Located in Central Kenya, the county has a population of 528,054 and an area of 1,478 square kilometres. Its key town is Kerugoya. Constituencies in the county are: Mwea, Gichugu, Ndia and Kirinyaga Central.
Kirinyaga is one of the poorest counties in central Kenya. The causes of poverty vary from one division to another but the greatest cause is low productivity and poor prices of farm produce.
Other causes of poverty include poor infrastructure, inadequate land, exploitation by middlemen, inadequate credit facilities, collapse of cooperative societies, consumption of illicit brews, HIV/Aids pandemic, insecurity and high cost of farm inputs.
Most of the health facilities in the county are operated by the government, but NGOs and privately-owned facilities supplement health services. The doctor:population ratio is about 1:79,690 showing over-utilization of doctors. The average distance to a health facility is 6.32km and 63.8 per cent of households have access to health centres. The most prevalent diseases are malaria, respiratory systems diseases and skin diseases.HIV/Aids in Kirinyaga has far reaching effects. The prevalence rate is estimated to be 7 per cent. The urban centres with the highest prevalence include Kagio, Wanguru, Kagumo, Sagana, Kutus, Kirinyaga, Kerugoya and Baricho.