There are two types of settlements. These are (a) Rural settlements (b) Urban settlements

(a) Rural Settlement

• A rural settlement is a relatively small area with socially homogenous people that know one another

• It could be nucleated, dispersed or linear

• They have people with the same cultural background and language

• They have few social amenities and the life style is important

• They are normally involved in primary activities such as farming, fishing and lumbering

Types of rural settlement

There are three types of rural settlement. These are:

1. Homestead: this is one family residence. These are disperse settlement which are separated from one another by bushes or by geographical barriers and contain few people with little opportunity for social gathering

2. Hamlet: this settlement may be nucleated with few houses, usually less than hundred with many people living in them

3. Village: this is a large nucleated rural settlement formed from the combination of several hamlets. It contains several hundred or thousands of people with limited services

Functions of Rural Settlement

1. Agriculture is usually the main occupation of rural dwellers, leading to the production of abundant food

2. Most rural areas with forest engage in lumbering activities

3. There are few commercial activities, mostly in petty trades, using their small shops and local markets

4. Most rural areas with rivers are also involved in fishing

5. Rural areas with churches and mosques are involved in religious activities.

(b) Urban Settlement

(i) An urban settlement is relatively large, densely populated settlement with socially heterogeneous people who do not know one another

• They are usually compact in nature

• They have nucleated settlement

• There is presence of developed infrastructure

• They are usually well built areas

• They have centers of innovation and ideas

• They are made of many building; thousands of people live in them

Types of Urban Settlement

There are four main types of urban settlement and these are:

1. Town: it has several thousands of people

2. City: this is a large town with greater number of people than town

3. Conurbation: this is made up of several towns joined together but, each town still maintains its identity

4. Megalopolis: this is the largest type of urban settlement made up of large cities with several millions of people

Functions of Urban Settlement

1. Urban centers are involved in the manufacturing of finished goods

2. The presence of markets and banks enables urban dwellers t engage in commercial activities

3. Most urban centers are the seats of government

4. Urban settlements are centers for the establishment of universities, polytechnic, schools, churches, mosques and hotels

5. Where minerals are present in some towns, the inhabitant tend to perform mining function

Classification of Settlement according to Pattern or Shape.

The pattern or shape of settlement refers to the arrangement of buildings. There are three main patterns of settlement. These are dispersed, nucleated linear and isolated settlements

1. Dispersed (scattered) settlements


• The buildings are scattered or far from each other

• It has few social amenities

• It has a feature of rural settlement

• Distinct boundaries separate one family land from another

• Behind the buildings, there are family parcels of land

• Individual compounds are widely spread from one another…

Human settlement

The small town of Flora, Oregon in the United States is unincorporated, but is considered a populated place.

Taos Pueblo, an ancient pueblo belonging to a Taos-speaking Native American tribe of Pueblo people. It is approximately 1000 years old and lies about 1 mile (1.6 km) north of the modern city of Taos, New Mexico.

Population tables

of world cities

• World’s largest cities

• World’s largest cities proper

• World’s densest population

• World’s larg


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