More uneducated men in Kenya own a house than those that have attended middle-level colleges and universities a new survey suggests.
The Demographic and Health Survey 2022 released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) on Tuesday shows 46.7 percent of men who own a house have no formal education, compared to 32.2 percent that have gone beyond secondary school.
A similar pattern plays out for their female counterparts with the data showing 10 percent of house owners are women with no formal education compared to 3 percent that have gone up to tertiary level.
This could be a reflection of the rural-urban migration patterns where educated Kenyans end up in urban areas in search of jobs, where they end up renting or unable to afford homes while their counterparts in rural areas build their houses.
The data shows that 20 percent of uneducated men jointly own a house with a wife or someone else compared to 36.3 percent of their female counterparts.
Overall, 45 percent of men aged between 15 and 49 years own a house compared to 33 percent or less than a third of women under the same age bracket.
“Women in rural areas (44 percent) are more likely to own a house than women in urban areas (17 percent), although women in urban areas are much more likely to have a title deed for the house they own than women in rural areas,” says the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) data.
House ownership is highest among women aged 45 to 49 years at 63 percent and among men aged 50 and 54 years at 88 percent.
The KNDH report shows 43 percent of men who own a house alone are in rural areas while 21 percent are in urban settings.
The same data shows that 37 percent of women that jointly own a house are in rural areas while 15 percent are in urban settings.
According to the 2019 Census report, 73.8 percent of rural dwellings have mud, timber, iron sheets or other inferior materials as the main walling material, highlighting their inferior quality.
The Censors report further shows most houses in rural homes have earth, sand or cow dung as the main flooring material.
The KNDH report shows 25 percent of women own agricultural land compared to 24 percent of men that own land.
Article 40 of the Kenyan Constitution which took effect in August 2010, gives women equal rights to land ownership as men.
Women also automatically become joint landowners with their spouses upon marriage under Article 45(3).
“The likelihood of women who own agricultural land having the title deed in their name increases with increasing wealth, from four percent among women in the lowest quintile to 33 percent among those in the highest quintile,” said the report.
Land ownership in Kenya is usually vested in fathers who customarily pass it on to their sons, making it hard for women to secure rights except through their husbands.
The KNDH report which contains key demographic indicators for the country is released every five years. The last report was published in 2014, with the latest one experiencing delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic.