All 47 counties in Kenya , Headquarters And their codes(Updated For 2024)

Delve into the administrative structure of Kenya, learning about the 47 counties, their headquarters, and respective codes—an insightful guide to understanding the heart of Kenya's local governance.

Nov 24, 2023 - 08:10
Nov 24, 2023 - 19:14
All 47 counties in Kenya , Headquarters And their codes(Updated For 2024)
All 47 counties in Kenya , Headquarters And their codes(Updated For 2024)

Kenya, a country renowned for its rich cultural heritage and diverse landscapes, underwent a significant administrative reorganization in 2010. This pivotal year marked the promulgation of a new constitution, leading to the establishment of 47 counties, each unique in its character and governance. These counties replaced the former provincial system and have since played a crucial role in Kenya's decentralization efforts, fostering local development and ensuring equitable distribution of resources.

 An interesting feature lies at the heart of this new administrative framework: each county is assigned a specific code. These county codes are not just numerical labels; they represent a crucial aspect of Kenya's governance system, simplifying identification and organization in various administrative, socio-economic, and political contexts. For instance, Mombasa, a coastal county and tourism hub, is designated county 001. At the same time, Nairobi, the bustling capital city, holds the code 047.

 The introduction of county codes has streamlined various processes, from administrative tasks to statistical reporting, and has even found relevance in everyday conversations among citizens. In essence, these codes are more than mere numbers; they encapsulate the identity and uniqueness of each county, reflecting their contributions to the nation's fabric.

 We will explore the background of these counties, their significance in Kenya's administrative structure, and, most importantly, provide a detailed list of all 47 counties along with their unique codes. Whether you are a resident, a tourist, or someone with a keen interest in Kenyan governance, this comprehensive guide will offer valuable insights into the diverse and dynamic landscape of Kenya's counties.

Background of Kenya's Counties

The year 2010 was a watershed moment in Kenya's administrative history. With the adoption of a new constitution, the country bid farewell to its provincial system, a relic of the colonial era, and welcomed a new generation of devolved governance by establishing 47 counties. This transition was not merely a change in administrative boundaries; it represented a profound shift towards decentralization to bring government closer to the people. 

 The creation of counties ushered in a new chapter in Kenya's governance. Each county, governed by an elected governor and a county assembly, became a fundamental unit of the devolved government. This structure was designed to address local issues more effectively, foster economic development at the grassroots level, and give local populations a greater voice in their governance. Counties now handle a range of functions, from healthcare and education to infrastructure and agriculture, tailoring their policies and programs to the unique needs and potentials of their respective regions.

 What Are County Codes and Their Purpose?

Each of the 47 counties was assigned a specific code in this new administrative framework, ranging from 001 to 047. These codes are more than numerical identifiers; they serve several essential functions. Firstly, they provide a systematic way to organize and reference the counties in various governmental and statistical records, enhancing efficiency and clarity in administration. Secondly, these codes have become a part of everyday life in Kenya, used by residents from filling out forms to identifying their home counties in conversations and official transactions.

Detailed List of Counties and Their Codes

Here is a detailed List Of all 47 counties, highlighting their codes, Headquarters, and Postal Codes:

Code County Headquarters Postal abbreviations
001 Mombasa Mombasa MSA
002 Kwale Kwale KWL
003 Kilifi Kilifi KLF
004 Tana River Hola TRV
005 Lamu Lamu LMU
006 Taita–Taveta Mwatate TVT
007 Garissa Garissa GRS
008 Wajir Wajir WJR
009 Mandera Mandera MDR
010 Marsabit Marsabit MRS
011 Isiolo Isiolo ISL
012 Meru Meru MRU
013 Tharaka-Nithi Kathwana TNT
014 Embu Embu EMB
015 Kitui Kitui KTU
016 Machakos Machakos MCK
017 Makueni Wote MKN
018 Nyandarua Ol Karau NDR
019 Nyeri Nyeri NYR
020 Kirinyaga Kerugoya KRG
021 Murang'a Murang'a MRG
022 Kiambu Kiambu KMB
023 Turkana Lodwar TRK
024 West Pokot Kapenguria WPK
025 Samburu Maralal SBR
026 Trans-Nzoia Kitale TNZ
027 Uasin Gishu Eldoret UGS
028 Elgeyo-Marakwet Iten EMK
029 Nandi Kapsabet NDI
030 Baringo Kabarnet BRG
031 Laikipia Rumuruti LKP
032 Nakuru Nakuru NKR
033 Narok Narok NRK
034 Kajiado Kajiado KJD
035 Kericho Kericho KRC
036 Bomet Bomet BMT
037 Kakamega Kakamega KKG
038 Vihiga Mbale VHG
039 Bungoma Bungoma BGM
040 Busia Busia BSA
041 Siaya Siaya SYA
042 Kisumu Kisumu KSM
043 Homa Bay Homa Bay HBY
044 Migori Migori MGR
045 Kisii Kisii KSI
046 Nyamira Nyamira NMR
047 Nairobi Nairobi NBI

Unique Aspects and Highlights of Select Counties

1. Turkana: Kenya's Largest County by Size (023)

Turkana, with its code 023, is not just another number on the list; it is Kenya's largest county, sprawling over an area of approximately 71,597.8 square kilometres. This vast land encompasses a varied landscape, from arid deserts to the jade waters of Lake Turkana, often called the Jade Sea due to its striking colour.

 Beyond its geographical expanse, Turkana is a reservoir of rich cultural heritage. Home to the Turkana people, known for their resilience and traditional pastoralist lifestyle, the county is a living museum of cultural diversity. Turkana holds significant economic potential despite its challenging environment, especially in tourism, fisheries, and emerging oil exploration activities.

2. Mombasa: A Tourist Haven and Kenya's Smallest County (001)

As county 001, Mombasa is synonymous with sun-drenched beaches and historical landmarks. Despite being the smallest county, covering just 212.5 square kilometres, it punches well above its weight in terms of cultural and economic impact. Mombasa's allure as a tourist destination is undeniable. From the charming old town, reminiscent of its rich Swahili culture, to luxury resorts along its beaches, it's a cornerstone of Kenya's tourism industry. The county is not just about tourism; it's an economic powerhouse. Home to the Port of Mombasa, East Africa's largest port, it's a critical gateway for regional trade.

3. Nairobi: The Capital City (047)

Nairobi, marked as county 047, is more than Kenya's capital; it's a bustling metropolis and a melting pot of cultures, cuisines, and commerce​​Nairobi is unique for its green spaces, like the Nairobi National Park, a wildlife reserve within the city's boundaries. It exemplifies the harmonious coexistence of urban development and natural beauty.

Role of County Governments and Future Outlook

Establishing 47 counties in Kenya was more than a mere administrative reconfiguration; it represented a fundamental shift towards decentralization and local governance. In this final part, we explore the role of county governments and the future outlook of these administrative units in shaping Kenya's destiny.

The Structure and Role of County Governments

  • Governance Close to the People: Each 47 counties operates with its government, led by an elected governor and county assembly. This structure brings governance closer to the people, enabling more responsive and tailored local administration.
  • Devolution of Powers: County governments are vested with significant powers and responsibilities, including management of local resources, healthcare, education, and infrastructure development. This devolution aims to promote equitable development nationwide, ensuring that resources and opportunities are not centralized in a few urban areas.
  • Economic and Social Development: Counties are pivotal in driving economic growth and social development at the grassroots level. They are responsible for creating and implementing policies that address their respective regions' unique needs and potentials, be it in agriculture, tourism, industry, or service sectors.

Future Prospects: Shaping Kenya's Development and Governance

  • Potential for Growth and Innovation: Kenya's county system presents immense growth and innovation potential. With localized governance, counties can experiment with unique development models suited to their specific contexts.
  • Challenges and Opportunities: Despite the potential, counties face challenges such as resource constraints, capacity building, and ensuring efficient governance. Addressing these challenges is crucial for realizing the full potential of devolution.
  • A More Inclusive Kenya: The future of Kenya's countries lies in fostering inclusivity and sustainable development. By capitalizing on their unique strengths and addressing local challenges, counties can contribute significantly to building a more prosperous and equitable Kenya.
  • Looking Ahead: The evolution of county governments will play a critical role in shaping Kenya's socio-economic landscape. The success of this devolved system is integral to the country's aspirations of becoming a more decentralized, inclusive, and developed nation.

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In essence, the 47 counties of Kenya are more than administrative units; they represent the fabric of Kenya's society and governance. They stand testament to Kenya's bold steps towards effective decentralization, fostering local development, promoting equitable resource distribution, and enhancing public service delivery. Each with a unique code, leader, and capital, these counties form the pillars of Kenya's resilient democracy.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many counties are there in Kenya?

There are 47 counties in Kenya as per the 2010 constitution.

2. What is the purpose of county codes in Kenya?

County codes in Kenya are used for identification, cataloguing, and data management purposes.

3. Who leads each county in Kenya?

Each county in Kenya is led by a governor who the residents of the county elect.

4. How has the establishment of counties impacted Kenya?

The establishment of counties has led to improved service delivery, better infrastructure development, and a more equitable distribution of resources.

5. What does a county code represent?

A county code represents the unique identity of each county in Kenya.

6. How are the counties in Kenya subdivided?

The counties in Kenya are further subdivided into constituencies and wards, represented by MPs and MCAs.


Joseph Richard Joseph Richard, a leading contributor to, uses his decade-long expertise in finance, business, and technology to offer clear, reliable guides and analyses. His work aids Kenyans in making informed financial and business decisions, earning him a reputation as a trusted industry authority.