A Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) survey has revealed that Kenyans spend most of their income on airtime.
The KNBS Consumer Price Index (CPI) for March 2020 revealed that mobile phone airtime has the highest expenditure in this new CPI with an overall weight of 5.496%, which is up from from the 3.086% posted in the last CPI.
Expenditure on mobile airtime was the top of this list which is followed by bus fare, rent (single room), hotel food, beef, rent (2 bedroom), milk, beer, unpackaged milk, and white bread.
KNBS also made some changes in the new CPI. They added new items and excluded others that were deemed obsolete. Some of the tech items they found obsolete included radio/cassette/CD players, video cassette players and kerosene stoves. They added TV subscription fees like DStv, satellite/decoder charges, courier services, mobile money transfer, garbage collection, and university boarding fees.
The new data from KNBS is quite interesting since more Kenyans are putting more of their income on airtime than on standard bills like rent. It is no surprise that with millions of Kenyans owning multiple sim cards and phones, airtime is no longer a luxury. Airtime is used for voice calls and for buying data that people use for various uses like catching up with friends on social media or for work like video calling or sending emails.
As per the latest statistics from the Communications Authority of Kenya, there are 54.5 million active SIM cards and Kenyans made phone calls totaling close to 15 billion minutes between October and December of last year.