Religious Adherents, 2010 (World Christian Database)1
The country has an area of 225,000 square miles and a population of 35.5 million. Approximately 80 percent of the country is Christian, 10 percent is Muslim, less than 1 percent is Hindu, Sikh, and Baha'i, while the remainder follows various traditional indigenous religions. Protestants comprise 58 percent of Christians, and Roman Catholics 42 percent.
The North Eastern Province, where the population is predominantly ethnic Somali, is home to 15 percent of the Muslim population. Sixty percent of the Muslim population lives in Coast Province, comprising 50 percent of the total population there. Western areas of Coast Province are mostly Christian. The upper part of Eastern Province is home to 10 percent of the country's Muslims, where they are the majority religious group. Apart from a small ethnic Somali population in Nairobi, the rest of the country is largely Christian.
Upper Eastern, North Eastern, and Coast Provinces, which together are home to approximately 75 percent of the Muslim population, have less developed infrastructure, lower levels of education, and higher levels of poverty and unemployment than many other parts of the country. The new coalition Government created a Ministry of the Development of Northern Kenya and Other Arid Lands to specifically redress this situation. The Minister is a Muslim from the North Eastern Province.
Note: The World Christian Database (WCD) estimates, used in the Religious Adherents section above, count each person as belonging to a maximum of one religious group. For more information, see the WCD methodology document. The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom report estimates, used in the Religious Demography section, use less restrictive criteria in which a person who identifies with more than one religion is classified as a follower of each. In certain cases (such as Japan and other nations with strong folk religion traditions), this can cause counts to vary widely between estimates. Users are advised to consult the relevant source documents before determining which counts to cite.
1. The World Christian Database (WCD) is based on the 2600-page award-winning World Christian Encyclopedia and World Christian Trends, first published in 1982 and revised in 2001. This extensive work on World religion is now completely updated and integrated into the WCD online database. Designed for both the casual user and research scholar, information is readily available on religious activities, growth rates, religious literature, worker activity, and demographic statistics. Additional secular data is incorporated on population, health, education, and communications. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. Used with permission.
2. The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.