Nigeria is a very large country, so it is only natural to expect that its population will also be quite large. Would you like the know the most populated states in Nigeria? Keep reading to see the ranking of Nigerian states with the most residents according to data gathered in 2006 and 2016.
Population of Nigeria: general facts
According to the census carried out in 2006, the overall population of Nigeria is 140,431,790 people; this figure makes Nigeria the 7th most populated country in the world. In 2017, however, the data gathered showed that the number Nigerians increased significantly – it rose to 184,234,797. Nigeria is often referred to as “the giant of Africa” because it is the most populated country on the continent. Due to the huge population of the country, one in every four African is actually a Nigerian.
What are the most populated states in Nigeria?
The list below will tell you the five states of Nigeria that have the biggest population, according to the census held in 2006.
1. Kano state
This is the most populated state in Nigeria; it is located in the northern part of the country. The capital of the state is Kano, which is also the second largest city in the country after Lagos. The state is mostly populated by Hausas and Muslims. Agriculture and industry are quite developed in the state. The population of Kano state according to the census is 9,401,288 people.
2. Lagos state
This state is located in southwestern Nigeria and is actually one of the smallest states in the country by area; but surprisingly, the population of the state is one of the highest in the whole country. Lagos state is mostly populated by Yoruba people, however, it is considered to be a multicultural pot where people of all races and religions come together. Lagos attracts not only Nigerians, but tourists from all over Africa as well. The estimated population of Lagos state according to census results is 9,013,534 people.
3. Kaduna State
The capital of Kaduna state is Kaduna. It is located in the northern part of Nigeria and is considered to be a home to around sixty different ethnic groups; however, the ones that dominate the state are Hausas and Fulanis.
Kaduna, the main city, is a well-known trade center and has a lot of fertile agricultural areas. The urbanization of the city started in the past decade and it is now considered to be one of the largest and most developed cities in Nigeria, with almost equal amounts of Muslims and Christians. The general population of Kaduna State according to census results is 6,066,562 people.
4. Katsina state
Katsina state is located in the northwestern part of Nigeria; majority of its local population are Hausa people, who are sometimes grouped with the Fulani ethnic group and referred to as Hausa-Fulani. The capital of this state, like some of the previously mentioned ones, has the same name as the state itself – Katsina; it is a historical ancient city with lots of tourist attractions. Apart from that, Katsina also provides agricultural goods. This state is largely occupied by Muslim, though it has Christian inhabitants too. Results of the last census in Nigeria shows that the population of Katsina state is approximately 5,792,578 people.
5. Oyo state
This state is located in the south-western part of Nigeria and inhabited mostly by the Yorubas. Its capital, Ibadan, is Nigeria’s largest city by geographical area and also one of the most populated ones. Ibadan is also known for some of its large universities. The state is largely occupied by Muslims and Christians. Oyo state’s official population according to the last census results is 5,591,589 people.
READ ALSO: Problems of population census in Nigeria
The estimated population of Nigeria according to 2016 calculations
After 2006 census, attempts to carry out another census in the country have failed, mostly economic problems. The last census exercise was scheduled to hold in 2016, however, it was postponed to 2018 due to certain factors like economic crisis, high level of illiteracy among local citizens and possible falsification of the results. However, there are various other sources that have published data on how many people live in the different Nigerian states. These sources are not exact and the numbers are estimates, but their information are the only ones available right now.
According to the recent estimates, the most populated state in Nigeria is Lagos state – it overtook Kano state which is number one on this list, as it is believed the population of Lagos has risen to 21 million. Kano state is believed to currently be second on the list with 16 million inhabitants. Oyo state jumped from fifth place to third position as its population increased to 15 million people. Kaduna state’s population is now 12 million which puts it on the fourth position, and the newcomer on this list, Rivers state, is now home to 11 million people, putting it at the fifth position. As for Katsina state, it is now sixth on the list.
2016 estimated rating of most populated state in Nigeria
- Lagos State
- Kano State
- Oyo State
- Kaduna State
- Rivers State
Overpopulation of Nigeria
Nigeria has major problems with overpopulation and overcrowded large cities. By the year 2100, it is predicted that the country will surpass China, and the negative effects of the large population are already kicking in – a lot of people occupy very basic homes which do not guarantee safety in extraordinary situations. Sometimes over fifty people can share the same living space and sanitary resources. The overpopulation is a result of high fertility amongst women, most of whom have no access to contraceptives; moreover, the use of contraceptives is often disapproved by some religions practiced in Nigeria.
A lot of people fear that the population of Nigeria will cause the country’s collapse, and they feel like the government could do more to combat this problem by giving people basic homes and facilities for their primary needs. In general, Nigeria’s poverty is strongly connected with overpopulation, and we are strongly hoping the government will take certain necessary measures to deal with these issues soon.
READ ALSO: Population of Nigeria by states: Latest data