A Study on the relationship between population growth and land values: A Case study of Kisii District, Kenya (1967-87)
The thesis constitutes a study of land values, population qrowth and the rural land market in Kisii District. It investigates the nature of the Kisii rural land market, the possible causes of high land values and whether population growth is a significant factor. It was established that the number of land sales have been on the decline especially as from the 1980s. The main reason for this was the high population density and the over dependence of the Gusii on agriculture which could not war r ant many sales. It was also established that the pieces of land disposed of in the market have progressively been diminishing. It was evident that there were no leasehold sales in the market during the study period of 1967-87. An upward trend in land values was noted although t he r e we r e fluctuations he r e and there. In fitting the trend equation for them, the Least Squares Geometric Straight Line Approach was used. A major deduction in the study was that high land values in densely populated Kenya are here to stay and that transactions in the freehold interest are on the decline. It was evident that population growth in Kisii is a real problem to the community's economy since in other years it was growing at the prohibitive rate of 5.2 % per year. The causes for high land values in the district were identified as good climate, cultural attachment to land, soil fertility, inflation, population growth, location, economic development) per capita income, speculation, political stability and government interventlon , Results obtained revealed that whereas the land market in Kisii was active in the 1960s and had assumed a descending trend in the 1980s, land values were increasing at the rate of 1.43 per cent per annum at 1977 prices while population was rising at a much faster annual average rate of 3.88 per cent. The major finding of the study was that the relationship between land values and population growth is not strong, The main recommendations were that small families be encouraged, freehold sales be banned in favour of leaseholds and that less emphasis be placed on land i.e. people should be made to understand that investment in land is not the only course of action for survival . It was also proposed that in order to curb exorbitant land prices, land should be nationalized. The study consists of three sections the first of which sets the premise against which the cor e of the study is examined. The section in addition reviews land values in the light of land as a scarce r e source in a dynamic environment. The second part consists of two chapters. The first one presents the concept of rural development and the land question in Kenya. It shows the place of land in the process of rural development. The other chapter examines the general features of Kisii District. Examination of the study area reveals the possible causes of the prevailing high land values. The last part of the thesis also consists of two chapters. One is an analysis of population and land market data while the last one is a summary of conclusions and recommendations.