By Constance Ndeleko
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) is the principal agency of the Government for collecting, analyzing and disseminating statistical data, and the custodian of official statistical information. The Bureau is also responsible for the coordination of the National Statistical System (NSS) in the country.
The first known population census in Kenya was conducted in 1897 and was basically a headcount. This was followed by the 1948 census that focused on non-natives. A complete census that enumerated 8.6 million persons was conducted in 1962 and was used to set up political and administrative structures.
The first post-independence census was undertaken in 1969 and enumerated 10.9 million persons. Since then, the country has conducted decennial Population and Housing Censuses on a de facto basis with the midnight of 24th/25th August as the reference point. The censuses have been implemented in accordance with the United Nations (UN) Principles and Recommendations for conducting population and housing censuses. It was implemented under the provisions of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 and the Statistics (Amendment) Act, 2019.
The theme for the 2019 national census was “Counting Our People for Sustainable Development and Devolution of Services”. The theme resonates well with Kenya’s development agenda -Vision 2030 and the Big Four, as well as other regional and international development initiatives including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union Agenda 2063.
The main objective of the 2019 KPHC was to collect information on the size, composition, distribution and socio-economic characteristics of the population. The specific objectives were to ascertain the following:
▪ Population size, composition, and spatial distribution;
▪ Levels of fertility, mortality and migration;
▪ Educational attainment;
▪ Household composition;
▪Rate and pattern of urbanization;
▪ Size and deployment of labor force;
▪ Distribution of persons with disability;
▪ Housing conditions and availability of household amenities; and
▪ Agricultural indicators to inform the creation of an agriculture sampling frame.
The statistics will be used in planning, budgeting and programming for important services; future policy formulation, resource allocation; creation of administrative and political units; monitoring and evaluation of programs and projects; research; 2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census.
With all the efforts done by the government of head count of people in the country there was no clear outcome highlighting the number of children as expected. However, we appreciate the statics given per county to understand its demography and representation by age.
The population pyramid displays the age-sex structure of the population. It shows that majority of the population are the youth.
It is essential for everyone to participate in the Census. The census result determines funding for the services we all depend on, like first respondents, schools, roads, and child care. There’s a clear need for us to enhance census on children since;
- The number of young children missed in the Decennial census is large, growing, and the consequences are serious
- Young children are missed for different reasons than adults; we need to count young children differently than we count adults
- Advocates are working nationally, and in states and localities, to improve the count
- Schools can play a significant role in helping count young children
The display below shows that the age-sex structure of the rural-urban population, a wide base concentrated among population aged below 15 years.
The population pyramid for urban areas indicates that majority of the population is concentrated between ages 20 and 34 among both sexes.
This shows that we have a young generation that needs to be nurtured in a holistic way to ensure they realize their full potential as well lay a strong foundation for them to achieve their goals in respect to their rights and responsibilities as young citizens.