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Kenya Population - History

Kenya Population - History

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Kenya has a very diverse population that includes most major language groups of Africa. Traditional pastoralists, rural farmers, Muslims, and urban residents of Nairobi and other cities contribute to the cosmopolitan culture. The standard of living in major cities, once relatively high compared to much of Sub-Saharan Africa, has been declining in recent years. Most city workers retain links with their rural, extended families and leave the city periodically to help work on the family farm. About 75% of the work force is engaged in agriculture, mainly as subsistence farmers. The urban sector employs 0.9 million people.
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 42.1% (male 7,826,804/female 7,720,456)
15-64 years: 55.2% (male 10,219,575/female 10,174,922)
65 years and over: 2.6% (male 446,355/female 525,609) (2007 est.)
Median age:
total: 18.6 years
male: 18.5 years
female: 18.7 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:
2.799% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:
38.94 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:
10.95 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.014 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.004 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.849 male(s)/female
total population: 1.004 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 57.44 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 60.44 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 54.38 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 55.31 years
male: 55.24 years
female: 55.37 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:
4.82 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
6.7% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
1.2 million (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
150,000 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria is a high risk in some locations
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2007)
noun: Kenyan(s)
adjective: Kenyan
Ethnic groups:
Kikuyu 22%, Luhya 14%, Luo 13%, Kalenjin 12%, Kamba 11%, Kisii 6%, Meru 6%, other African 15%, non-African (Asian, European, and Arab) 1%
Protestant 45%, Roman Catholic 33%, Muslim 10%, indigenous beliefs 10%, other 2%
note: a large majority of Kenyans are Christian, but estimates for the percentage of the population that adheres to Islam or indigenous beliefs vary widely
English (official), Kiswahili (official), numerous indigenous languages
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 85.1%
male: 90.6%
female: 79.7% (2003 est.)

The largest tribe in Kenya by population is Kikuyu who occupies the central province. The second largest tribe is Luhyas who are made up of several subgroups such as Abanyala and Abanyore. The Luhya mostly occupy the western province.

10 biggest slums in Africa 2020

Most of the people of these two tribes especially those living in the rural area practice farming. The third largest ethnic group in Kenya are Luos, and they mainly practice fishing along the waters of Lake Victoria.


The number of deaths attributable to the Emergency is disputed. David Anderson estimates 25,000 [19] people died British demographer John Blacker’s estimate is 50,000 deaths—half of them children aged ten or below. He attributes this death toll mostly to increased malnutrition, starvation and disease from wartime conditions. [204]

Caroline Elkins says “tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands” died. [210] Elkins numbers have been challenged by Blacker, who demonstrated in detail that her numbers were overestimated, explaining that Elkins’ figure of 300,000 deaths “implies that perhaps half of the adult male population would have been wiped out—yet the censuses of 1962 and 1969 show no evidence of this—the age-sex pyramids for the Kikuyu districts do not even show indentations.” [204]

His study dealt directly with Elkins’ claim that “somewhere between 130,000 and 300,000 Kikuyu are unaccounted for” at the 1962 census, [211] and was read by both David Anderson and John Lonsdale prior to publication. [3] David Elstein has noted that leading authorities on Africa have taken issue with parts of Elkins’ study, in particular her mortality figures: “The senior British historian of Kenya, John Lonsdale, whom Elkins thanks profusely in her book as ‘the most gifted scholar I know’, warned her to place no reliance on anecdotal sources, and regards her statistical analysis—for which she cites him as one of three advisors—as ‘frankly incredible’.” [3]

The British possibly killed more than 20,000 Mau Mau militants, [4] but in some ways more notable is the smaller number of Mau Mau suspects dealt with by capital punishment: by the end of the Emergency, the total was 1,090. At no other time or place in the British empire was capital punishment dispensed so liberally—the total is more than double the number executed by the French in Algeria. [212]

Author Wangari Maathai indicates that more than one hundred thousand Africans, mostly Kikuyus, may have died in the concentration camps and emergency villages. [213]

Officially 1,819 Native Kenyans were killed by the Mau Mau. David Anderson believes this to be an undercount and cites a higher figure of 5,000 killed by the Mau Mau. [3] [5]

  • OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Kenya
  • CAPITAL: Nairobi
  • POPULATION: 48,397,527
  • OFFICIAL LANGUAGES: Swahili, English
  • MONEY: Kenyan shilling
  • AREA: 224,081 square miles (580,367 square kilometers)
  • MAJOR MOUNTAIN RANGES: Aberdare Range, Mau Escarpment
  • MAJOR RIVERS: Athi/Galana, Tana


Even if you've never been to Kenya, chances are you know what it looks like. Kenya's savanna is familiar from movies, TV shows, books, and commercials. It's the landscape many people imagine when they think of Africa.

Kenya is located in East Africa. Its terrain rises from a low coastal plain on the Indian Ocean to mountains and plateaus at its center. Most Kenyans live in the highlands, where Nairobi, the capital, sits at an altitude of 5,500 feet (1,700 meters).

West of Nairobi the land descends to the Great Rift Valley, a 4,000-mile (6,400-kilometer) tear in the Earth's crust. Within this valley in the deserts of northern Kenya are the jade-green waters of famous Lake Turkana.

Map created by National Geographic Maps


In Kenya, more than 60 languages are spoken and there are more than 40 ethnic groups. Almost everyone there speaks more than one African language.

School is free in Kenya, but many children are too busy to go to classes. They help their families by working the land, tending cattle, cooking, or fetching water.

Music and storytelling are important parts of Kenyan culture. For centuries, tribes throughout the country have used songs, stories, and poems to pass on their beliefs, history, and customs.


Millions of people visit Kenya each year to see its endless savanna and the animals that inhabit it: elephants, lions, cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, hippos, rhinos, and more. The Kenyan government has set up more than 50 reserves and parks to protect these animals.

People seeking African wildlife usually focus on Kenya's lowland savannas. But Kenya's ecosystems also include deserts, swamps, mountain, and forests. Each region has its own mix of plants and animals that are suited to the area's particular conditions. Kenya's highland forests are home to many animals found nowhere else in the world.


Kenya was a colony of the United Kingdom from 1920 until 1963. Since its independence, it has been a republic, with a president, a national assembly, called the Bunge, and a judiciary.


Kenya's location between the Indian Ocean and Lake Victoria means that people from all over Africa and the Middle East have traveled and traded across it for centuries. This has created a diverse culture with many ethnic groups and languages.

Scientists think Northern Kenya and Tanzania may have been the original birthplace of humans. The bones of one of the earliest human ancestors ever found were discovered in Kenya's Turkana Basin.

Slavery is a big part of Kenya's history. During the 1600s and 1700s, many Kenyans were kidnapped and taken as slaves by Arabs, Europeans, and Americans. By the mid-19th century, slavery was outlawed by most countries, but by then, thousands of Kenyans and other East Africans had been taken to countries throughout the world.

Map of Kenya

15. Dr. Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, was born in Kenya in 1940. Unfortunately, she died of cancer in 2011. She was known as a fearless social activist and an environmental crusader. She started the movement to reforest the country by paying the country’s women a few shillings. [4]

16. It should not be forgotten that Kenya is also popular across the world for producing some stunning and famous long-distance runners. Kenyan Wilson Kipsang is one such runner. Interestingly, all these runners are actually from the same tribe of Kenyans known as “the Kalenjin”. [14]

17. Iten, a town in Kenya, with miles of hilly dirty roads and perfect altitude for long distance running, attracts elite athletes from all over the country and the world to train. Here runners train for between 20 to 30 miles per day. [25]

18. On August 9, 2012, at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, David Rudisha led from start to finish winning gold in what was called “The Greatest 800 Meter Race Ever.” In doing so, he became the first and, so far, the only runner to break the 1:41 barrier for the 800 m race. [15]

19. According to the World Bank, the population density in Kenya reached a maximum value of 85.15 in 2016 and a minimum value of 14.69 in 1961. [18]

20. Freedom of religion is one of the constitutional rights of the Kenyans. The majority of the population of the country is Christian. Other religious groups include Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs.

21. Kenya is home of the father of Barack Obama, the former president of the United States of America. He recently visited the country to promote the opening of a sports and training center that his half-sister, Auma Obama, founded through her charitable foundation, The Associated Press reported. [21]

22. Kenyans are group-orientated rather than individualistic. Unlike most other places in the world, where people are normally unconcerned about others, social life in this country is tied to companionship, hospitality, kindness and a willingness to help. This is, perhaps, what makes visitors want to come back again and again. [9,20]

23. The kind nature of the Kenyan people might be attributed to the setting and structures of families and communities. In Kenya, a child is brought up by the community and the society at large, and not just the family members alone. This makes it easy for people to develop feelings of concern and helpfulness towards others, strangers or not. [9]

24. The Kenyan people can compromise some of their daily routines and beliefs just to accommodate people from other cultural backgrounds. However, visitors must also acknowledge and respect the locals’ way of life for good coexistence.

25. Greetings in Kenya are a fabric of their social and cultural life. Whenever people meet, irrespective of whether they are acquaintances, they must greet each other, either through a raised hand or thumbs up. The most common greeting is “Jambo?” (“How are you?”), which is generally said immediately prior to the handshake. Greetings often include inquiries about health and family members. [9,20]

26. When it comes to food, the staple meal in Kenya is a delicacy known as “ugali.” This is a meal made from flour it can be maize, sorghum or even millet. The delicacy is normally accompanied by stew and is enjoyed by many visitors, including President Obama during his visit to the country. [10]

27. Although it is very common to find Kenyans wearing Western clothes, their own way of dressing is distinct. When visiting this country, one cannot fail to notice a red/pink/maroon piece of clothing commonly referred to as “Maasai’s Shuka” around people’s shoulders/waists/necks. [11]

28. Inasmuch as there is no uniform footwear among the Kenyan people, there is no doubt that Sahara Boots and sandals, for both men and women, are the most commonly worn shoes around the country.

The Whites of Kenya

It is approaching lunchtime and I am at the Kenya Regiment club in central Nairobi. It is an oasis of calm as the bustle of this huge African city plays outside. The bar is filling up as some of the old vets of this disbanded regiment arrive for the traditional Friday curry club. This inevitably starts with a few rounds at the bar. It is a predominantly white crowd, and this is one of the hot spots to find some of the remaining whites of Kenya.

Our host and chairman of the club, George McKnight is nowhere to be seen. He is battling it out in a local court, as yesterday he was apprehended for approaching a roundabout in the wrong lane. Although a bribe of about 1000 Shillings ($15) could have got him off the hook, he decided on principal to go to court. This however, will cost him dear, as eventually he pays 15,000 shillings in fines.

Police corruption is sited as one of the few downsides of life here, as the life for the white population is very stable and quite comfortable. They enjoy all the hedonism you need and relations with the black population are generally positive.

The sense of wellbeing has been somewhat tainted of late by the high profile murder case against Tom Cholmondeley, a white landowner who was accused of shooting a black poacher. The charge was eventually reduced to manslaughter, but this and the unsolved murder of Joan Root, a white Kenyan conservationist, makes the white community a little nervous.

If you look at neighbouring countries and see how life is there for the whites, there is no question Kenya is relatively calm. In South Africa there has been an escalation of racial tension and in Zimbabwe the remaining whites must feel somewhat uncomfortable, as virtually all the white farmers have been forced to leave. Indeed, Kenya has welcomed some of these white refugees, inviting them to come and set up here.

Although Kenya’s white population is now around 20,000, it is said that of this only around 5,000 are the old colonial people, who were here at independence in 1963.

There is a vibrant young community. I was at the Karen Country Lodge for the weekly disco, where the young whites dance and drink the night away. The car park is full of SUVs – and never forget one attraction of Kenya is the lack of drink driving laws: you can drink as much as you like and still drive legally. But don’t commit any other minor traffic offence, or you could be stopped by the police.

There has been a notable increase in marriages amongst the young white population as many children are returning to Kenya after experiencing life abroad, and in particular in the UK.

Many of the events I photograph here feel wonderfully familiar to this English photographer. I go to the Friday market of the East African Women’s League in Nairobi. It has all the features you expect at the WI in the UK: home baking, locally grown fruit and veg, and of course tea and chat. They have a different aim though: to raise money for local charities and projects.

On another morning, I attend the Kenyan Horticultural society, where various white nursery owners are selling the most amazing display of plants, at what seems to me to be bargain prices.

There are golf clubs, bowling and of course the races. On the Sunday of my stay I am off to the Nairobi racecourse for the hotly contested Kenya Derby. This year it is sponsored by the British betting company, John Power, and the man himself is there, taking the bets with his usual banter. All the trappings you expect at a society event are in evidence, and it is patronised by a large contingent of Kenyan whites. The Muthaiga Club have a tent, and if you glanced round here you could so easily be at Ascot or Goodwood.

The following day I drive out to nearby Lake Navaisha and meet two classic white Kenyan couples. First, Tony Seth-Smith and his wife Sarah. Tony was originally a “ White Hunter” and started organising hunting parties in the 1960s, although when hunting was banned in 1977 these stopped overnight. However, Tony had seen the potential of photographic safaris, and has only recently retired from this after a long and successful career. With a stunning house overlooking the lake the couple now dedicate much of their lives in running, in effect, a private wildlife conservation area.

Just down the road is Lord Andrew Enniskillen and his wife, also called Sarah. They too tend their estate with great care and the game has returned to healthy levels after their 27 years of managing this land. They also used to farm, but last year’s serious drought forced them to sell their remaining 50 odd head of cattle. Lord Enniskillen has also had a life in the business world but has now retired from this. They receive some income by renting out their charming cottage and providing full board accommodation for discerning tourists. Indeed in the evening you are quite likely to dine with members of the British aristocracy, as Andrew and Sarah invite their guests to eat with them. Ironically, Andrew feels that being a hereditary Lord in Kenya is an encumbrance as the impression is given that he is automatically very wealthy – something he strenuously denies.

Both these couples hold full Kenyan passports. Around the time of independence in 1963 the question of whether to keep the British passport or opt for a Kenyan one was a big point of debate, as dual citizenship is not allowed. They have a strong sense of pride and responsibility around their citizenship. There is no question that the remaining whites, especially the British, are a glorious hangover from the colonial past, but also enjoy being part of the modern Kenya.

I am taken to the airport by an articulate Kenyan, called Joseph and ask for his feeling about the whites. He respects the management skills that were brought by the colonial power to Kenya, saying that they were, and still are very good farmers. His take on the recent infamous murder cases was somewhat confused, and was convinced that Cholmondeley was indeed a murderer. As I pay the driver the 1300 shillings, I am reminded that, like or not, the British presence is still much in evidence, even naming the currency after a coinage long since lost back in the UK.

Kibaki victory

2002 December - Elections. Mwai Kibaki wins a landslide victory, ending Daniel arap Moi's 24-year rule and Kanu's four decades in power.

2004 October - Kenyan ecologist Wangari Maathai wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

2005 November-December - Voters reject a proposed new constitution in what is seen as a protest against President Kibaki.

2007 December - Disputed presidential elections lead to violence in which more than 1,500 die.

The government and opposition come to a power-sharing agreement in February and a cabinet is agreed in April.

Health, Population and Nutrition

USAID supports Kenya’s health sector with high-impact, evidence-based interventions. Most interventions in the health sector are at the county level. We work with the Government of Kenya, counties, local institutions, faith-based organizations, and the private sector on:

  • HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment
  • Malaria prevention and treatment
  • Tuberculosis (TB) control and treatment
  • Global health security
  • Reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health
  • Nutrition
  • Water, sanitation, and hygiene

By building the capacity of Kenyan institutions and individuals to provide citizens and households with efficient, affordable, equitable, and quality health services, USAID is helping Kenya become stable, resilient, and prosperous.


Strengthening Health Systems

USAID works with the Government of Kenya to build health systems that are responsive to the needs of individuals, families, and communities. USAID also supports improvements in the health workforce health information systems supply chain management health financing and leadership and governance. We have made significant investments to improve the supply chain management for HIV, malaria, and family planning initiatives. USAID also supports the Government of Kenya to improve the collection, verification, and use of health data.

Global Health Security

USAID’s Global Health Security program aims to strengthen the capacity of partner governments, universities and research institutions the private sector, and civil society for the prevention, preparedness, detection, and response to infectious disease threats, including antimicrobial resistance. Recognizing the interconnection between the health of humans, wild and domestic animals, and their shared environment, USAID works across these sectors applying a One Health approach to strengthen their health systems and achieve program objectives.

USAID has supported Kenya in establishing community-based surveillance for infectious diseases zoonotic diseases surveillance and laboratory detection protocols One Health coordination mechanisms among ministries and other partners and a regional university network to strengthen One Health education. USAID also helped respond to outbreaks in both humans and animals, including the 2018 and 2021 Rift Valley Fever outbreaks 2019 anthrax outbreak, and COVID-19.

Controlling HIV Epidemic

USAID works through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Launched in 2003, PEPFAR represents the largest U.S. Government investment in HIV globally. This initiative enables Kenyans living with HIV/AIDS to access treatment. PEPFAR also shares information to end the spread of the disease from mother to child and partner to partner. As a result of U.S. Government efforts, more Kenyans are being tested for HIV and being put on antiretroviral therapy. HIV programming focuses on palliative care, orphans and vulnerable children, nutrition, home-based care, and other related services.

Reducing the Burden of Malaria

Malaria is one of the leading causes of sickness and death in Kenya. The U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), a collaboration between the U.S. Government and Government of Kenya, expands malaria prevention and treatment measures. USAID procures and distributes malaria medicines to health facilities. USAID also provides insecticide-treated bed nets in communities and malaria prophylaxis to pregnant women. In addition, USAID supports indoor spraying to reduce the presence of malaria-carrying mosquitoes in homes.

Controlling Tuberculosis

TB remains the leading infectious disease killer globally. USAID strengthens Kenya’s National Tuberculosis and Lung Disease Program by improving diagnostics, increasing access to treatment, and combating drug-resistant TB and HIV-associated TB. USAID launched “The Global Accelerator to End Tuberculosis,” which will leverage resources from countries, private-sector partners, and other local organizations. These resources will help Kenya meet the UN General Assembly's TB targets:

  • Treat 40 million people with TB by 2022
  • Start 30 million people on TB preventive therapy

Preventing Maternal and Child Deaths

Kenya has made great strides in reducing child deaths, with a nearly 30 percent decline in child and infant death between 2008 and 2014, according to the most recently available national demographic and health surveys. Newborns and young children have a better chance to reach their full potential thanks to improvements in postnatal care. USAID continues to combat the main causes of maternal and child deaths. Work focuses on all aspects of service delivery systems, which includes:

Kenya Population - History

The history of organized statistical activities in Kenya goes back to the 1920’s. The Colonial Government appointed its first Official Statistician in 1925. In 1926, the statistician was assigned to work for the Conference of Governors of the three East African territories of Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika and this foreshadowed the creation of the East African Statistical Department (EASD). The EASD was formally established in 1948. The EASD collected, processed and published statistical data for the three territories. The department published, on a regular basis, the East African Economic and Statistical Bulletin. In 1948 the first population census in Kenya was undertaken but the results were published in 1952.

In 1956, the EASD was decentralized into three separate Statistical Units to serve Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika at the territorial level while retaining the EASD to deal with statistical needs common to the three territories. This was the first time that a fully-fledged Statistical Unit was set up in Kenya. The enactment of the Statistics Act on 4th July 1961 fully integrated the Kenya Statistical Unit within the government machinery as the government Statistical Office. The Statistics Unit was formally established as the Economics and Statistics Division of the Treasury.In 1962, the Division undertook the second Population Census in Kenya prior to attainment of Independence.

In 1963, the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development was established and the Division was transferred from the Treasury to the new Ministry. Subsequently, the Division was split into two units that were elevated to departments namely the Planning Department headed by a Chief Economist and the Statistics Department headed by a Chief Statistician. However, Agricultural Statistics Section of the former Economics Planning and Development was physically located in the Ministry of Agriculture, an arrangement which continued up to 1972. During this year, the Statistics Department of the Ministry of Planning and Development was renamed the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) and the head of the Department was designated “Director” instead of Chief Statistician.

CBS expanded its operations in the 1960’s and 1970’s both at the headquarters in Nairobi and at the field level. During this period, it undertook a wide range of data collection activities and kept a healthy publication programme. This impetus continued up to the mid 1980’s when CBS greatly expanded its field survey programme to respond to the need for district-level statistical data following the adoption of the District Focus for Rural Development (DFRD) strategy in 1983. However, a deteriorating trend set in mid 1980’s and continued into the 1990’s. This period was characterized by low level data collection efforts, minimal processing and analysis of collected data and discontinuation of issuance of publications which, in the past, used to be regular features of CBS activities. The factors responsible for the downward trend include inadequate budgetary allocation as a result of reduction in government expenditure and inadequate number of professional staff particularly at senior levels.

It was therefore axiomatic that effective measures were needed to reverse this negative trend and to prepare CBS for the challenge of the 21st century. To this end, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) was established by the Statistics Act of 2006 to replace CBS. The Act establishes KNBS as a Semi-Autonomous Government Agency incorporated under the Ministry of State for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030. Its core mandate is collection, compilation, analysis, publication and dissemination of statistical information for public use, with an additional role of coordinating, monitoring and supervising the National Statistical System (NSS).

More Gazette tribes in Kenya

18. Taita tribe

Taita tribe reside in Taita hills in the southwestern parts of Kenya along Tanzanian border and are renown gemstone miners. The tribe identifies with Christianity and Muslim with a few people observing traditions such as respect for the dead and male circumcision rituals.

19. Taveta tribe

Taveta people occupy the land between Tsavo national park and Tanzania and communicate in Taveta language

20. Turkana tribe

The Turkana belong to the Nilotic community and are native in Turkana District found in northwestern Kenya.

21. Gabra tribe

This tribe lives in Chalbi desert found in Northern parts of Kenya as camel-herding nomads. The tribe is closely related to the Borana and are part of the Oromo people.

22. Mbeere tribe

Mbeere people belong to the Bantu ethnic group and majorly inhabit in Kenya’s Eastern province. The tribe communicates in the Kimbeere dialect that has a close resemblance to kikuyu and Embu languages. The tribe has a number of Kenya’s favorite destinations including Gitaru, Kamburu, Masinga, Kiambere, and Kindaruma dams. Other places of interest in the region include Kiangombe Mountain and Mwea National Reserve.

23. Nubi tribe

The tribe resides both in Kenya and Uganda with origins in Sudan. Nubi people are common in urban setups that include Eldama-Ravine and Nairobi. There are about 16,000 Nubi people in Kenya with about 15,000 residing in Uganda. The Nubi strongly uphold their culture and have long maintained Sunni Islam religion despite influence from their neighbors.

24. Tharaka

Tharaka tribe occupy Eastern Meru district, Eastern province, Kitui district and Embu district. A tenth of the Tharaka people reportedly live in urban setups while the rest lead busy lives in villages. Tharaka tribe is highly preservative and has managed to uphold its culture and traditions even with western influences. The tribesmen are agrarians mainly rearing goats, cows, cereals crops, sun flowers, and cotton. Tharaka people are also good businessmen.

25. IIchamus tribe

The IIchamus are pastoralists who later occupied Lake Baringo after enduring fierce clashes. As a result, the tribe is largely underdeveloped with wanting literacy levels. The IIchamus is a conservative tribe with industrious members who fish and rear animals hoping to better their lives.

26. Njemps tribe

Njemps live in the southern and south eastern part of Lake Baringo with a population of about 40,000. The tribe culture and dialect closely takes after the Samburu. The tribe mainly depend on farming and fishing to earn a living.

27. Borana tribe

Borana is among the most innovative semi-nomadic tribe living in northern and eastern Africa. The tribe practice pastoralism and shares a distinct history of conflicts over grazing land alongside other resources. Borana people occupy the barren northern Kenya region especially in Marsabit, moyale and Garissa districts. The tribe communicates in Oromo language and centers its economy on animals such as cows, sheep, and goats.

28. Galla tribe

Galla is a remarkable tribe mostly living in the east African region. The Galla are widely spread occupying eastern parts of Kenya.

29. Gosha tribe

Kenyan Gosha people are bilingual speaking in both Oromo language and Garre-Ajuuraan. The Gosha are largely conservative and practice the Islamic faith.

30. Konso tribe

The Konso tribe is also called Xonsita. The tribe comprise Cushitic speaking members and inhabit Kenya and South central Ethiopia.

31. Sakuye tribe

Sakuye is a semi-nomadic tribe residing in Isiolo and Marsabit counties. The tribesmen are pastoralists.

32. Waat tribe

Waat people speak in Oromo language and share much of their cultural practices with Orma and other Oromo affiliated groups.

33. Isaak tribe

Isaak is one of the Somali affiliated tribes marked with dense traditions and culture.

34. Walwana tribes

Walwana is a vibrant tribe comprising of about 20,000 people.

35. Dasenach tribe

Dasenach ethnic group occupy parts of Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya. The tribe has origins in Debub Omo Zone with a close proximity to Lake Turkana. Dasenach people are primarily agro pastoral with a noticeable entrepreneurial spirit.

36. Galjeel tribe

The tribe is one of the minority tribe often sidelined in national matters. The tribe is however recognized on the list of tribes.

37. Leysan tribe

The tribe comprises both Digil and Mirifle mainly resinding in Somali. The tribe also occupy a better part of eastern Kenya. The tribesmen are mostly nomadic pastoralists as well as agrarians.

38. Bulji tribe

Bulji is among the minority tribes that are growing fast and adding some modern twist to their otherwise rich traditions and entrepreneurial practices.

39. Teso tribe

Teso people reside in both Kenya and Uganda following ancient scramble and partition of Africa. Teso is a Nilotic tribe will close resemblance to Masaai, Turkana, and Samburu.

40. Kenyan Arabs tribe

Kenyan Arabs live along the coastline in the Indian Ocean. The tribe is historically attached to the Omani, Yemeni, and Persian traders who threaded the region ahead of colonization. The tribe leads humble lives.

41. Kenyan Asian tribe

Recently recognized as a tribe in the country, Asian is one of the new tribes in Kenya to receive such a significant recognition by the government of Kenya in President Uhuru’s regime.

The Asian community represents the significant descendants of Kenya-Uganda railway builders brought to the country as laborers. The people of the tribe are considered as successful commercial pioneers in the country.

42. Kenyan European tribe

The tribe came to Kenya in the early 19th century and now recognizes as a tribe in the country.

43. Kenyan American

Americans of Kenyan descent are now a recognized tribe with an overwhelming population of about 95,000. Many Kenyan American persons reside in Washington, in the United States of America. Other tribesmen live in California, Maryland, Indiana, Texas, New York, North California, and Georgia.

READ ALSO: Zulu traditional wedding attire

The total number of tribes in Kenya remains an unresolved mystery considering some minority groups now springing up to claim national recognition. Truth be told, we have exhausted the number of tribes recognized by the Kenyan state but not the tribes present in the country. From the tribes covered above, it is elaborate that the country broadly shares remarkable diversity not only in cultural practices but also beliefs and languages.

Watch the video: Kenya - Changing of Population Pyramid u0026 Demographics 1950-2100 (May 2022).