|Following its founding in 1902 it took roughly 40 years for Nairobi to exceed a population of 100 000 people. By independence, 20 years later it had reached around 350 000 people. Rapidly increasing population has been ongoing ever since, surpassing one million in the 1980s, two million in the 1990s and now approaching three million residents. While the annual rate of growth has at times exceeded 10 per cent it has more recently decreased to below four per cent per year — still very high by global standards. Nairobi is projected to top 3.8 million by 2015. |
The dramatic growth in area of intense urban settlement can be seen between the 1966 image and the 2007-2008 image mosaic. Much of Nairobi’s urban footprint is unplanned settlement driven by rapid population growth and urban poverty among other things. Sprawling informal settlements handicap the city’s delivery of social services and negatively impact the quality of life.
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