Population: 37,538,817 inhabitants (July 2006)
Density: 68.6 inhabitants per sq. km
The five largest cities are:
- Nairobi 3 million
- Mombasa 707,400
- Kisumu 355,024
- Nakuru 300,000
- Eldoret 193,830
Kenya spent 5.1% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on healthcare in 2002. This was well below the high-income OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries’ average of 9.8% for the same period. Total health spending stands at about US$6.2 per capita, far short of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended level of US$34 per capita.
Some 56% of the population live in poverty. Worse still, this 56% contributed 51% of the total healthcare expenditure in 2002.
Basic primary care is provided at primary healthcare centers and dispensaries. Dispensaries are run and managed by enrolled and registered nurses who are supervised by the nursing officer at the respective health centre. They provide outpatient services for simple ailments such as the common cold and flu, uncomplicated malaria and skin conditions. Those patients who cannot be managed by the nurse are referred to the health centers.
Primary education is free and compulsory for eight years. Children start school at the age of five or six and spend eight years at primary school; four years at secondary school; and a further four years at the university.
Though stricken with poverty and hardships, the people of Kenya are generally literate. It's estimated that approximately 90% of adult males and 80% of adult females are able to read and write. While the basics are covered, more advanced education is not as widespread. On average, children go to school for only 9 or 10 years.
One of the reasons for the high literacy rate is that in 2003 Kenya waived all fees and tuitions for the primary school level. This has increased school enrollment by large amounts, and raised the literacy rate along with it.
Secondary schools are not as well attended as the primary ones, mainly due to both the high cost of tuition and the selective admissions process. After primary school, children take an exam for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education.
The vast majority of Kenyans are Christians, and the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches are the most established Christian denominations. Other well established African religions and denominations include the African Inland Church (AIC), Seventh Day Adventists (SDA), and the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA).
In addition, there are a number of Evangelical churches and Independent African Christian churches.
Islam is the other major religion in Kenya. Followers include both Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims. The largest number of Muslims in Kenya is found in Mombasa and the neighboring coastal regions, as well as the northeastern regions of Kenya. Nairobi also has numerous mosques and a notable Muslim following.
The few Kenyans who adhere to Hinduism and Sikhism are mostly Indians. They reside in most major towns and cities across Kenya.