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Population is defined as the number of people living in an area at a particular time. The population of West Africa is not evenly distributed. Some areas are densely populated, some are moderately populated and others are sparsely populated.

 AREAS OF DENSE POPULATION: These include Lagos, Kano, Accra, Abidjan, Freetown, Monrovia, Dakar, etc

 AREAS OF MODERATE POPULATION: These include Benin, Ashanti Region, Mano River area, Ouagadougou, Niamey, Bamako, etc

 AREAS OF SPARSE POPULATION: These include upper Gambia, Middle belt of Nigeria, Northern Niger, Mali and Mauritania.

 

REASONS / FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE POPULATION DISTRIBUTION OF WEST AFRICA

1)         Historical factors: Some densely populated areas like Kano have been centers

of Trans-Sahara trade. This contributed to it’s high population

2)         Agriculture

3)         Mining

4)         Industrialization i.e. the presence of industries.

 

REASON FOR HIGH POPULATION DENSITIES 

1)         Favourable climate                                          2)         Fertile soil

3)         Natural attachment / Historical factors                       4)         Administrative Headquarters

5)         Employment Opportunities                             6)         Presence of minerals

7)         Presence of industries                                                 8)         Presence of basic social amenities

9)         Commercial activities                                      10)       Migration

 

ADVANTAGES OF HIGH POPULATION DENSITY

1)         Large labour                                                    2)         Large market

3)         Government attraction                                 4)         Togetherness

5)         Quick dissemination of information           6)         Defence

 

DISADVANTAGES OF HIGH POPULATION DENSITY

1)         Presure on natural resources                2)         Presure on basic amenities

3)         Insufficient food                                 4)         Unemployment / Under-employment

See also  ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION OF WEST AFRICA

5)         Traffic congesting                               6)         Environmental pollution

7)         Inadequate health services                  8)         Inadequate housing

 

REASONS FOR LOW POPULATION DENSITY

1)         Rugged relief                                      2)         Poor drainage

3)         Unfavourable climate                          4)         Poor soils

5)         Historical factors                                 6)         Presence of some insects

7)         Inaccessibility                                     8)         Low economic activities

 

ADVANTAGES OF LOW POPULATION DENSITY

1)         Abundant resources                            2)         Low crime

3)         Adequate planning                              4)         Regular flow of traffic

5)         Low presure on social amenities         6)         High standard of living

 

DISADVANTAGES OF LOW POPULATION DENSITY

1)         Wastage of output                              2)         Deterioration of infrastructure

3)         Inadequate labour force                   4)         Low output

 

GENERAL EVALUATION QUESTIONS

  1. Describe optimum population.
  2. What is birth rate?
  3. Explain three of the population concepts.
  4. Describe the population pattern of Nigeria.
  5. How can the problem of increasing population be solved?

 WEEKEND ASSIGNMENT

1)         Which of these areas is densely populated in West Africa (a) Niamey (b) Monrovia

(c) Mali (d) Kano

2)         High population density is of great economic importance for the following reasons except (a) Large labour force (b) Increase in standard of living (c) Defence (d) Togetherness

3)         The following factors are responsible for the growth of the population in Lagos state except (a) Job opportunities (b) Good roads (c) Presence of unskilled labour

See also  Air and Noise Pollution

(d) Historical factors

4)         These towns are all moderately populated except (a) Niamey (b) Ouagadougou

(c) Bamako (d) Abidjan

5)         One of the greatest disadvantages of low population density is (a) Wastage of output (b) Increase in crime rate (c) Inadequate housing (d) Traffic congestion

 THEORY   

1)         Define population.

2)         List four factors responsible for high population density in Accra.

 

See also

MINING IN AFRICA (GOLD, PETROLEUM AND COPPER)

BUSH FALLOWING IN WEST AFRICA

Geographic Information System | Application, Problems & Data Representation

TOURISM | FACTORS & IMPORTANCE

MAJOR LANDFORMS OF THE WORLD

 

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