Connect with us


The Major Characteristics of Urban Areas



Apart from the fact that urban areas have more people living in it, they also have higher level of availability of educational institutions, hospitality facilities, market facility, water supply, electricity and industrial establishments.

1.    Educational Institutions

Urban areas host a large number of primary, secondary and technical schools. These schools are either owned by governments or private individuals. In addition, some urban areas host tertiary institutions which may also be private or public-owned. Often, it is these available educational institutions that attract the youth and other able bodied men and women from the rural areas.

2.    Hospitality Facilities

Urban areas have hospitality facilities such as hotels or guest houses. In addition, there are other attractions which often result in increase in the population of the dwellers.

3.    Market Facility

Market facilities in the urban areas are more modern than those in the rural areas. For instance, there could be lock-up shops, open air markets, supermarkets with all kinds of trading. Some markets facilities in the urban areas provide for daily transaction unlike in the rural areas where buying and selling take place at certain interval of time.

4.    Water Supply

Urban areas are characterized by the supply of portable water which may be borehole or pipe-borne. Rural areas mostly depend on harvested rain and streams for their water supply.

5.    Electricity Supply

Electricity supply is associated with urban areas. One of the reasons migration occurs from rural area to urban area is the search for better living standard in which electricity plays a vital role. This is because most of the trades in the urban areas require electricity to function just as most of the electronic gadgets that make life pleasurable equally depend on electricity.

5.    Electricity Supply

Urban areas play host to one or more industrial and other establishments each employing not less than fifty people who may not be indigenes of the community. Can you think of why more industries are sited in the urban areas than in the rural areas? Of course, the issues of electricity supply, market, labor force and communication could be strong reasons why there are more industries in the urban than rural areas.

7.    Presence of Banks and other Financial Institutions

Urban areas have two or more branches of commercial banks and some other financial institutions, such as insurance companies and mortgage institutions. Banks operating in urban areas obviously enjoy greater patronage than those in the rural areas.

8.    Presence of the Police and Fire Services

Urban area witness more security agencies like the police and fire services than what is obtained in rural areas. This is because, since urban areas have large number of inhabitants, crimes and fire outbreaks are more pronounced than what is obtained in the rural area.

9.    Entertainment and Recreational Facilities

Urban areas enjoy higher level of entertainment and recreational facilities. Studio and public centers are located in urban areas. Amusement parks, cinema houses and night clubs are located in urban areas.

10.    Presence of Petrol Stations

In urban areas, there are petrol stations and vehicle servicing facilities.

11.    Health Care Facilities

Urban areas have two or more private clinics besides government dispensaries or mission hospitals. They also have laboratory diagnostic services.


You would have observed in this unit that, urban areas are characterized by the presence of educational institutions, hospitality facilities, market facilities, water and electricity supply, industrial establishments, presence of banks, police and fire services, entertainment and recreational facilities, petrol stations and health care facilities.. Where all the above mentioned facilities are found in a greater measure can be regarded as urban area.


Jibowo Gboyega (2000). Essentials of Rural Sociology. Abeokuta: Gbemi Sodipo Press Ltd.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *