Life Expectancy in Kenya Has Increased in the Last 8 Years – UNDP
New statistics show that the life expectancy of people living in Kenya has increased in the last 8 years from 57 in 1991 to 67 in 2017.
“Between 1990 and 2017, Kenya’s life expectancy at birth increased by 9.8 years, mean years of schooling increased by 2.8 years and expected years of schooling increased by 3.0 years,” according to the United Nations Human Development Indices and Indicators: 2018 Statistical Update.
Many factors like improved nutrition, access to fresh water, recovery from HIV epidemics and decreases in child mortality have led to an increase in life expectancy to 60.7 years compared to 49.7 years in 1990, according to the United Nations annual human development index.
However, despite developments made especially in health, education, and income levels, “Large pockets of poverty and exclusion persist. Inequality and conflict are on the rise in many places. Climate change and other environmental concerns are undercutting development now and for future generations,” said Achim Steiner Administrator United Nations Development Programme.
“While these statistics present a stark picture in themselves, they also speak to the tragedy of millions of individuals whose lives are affected by inequity and lost opportunities, neither of which are inevitable,” said Steiner.
For instance, in Kenya, “For every 100,000 live births, 510 women die from pregnancy-related causes; and the adolescent birth rate is 80.5 births per 1,000 women of ages 15-19. Female participation in the labour market is 62.4 percent compared to 68.5 for men.”
Kenya was ranked 142 (0.590) globally under the “medium human development” group alongside 13 other countries. They are South Africa, 113 (0.699), Egypt, 115 (0.696), Morocco, 123 (0.667), Cape Verde, 125 (0.654), Namibia, 129 (0.647), Congo, 137 (0.606), Ghana, 140 (0.592), Equatorial Guinea, 141 (0.591), Sao Tome and Principe, 143 (0.589), Kingdom of e-Swatini, 144 (0.588), Zambia, 144 (0.588), Angola, 147 (0.581), and Cameroon, 151 (0.556).
“Kenya’s HDI value for 2017 is 0.590— which put the country in the medium human development category—positioning it at 142 out of 189 countries and territories.”
No African country is in the “very high human development” rank.
However, six African countries were ranked in the “high human development” group Seychelles, 0.797 (62), Mauritius, 0.790 (65), Algeria, Algeria, 0.754(85), Botswana, 0.717 (101), Libya, 0.706 (108) and Gabon, 0.702 (110).
Countries in the “low human development” include Tanzania, 154 (0.538) and Zimbabwe, 156 (0.535), Nigeria 157 (0.532), Senegal(164th, Ivory Coast 170th, Rwanda(158th), Lesotho(159th), Mauritania(159th), Madagascar(161st), Uganda(162nd), Benin(163rd), Togo(165th).
“Inequality in all its forms and dimensions, between and within countries, limits people’s choices and opportunities, withholding progress,” explained Selim Jahan, Director of the Human Development Report Office at UNDP.
The HDI is a summary measure for assessing long-term progress in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living.
A long and healthy life is measured by life expectancy. Knowledge level is measured by mean years of education among the adult population, which is the average number of years of education received in a lifetime by people aged 25 years and older; and access to learning and knowledge by expected years of schooling for children of school-entry age, which is the total number of years of schooling a child of school-entry age can expect to receive if prevailing patterns of age-specific enrolment rates stay the same throughout the child’s life.
Standard of living is measured by Gross National Income (GNI) per capita expressed in constant 2011 international dollars converted using purchasing power parity (PPP) conversion rates.