Step Inside Kenya’s Richest Neighborhoods

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Safaricom Headquarters.

An analysis of data from the national census shows Kenya’s richest households are concentrated in Nairobi and its environs. According to the Census data, Lang’ata and Westlands host the majority of Kenya’s filthy rich.

A good number of these inhabitants own houses with access to the internet and other luxurious social amenities such as high-end spas.

Lang’ata is home to some of the most popular estates in Nairobi, including Karen and South C, with eight administrative units, while Westlands hosts upmarket suburbs such as Kitisuru, Lavington, Kilimani, Parklands, and Highridge.

The data is contained in the fourth volume of the Kenya Population and Housing Census that tackles the distribution of the population by socio-economic characteristics.

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Safaricom Headquarters in Westlands, Nairobi.

The Standard

The report indicates that a sizable population in Lang’ata and Westlands live in rented houses, however, they still lead in the number of households in urban centers that own homes. 

It is costly to own a house in Langata and Westlands where the price of homes is driven up by prohibitive land prices. Very few people, other than the rich can afford to build or buy a house here. 

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The 2019 census looked at Kenyan’s housing conditions and the facilities within their homes including toilets, TV sets and refrigerators. Langata tops the surveyed households owning cars with 35.9% with Westlands coming in second with 32.8% of its residents classified as car owners. 

However, some of the poorest also live in these areas, for instance, Kangemi which is in Westlands.

The data showed that Westlands has the highest number of people living in rented apartments, reason being that it’s too expensive to buy a home in the area.

Internet access in Lang’ata and Westlands is quite fast, with the statistics showing that  65.9 % of Lang’ata residents have access to the internet, while Westlands has a 63.7% coverage.

Ruaka, Kikuyu and Ruiru were also singled out as some of the richest areas in the larger Kiambu county. The three are aptly dubbed Nairobi’s “dormitories” as a large number of workers in the capital reside in these areas.

However, only 14 % of the population in Ruaka, Kikuyu and Ruiru own cars. 

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A section of Ruaka Surburb.

A photo of Ruaka Town, Kiambu County.

The Standard

Interestingly, Westlands leads the capital in terms of graduates. 61,560 out of 271,304 residents in the area are graduates, representing 22.6% of the population.

It is closely followed by Lang’ata which has 41,887 graduates, translating to about 25% of the total population.

Lang’ata and Westlands also top the list when it comes to standards of housing. They have the highest number of houses with tiled roofs in the country at 21.1% and 14% respectively.

Volume IV of the 2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census results released on Friday, February 21, noted that the Kikuyu community was the most populous with 8.14 million people.

Back in November 2019, several political leaders from Tharaka-Nithi County, who included Governor Muthomi Njuki, MPs Kareke Mbiuki (Mara), Gitonga Murugara (Tharaka) and Patrick Munene (Chuka Igambang’ombe) called on the government to review the census results.

They further claimed that the statistics do not reflect the findings of a pre-census report released early this year by KNBS, 

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