A recent Gross County Product (GCP) report shows that Tharaka Nithi County leads the rest of the country in creating more wealth per person in real terms. The data shows that incomes per person grew faster in Tharaka Nithi County than in any other county (see Figure 1). The incomes grew by 7.2 per cent per person over the period followed closely by Nyandarua, which increased the wealth of its people by an average of 7.1 per cent over the same period. Other counties that grew the incomes of their people faster were Elgeyo Marakwet (6.2 per cent), Siaya (6 per cent), Bungoma (5.8 per cent) and Busia (5.4 per cent) counties.
In real terms, counties that grew the incomes of their people slowest were Nairobi, Nandi, Trans Nzoia, Turkana and Kericho counties, which grew the incomes only by 0-1 per cent. This could act as an indictment on the governors who led these counties in the first term as the data shows that they were unable to create more wealth for their voters.
However, Nairobi maintains the top spot as the county with the highest GCP per capita of over Sh. 210,000 followed by Mombasa (Sh. 156,735), Kiambu (Sh. 108,805), Machakos (Sh. 103,851) and Nyandarua (Sh. 103,233) (see Figure 2). This means that, on average, individuals in these counties are wealthier than the rest of the counties.
Nairobi, Mombasa, Kiambu and Machakos counties are mostly highly industrialised counties and this explains the high wealth per person for the period. However, they are also the counties that grew their per capita GCP the least. Their larger sizes and rural-urban migration in search for jobs explain the slow growth in per capita GCP.
The data shows that counties with the lowest per capital GCPs are Mandera, West Pokot, Turkana, Siaya, Bungoma and Homa Bay. These counties are small and mostly poor with more people migrating out of the counties in search of better livelihoods in other cities and towns. For this reason, they also recorded the fastest per capita GCP growth over the period.