KENYA: Kenya’s population hits 49.7 million amid slow jobs growth

August 2017 Businessdaily; Population of Kenya grew by 4.3 million within a year to reach 49.7 million at a time when the country is grappling with high unemployment, a new report says.

According the 2017 World Population Data Sheet from the Population Reference Bureau (PRB), Kenya’s population will hit 67 million in 2030 and 95.5 million by 2050.

The rapid population rise, PRB says, is not in tandem with the country’s capacity to create new jobs.

Data from the United Nation’s latest Human Development Index (HDI) revealed that Kenya’s unemployment rate is now equal to that of Ethiopia and Rwanda combined.

This is despite the economy growing at a robust rate of 5.8 per cent in 2016 compared to 5.7 per cent in 2015.

Currently, Kenya has one of the highest dependency ratios in the world at 75.4 per cent – meaning that most adult Kenyans have dependants who are either minors or elderly.

The high ratio arises from the country’s unemployment rate which currently stands at 39.1 per cent, according to the 2017 HDI.


PRB’s statistics also show that Uganda’s population grew to 42.8 million, as Rwanda’s hit 12.3 million and Tanzania’s topped the region at 57.5 million in a year, up from 36.6 million, 11.9 million and 54.2 million respectively.

The population index now predicts that Africa’s population will more than double to 2.6 billion by 2050 and account for more than half (57 per cent) of the global population increase by that date.

“The population of 30 countries, nearly all in Africa, will at least double by 2050…Africa’s youth population will rise to 35 per cent of the world youth total in 2050, from 20 per cent today,” the survey said.

It projects that world population will reach 9.8 billion in 2050, up 31 per cent from an estimated 7.5 billion people.


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