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Kenyan youth splashing cash on looks, gambling – Geopoll study

By AGEWA MAGUT February 10th, 2017 2 min read

Kenyan youth spend more than half (55 per cent) of their income on personal care and the least amount on travel and entertainment.

A study conducted in January by digital research firm Geopoll on people aged 18 to 35 revealed that the majority spend a huge amount of their earnings on items that boost self-image.

The study says that youth invest 26 per cent of their earnings, six per cent on entertainment and five per cent on gambling.

Other items accounted for seven per cent of the total income.


The January survey is part of a series on African millennials in which GeoPoll seeks to understand the habits of the continent’s youth.

The survey was done in Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, South Africa in addition to Kenya.

About 51 per cent of youth who took part in the survey are employed, with 32 per cent relying on the support of parents or guardian.

When it comes to savings, young Africans invest the most on furthering their education, said the study.

“Advancing in education is one of the most important pursuits for millennials, with many saying that they save up to 10 per cent of their monthly earnings towards it. This is in comparison to buying a car, a house or travelling,” says the report.

Young Kenyans are among the highest savers towards this cause, squirrelling away about 34 per cent of their salaries to get better educated.

The survey says that the data on expenditure was an indicator of lack of knowledge on finance management and proper planning.

Many, the researchers says, are striving towards financial independence, prosperity and believe in their own ability to chart their own course with education.


Gambling also eats up significant chunk of their income.

“Gambling is becoming popular among male African millennials in sub-Saharan Africa due to their high affinity to sports and the proliferation of local sports betting players. This is still a very nascent industry,” says the report.

Kenya’s mobile-based sports betting industry has recorded phenomenal growth aided by the ease of placing bets online or through SMS and paying via mobile money platforms such as M-Pesa and Airtel Money.