The Cost Of Living In Kenya For Expats

Home to approximately 54 million people, Kenya offers 50 national parks and nature reserves, all protected by the Kenya Wildlife Service. Kenya is also the world’s leading Safari destination, as recognised by the World Travel Awards for the last eight years in a row, making it a dream destination for British expats. From the urban capital of Nairobi, to the coastal city of Mombasa, and the rural heartlands between, Kenya offers expats the chance to experience some of the world’s most diverse and beautiful natural landscapes, along with a glorious climate and low cost of living.

Better yet, Kenya is rapidly emerging as a hub of international industry. Coming 56th in the World Bank’s 2020 Ease of Doing Business report, Kenya is noted for its strong infrastructure and stable political economy, which is helping to make the country a magnet for start-ups. In 2018, half of all start-up investment in Africa went into Kenyan companies. Here, we’ll take you through the cost of living in Kenya and how to make the most of your new life in one of Africa’s best up-and-coming regions.

The cost of living in Kenya

According to 2022 data, the cost of living in Kenya is around 46.6% lower than in the United Kingdom and 54.4% lower than in the United States. This takes into account everything from the average cost of rent in Kenya, to food bills and travel expenses, making the move to Kenya an enviable option for expats in the Western world.

Though still considered a ‘developing’ country, Kenya has enjoyed significant political and economic growth over the last decade, aided by the introduction of a presidential representative democratic republic and multi-party legislative system. The first vote under this new system was held in 2013, with the most recent in August 2022.

Under its new constitution, Kenya’s economy achieved broad-based growth averaging 4.8% per year between 2015 and 2019, significantly reducing poverty across the country. After a downturn during the COVID-19 pandemic, Kenya’s GDP grew at 5.5% in 2022.

The Kenyan capital Nairobi is the country’s political centre and one of Africa’s top destinations for business opportunities related to technology and innovation. Along with a promising job market, the cost of living in Nairobi is low. This year, the capital ranked 160th out of 227 in Mercer’s Cost of Living City Rankings, meaning living costs in Nairobi are far cheaper than other major cities on the continent, including Cairo, Egypt, (154), Yaoundé, Cameroon (100), and Lagos, Nigeria (55).