Nigeria Human Geography


Climatic divisions also impose their conditioning on human population and organization. Ethnic groups, their activities, their relationship with the environment change from S to N in Nigeria, as in all of West Africa. Human density also varies significantly. All this is the result of a centuries-old settlement, which was affected in the past by commercial traffic which, along the Niger route, kept the Nigerian populations linked with those of Sudan and, through the Sahara, even with the Mediterranean ones. The flourishing of those African civilizations (Benin, Ife etc.), which enhanced local resources and created those populated areas and those strong ethnic groups that still characterize the human geography of Nigeria today. According to 800zipcodes, quite numerous is that of the Yoruba (17.5%), a Sudanese-type population, largely devoted to commerce and urban activities and heir to the Nigerian kingdoms of past centuries; they are based in the W of Niger, in the highlands that take their name from them, where their populous cities arise. Equally numerous is that of the Hausa (17.2%), who dominate in the North, Sudanese heirs of the sultanates strengthened in past times thanks to the intermediation that operated in relation to the large commercial traffic between the Guinean belt and the Sahara. Another rather important group is that of ibo (13.3%), semibantu population of the Guinean forest area, mainly concentrated in the Niger delta (Oil Rivers area), where they form an area of ​​high density. Alongside the Hausa live the Fulbe (or Fulani, 10.7%), dedicated to agriculture and, above all, to cattle breeding. These main groups are flanked by various other similar ones, also of considerable consistency such as the ibibio (4.1%) and the Edo (1%), as well as paleonegritic or marginal groups such as the jos, in the homonymous plateau, the tiv (2, 6%) and the nupe (1%), the ekoi in the mountainous area on the border with Cameroon; in the area of ​​Lake Chad live i kanuri (3.6%), which have preserved the ancient Arab-Berber feudal structure. Other groups present are egba (2.9%) and bura (1.1%); other numerous small ethnic groups are represented with 25% of the total. Modern political and economic organization, although it does not succeed in eliminating tribalism so easily, determines an inevitable human mixing, with internal migrations of considerable consistency, mainly directed towards the southern cities and the rich oil areas of the Niger delta. The direction of internal migration, however, is not as determinable as in the case of other West African countries. For various reasons, political, economic, social, for example, the ibo have spread a lot towards the extreme N as well as towards the cocoa plantations in the center. In turn, the northern populations have spread a little over the entire coastal strip. The demographic increase, albeit to varying degrees, today affects the whole country, and the density is equal to 158 residents / km². A denser population occurs in the southern section of the country, where not only are the climatic conditions better, industrialization.


If we look at the current division into states, we see that the greatest densities occur around the large urban centers, the poles of the country’s territorial fabric: Lagos, Kano, Ibadan, Enugu. The current distribution of the population is only partly of colonial origin: urbanism even before the arrival of the Europeanshe had known interesting and singular developments in Nigeria, especially by the Yoruba and, in the North, by the Hausa sultanates. It had both political and commercial motivations: Ibadan, for example, one of the major ancient cities of Yoruba, included the royal citadel and commercial districts, according to the typically feudal urban structure; likewise Kano, in the north, was an ancient sultanal center. Thus a dense urban network was formed in the South, a little sparser in the center and quite robust in the North, the result of commercial traffic, production settlements and political choices. In the North, the large centers, the large urban centers of Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Zaria, Sokoto, Maiduguri have served as a hinge and commercial passage towards the Saharan countries and also as political capitals of the states of the northern savannah. In the South, the growth of the Yoruba city-states and neighboring cities of Benin was spurred by the increase in external trade and the competition between the same urban systems for the control of their hinterlands. New urban centers aroused by modern commercial openings have sprung up on the coast, including Lagos, the former capital, a typical city of colonial creation, the primary outlet to the sea in Nigeria, well connected within the country; another important port center, on the eastern side, is Port Harcourt. Overall urbanization in Nigeria has an exceptional development for South Saharan Africa (of course excluding the Republic of South Africa), the result also of a social elevation which, induced by British politics, has no quantitatively equal examples in other parts of West Africa. The urban population was 48% in 2008; it resides in cities of considerable size, where the productive and active nucleus has remained unchanged and, around it, immense dormitory districts and expanses of precarious bidonvilles. Lagos, which in its urban layout and in the socio-economic diversification of the various sectors from which it is formed is quite an example of African urbanism (it is the largest “black” city in Africa), has developed enormously in the post-war period, so much so that from 100,000 residents in 1931 it reached 13,000,000 residents in 2000. as an urban agglomeration. There are also numerous medium-sized centers, which act as commercial and administrative centers of rural areas. Here the population lives mostly in villages, which take on different forms passing from the North and the Center, where the grouping of circular huts dominates, to the South, where the rectangular huts line up along the roads.

Nigeria Human Geography

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