Population is the total number of people living in area at a given fixed period of time. Kenya’s population is not evenly distributed because some areas are densely populated while some others are not. Kenya’s population is currently approximated to be over 40 million people. The densely populated areas in Kenya are the fertile highlands, major towns, industrial areas and cities. The factors influencing population distribution are;
Areas in Kenya that have fertile soils encourage human settlement example the Kenyan highlands where soils are rich enough to support agricultural practices such as tea and coffee farming. These areas record the highest number of people hence have a higher population density.
Areas that have high amounts of rainfall through the year with proper distribution as well as optimum temperatures are most preferred for settlement by Kenyans. Example is the north eastern province of Kenya which is sparsely populated because of harsh climatic conditions that do not favour human settlement.
High mountains with steep slopes discourage human settlement and farming because the soils in these areas are prone to erosion. Landslides are also common in case of excessive rainfall as experienced in Murang’a County. This makes people move to more productive land. Construction of houses and roads on the slopes is also difficult and costly.
Urban areas attract more people to settle leading to high population densities. People move mainly from rural areas to urban areas in search of employment and better social amenities like schools and hospitals. Employment opportunities have also contributed to the increased population of urban areas.
Areas with industries are densely populated since they offer employment. Thika town in Kiambu County is an example of a town where the population is high because of the many industries that are located in the area.
Pests and diseases also affect the population distribution, areas infested with pests are scarcely populated like the Lambwe valley and Perkerra which are mostly infected by tsetse flies that cause sleeping sickness and are harmful to both human beings and animals.