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Kenya’s emerging middle class wealthier than US, British counterparts – report

Tuesday October 6 2015

More than one in three Africans have entered the middle class in the past decade, and their numbers are set to increase thanks to rapid economic growth, a study showed Monday. PHOTO | FILE

More than one in three Africans have entered the middle class in the past decade, and their numbers are set to increase thanks to rapid economic growth, a study showed Monday. PHOTO | FILE 

BRIAN NGUGI
By BRIAN NGUGI
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Kenya’s emerging middle class is wealthier than peers in developed economies such as Britain and the United States, a new report shows.

The Standard Chartered study, The Emerging Affluence Report 2015, also shows that Kenya's middle class saves six times more than their American and British financial peers in the West.

“Emerging affluent people in Africa and Asia plan to save as much as 30 per cent of their household income in the next year up from 26 per cent in the past year. This is more than six times the proportion set aside by people in Britain and the US,” said the report, which polled 7,000 people in seven of Standard Chartered’s markets including Hong Kong, China, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria and Singapore.

MIDDLE CLASS GOALS

Kenyan respondents said in the poll that launching their own business is their number one wealth goal over the next 10 years while acquiring high-end property forms their medium-term goal.

“In the next two to five years, buying a new property tops the list in six out of seven markets – China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria and Singapore,” said the report.

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Meanwhile, Kenya's middle class plans to spend the most on their children's education in the next one year.

CONFIDENT AND AMBITIOUS

Standard Chartered retail banking Chief Executive Officer Karen Fawcett said the study’s findings confirm that the affluent consumers in emerging markets are confident and ambitious, which supports the long-term outlook for growth in these markets.

“At a time when many people are worried about the global economy, this study suggests it feels very different on the ground in Asia and Africa,” she said.

Standard Chartered partnered with research agency GlobeScan to conduct the study.

The survey polled 7,000 emerging affluent people across urban regions in China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria and Singapore.