Quality of Life Comparison

COMPARED TO

If you lived in South Africa instead of Kenya, you would:

Health

be 4.3 times more likely to be living with HIV/AIDS


In Kenya, 4.7% of people are living with AIDS/HIV as of 2018. In South Africa, that number is 20.4% of people as of 2018.

live 4.2 years less


In Kenya, the average life expectancy is 69 years (67 years for men, 71 years for women) as of 2020. In South Africa, that number is 65 years (63 years for men, 66 years for women) as of 2020.

be 4.0 times more likely to be obese


In Kenya, 7.1% of adults are obese as of 2016. In South Africa, that number is 28.3% of people as of 2016.

Economy

make 3.9 times more money


Kenya has a GDP per capita of $3,500 as of 2017, while in South Africa, the GDP per capita is $13,600 as of 2017.

be 31.2% less likely to be unemployed


In Kenya, 40.0% of adults are unemployed as of 2013. In South Africa, that number is 27.5% as of 2017.

be 54.0% less likely to be live below the poverty line


In Kenya, 36.1% live below the poverty line as of 2016. In South Africa, however, that number is 16.6% as of 2016.

pay a 50.0% higher top tax rate


Kenya has a top tax rate of 30.0% as of 2016. In South Africa, the top tax rate is 45.0% as of 2017.

Life

be 65.2% less likely to die during childbirth


In Kenya, approximately 342.0 women per 100,000 births die during labor as of 2017. In South Africa, 119.0 women do as of 2017.

have 29.4% fewer children


In Kenya, there are approximately 27.2 babies per 1,000 people as of 2020. In South Africa, there are 19.2 babies per 1,000 people as of 2020.

Basic Needs

be 50.4% more likely to have access to electricity


In Kenya, approximately 56% of people have electricity access (78% in urban areas, and 39% in rural areas) as of 2017. In South Africa, that number is 84% of people on average (93% in urban areas, and 68% in rural areas) as of 2017.

be 3.2 times more likely to have internet access


In Kenya, approximately 17.8% of the population has internet access as of 2018. In South Africa, about 56.2% do as of 2018.

be 40.4% more likely to have access to improved drinking water


In Kenya, approximately 68% of people have improved drinking water access (89% in urban areas, and 60% in rural areas) as of 2017. In South Africa, that number is 96% of people on average (99% in urban areas, and 87% in rural areas) as of 2017.

Expenditures

spend 19.2% more on education


Kenya spends 5.2% of its total GDP on education as of 2017. South Africa spends 6.2% of total GDP on education as of 2018.

Geography

see 5.2 times more coastline


Kenya has a total of 536 km of coastline. In South Africa, that number is 2,798 km.

South Africa: At a glance

South Africa (sometimes abbreviated RSA) is a sovereign country in Africa, with a total land area of approximately 1,214,470 sq km. Dutch traders landed at the southern tip of modern day South Africa in 1652 and established a stopover point on the spice route between the Netherlands and the Far East, founding the city of Cape Town. After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1806, many of the Dutch settlers (the Boers) trekked north to found their own republics. The discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) spurred wealth and immigration and intensified the subjugation of the native inhabitants. The Boers resisted British encroachments but were defeated in the Second Anglo Boer War (1899-1902); however, the British and the Afrikaners, as the Boers became known, ruled together beginning in 1910 under the Union of South Africa, which became a republic in 1961 after a whites-only referendum. In 1948, the National Party was voted into power and instituted a policy of apartheid - the separate development of the races - which favored the white minority at the expense of the black majority. The African National Congress (ANC) led the opposition to apartheid and many top ANC leaders, such as Nelson MANDELA, spent decades in South Africa's prisons. Internal protests and insurgency, as well as boycotts by some Western nations and institutions, led to the regime's eventual willingness to negotiate a peaceful transition to majority rule. The first multi-racial elections in 1994 brought an end to apartheid and ushered in majority rule under an ANC-led government. South Africa since then has struggled to address apartheid-era imbalances in decent housing, education, and health care. ANC infighting, which has grown in recent years, came to a head in September 2008 when President Thabo MBEKI resigned, and Kgalema MOTLANTHE, the party's General-Secretary, succeeded him as interim president. Jacob ZUMA became president after the ANC won general elections in April 2009. National presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled for May 2014.

How big is South Africa compared to Kenya? See an in-depth size comparison.


The statistics on this page were calculated using the following data sources: Revenue Authority, The World Factbook, South African Revenue Service.

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