Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with a population of over 182 million. The large human population is distributed among the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. The distribution however is not uniform. While some states like Kano have a population of over 9 million, others like Nasarawa have a population less than 3 million. This post will discuss the top 10 most populous states in Nigeria.
1. KANO STATE
Kano state is the most populated state in Nigeria according to the census conducted in 2006 and has a population of over 9 million. It is located in the North West geopolitical zone of Nigeria. It is the richest state in Northern Nigeria and the 6th in Nigeria. This state is one of the largest industrial bases in the country. Kano state is predominantly made of the Hausa Ethnic groups who are mostly Muslims. The state has the highest number of Local Government Areas in Nigeria.
The state is an important commercial centre in the country. Agriculture is also practiced at both subsistence and commercial level in the state.
2. LAGOS STATE
Lagos state is the most economically important state in Nigeria. It is the second most populous state in Nigeria. However, the Lagos state government claimed the 2006 census is has some flaws and Lagos is the most populated. However, there are no official data to adequately support their claim. Lagos is the richest state in Nigeria and also an oil producer. It is home to the city of Lagos, the most populated city in Nigeria. It is home to 2 major seaports and the busiest airport in Nigeria.
3. KADUNA STATE
Kaduna state also located in Northwestern part of the country is the 3th most populated state in the country. This state is home to a lot of Military Barracks and Bases as well as some unique schools. It is home to the Nigerian Defence Academy, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Institution of Leather Research, and the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University among others.
This state is one of the largest states in Nigeria in term of land area. It is also one of the most diverse states in term of ethnic composition.
4. KATSINA STATE
Katsina state is also located in the Northwest. This state is predominantly made of the Hausa-Fulani ethnic groups who are mostly Muslims. Agriculture is the predominate occupation in this state.
5. OYO STATE
Oyo state is the 5th most populated in Nigeria and the 2nd in Western Nigeria after Lagos. This state is a Yoruba dominated state and home to the first university in Nigeria; University of Ibadan. It also houses the first Television station in Nigeria (NTA Ibadan) as well as the Cocoa house and Old Oyo Park. The people of this state are predominantly into agriculture.
6. RIVERS STATE
Rivers state is the most populated state in the Niger Delta region. The state has one of the largest oil deposits in Nigeria and the third oil producer. It is home to 2 major oil refineries in the country. Aside being an oil producer, it is also blessed with other mineral and agricultural resources.
7. BAUCHI STATE
Bauchi state is one of the largest in the country in terms of land area and happens to be one of the most populated. Bauchi is located in the Northern part of the country. the most important economic activity in Bauchi is agriculture.
8. JIGAWA STATE
Jigawa state with Dutse as it capital, it is located in North western part of the country.
9. BENUE STATE
Benue is located in the North Central part of the country, the zone loosely referred to as the Middle belt. This state is majorly an agricultural state. It is a major producer of food in Nigeria and prides itself as the food basket of the nation. This is the most populous in the middle belt.
10. ANAMBRA STATE
Anambra state is the most populous state in the South eastern part of the country. The main economic activity is agriculture. The state is dominated by the Igbo speaking people who are mostly Christians.
NOTE: It is very difficult to find a reliable data on population as even the census of 2006 was faulted. This then means we can’t rely on the individual estimations by some of the states. So our list for now uses the census data until a new census is carried out.