At 2.7m, Somalis are 6th largest tribe in Kenya, highest household size


Somalis are the sixth largest ethnic tribe in Kenya with a population of 2.7 million, the newly released second part of the 2019 population and housing report indicates.

According to the report which covers the distribution in terms of ethnic composition, economic, administrative and social indicators, the number of Somalis in Kenya increased by 40,000 from 2009 when the previous census was conducted.

Out of the three counties predominantly occupied by Somalis, Mandera has the highest population of 867,457 followed by Garissa at 841,353 while Wajir comes last with 781,263.

The report also indicates that Somalis have the highest fertility rates with Mandera topping the list with the highest household population of 6.9. Wajir has an average household size of 6.1 while Garissa has the least average household size of 5.9.

The Kikuyu community has the highest population of 8.15 million followed by the Luhya (6.82m), then Kalenjin (6.36m), Luo (5.07m) and Kamba (4.66m).

Politicians from the north eastern region have in the recent past rejected the numbers noting the population of Somalis had risen significantly in the last ten years yet the 2019 census only put that number at 400,000.

The population distribution will be used to among others determine the allocation of resources under the national budget. Of concern among politicians is the possibility of a merger for constituencies whose population falls below the threshold.

According to new regulations, the population of a constituency should be a minimum of 170,000.


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