Measuring Geographic Distribution of Economic Activity in Nigeria Using Gross Domestic Product

  • Olanrewaju Lawal
  • Ijeoma Emele Kalu
Keywords: spatial pattern, economic centre of gravity, GDP, geographical distribution, GIS


Population of humans and their activities represent one of the major sources of change. It is evident that there is an ever growing need to understand, model and predict these changes and their consequences. Spatial representation of the pattern and dynamics of economic activity has a potential of supporting sustainable development. This paper examined the dynamics of economic activities in Nigerian at different scales, to provide an understanding of the centre of gravity and the geographical distribution of economic activities. GDP and population data were collated for 2010 and 2014. GDP per grid cell was computed based on population data and partitioned on a ratio of 90%:10% of GDP between Urban and Rural areas. Centrographic analysis was carried out within Geographical Information System (GIS). Result shows that there was an increase of about 40% in urban economic activity, and urban centre of gravity moved southwards ≈ 4.5km while median centre also moved southwards ≈ 6km. Distributional trend and orientation changed slightly and a compaction of about 0.8% was recorded. The pattern is similar at the Local Government Area (LGA) level. Analyses showed that the economic centre of gravity for the country fell within Kogi State. Total economic activity across the country is significantly dominated by a handful of major urban agglomerations. This dominance declined slightly over the period. Future government's economic policy needs to take into considerations spatial and environmental factors in planning. There is need for adequate understanding of spatial pattern and centrographic analysis of economic activity to support evidence based economic and regional development policies.


print ISSN: 0855-9414