Kenya in numbers
Posted Friday, June 1 2012 at 00:00
Forty-nine years ago today, Governor General Malcom McDonald handed over partial power to Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta as Kenya moved from colonial to internal governing status as a British Dominion ahead of full independence on December 12, 1963, becoming a republic in 1964.
Since then, it has been a long journey and what a better way to look back than a visit to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) data vaults for the numbers that tell our story.
8,636,263: Kenya’s population in 1962, a year before independence. This number has steadily been rising with the current figure standing a few digits shy of 40 million. And just like it was the case in the 2009 census, the first post-independent Kenya headcount indicated that the ratio of men to women was one to one
266,794: Nairobi’s population in 1963, which has grown eleven fold to three million as recorded in the 2009 national census.
46.5 yrs: Average male life expectancy in 1963 which has since risen to 64.2 by 2010. This is credited to easier access to healthcare and improved living conditions. Life expectancy for women is four years more in both cases
184: The number of MPs in the first parliament of independent Kenya. Although women had to wait for six years before Grace Onyango entered the house that professes the “just governance of men” in 1969. Now the house boasts 22 female MPs
908: The number of registered doctors in Kenya at independence compared to the 7,129 indicated in the government records as of 2010. Despite the increase in doctor numbers, the patient-doctor ratio remains low at 18:100,000
4,132: Number of registered nurses in 1963 which had grown to 29,678 by 2010. But just like the doctors, the patient-nurse ratio still hovers around the uncomfortable figure of 75:100,000. The huge number of patients that a single doctor or nurse attends to is one of the reasons why personnel from the two professions have been resorting to strikes in recent times
177: The number of hospitals in 1966 which has grown to more than 400 today
62: Infant mortality rate (per 1,000 live births) at independence. The current figure stands at 52 per 1,000 live births. However, this figure has been fluctuating over the years with one of the highest rates recorded being 78 in 2003. Also, note that many infant births and deaths went unrecorded in the early 1960s
35, 448: Number of registered cases of abortion countrywide in 2005, including unsuccessful attempts. The figures for abortion, indecent exposure, incest, defilement of minors — all of which were classified as crimes against morality— totalled up to less than a thousand
11: The number of typhoid cases reported countrywide in 1965 compared to more than 1.75 million cases reported in 2008. This is attributed to water scarcity and contamination at the source or in transit. Also the emergence of slums
0: Number of universities in Kenya in 1963 compared to the current 32. Although University of Nairobi existed as a college, it was upgraded to an autonomous university and renamed as University of Nairobi in 1970 with Kenyatta University as its constituent college
151: Number of secondary schools at the dawn of independence compared to the current 7,308. This is credited to the Harambee spirit and the introduction of programmes like the Constituency Development Fund (CDF)
27,489: The number of primary schools across the country by 2010, which is more than three times the 6,058 that were operational when Kenya became a republic in 1964