Reasons for population growth in Lagos
The population of Lagos is rapidly increasing. The main cause of the rapid growth over the past 50 years has been rural to urban migration. People are forced to leave the countryside by push factors such as a lack of jobs and drought. They are attracted to Lagos by pull factors such as job opportunities and the change of better paid work.
Natural increase is also a reason for Lagos’ population growth. Natural increase occurs when birth rates are higher than death rates. The population of Lagos is relatively young hence a high birth rate.
Over the next few years there will be a greater proportion of people living in urban environments than rural areas in Nigeria.
Pull factors are those that attract people to an area.
There are a range of social opportunities in Lagos as there is better access to services and resources than rural Nigeria:
1) There are more healthcare centres and hospitals and a better range of medicines in Lagos.
2) 68% of the population of Lagos have secondary education (40% don’t even attend primary school in rural areas in the north of the country).
3) In Lagos, people can use electricity for cooking and lighting. Access to electricity also means people can develop businesses.
4) Water treatment plants provide safe water piped directly to areas of the city.
There are more schools and universities located in Lagos than there are in rural areas. People with an education are more likely to get a job in the one of the growing industries in Lagos.
There are also a number of economic opportunities in Lagos
1) Rural Nigeria is very poor — most people come to Lagos in search of better jobs.
2) Rapid growth of the city means there are lots of construction jobs, e.g. building the new commercial centre, Eko Atlantic.
3) Lagos is home to many of the country’s banks, government departments and manufacturing industries (e.g. making food and drink). There are two major ports and a fishing industry.
4) Lagos also has a thriving film and music industry — ‘Nollywood’ films are very popular.
There are more jobs are available in Lagos than anywhere else in Nigeria. Even if you can’t find work in the formal economy, paying tax, it is possible to work in the informal economy, for example as a street vendor or recycling waste, paying no tax.
There are many reasons why people are forced to move from rural areas in Nigeria.
- Few job opportunities are available in rural areas. Farming pays low wages but requires a lot of hard work.
- Due to rapid population growth there is shortage of land available in rural areas.
- The oil industry has caused heavy pollution in the Niger Delta region.
- The terrorist group, Boko Haram, is active in the north of Nigeria. This insecurity has been caused by political unrest.