Posted by on 2/6/2003 10:48:48 AM

Ethnic Composition and Language Areas: Osun State is populated mainly by Yorubas and is thus unified by a general language. But within the population, there are groups associated with particular dialects versions of Yoruba language. Among the major dialects are those associated with the Oyos, lfes, ljesas and lgbominas.

There are people from other parts of the country in the major towns of the state, notable Osogbo, lleife and llesa. With the creation of the state in 1991, Osogbo, the state capital, has become the focus of both political and economic activities and, therefore, a major recipient of migrants from vari ous parts of Nigeria. The major migrants include the Hausas, lbos, Urhobos, Fulanis, Tivs and Nupes.

Population: According to the 1991 National : population census, Osun State has a population of 2.2 million, made up to 1.079 million males and 1.123 million females (Table 29.1). The Table shows the breakdown of the population figures of the twentytwo local governments areas as at 1991. The breakdown of the official population figures for the new Local Governments created after the 1991 Census are not readily available.

In the table, lla Local Government Area, represents the addition of figures for the present lla and lfedayo Local Governments, Irewole for the present Irewole and Isokan Local Governments; lfe North for the pres ent lfe North and lfe East Local Governments ; Ede Local Government for Ede South and Ede North LGAs Atakumosa for Atakumosa East and

Atakumosa West Local Government; llesa Local Government, for llesha East and llesa West Local Governments; and the Boripe Local Government now represents the addition of figures for new Boripe and Boluwaduro Local Governments. The figure for Irepodun now represents those for new Orolu and Irepodun Local Governments.

The areas of major population concentration are lfe with population figure of over 185,000, fol lowed by Irepodun and New Orolu Local Governments with populations of over 177,000; Ede has 147,000; llesa has 130,000 and Osogbo Local Government, comprising mainly the capital, has a population of nearly 101,000.

Being part of the cocoa belt, Osun State has been a major destination for migrant farmers from other parts of Nigeria. Some of the migrants work as hired labourers in cocoa farms while others set tle down as migrants tenant farmers and traders. A large number of these self employed migrant farm ers are found in lfetedo, Garage, Olode and Owena areas. Hausa traders, who are involved in the kolanut and tobacco trade, are also found in lfe, Olode, Omifunfun, Meefoworade and Owena areas.

With the creation of Osun State in 1991, there has been an influx of people into the state, especially civil servants moving into Osogbo, Ede, Gbongan and other neighbouring settlements. The inhabi tants of the state, notably, the ljesas, lwos and Ejigbos, also migrate to settle and trade in large towns throughout the country.

Pattern of Urban and Rural Settlement: The population of Osun State is concentrated in a num ber of urban centres namely, Osogbo, llesha, lleife, ljebuJesa, Ejigbo, Modakeke, lfetedo, Ede, lkirun, Ipetuljesa, lla and Ode Omu. These urban centres are concentrated in the upper half of the state, while the smaller towns and villages are concentrated in the lower half. Even then, there are farm camps between and surrounding the major urban centres of lleife, llesa, lla and Ipetujesa.

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