POPULATION AND SETTLEMENTS:
National Census of Nigeria carried out in 1991 puts n the provisional population of Abia State at 1,976,805. Out of this figure, 920,268 are males g and 956,434 are females.
In almost all local government areas of Abia State, the population of females is more than that of males except in Aba area (Aba North and Aba South LGAs) where the population of males is more than that of females. Settlement Pattern: Abia State has two main urban centres, namely: Umuahia and Aba. Umuahia, the state capital, has become the administrative , educational and cultural centre of the It state. In addition, the city is located at the centre of an extensive agricultural region which covers rnost of the central part of Abia State. It is also strategically located along a well established north-south trading and transportation route.
The village is the traditional unit of settlement ir Abia State like any other lgbo speaking community.The people are good farmers and keen business men. The dispersed type of village settlement is traditional among the lgbos. Each homestead is made up of houses arranged in an oblong fornr o around a compound.
At the gate or in the middle of the compound is a shrine for the gods. The hut of the head of the household is separated from those of his wives anc other adult members of the household. Compounds in lgbo communities are walled, thus sepa- rating one compound from the other. Traditional houses are built of local materials such as clay for the walls and roofed with mat or thatch or, in more recent times, with corrugated aluminium sheets as a demonstration of increasing prosperity.
The Problem Of Urban Primacy:
Of the two major towns in Abia State (Aba and Umuahia), Aba is the largest. The town is situated on a plain with Aba River Valley on its eastern side as the only prominent physical feature. It is about 60 km south of Umuahia, the state capital. According to the 1991 provisional census, the population of the area, now split into two LGAs (Aba North and Aba South), was 494,152 people.
|National Civil war relics at the National War museum grounds, Umuahia|
The town is accessible by road from all parts of the eastern states (Imo, Ebonyi, Cross River, Rivers, Akwa lbom, Anambra and Enugu States). Aba is one of the railway stations on the eastern railway. It has the largest concentration of people in the state. It is the largest commercial centre in the state with the famous Ariaria Market sited west of the town, close to the Port-Harcourt-Enugu Expressway.
Besides, there is the Ngwa Market, the Cemetery Market and virtually every street in Aba has its share of the business activities for which the town is known. There is a good number of both public and private industrial establishments as well as financial institutions
As a result of the primate role enjoyed by Aba in the hierarchy of settlements in the state, enormous environmental problems have become manifest. These include refuse heaps, traffic congestion, overcrowding of residential areas, and the pollution of water bodies.