Ethnic Composition, Culture And Tradition: The dominant ethnic groups are Hausa and Fulani, with several small groups such as the Tula tribe in Kaltungo and the Cham in Balanga LGA. Gombe State has a rich cultural heritage. It is known for its crafts. Such crafts as leather works, cloth weaving and calabash decoration abound in the state. There are also notable musical forms and dances performed by different groups (Table 15.3).
Central Mosque, Gombe
Population Structure and Distribution: The 1991 census returned a population of 1,488,853 people for Gombe State. By 1998, it was projected to 1,820,415 people. (Table 15.4). There are only very slightly more males than females in the state, the sex ratio being 100 men to 98.9 women (or 100 females to 101 men).
Three LGAs : Akko, Yamaitu Deba and Gombe, exceed 200,000 inhabitants each and together account for about 42 per cent of the State's total population. The Gombe urban LGA alone contains about 11.4 percent of the total. These three LGAs, together with Kwami (the rural areas of former Gombe LGA) with about 145,057 inhabitants in 1998 (estimated) form a contiguous central belt containing about 50.1 percent population in the state.
The overall crude population density in the state by 1998 (estimated) was about 89.8 persons per sq.km. However, apart from the Gombe (state capital) and Kwami area (LGAs), both with about 19.4 percent of the total population and where population densities reach about 275 persons per sq. km., most of the other LGAs are very sparsely populated, being far below the state's average. In Akko LGA, it was 0.058 and in Y/Deba it was 1.28 persons per sq.km, hence the vast cultivable agricul tural land in the state.
Urban and Rural Development: Gombe State is predominantly rural. It has several "towns" and small urban areas. The most important is Gombe, the state capital, with about 200,906 inhabitants, which serves as the state's trading and commercial centre. Others are essentially the relatively older and the newer LGA headquarters (Table 15.4)which have received considerable inmigrants. Balanga had about 33,000 inhabitants in 1998.