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Tharaka Nithi drives pack of fastest growing areas

Martin Mwita @MwitaMartin

Tharaka Nithi, Nyandarua and Elgeyo Marakwet are the top three fastest growing counties as devolved units strive to improve the living standards and well being of residents.

The Gross County Product (GCP) 2019 survey released yesterday, shows Tharaka Nithi grew fastest on GCP per capita with an average growth of 7.3 per cent, followed by Nyandarua at 7.2 per cent. Elgeyo Marakwet is third with an average growth of 6.2 per cent.

Siaya and Bungoma were fourth and fifth respectively with growth of six per cent and 5.8 per cent respectively in the last five years, a period when 25 counties recorded slower than the average growth of three per cent.

Per capita income is used to measure an area’s average income and compare the wealth of different populations. It is used to measure the standard of living of a country or a region.

Other top performers were Busia, Nyeri, Laikipia, Migori, Kiambu, Vihiga, Meru, Machakos, Nakuru, Isiolo, Marsabit and Baringo.

Current price per capita GCP (the amount shared per person) in Tharaka Nithi is Sh169,141 up from Sh134,126 in 2016. Amount shared among Nyandarua residents (on service delivery) stands at Sh350,000 up from Sh286,679 the previous year.

Elgeyo Marakwet spends Sh328,575 per person up from Sh270,777 in 2016 while Bungoma and Siaya each have a current price of Sh97,986 and Sh94,714 respectively, up from Sh82,898 and Sh83,510.

Nairobi and Mombasa have per capita spending of Sh317,700 and Sh271,038 each. The measure is driven by both the economic size and population of the respective counties.

The survey, which is funded through the Word Bank, is the first ever gross product measure, a gauge of economic performance by county governments since their inception.

Speaking during the launch in Nairobi, World Bank program leader incharge of equitable growth, finance and institutions Johan Mistiaen said the study will help counties make informed decisions for development.

“It is our hope that the data will go a long way in helping counties trace economic progress, improve revenue mobilisation and attract investments,” said Mistiaen.

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