
Female: 58.24 years


Major Diseases

Degree of risk: high.

  • Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever.
  • Vectorborne diseases: malaria and Rift Valley fever.
  • Water contact disease: schistosomiasis.
  • Animal contact disease: rabies (2009).

Current Environmental issues

Water pollution from urban and industrial wastes; degradation of water quality from increased use of pesticides and fertilizers; water hyacinth infestation in Lake Victoria; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; poaching

Political Climate

  • In December 2008, the election of President Mwai Kibaki turned violent when the opposition leader Raila Odinga and his supporters questioned the legitimacy of the election which lead to conflict between the country’s dominant ethnic groups. Since the poll, more than 600 civilians died and about a quarter of a million people were forced out of their homes due to the violence.
  • Due to the disputed election in December, 600 civilians died and
  • Refugees and IDPs
    • Refugees (country of origin): 173,702 (Somalia); 73,004 (Sudan); 16,428 (Ethiopia).
    • IDPs: 250,000-400,000 (2007 post-election violence; KANU attacks on opposition tribal groups in 1990s) (2007).


  • 5.6 million people are in need of food because of high food and fuel prices.
  • 31% of the population is undernourished.
  • 20% of children under the age of five are underweight.
  • 340,000 Sudan and Somali refugees are in camps needing food aid(WFP).
  • Threats to food security
    • Poverty.
    • High demographic growth.
    • Semi-arid lands in the north and east.
    • Droughts.
    • HIV/AIDS.


  • Literacy
    • Defination: age 15 and over can read and write.
    • Total population: 85.1%
    • Male: 90.6%
    • Female: 79.7% (2003 est)


  • GDP(purchasing power purity): 61.83 billion
  • Unemployment rate: 40%

Kenya factsheet: 2017 – Quarter 4


  • Internally displaced people: 2.6 million.
  • Malnourished children: 500,000.
  • Internally displaced people: 138,000.
  • Number of refugees: 489,071.

News Highlights

Drought conditions remain severe throughout much of Kenya, and conditions for 2018 are uncertain. It’s possible that the drought will extend into next year and lead to even worse conditions. Fortunately, some areas in the north and west have had experienced normal levels of rainfall. After a heavily contested presidential election in September, voting was repeated in October, and incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta was pronounced the winner with 98% of the vote. In early December, rival Raila Odinga will swear himself in as president in defiance of the election outcome.

Food security

Food security prospects are worsening throughout the country. In 2017, the number of food-insecure people doubled from 1.3 to 2.6 million, with over 2.7 million in serious need of potable drinking water. This is occurring as food prices increase for maize, milk, and meat. Nearly 500,000 children are experiencing acute malnourishment.

Internally displaced persons

There were around 138,000 IDPs in Kenya at the end of 2016, a number that has decreased significantly from earlier estimates (in 2015, there were over 300,000 IDPs). These are encouraging signs, but drought and violence still forced 25,000 people to leave their homes during the first half of 2017.