The Controls of Household Mobility in Enugu Metropolitan Area, Nigeria

Basil U. Eze, Merit T.I,
Article Date Published : 30 January 2019 | Page No.: 5221-5224 | Google Scholar


A household chooses where to relocate in an urban area for variety of reasons especially bothering on housing and environmental conditions. Since there is a spatial differential in housing and environmental conditions in the urban areas, the direction of this movement equally varies spatially. This has implications for urban planning and administration. This paper therefore examined through household survey, the factors that control intra-urban movement in Enugu metropolitan area using a random sample population of 489 urban households. Analysis was done using simple percentages. The result showed that 383 households did move atleast once. The prime factors found to have overwhelmingly induced movement are insecurity, low power supply, dirty environment, noise pollution, quest for education, bad road network, poor housing and flooding in decreasing order of importance. The paper concludes that stakeholders in urban administration should take cognizance of these parameters which influence the urban housing environment.


Residential mobility, residential relocation, urban population relocation, intra-urban migration and household mobility are synonymous concepts that describe or have to do with movement of urban households from one housing to another. Such movements as Animashaun ( 2011) puts it are propelled by certain factors called push and pull factors which operate to either induce or encourage households to change their residence in the city.

The study of residential mobility and housing choices have captured the interest of scholars in diverse range of disciplines including economists, geographers, sociologists, planners, psychologists, to name just a few. Rossi ( 1955) characterized residential mobility as a means by which housing consumption patterns adjust overtime. In many aspects, this characterization remains true today, however the patterns of residential mobility and household and the personal characteristics that drive such mobility have undergone transitions over the past half a century. Coupe and Morgan ( 2001), suggested that changes in household and personal characteristics are not the only factors that should be considered in household relocation studies. They note that housing choices may be affected by residential history and market factors or forces that are external to the household. Building further on this, Clark and Onaka ( 2003) in a rather unique study that attempted to consider an amalgamation of factors driving residential relocation and mobility processes, characterized residential relocation as a combination of an adjustment move (adjusting to market), an induced move (changes in household composition and lifecycle), and forced move (loss of housing unit or job).

Olafubara ( 1994), maintains that a household chooses a residential district for a number of reasons ranging from socio-economic, cultural, administrative to purely psychological factors. The implication of individual’s choice might not make a significant impact on the urban scope. However, the residential location choice becomes a matter of concern to urban managers when system-wide changes or shift in the pattern of population distribution tend to create some problems on facility provisions and on the general environmental standards. It has been alleged that the movement of households has both induced and aggravated many of the social and economic problems that are found in the cities, such as the geographic concentration of households with similar ethnic and/or wealth characteristics in distinct sections of the cities and the relative decline in the quality of the environment and the increase in the poverty of the urban core (To, et al 1983, Afolayan, 1994). The effect of such population re-distribution has influence on transportation, the provision of public services and the financing of the city. In planning the provision of these services, it is imperative that the planners have good estimates of changes in demand for such services.

Nowadays, residential mobility issue in different urban areas have been taken into consideration because of the inevitable cause and effect relationship between the intra-urban migration and its socio-spatial structure especially in the analysis of urban social geography ( Shalyn and cloud, 2003). Although migration shapes and changes social and demographic structure of the neighbourhood, it is conditioned by socio-spatial structure of the city ( Knox and Pictch, 2014). Intra-urban movement of the families has obvious consequences on the land market, housing and rent, new housing construction and renovation and repair of existing housing, residential density in different parts of the city; and forms and changes the social zones within cities. The trust of the paper is therefore to identify, analyze and update the factors that induce intra-urban migration in Enugu Metropolis to enable planners and policy makers stand on a more informed platform in their planning and policy making for a more sustainable housing provision and services in the area, so as to achieve a desired level of residential satisfaction.

Materials and Methods

Location of Study Area

Enugu urban ( Metropolis) Fig 1 is situated in Enugu South, Enugu North and Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State. It is the present capital of Enugu State and is located between latitudes 6 20’N and 6 30’N and longitude 7 20’E and 7 30’E and lies within 221 meters to 317 meters above mean sea level. As at 2006 census it has a population of 722, 664 (2015 projection is 926561). Although the town started as a mining town, the coal industry has long ceased to be its main economic support. Today Enugu urban doubles as an administrative and equally a commercial centre. Being the regional capital of former Eastern Region, she is equally adjudged as the regional capital of Southeastern Nigeria. It is populated largely by immigrant population especially rural-urban migrants. She has grown in size and complexity and so suitable for this study.


Figure 1:

Sample Selection

Stratified random sampling technique was used to draw 500 respondents from the total population drawn in proportion to the respective population sizes of the local government areas that make up the study area namely Enugu East, Enugu North and Enugu South. Below is table 1 showing estimated population and sample sizes.

LGA Est. Population Sample size %
Enugu East 358579 193 38.7
Enugu North 314104 170 33.9
Enugu South 253878 137 27.4
Total 926561 500 100

Estimated Population and Sample Sizes

Source: Researchers projections and computations.

Data Collection

The main source of primary data was the structured questionnaire while literature from the published sources formed the secondary data. The questionnaires were distributed to heads of households. The questionnaires elicited information on household characteristics, relocation information including reasons for relocating if one ever relocated since moving into the city among others.

Data Analysis

Data was presented, ranked and analyzed using simple percentage on tables and further illustrated using charts.

Results of the Study

Analysis of factors inducing residential mobility

Factors Numbers of Respondents Total % Rank
Enugu South Enugu East Enugu North
Dirty environs 16 29 12 57 14.9 3rd
Poor housing 5 7 6 18 4.7 8th
Noise pollution 23 15 15 53 13.8 4th
Insecurity 28 41 20 89 23.2 1st
Low power supply 20 25 18 63 16.4 2nd
Quest for education 15 6 20 41 10.7 5th
Bad road network 10 20 8 38 9.9 6th
Flooding 3 16 5 24 6.3 7th
Total 120 159 104 383 100

Reasons for changing from one residential Area to Another

Source: field survey by researchers.

Figure 2:

From the table and pie chart presented above, it is observed that out of the four hundred and eight nine ( 489) retrieved questionnaires, three hundred and eight three ( 383) affirmed to have relocated since they moved into Enugu city. Ranking the motives for relocation, insecurity and/or desire for secured environment ranked first with 23.3% and low power supply came second with 16.4% followed by dirty environment, 14.9%, noise pollution 13.8%, quest for education 10.7%, bad road network 9.9%, flooding 6.3% and lastly poor housing 4.7%. It is equally of note that security topped most in all the local government Areas that form Enugu Metropolis.

Socio-Demographic Features of Residential Migrants

Table 3: Age features

Age Enugu South Enugu East Enugu North Total % Rank
Less than 15 years 0 0 0 0 0 4th
16-30 years 32 22 45 99 20.2 3rd
31-45 years 54 98 64 216 44.2 1st
45 and above 48 69 57 174 35.6 2nd
Total 134 189 166 489 100

Source: Field survey by researchers

Status Enugu South Enugu East Enugu North Total % Rank
Single 21 18 30 69 41.1 3rd
Married 70 122 109 301 61.6 1st
Widow 28 28 20 75 15.3 2nd
Widower 9 11 5 19 5.1 4th
Divorce 6 11 2 19 3.9 5th
Total 134 189 166 489 100

Marital Features

Source: Field survey by researchers.

The purpose of seeking the socio-demographic features of migrants is to see if there could be any pointer to their influence on migration decision, since such information was not directly captured in the questionnaire.

The age features of the respondents as shown in the table 3 above indicate that majority of them are 31 years and above, the age which most people in this part of the world must have gotten married. The marital status as presented in table 4 equally shows that 301(61.6) of the respondents are married. By proportional calculations, the estimate of those who are married and equally relocated is 298 respondents which represent 77.8% of those who relocated. This means that majority of the Intra-urban migrants caught in this study were married which is a pointer that change in family composition/family life cycle could be a major factor in intra-urban migration in Enugu Metropolis.

Discussion of Results

Rossi ( 1955), suggests that the household’s decision to move or not to move is based on housing ‘dissatisfaction, household hold characteristics and exogenous circumstances. The present study however concentrates evidence on exogenous circumstances or environmental issues rather than on housing dissatisfaction. As the present study evidences, poor housing captured the attention of only 4.7% of those who relocated while the motive for the majority of the intra-urban movers is based on security, power supply and quality of the physical environment, others include noise, education need, road network and flooding. These factors can be categorized as exogenous or environmental or what ecological studies by Moore ( 1971), Wolpert ( 1966) and L.A Brown and Holmes ( 1971), among others saw as the role of neighbourhood externalities in influencing mobility decision. In conformity with this study, security of life equally ranked first among relocation factors in a study carried out in Enugu and Aba by Okoye ( 2018).

The study equally found through indirect estimation that majority of the movers are married which points to the fact that household ‘lifecycle’ ‘household demographics’, ‘household characteristics’ may have also constituted a portent force in decision to change residence. This is also confirmed in Okoye’s 2018 study in Aba and Enugu urban where household lifecycle and household demographics ranked 4th position respectively among the factors that influence intra-city residential mobility. There is substantial agreement that recent changes in marital status increase household mobility. Pickvance ( 1973) found that most household move in the first year of marriage. This study found that poor housing which comes under housing dissatisfaction was not such a big issue as only 4.7% of movers mentioned it as their reason which is variant to most conceptualizations of the mobility process that capture housing dissatisfaction as a major factor; but even in the findings of Okoye ( 2018), housing facility and tenure were not prime factors but ranked fifth. One cannot easily adduce explanations for this difference, but one thing is clear, movers and residents are very much concerned about the quality of the social and physical environment of their residential location. This is very well evidenced in Enugu metropolis where environmental concerns form the crux of the motive for intra-urban moves.


Intra-urban migration is found to be evident in Enugu metropolitan area. The ‘re-locators’ are found to be more concerned about the quality of the social and physical environment of the area of their residence especially the issue of security, power supply and clean environment, among others. Urban planners and policy makers are therefore required to take cognizance of these parameters which need to be influenced in urban housing environment so as to improve on the level of residential satisfaction. This will go a long way to avoid unnecessary moves and so curb the subsequent probable negative consequences.


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Article Details

Issue: Vol 6 No 1 (2019)
Page No.: 5221-5224
Section: Articles

How to Cite

Eze, B. U., & T.I, M. (2019). The Controls of Household Mobility in Enugu Metropolitan Area, Nigeria. The International Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities Invention, 6(1), 5221-5224.

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