Top 10 Most Populated States in Nigeria (2023)

Nigeria ranks among the top in terms of population of the world. She is the most populated black nation on earth, hence the main reason why she is known as the “Giant of Africa”.

most populated states in nigeria

Most populated states in nigeria 2023 image credit: Reuters agency

It has also been predicted that Nigeria will become the 3rd most populous country on the planet earth by the year 2050. This prediction is clearly evidenced by the rapid rise in the population of people in each state.

The population figures shows that there has been a double increase than those census figures of 2006.

The last census carried out in Nigeria in the year 2006 saw Kano state as the city with the most population in the country. The next census was projected to take place in 2016, but was kept pending due to the economic instability in the country.

The program should be expected to take place anytime soon now that the country is gradually moving away from recession.

Recent survey by the United Nations has revealed the current most populous cities in the country for 2023.


Below is the list showing the top 10 most populated states in Nigeria 2023 as documented by UN reports.


Lagos state is currently the most populated state in Nigeria 2023. About 7,682,953 people were recorded for Lagos state in 2006, a figure that contradicted the data captured by Lagos state government.

Lagos state government in 2012, recorded the population in Lagos state to be 17.5 million. This urban city has the highest internal generated revenue in the country, which can be seen in its GDP.

Based on recent data collated from survey by the UN, Lagos state, currently has a population of 21 million people, and has become the most populous city in west Africa.


Kano state is currently the second most populated state in the country. The 2006 data has the population of Kano to be 9,383,682.

However, recent estimates has it that the population of the commercial state has increased by about 3 million.


This is the 3rd most populated state in Nigeria. This was her position in 2006. Ibadan, the capital of Oyo is the largest city in west Africa.

During independence in 1960, Oyo state was the most populated state in Nigeria. Figures from the government have it that the current population in the state is 6.6million.

Meanwhile the UN estimates in 2016 has it that the state has a population of 15 million people.


Kaduna state is best known for harbouring key institutions in the country – The Nigerian defence academy(NDA), Ahmadu Bello university Zaria, Federal polytechnic Kaduna and others. It is the 4th state with the highest population in Nigeria.

Kaduna state is dominated by the Hausa and Fulani ethnic groups, but there are over 50 other ethnic groups in the state. Figures from the last census have it that the population of Kaduna state was 6,066,562.

Meanwhile, recent surveys by the united nations have it that the state has a population of roughly 12,000,000.


Rivers state is the treasure base of the nation. It is oil rich and the base of almost all the multinational oil companies in the country.

Port Harcourt is the capital and the most populated city in the state. A population of 5,185,400 was recorded for Rivers state in 2006.

The population has increased significantly. Recent researches have it that the state has a population of about 11 million people. Rivers state is one of the richest states in Nigeria 2023.


This North western state was created in the year 1988 during Gen. Ibrahim Babangida’s regime. They were part of the old Kaduna state before.

Apart from being one of the most populated states in the country, two of the last 3 Nigerian presidents hail from Katsina state – Late Yar’adua and President Buhari.

Katsina is the 6th most populated Nigerian. They have roughly 10 million people in the state. Katsina state is a core Muslim state.


Bauchi state ranks among the highest in terms of population. The state is known to be very poor. Its capital is situated in Bauchi.

Population of 4,653,066 was recorded from the 2006 census. Recent survey counts has it that the population of the state has risen to about 9 million.


Anambra state located in the south-eastern part of the country is widely known for the high volume of commercial activities. Onitsha and Nnewi are the two most busiest cities in the state.

The state is dominated by the Igbo ethnic group and is known to produce prominent movie stars and politicians.

Their population in 2006 stood at 4,055,048. Recent figures have it that their population is about 8.3 million which makes Anambra the most populated state in South Eastern Nigeria.


Jigawa state is currently the 9th most populous state in the country. The state is dominated by Hausa and Fulani ethnic groups.

The figure of 4,348,649 was recorded for the state during the 2006 census.


Benue state shares a common boundary with Cross River state, Enugu, Ebonyi and Taraba states. They are highly affected by the Fulani herdsmen invasion.

Benue is known for having many food items. They rank 10th on the population list of states in the country with a population of about 7.8 million people.

The Author

Chizoba Ikenwa

Chizoba is a seasoned Information blogger, content developer and the founder of Nigerian Infopedia. He is a tech enthusiast who loves reading, writing and research


Add a Comment
  1. Superb. Keep it up.

  2. Benue state doesn’t share her borders with Adamawa but Taraba state.

  3. Atoyebi Abdul wasiu opeyemi olaitan

    Good luck and great job

  4. This population is unbalanced. Kano remain the most populous state in the federation not Lagos as mentioned

    1. Lagos is the most populous state in Nigeria. Pay a visit and see for yourself

      1. dirty city,no infrastructure,horrible roads,illegal transportation,no sidewalk for safety for citizens,water tap full of bacteria.streets have gates,this is how safe is Nigeria.better than Japan and Switzerland.

    2. Kano isn’t but Lagos

    3. That is now a pride abi

    4. Merely looking at your comment will One can conclude that you’re from the north.

    5. Have you ever been to Lagos??

  5. when is the last census in Nigeria

  6. Thanks for the redress Mr Italoye. Unscrupulous elements can be proving what is not but we all knew their motives behind uncensored figure for another state which is not but flaws. Lagos ever remains the largest populated State in Nigeria. They were lots of abracadabra in the past done by the cronies for reasons best know them just to marginalize. God saves His people as we are getting there.

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