Population Distribution in West Africa


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In today’s class, we will be talking about population distribution in West Africa. Enjoy the class!

Population Distribution in West Africa

Population Distribution in West Africa | classnotes.ng

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.

  1. Areas of dense population: These include Lagos, Kano, Accra, Abidjan, Freetown, Monrovia, Dakar, etc
  2. Areas of moderate population: These include Benin, Ashanti Region, Mano River area, Ouagadougou, Niamey, Bamako, etc
  3. Areas of sparse population: These include upper Gambia, Middle belt of Nigeria, Northern Niger, Mali and Mauritania.

Factors responsible for the population division in West Africa

  1. Historical factors: Some densely populated areas like Kano have been centres 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 density

  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. Pressure on natural resources
  2. Pressure on basic amenities
  3. Insufficient food
  4. Unemployment / Under-employment
  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. A regular flow of traffic
  5. Low pressure 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
  1. Describe the 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 the 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 for (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 for (a) Job opportunities (b) Good roads (c) Presence of unskilled labour (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 the crime rate (c) Inadequate housing (d) Traffic congestion


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


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