Top 10 Richest Counties in Kenya

Anne Katana

Kenya is a country blessed with natural resources that have helped to make some of its countries among the richest in the world. Here is a list of the ten richest counties in Kenya and what makes them so prosperous.

Their wellness and development significantly contribute to the growth of Kenya’s economy as a whole. The article will focus on Kenya’s top ten wealthiest counties.

These counties have a per capita income that is more than double the national average. They also have higher access to education, health care, and infrastructure.

The residents of these counties enjoy a higher standard of living than those in other parts of the country.

Kenya’s top 10 richest counties offer a glimpse of the country’s economic growth and development potential.

Related: Top 20 Richest Countries in Africa 2023.

Top Ten Richest Counties in Kenya

According to the World Bank, the top 10 wealthiest counties in Kenya are:

1. Nairobi County

Nairobi is considered the wealthiest county in Kenya, Accountingting for 27.5% of total GDP.

The capital city is more than three and a half times larger economically than Mombasa, Nakuru, Kiambu, and Machakos. According to a new Kenya National Bureau of Statistics report released in May 2022.

Nairobi’s contribution to the national wealth dispels the notion that the seat of power accounts for more than 60 percent of national output previously widely held.

2. Nakuru County

Nakuru County is the second wealthiest county in Kenya, with a GDP share of 6.1%.

 Farming is regarded as the main economic activity by the people living here. 

Nakuru residents also depend on its robust ecological system for other economic activities such as tourism, energy, and other beneficial commercial activities. 

The county has a rapid growth rate in the construction industry which has increased the county’s currency velocity.

Various construction-related industries have created employment opportunities for thousands of people.

3. Kiambu County

Kiambu County comes up third with a GDP share of 5.9%. The main economic activity in this county is tea, coffee, dairy, poultry, and horticulture farming.

These economic activities contribute immensely to 17.4 percent of the population income of the county.

It hosts Thika town, a big industrial and central commerce hub.

Being close to Nairobi, the county boasts good schools and road infrastructure.

Read also: List of Richest Women in Kenya

4. Mombasa County

As we all know, Mombasa County is the leading country in tourism. This economic activity contributes to 68% of the wage employment.

 Mombasa Marine National Park, Fort Jesus, and Nature Trail are some of the popular tourist attraction sites in the county.

Mombasa County is ranked as the fourth richest county in Kenya, with a GDP of 5.2 percent.

5. Machakos County

Machakos County made it to the top five wealthiest counties in Kenya with a GDP of 3.4 percent.

The county’s main economic activities include:

  • Livestock farming, trade
  • Mining 
  • Fruit farming 
  • Sand harvesting 

Food crops grown in the county include cereals.

It is also well endowed with natural resources such as livestock, minerals, game, tourist attraction sites, rangeland, pastures, and waters from rivers Athi and Tana. The rivers have been great sources of soil used in construction.

6. Meru County

Meru County comes sixth with a GDP contribution of 2.9 percent. The county which Hon governs. Kiraitu Murungi is known for miraa farming and production. 

Agriculture is the significant economic activity in this county due to the rich volcanic soils in the high-altitude areas. It is the leading county in horticulture production.

Several National Parks and conservancies attract tourist attractions region. It is a tourism hotspot with Meru National Park hosting unique wildlife attractions, including Somali ostrich, Grevy Zebras, Reticulated Giraffe, Giraffe Gazelle, and the Onyx.

The renowned Lewa Conservancy is also at the heart of the county. Meru also offers Mt Kenya climbing tourism circuit.

You may also like: How to Become Rich in Kenya.

7. Kisumu County

Kisumu County is now among the fastest-growing cities in Kenya. The county contributes 2.9% of GDP.

It thrives tremendously with rich sugar and rice irrigation industries whose contribution to the National economy is immense. This is due to its natural resources and as the epicenter for business in East Africa.

It is also the chief terminus for the agricultural produce of Nyanza and Western provinces.

The main economic activities of the county include subsistence farming, livestock keeping, fishing, rice farming, sugarcane farming, and small-scale farming.

8. Nyandarua County

Nyandarua County is the 8th richest county in Kenya, with a GDP share of 2.6%.

The county is well known as a giant in potato farming in Kenya. Despite the numerous challenges associated with agriculture, such as market fluctuation, the county still manages to fly the potato-farming flag high.

It was a leading producer of pyrethrum in the 1990s. However, the Kenya Pyrethrum Board, which had the role of purchasing, processing, and marketing the crop, collapsed due to poor management.

Aberdare forest, which covers a larger area of the county, attracts local and international tourists who contribute positively to the local society.

9. Kakamega County

Kakamega County is predominantly a crop farming economy and comes 9th with a GDP share of 2.4%. 

It used to serve as the headquarters of Mumias Sugar Company, which was previously Kenya’s largest sugar processing company located in Mumias town.

The inhabitants of the county practice cash and food crop farming. Kakamega forest is the leading tourist destination in the area. Another attraction is the Crying Stone of Ilesi, located along the Kisumu- Kakamega highway.

10. Uasin Gishu County

In 10th position is Uasin Gishu County, whose main economic activity is agriculture. On has a GDP share of 2.3%.

The county is known for large-scale wheat and maize farms that produce the bulk of the country’s total harvest.

The county also produces sizeable quantities of milk and horticultural produce. The country’s capital, Eldoret, is home to a vibrant textile industry and East Africa’s only manufacturer of small arms and ammunition.

The county also produces athletes representing the country in international athletics. The athletes include Eliud Kipchoge.

Richest Counties in Kenya Conclusion

In conclusion, we can see that Nairobi, Nakuru, Kiambu, Mombasa, and Machakos counties are some of the top countries that actively contribute to the country’s economy.

We also discover that they have some everyday economic activities that they practice, such as farming.

They face different challenges while carrying on with these activities, but they have proven consistent in their endeavors. 

These economic activities significantly contribute to the county’s growth and the country at large. 

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Anne is a student of history. She enjoys sharing her passion and experiences with people through blogging. She started to educate and inspire people globally.
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