Richest counties in Kenya: Nairobi, Nakuru, Kiambu, and Mombasa counties have been ranked the highest contributors to Kenya’s national wealth out of the 47 counties, according to a new report.

As per the report, Nairobi contributed the highest to the GDP with a shaee of 21.7 per cent, followed by Nakuru at 6.1 per cent, Kiambu at 5.5 per cent, Mombasa at 4.7 per cent and Machakos at 3.2 per cent.

The top 10 richest are:

1. Nairobi

2. Nakuru

3. Kiambu

4. Mombasa

5. Machakos

6. Meru

7. Kisumu

8. Nyandarua

9. Kakamega

10. Uasin Gishu

The top 10 poorest are:

1. Pokot

2. Taita Taveta

3. Garissa

4. Mandera

5. Wajir

6. Marsabit

7. Tana River

8. Lamu

9. Samburu

10. Isiolo

With the exception of Nairobi city and Mombasa counties, agriculture remains a key driver of growth in most counties. Counties with huge agricultural potential include Nakuru, Nyandarua, Kiambu,
Elgeyo Marakwet, Meru, Narok, and Bomet.

However, agriculture activity is low in Kajiado, Isiolo, Machakos, and Kisumu. Industrial activities, manufacturing activities in particular, are mainly
concentrated in urban counties, namely: Nairobi, Kiambu, Mombasa, Machakos, Kisumu, Nakuru, and Kajiado.

However, there remain untapped opportunities for industry sector development in counties including Lamu, Samburu, Isiolo, Tana River, Elgeyo Marakwet, and Baringo.

This first ever Gross County Product (GCP) 2019 study by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) provides a measure of how much each country contributes to Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product.

The study established that a quarter of counties have their per capita GCP (in real terms) greater than the national GDP per capita. This also highlight huge disparities across counties, but also elevates the opportunity that devolved system of governance brings to table to tackle the same.

The study tracks the monetary measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced within each of the 47 counties.

Nairobi emerged top with a GCP of 21.7 percent in a five year period of the study (2013-2017).

The rest of the top 10 counties include Nakuru (6.1 percent), Kiambu (5.5 percent), Mombasa (4.7 percent), Machakos (3.2 percent), Meru (2.9 percent) and Kisumu (2.9 percent), Nyandarua (2.6 percent) Kakamega (2.4 percent) and Uasin Gishu (2.3 percent).

Isiolo at 0.2 per cent and Samburu at 0.3 per cent trailed the list of contributors to the national wealth, according to the report.

KNBS director-general Zachary Mwangi said the data for the estimation of the GCP 2019 was drawn from regular data collected by the agency through “recurrent and intermittent surveys and censuses and administrative records.”

A survey conducted in all 47 counties in 2018 supplemented the existing data sets, he said.

In providing the GCP of each county, the chairperson of the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) Jane Kiringai said the study had identified the missing piece of the jig-saw puzzle that is revenue sharing.

The report is expected to help shape the revenue sharing debate, she added.

“The overarching objective of the GCP estimates is to provide a picture of the economic structure and relative size of the economy for each county,” says the study.

“The estimates are expected to be instrumental in informing economic growth and supporting county level decision making and economic planning.”

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