With GDP per capita of USD1,900 in 2016, Nairobi is the poorest major city in Africa, trailing other Sub-Saharan Africa cities such as Lagos (USD4,800 GDP per capita in 2016) or Johannesburg (USD9,000). However, Nairobi will continue to modernise. Local annual household disposable incomes are growing at a fast pace (18% growth at constant 2016 prices over 2011-2016) and the city ranks as one with the most shopping mall space in Sub-Saharan Africa (500,000 sq m in 2016) outside South Africa.
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In 2016, Nairobi reached a productivity level (GVA per employee) of USD4,300, which is 12% higher than the rest of Kenya. The difference stems from a higher concentration of higher value-added activities such as services in Nairobi (82% of total GVA in 2016 versus 45% in the rest of the country) as opposed to lower value-added agriculture (1.5% of total GVA in 2016 versus 38% in the rest of the Kenya).
In 2016, average annual disposable income per household in Nairobi reached USD4,700, which is less than in the rest of the country (USD5,300). This is the result of much higher unemployment and much smaller average household size in Nairobi than elsewhere in Kenya.
Consumer expenditure per household (excluding housing and transport) in Nairobi was 21% below the level of the rest of the country in 2016, in light of lower incomes. Nonetheless, Nairobi records higher consumer spending on hotels and restaurants, and recreation and culture, boosted by tourists.
In 2016, households in Nairobi spent 19% more on housing and transport than in other parts of the country. Transport expenses are especially high in the city (+88% in 2016) since the highest household possession rate of passenger cars nationwide is recorded in Nairobi (15% of households owned a car in 2016) and the city suffers from traffic congestion.