Nairobi Population 2022

5,118,844
map placeholder

Nairobi is the capital of Kenya, which is located in Africa. In addition to being the capital, Nairobi is also the country’s largest city by population. The last official population was taken in 2009 and at that time was 3,138,369 in the city proper. That number has since grown to approximately 3.5 million. The metro area has over 6.5 million residents. This “Green City in the Sun” has a history dating back to 1899 and continues to grow as rural residents make their way to this big city for employment opportunities.

City Size and Population Density

The city of Nairobi is growing consistently and currently sprawls over a surface area of 696 kilometers squared (269 square miles). This area size - in combination with the total number of residents - brings us the current population density which is now approximately 4,850 residents per square kilometer. (12,600 people living per square mile).

Nairobi Demographics

The primary languages of Nairobi are Swahili and English. The city is the location of one of the largest slums in the world, and approximately 22% of the city’s residents live in poverty.

Nairobi is a very ethnically diverse city, and Kenya’s major ethnic groups all reside here, including Luo, Luhyia and Kamba. The population is made up of 20% Kikuyu. There are also many Asians, Europeans, and Somalis that call this city home. A large number of expatriates live here because of the job opportunities, which has led to the city’s explosive growth.

Nairobi History

Nairobi’s history goes back to 1899 when it became the site of the Uganda Railway’s headquarters. This railway line, meant to connect the East African interior with the rest of the world, had been named the "Lunatic Express" by skeptics doubting its economic worth. Prior to this, the city was uninhabited and was primarily swampland.

The original town was burned down during the 1900s after the plague hit its residents. The city was rebuilt, but in its earliest years, malaria was a growing issue, leading to attempts to move the town.

Under the rule of the British, the city grew. It was named as capital of the British protectorate and was named a municipality in 1919. The city continued to expand through the 1950s and 1960s. During this time, Nairobi would become a hot "big game hunting expedition" spot until independence came about. Following World War II, Kenya became independent and Nairobi was named as capital. In the early 1970s, the city continued its expansion, pouring $29 million into its airport.

In the 2000s, the city became even larger and mre modern, including the development of the Thika Superhighway. Today, the city is home to one of Adrica’s largest stock exchanges, is the site of international company headquarters including IBM, GE and Coca-Cola, and is known for Nairobi National Park, a popular destination for residents and tourists alike.

Nairobi Population Growth

Nairobi is one of the fastest growing cities in Africa, quickly becoming the second largest city of the African Great Lakes. The city is growing at a rate of over 4% annually, primarily because of the high birth rates and immigrants that come to Nairobi searching for employment opportunities. It is estimated that the city will continue on its upward trajectory in terms of population, reaching 5 million in 2025.

Year Population
1950137,456
1951148,243
1952159,893
1953172,423
1954185,953
1955200,546
1956216,306
1957233,256
1958251,561
1959271,302
1960292,622
1961315,553
1962340,315
1963360,798
1964381,625
1965403,591
1966426,854
1967451,458
1968477,518
1969505,003
1970530,741
1971557,165
1972584,943
1973614,024
1974644,594
1975676,686
1976710,423
1977745,742
1978782,870
1979821,846
1980861,661
1981903,076
1982946,544
1983992,103
19841,039,923
19851,089,907
19861,142,367
19871,197,352
19881,255,065
19891,315,390
19901,380,012
19911,448,047
19921,519,537
19931,594,345
19941,672,947
19951,755,424
19961,842,090
19971,932,778
19982,028,064
19992,128,049
20002,213,868
20012,299,455
20022,388,475
20032,480,942
20042,577,123
20052,676,753
20062,780,380
20072,888,019
20082,999,982
20093,115,959
20103,236,589
20113,361,889
20123,492,040
20133,627,229
20143,767,652
20153,913,512
20164,065,018
20174,222,389
20184,385,853
20194,556,381
20204,734,881
20214,922,192
20225,118,844
20235,325,160
20245,541,172
20255,766,989
20266,002,290
20276,246,785
20286,500,029
20296,761,661
20307,030,891
20317,308,504
20327,594,312
20337,888,347
20348,190,214
20358,499,403

Nairobi Population 2022

Year Population Growth Rate Growth
1950137,4560.00%
1951148,2437.85%10,787
1952159,8937.86%11,650
1953172,4237.84%12,530
1954185,9537.85%13,530
1955200,5467.85%14,593
1956216,3067.86%15,760
1957233,2567.84%16,950
1958251,5617.85%18,305
1959271,3027.85%19,741
1960292,6227.86%21,320
1961315,5537.84%22,931
1962340,3157.85%24,762
1963360,7986.02%20,483
1964381,6255.77%20,827
1965403,5915.76%21,966
1966426,8545.76%23,263
1967451,4585.76%24,604
1968477,5185.77%26,060
1969505,0035.76%27,485
1970530,7415.10%25,738
1971557,1654.98%26,424
1972584,9434.99%27,778
1973614,0244.97%29,081
1974644,5944.98%30,570
1975676,6864.98%32,092
1976710,4234.99%33,737
1977745,7424.97%35,319
1978782,8704.98%37,128
1979821,8464.98%38,976
1980861,6614.84%39,815
1981903,0764.81%41,415
1982946,5444.81%43,468
1983992,1034.81%45,559
19841,039,9234.82%47,820
19851,089,9074.81%49,984
19861,142,3674.81%52,460
19871,197,3524.81%54,985
19881,255,0654.82%57,713
19891,315,3904.81%60,325
19901,380,0124.91%64,622
19911,448,0474.93%68,035
19921,519,5374.94%71,490
19931,594,3454.92%74,808
19941,672,9474.93%78,602
19951,755,4244.93%82,477
19961,842,0904.94%86,666
19971,932,7784.92%90,688
19982,028,0644.93%95,286
19992,128,0494.93%99,985
20002,213,8684.03%85,819
20012,299,4553.87%85,587
20022,388,4753.87%89,020
20032,480,9423.87%92,467
20042,577,1233.88%96,181
20052,676,7533.87%99,630
20062,780,3803.87%103,627
20072,888,0193.87%107,639
20082,999,9823.88%111,963
20093,115,9593.87%115,977
20103,236,5893.87%120,630
20113,361,8893.87%125,300
20123,492,0403.87%130,151
20133,627,2293.87%135,189
20143,767,6523.87%140,423
20153,913,5123.87%145,860
20164,065,0183.87%151,506
20174,222,3893.87%157,371
20184,385,8533.87%163,464
20194,556,3813.89%170,528
20204,734,8813.92%178,500
20214,922,1923.96%187,311
20225,118,8444.00%196,652
20235,325,1604.03%206,316
20245,541,1724.06%216,012
20255,766,9894.08%225,817
20266,002,2904.08%235,301
20276,246,7854.07%244,495
20286,500,0294.05%253,244
20296,761,6614.03%261,632
20307,030,8913.98%269,230
20317,308,5043.95%277,613
20327,594,3123.91%285,808
20337,888,3473.87%294,035
20348,190,2143.83%301,867
20358,499,4033.78%309,189

Nairobi Population Data (Urban Area)

Name 2022 Population 2022 Growth
Nairobi5,118,8444.00%
Mombasa1,388,9793.58%
Eldoret427,9124.21%
Ruiru425,7834.58%
Nakuru407,9043.23%
Kisumu378,8743.37%

Other Cities in Kenya