Saturday, September 5, 2009

Kenyan Census

Last tuesday at 8 AM I received a knock on my door from these two visitors.  They were official Kenyan census takers who along with perhaps thousand of other workers have 1 week to knock on doors of every house, apartment, shamba, and hut in Kenya.
       I invited them in to our duplex and proceeded to be part of a Kenyan census.  The questions were quite interesting ranging from level of education, religion, number of children, possession of phone, radio, tv, vehicle, and pets, and my most favorite question; how many wives do you have?  
I think our wazungu family skewed the census in many different ways, but it got me thinking about what does the typical Kenyan household consist of?
These statistics were pulled from the care international website (  
Kenya is striving to meet the needs of its population of over 30 million, but as you can see it has a long way to go in regards to availability of clean water, maternal mortality rate (1/100 mothers die during child birth) and HIV care.   No surprises to see that nearly one quarter of Kenyans live on less than one dollar per day.

Kenya Statistics


31.9 million

Urban population


Major ethnic and linguistic groups

Kikuyu 22%, Luo 13%, Luhya 14%, Kamba 11%, Kalenjin 12% and others.


Swahili, English (both official), Kikuyu, Luhya, Luo, Meru and others.


Protestantism 45%, Roman Catholicism 33%, Islam 10% and Traditional Beliefs 12%.

Life expectancy (at birth)

45.5 years

Infant mortality (under one)

78 per 1000 live births

Under five mortality

123 per 1000 live births

Maternal mortality rate

1000 per 100,000 live births

Adult HIV prevalence rate (ages 15-49)


Percentage population with access to safe drinking water


Adult literacy rate


Proportion of population living on below $1 a day



hankwillisdds said...

Maternal mortality rate
1000 per 100,000 live births

1 in 100 women die in childbirth??? Is that a typo???

hankwillisdds said...

The 2005 WHO data lists Kenya as 560/100,000. Still incredibly high.

Sierra Leone and Afghanistan are about the worst... 2100 and 1600 respectively.

USA is 11...

The Friess Family said...

Sara would say that thankfully the maternal mortality rates are much lower at Tenwek & Kijabe, but we never know about the laboring mothers that never come.