10 Most Populated States in Nigeria & Figures (2024)
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country in the world. With a population of over 200 million people, Nigeria is a melting pot of cultures, languages, and religions. The large human population is distributed among the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. Though, 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 and what makes them unique.
TOP 10 MOST POPULATED STATES IN NIGERIA
Here are Nigeria’s most populated states according to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)
KANO STATE – 14.2 MILLION PEOPLE
Kano state is the most populated state in Nigeria according to the census conducted in 2019 with a population of over 14.2 million people.
It is located in the north west geopolitical zone of Nigeria. It is the richest state in Northern Nigeria and the 6th in Nigeria. The state is known for its rich history, culture, and traditions. It is also a major center for trade, agriculture, and industry in Nigeria. Some of the state’s notable landmarks include the Kano City Wall, the Gidan Makama Museum, and the Kano State Government House.
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.
LAGOS STATE – 12 MILLION PEOPLE
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 2019 census had some flaws and Lagos is the most populated. While 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. It is also the commercial capital of Nigeria and is known for its bustling economy, diverse culture, and iconic landmarks such as the Lagos Lagoon, Tafawa Balewa Square, and the Lagos State House. The state is also home to several higher educational institutions, including the University of Lagos and the Lagos State University.
KASTINA STATE – 9.3 MILLION PEOPLE
Kastina state is also located in the northwest and is the 3rd most populated state in Nigeria. This state is predominantly made of the Hausa-Fulani ethnic groups who are mostly Muslims. Agriculture is the predominate occupation in this state.
The state is known for its rich cultural heritage and is home to several historical sites such as the Daurawa Museum, the Katsina Emir’s Palace, and the Kofar Kudu Gate. Agriculture is a major industry in the state, with major crops including cotton, groundnuts, and rice.
KADUNA STATE – 8.3 MILLION PEOPLE
Kaduna state also located in north western 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.
BAUCHI STATE – 7.5 MILLION PEOPLE
Bauchi state is one of the largest in the country in terms of land area and happens to be the 5th most populated.
Bauchi is located in the Northern part of the country. the most important economic activity in Bauchi is agriculture.
OYO STATE – 7.5 MILLION PEOPLE
Oyo state is the 6th most populated state 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, the 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.
RIVERS STATE – 7 MILLION PEOPLE
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.
Rivers state is known for its diverse culture and is home to several iconic landmarks such as the Port Harcourt Polo Club, the Rivers State Government House, and the Rivers State Cultural Center. The state is also a major center for oil and gas production in Nigeria.
JIGAWA STATE – 6.7 MILLION PEOPLE
Jigawa state with Dutse as it capital, it is located in North western part of the country.
NIGER STATE – 6.2 MILLION PEOPLE
Niger state is located in the north-central part of the country and it is the largest state in terms of landmass and area.
This state is majorly an agricultural state.
It is a major producer of food in Nigeria and prides itself as the power state of the nation. This is the most populous state in the north-central geopolitical zone.
OGUN STATE – 5.9 MILLION PEOPLE
Ogun State, located in South-Western Nigeria, is the tenth most populous state in Nigeria with a population of over 5.9 million people. The state is known for its rich cultural heritage and is home to several historical sites. Ogun State is also a major center for agriculture, with major crops including cocoa, yam, and cassava.
Nigeria’s population is diverse and its states are unique in their own way. Each state has its own culture, history, and economic strengths. These top 10 most populous states in Nigeria play a major role in shaping the country’s economy and culture. It is important to note that population size does not always reflect a state’s economic or cultural significance.
NOTE: It is very difficult to find a reliable data on population as even the census of 2006 and 2019 was faulted. This means that we can’t rely on the individual estimations by some of the states. So the figures on our list for now was gotten from NBS, while the arrangement is in line with the 2006 and 2019 census. We shall update it when a new census is carried out.