Socioeconomic Development Inequalities among Geographic Units in Akwa Ibon State, Nigeria
Socio-economic development inequality among geographic units is a phenomenon common in both the developed and developing countries. Regional inequality may result in dissension among geographic units of the same state due to the imbalance in socio-economic development. This study examines the inequality and the pattern in socio-economic development in Akwa Ibom State. Data on socio-economic development indicators was collected using field survey, questionnaire and data from relevant agencies across the 24 areas or nodes selected out of the 31 areas or nodes. The factor analysis technique was applied to the 26 variables to achieve a parsimonious description and identify the major factors to indicate the socio-economic dimensions. From the analysis seven major factors were identified. Factor 1 identified and named as education/communication factor, factor 2 identified and named Health
institution/small scale industry factor, factor 3 identified and named as means of transport factor, factor 4 identified and named as land area factor, factor 5 identified and named as distance factor, factor 6 identified and named as income/household size factor and factor 7 identified and named as car ownership factor. The total variance for the factors is 82%. The study revealed that there exist variation and patterns in the socio-economic development in the study area.The pattern shows factor 1 has Essien Udium and Onna indicating high performance .Factor 2 , has 3 areas that indicate high performance Okobo, Ibeno, and Oruk Anam.Factor 3 has 3 areas that indicate high performance Ibesikpo Asutan, Abak and Etinan. Factor 4 has 4 areas Ibiono Ibom, Itu, Mkpat Enin and Ikot Abasi which indicate high performance. Factor 5 has 3 areas Nsit Ubium, Ini and Ikot Abasi.Factor 6 has 5 areas which indicate high performance Ikono, Eket, Mbo, Esit Eket and Udung Uko. Finally factors 7 has 4 areas which indicate high performance Eastern Obolo, Nsit Ibom, Ukanafun and Uruan. Efforts should be made to increase the number of socio-economic indicators in the disadvantages areas.
Key words: Socio-economic, Development, Inequalities, Geographic Units, Nigeria.