THE DYNAMICS OF THE GROWTH AND SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF POPULATION IN THE KUMASI METROPOLIS

Journal Vol.: Volume 9
Author(s): SAMUEL N. BOAPEAH
Address(es): Ghana Baptist Theological Seminary, Kumasi

Abstract: This paper examines the dynamics of population growth and its spatial distribution in the Kumasi metropolis. A major factor that influences population growth is the strategic location of Kumasi as a nodal town, which provides major transportation links between the northern and southern parts of Ghana. This has facilitated a boom in economic activities, and thereby serving as an employment centre for migrants. In-migration has been particularly observed in the periods, 1948-1960 and 1960-1970. The paper, however, observes a change in the growth dynamics of the population, since the last two decades. It concludes that the major determinant of population growth in the metropolis is no longer migration but natural increase, which is a reflection of urban population growth in the country. The second major conclusion that the paper makes is in respect of the changing pattern of the spatial distribution of population in the metropolis. A decade ago, population density was heaviest, generally, around the city centre and it decreased away towards the periphery. Today, however, a different trend is emerging where population density has fallen in and around the city centre and has risen in the outer suburbs, with the whole city spreading itself out. The main factors accounting for this phenomenon include the cost of land, the coupling of commercial activities with residential development, and the growing spatial mobility of labour.

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