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Largest Cities in Kenya (2020)

Largest Cities in Kenya (2020)

Photo: Sopotnicki/Shutterstock

Want to know more about the Largest Cities in Kenya? Here’s an updated list, ranked by population and total area in 2020.

Kenya is a country in eastern Africa. It covers the total area of 224,081 square miles with a population of over 47.6 Million which makes it the 48th largest country in the world by area and 29th most populous country of the world.

The country comprises of a total of 47 counties. Mombasa is the oldest city and the first capital of Kenya. Nairobi is the main hub and the current official capital of the country.


Nairobi is the capital of Kenya. Commonly referred to as the Green City in the Sun, Nairobi has a total population of 4,394,073 and spans an area of 269 square miles, making it the largest city in Kenya.

The city was founded by the colonial authorities in British East Africa in 1899, and features a central location between the other big cities, Mombasa and Kampala, acting as the main hub of the business activity of the country and connecting other major hubs as well.

United Nations and the United Nations Environment Program are situated in Nairobi giving megacity a major geopolitical and international exposure.

Moreover, it also has the largest and second oldest stock exchange in Africa known as the Nairobi Securities Exchange. 60% of national GDP is generated by Nairobi alone making it an indispensable part of the economy.

Kenya Facts

Photo: Billy Miaron /


Mombasa is the oldest city in Kenya and presently also its second-largest city. Known as the white and blue city, it has a population count of 1,208,333 and covers an area of 113.8 square miles.

The city is the second most important economic and cultural hub of the country. Its geographical location on the Indian Ocean has made it a historical trading center.

Mombasa is home to the country’s largest seaport, the Kilindini Harbour, which makes it an integral part of the country’s economy. Moi International Airport connects the city with the rest of the world. 


Photo: tourpics_net /


Kisumu is situated in the western part of Kenya and is the third-largest city with a total population of 750,000. It covers a total area of 805 square miles and was founded in the year 1901. Popular for being the hometown of Barack Obama’s father in recent times, the city was a rather unexplored tourist destination until recently.

However, Kisumu has a lot of interesting places for tourists. A few important sites include Kibuye Market, Oile Market, the Kisumu Museum, an impala sanctuary, a bird sanctuary, and the Hippo Point. 

Visitors can also enjoy shopping malls and the nearby Kit Mikaye and Ndere Island National Park. The city is also the hometown of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, the first vice president of Kenya. 


Nakuru is located in Nakuru County in central Kenya. With a population of 500,000, it is the fourth-largest city in Kenya after Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu. It is situated 1850 meters above sea level.

Nakuru’s economy is based on manufacturing, tourism, and agriculture. Coffee, wheat, barley, maize, beans, and potatoes are the main crops of the city.

As per the UN statistics of 2011, it is the fastest-growing city of Africa and ranked fourth in the entire world in terms of growth of economy and potential. Egerton and Kabarak are the two main universities in the city.

The most important tourist places in the city are the Lake Nakuru National Park and the Hyrax Hill which is also the oldest prehistoric site located in the city.  


Eldoret is the capital city of the Uasin Gishu County with a total population of 400,000 making it the fifth-largest city of Kenya. Eldoret is the economic hub of the county. The city’s economy is largely based on agriculture due to the presence of the agricultural lands in the city’s suburbs.

Several factories are also located in the city which contributes significantly to the economy of the city. A few important ones are Raiplywoods, Rupa Textiles, Kenya Pipeline Company, and Kenya Cooperative Creameries.


Photo: Billy Miaron /


Kehancha is a city located in Migroi County in southwestern Kenya. With a total population of 256,086, it is the sixth-most populous city in the country. Kehancha was an isolated town that became a victim of poor planning.

However, it is now one of the fastest-growing towns in Migori County. The growth is largely attributed to the construction of the Migori-Kehancha Road which has injected fresh business activity and a new life in the town.

The city also benefits from its proximity to the Tanzanian border which brings an additional influx of trading activity contributing greatly to Kehancha’s ongoing boom.


Ruiru is located in Kiambu County in southern Kenya. With a total population of 238,858, it is the seventh-largest city in Kenya and is actually situated less than 2 miles away from the capital of the country, Nairobi, serving as a dormitory town. The city occupies a total area of 113 square miles and is part of the Nairobi Metropolitan Area.

There are several industries located in Ruiru major factories and plants situated in the industrial area. A few important ones are Devki Steel Mills, Super Foam, Spinners & Spinners Garment Factory and Ruiru Feeds. The Kenyatta University-Main Campus is located just outside Ruiru.



Kikuyu is located in Kiambu County in southern Kenya. Located around 13 miles away from Nairobi, Kikuyu serves as one of the suburbs and residential districts for the capital. It has a total population of 233,231. The city is named after the Kikuyu people who combine to form the largest ethnic group in the area.

The main occupation of the people inhabiting Kikuyu is livestock and agriculture. The city houses many historic sites which can be visited by tourists. A few important ones are caves dug by the Indian Coollies, the Undiri Swamp, and the PCEA Church of the Torch.  

Most Populated Cities in Kenya

Here’s a list of the largest cities in Kenya, ranked by their total population. 

1 Nairobi 4,394,073
2 Mombasa 1,208,333
3 Kisumu 750,000
4 Nakuru 500,000
5 Eldoret 400,000
6 Kehancha 256,086
7 Ruiru 238,858
8 Kikuyu 233,231
9 Kangundo 218,557
10 Malindi 207,253
11 Naivasha 181,966
12 Kitui 155,896
13 Machakos 150,041
14 Thika 139,853
15 Athi River 139,380
16 Karuri 129,934
17 Nyeri 125,357
18 Kilifi 122,899
19 Garissa 119,696
20 Vihiga 118,696

How many of the largest cities in Kenya did you know about? Leave a comment below!

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