Top 10 Most Populated States in Nigeria (2023)


Top 10 Most Populated States in Nigeria (2023)

This article brings you 10 most populated states in Nigeria. Undoubtedly, Nigeria is the among most populated country in Africa. No wonder she is called the ‘Giant of Africa’.  Now, we all know that every country is made up of states. By so doing, a country with a huge population will most likely contain several states with large populations. 

Nigeria is currently predicted to become the third most populated country in the world in the future. With a steady growth and rapid increase in population, Nigeria accounts for about a third of the African population. In this article today, we are going to look at the top 10 Most Populated States in Nigeria.

Top 10 Most Populated States in Nigeria (2023)

Top 10 Most Populated States in Nigeria (2023)

Without wasting any more time, let us look at the top 10 Most Populated States in Nigeria.


1. Lagos State - 9,013,534 Million

Popularly called Eko in Yoruba, Lagos is the most populous urban center in Nigeria and one of the most populous urban centers in Africa. The origin of the name Lagos is Portuguese in origin and it means ‘lakes’ Lagos is a major financial center and is said to have the highest GDP in Africa. One of the busiest ports in Africa is located in Lagos. There are conflicting figures when it comes to the population of Lagos. The State government puts the population at 22 million although the UN estimates indicates that a little over 14 million people living in Lagos. However, the census in 2006 pegs the population of the state at around 8 million.


2. Kano State -9,401,288 Million

Kano is the second most populous state in the country according to UN estimates. The state was created on the 27th of May 1967. Kano is known for food crops like millet, cowpeas, sorghum, maize, rice. The state is also a major producer of cotton, garlic, soybean, gum arabic, chili pepper, sesame as well as hides and skins. Based on the NBS data, Kano is the most populous state in the country with a population of over 13 million people. A vast majority of this populace are Hausa people.


3. Oyo State -5,591,589 Million

Oyo state is one of the most populated states in Nigeria today. Located in Western Nigeria, this state currently holds a large population of the Yorubas in the country. Today, the capital of Oyo State ‘Ibadan’ is the biggest city in West Africa. Just like Lagos and Kano State, Oyo state is very populated. From the recent estimates given by the United Nations, Oyo state is currently said to have a total population of 15 million people. As a result, they sit firmly as the third most populated state in the country.


4. Kaduna State -6,066,562 Million

Kaduna is located in the North-western part of the country. The state had over 6 million people according to the population census in 2006. Current estimates put the figure at around 12 million. Kaduna has 23 local government areas with over 60 ethnic groups in the whole state. Kaduna is known for its many educational institutions. These include the likes of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Federal Polytechnic, Kaduna State University, Nigerian Defence Academy and the Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, Zaria The state is the fourth largest state in Nigeria based on land area. The state has an estimated 46,053 km2.


5. Rivers State - 5,185,400 


Rivers State is the most prominent oil producing state. The state was created on the 27th May, 1967 and the capital is Port Harcourt. Rivers has a total land area of 11,077km2. Rivers is surrounded by Eastern states like Imo, Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom State, Bayelsa and Delta states. There are several ethnic groups in the state. These include Abua, Andoni, Ekpeye, Engenni, Etche, lbani, lkwerre, Kalabari, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, Okrika and Ogoni. Rivers state is divided in to 23 local government areas. Current estimates put the number of people living in Rivers state at around 10 million.


6. Katsina State - 5,792,578 


Located in the North Western part of the country, Katsina is 6th most populous state in the country. The origin of the state can be traced to Kaduna state from which it was carved out. The predominant ethnic group in this state is the Hausa people. The state is primarily a Muslim state however churches like the Redeemed Christian Church of God and the Roman Catholic Church are quite popular in the area.


7. Bauchi State - 4,676,465 


Bauchi state was created in 1976 after the break-up of the North-Eastern state. In 1996, Gombe state was carved out of this state. According to recent estimates, there are over 9 million people living in Bauchi state although 2006 census puts the figure at 4,653,066. Although, the people in Bauchi are predominantly Hausas, there are actually over 50 tribal groups in the state in the past, Bauchi was one of the major sources of tourism and freedom in the Fulani Empire of Sokoto.


8. Anambra State - 4, 055, 048 


 Anambra is a state that is known for its industrious spirit. Nnewi and Onitsha come to mind when we talk about the industry of the state. These areas have produced several billionaires and multi-millionaires. These include the likes of Cosmas Maduka, Prince Arthur Eze, Emeka Offor, Innocent Chukwuma, Ifeanyi Uba and many more. The state currently has a population of over 8 million people. The 2006 population census released estimates of 4, 055, 048 but it is believed that the population has since double. Anambra state is made up of predominantly Igbo people with the minority group being the Igala people.


9. Jigawa - 4,348,649 


Jigawa state is located in the North central part of Nigeria. The state was created from Kano state in 1991. According to the population census of 2006, about 4.3 million people live in Jigawa state. But recent estimates put the figure at 8.1 million people.


10. Benue - 4,219,244 Million

Popularly called the Food basket of the Nation, Benue is the 10th most populated state in the country with a population of 4.2 million according to the 2006 population census although the current population is around 8 million people. The state is located in the middle belt and the major ethnic groups are the Tivs, Idomas and the Igedes.


Final Thoughts on the Most Populated States in Nigeria

Top 10 Most Populated States in Nigeria (2023)

From this wonderful piece, you can confirm that Nigeria is indeed filled with big states. These huge states with large populations are responsible for the overall population ranking of Nigeria. With a whopping 36 states, Nigeria has a total population of over a 200 million plus people. 

This is the largest in Africa as a whole. Matter-of-factly, some states in Nigeria compete with some countries in Africa in terms of population. Probably why Nigeria is called the ‘Giant of Africa’. Aside from being so populated, Nigeria is a country that is richly blessed with natural resources. Nigeria is blessed with oil and gas, coal, limestone, and more. 

From this wonderful article, you can confirm that Nigeria indeed contains a lot of populated states. Aside from the states listed here, there are many other states in Nigeria which are actually populated. However, they do not make it to this list, as this list is focused on only the top ten states. So far, that is all we have on the top 10 most populated states in Nigeria.

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