Professor, Department of Geography, University of Nigeria Nsukka
This is necessary because in spite of the age long discourse on the impacts of population on environ
The study explored the impacts of population density on the sustainability of rural areas in Nigeria. This is necessary because in spite of the age long discourse on the impacts of population on environmental resources and human welfare, few studies can provide empirical basis for generalizations. Moreover,there is a limited knowledge about the specific forces driving the impacts and their inter-linkages. The study was based on secondary data sources with household social and economic data aggregated at state levels.The data were obtained from official Gazettes, Annual Abstract of Statistics and Core Welfare Indicators Questionnaire Survey and Federal and States Ministries of Environment.The research incorporated concepts from the multiplicative and mediating perspective of the population-environment nexus. Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI) was calculated for each state of the country using indicator method while the impacts of rural population density and household rural conditions on environmental sustainability were analyzed by STIRPAT model.The results showed a higher population density in the south and a north-ward decline of ESI implying that the south has more sustainable rural environment.This was because of greater rural development and modernization of the rural space in southern Nigeria. These in turn resulted from the concentration of people and economic activities and the diversification of economic activities which are favourable responses to population pressure in the south.