Is Tanzania more unequal than Kenya?

In the 1970s, prominent critics of Kenya’s capitalist economy often characterized the country as a land of 10 millionaires and 10 million beggars. Many also (implicitly) compared Kenya to Tanzania. Back then, Tanzania was in the midst of implementing Ujamaa under President Julius Nyerere. The trope of Kenya being a highly unequal “dog-eat-dog society,” and Tanzania being less unequal stuck, and persists to this day.

But the data tell a different story. According to the Knight Frank Wealth Report, Tanzania has the fifth largest number of high networth individuals in Africa ($30m and more), ahead of Kenya:

South Africa led the pack with 1,033 ultra-rich persons followed by Egypt (764) Nigeria (724) Morocco (215) and Tanzania (114)

Kenya is 6th, with only 42 individuals worth more than $30m.

Kenya has a Gini index of 40.8 (2015) and Tanzania 40.5 (2017).

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