How many tribes in Nigeria?

How many tribes in Nigeria?

Nigeria is a multifaceted and beautiful country. Its legacy is huge. Each tribe contributes something special to make it an exceptional nation. In order to clearly understand the demographic situation of our country, let's find out: how many tribes in Nigeria. You’ll be amazed. This information is useful for any Nigerian who eager to learn more about his country.

How many tribes in Nigeria?

There are 371! Can you imagine? If we'll talk about each of them this article will be endless. So we will talk about the three main ones in details.


Nigerian people and culture have had a huge influence on the development of the continent of Africa. Hausa is one of 3 main ethnic groups in Nigeria:

● Its representatives live in Sudan, Cameroon, Chad, Togo, Gabon, Ghana, Senegal, America, and Libya.

● They have specific language, which is considered to be one of the main languages in the county. It is used by about 70 million people. For 20 million of them, it is their first language, while 50 million people speak Hausa as a second language. In Sokoto, the Hausas speak on old dialect, which was once spoken by all representatives of the tribe.

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● The area next to the Niger River, North, and West of the country is often referred to as Hausaland. More than 70% of the population live in these villages. In each settlement there are about 2 thousand inhabitants, that grow vegetable crops and domestic animals.

● The culture of Nok influenced the formation of Hausa tribe. It disappeared about 300 years AD. The reasons are unknown.

● The traditional religion here is Islam. Men and women here are dressed in conservative outfits.

Hausa girls

● Also here, you can find a popular the religion called Bori that was common thousand years ago. Its glory faded slightly as a result of visitors from other countries who spread Islam. This religion preaches that spirits live among people and humans need to pay tribute to them. Ghosts are invited into the body so that they treat illnesses and guide people on the right path.

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● A deep interest in religion does not prevent the local residents from being excellent entrepreneurs and developing themselves in terms of business. They are industrious, know how to set ambitious goals and achieve them.

● Their population in Nigeria is more than 24 million. The tribe has 19 settlements.

● In most families, the husband has more than one wife. He often builds separate house for each of the wives and they come to him to visit one by one.



Igbo is another one of the major tribe in Nigeria:

● This ethnic group has a long history which started 4.5 thousand years BC. In most cases, they operate a decentralized political system. South Eastern Nigeria is often called Igboland.

● About 24 million Nigerians speak the local language. There are more than 20 different dialects of the Igbo language. Some of them are used in literature and others – only in speaking. Representatives of Western countries first heard the words of Igbo language only in the 18th century. They studied it to teach the local people the intricacies of the Gospel.

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● Most Igbo people live near swamps and forest lands, on the banks of the Niger River.

● Igbo are descendants of Nri Kingdom, one of the most ancient in Nigeria. These people are famous for the invention of unusual musical instruments.

● Igbo do not wear traditional costumes in everyday situations. They are usually worn on special days and occasions.

Igbo people

● Family and state values are very important for Igbo and largely affect their cultural heritage.

● These people make up 18% of all Nigerian tribes. Throughout the world, about 70 million Igbos can be found. There are a lot of them in Cameroon and the USA.

● Before the inhabitants of Western countries appeared here, monotheism reigned in Igbo villages. One God was deemed to be the Creator of all. Also, considerable attention was paid to family and relatives, a connection which is preserved even after their death.

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● Now, most Igbo profess Christianity. It began to spread here in the 19th century. In some localities, it is mixed with traditional beliefs.

● Many local residents are engaged in agriculture, different sorts of crafts associated with the processing of metal. Women make ceramic and clay items or even fabrics.

● Many Igbo people occupy high positions in the administrative department of Nigeria, so this tribe has something to be proud of.

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Igbo tribe


Also, let's point some interesting facts about Yoruba people:

● Most of all representatives of this tribe settle in Nigeria and make up 21% of the country's population (There are approximately 40 million Yoruba people in the country). A lot of them live in Benin, USA, UK, and Togo. It is difficult to calculate the exact number. Across the world, an estimated 3 million Yoruba people can be found (beyond Nigeria).

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● Yorubaland is a savannah and grassy area. Very talented people were born here. Many famous persons are the pride of the tribe.

● There are a lot of dialects in the local language. It is being spoken by up to 30 million people (in 2010).

● In cultural traditions, a significant importance is given to family. The older generation is respected and they are rulers of settlements. Young Yoruba people listen to their advice with gratitude.

● Despite the fact that old people are honoured here, Yorubas willingly embrace anything new.

● The ancient religions are upheld by 20% of the inhabitants. This mostly depends on the region. Gods are both male and female. There is also a huge number of both Muslims and Christians.

● Most Yoruba people are engaged in farming. The artisans process metal and wood. Women are engaged in pottery and sewing clothes.

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It is difficult to argue with the fact that these 3 are the major tribes of Nigeria because they constitute about 70% of the population of the country and throughout the world. As for the exact population of each of the tribes, expert call different figures, so it's hard to say which tribe is the biggest.

In most sources, Hausa is leading, so we considered this tribe the first. On the other hand, some researchers say that Igbo and Yoruba have a larger number of people.

Other Nigerian tribes that area also quite popular are Fulani, Achipa, Kanuri, Chokobo, Degema, Tiv etc.

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