Area: 582,646 sq. km. (224,960 sq mi.); slightly smaller than Texas.
Cities: Capital--Nairobi (pop. 2.1 million). Other cities--Mombasa
(665,000), Kisumu (504,000), Nakuru (1.2 million).
Terrain: Kenya rises from a low coastal plain on the Indian Ocean in
a series of mountain ridges and plateaus which stand above 3,000
meters (9,000 ft.) in the center of the country. The Rift Valley
bisects the country above Nairobi, opening up to a broad arid plain
in the north. Mountain plains cover the south before descending to
the shores of Lake Victoria in the west.
Climate: Varies from the tropical south, west, and central regions
to arid and semi-arid in the north and the northeast.
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Kenyan(s).
Population (2002 est.): 30 million.
Annual growth rate (2003 est.): 1.7%.
Ethnic groups: African--Kikuyu 21%, Luhya 14%, Luo 13%,
Kalenjin 11%, Kamba 11%, Kisii 6%, Meru 5%. Non-African--Asian,
European, Arab 1%.
Religions: Indigenous beliefs 10%, Protestant 40%, Roman Catholic
30%, Muslim 20%.
Languages: English, Swahili, more than 40 local ethnic languages.
Education: Years compulsory--None, but first 8 years of
primary school are provided through cost-sharing between government
and parents. Attendance--84% for primary grades. Literacy
Health: Infant mortality rate--115/1,000. Life expectancy--49
Work force (1.7million wage earners): Public sector 30%; private
sector 70%. Informal sector workers--3.7 million. Services--45%;
industry and commerce--35%; agriculture--20%.
Independence: December 12, 1963.
Branches: Executive--president (chief of state, head of
government, commander in chief of armed forces). Legislative--unicameral
National Assembly (parliament). Judicial--Court of Appeal,
High Court, various lower and special courts, including Kadhis’
Administrative subdivisions: 69 districts, joined to form 7 rural
provinces. Nairobi area has special status.
Political parties: Registered political parties, 41. Ruling party,
National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), coalition of 14 separately
Suffrage: Universal at 18.
GDP (2003): $12.7 billion.
Annual growth rate (2004): 4.3%.
Per capita income: $271.
Natural resources: Wildlife, land.
Agriculture: Products--tea, coffee, sugarcane, horticultural
products, corn, wheat, rice, sisal, pineapples, pyrethrum, dairy
products, meat and meat products, hides, skins. Arable land--5%.
Industry: Types--petroleum products, grain and sugar milling,
cement, beer, soft drinks, textiles, vehicle assembly, paper and
Trade (2002): Exports--$2.2 billion: tea, coffee,
horticultural products, petroleum products, cement, pyrethrum, soda
ash, sisal, hides and skins, fluorspar. Major markets--Uganda,
Tanzania, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Ethiopia, Rwanda,
Egypt, South Africa, United States. Imports--$3.2 billion:
machinery, vehicles, crude petroleum, iron and steel, resins and
plastic materials, refined petroleum products, pharmaceuticals,
paper and paper products, fertilizers, wheat. Major suppliers--U.K.,
Japan, South Africa, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Italy, India,
France, United States, Saudi Arabia.