Nigeria has an estimated population of over 200 million people. We are seen as the largest black nation in Africa and the world at large. Nigeria is one of the most diverse nations in Africa, having ethnic groups that number in the hundreds.
However, in spite of the Nations’s large population and somewhat interesting population density, you would find it intriguing to know that not all states are uniformly populated, some are far more populated than others.
Using the 2006 census and the survey of the united nation of 2011, we would be looking at the most populated states in Nigeria today and what makes them so populated.
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#10 BENUE STATE (8 MILLION)
Home to different ethnic groups such as Tiv, Idoma, Igede, etc. This is the tenth most populated state in Nigeria. It had a population of 4,253, 641 in the 2006 census posted by the national population commission but it has doubled up since then and now stands at 8 million.
Located in the middle belt or central part of the country’s geographical outline, Benue state has a lot to offer in terms of agriculture and trade, leading to a significant rise in the state’s population over the years.
#9 JIGAWA STATE (8 MILLION)
The capital of Jigawa, which is Dutse with most of its vegetation, is made up of the Sudan Savanna. This is the ninth most populous state, with an estimated population of over 8 million.
In the 2006 census, it had a population of 4,361,002 people.
#8 ANAMBRA STATE (8.3 MILLION)
This is the eighth-most populated state in Nigeria and the most populated state in eastern Nigeria. Its largest city is Onitsha and this is an internationally recognized commercial city. The state is home to some of Nigeria’s billionaires who are of Igbo origin.
It had 4,177,828 people in the 2006 census but has stood at an estimated figure of 8.3 million in recent times.
#7 BAUCHI STATE (9 MILLION)
This is the seventh most populated state in Nigeria. It had a total of 4,676,465 people in the 2006 census and has since then doubled in its population size. Bauchi state has an estimated population of over 9 million people.
#6 KATSINA STATE (10 MILLION)
This state is located in the northwestern part of the country. It is the home of notable Nigerians, such as our past president, the late Umar Yaradua, and present president, Muhammadu Buhari.
It had a total of 5,801,584 people in the 2006 census and has since doubled. Kaduna state has a population of over 10 million people as of today.
#5 RIVERS STATE (11 MILLION)
The capital of rivers, which is Port Harcourt, is one of the major cities in Nigeria, which has a refinery and is also an oil-producing state. It is located in the Niger Delta region of the country.
In the 2006 census, rivers had a total of 5,198,764 and have risen significantly over the years. The United Nations survey of 2011 shows that rives have an estimated figure of 11 million.
#4 KADUNA STATE (12 MILLION)
This state has the largest landmass in the whole of the nation and is also the fourth most populated state in Nigeria. Its name was gotten from the river Kaduna, which is among the longest rivers in the country and one of the major rivers.
Kaduna’s population was about 6,113,503, but recent figures according to the United Nation show that Kaduna has about 12 million people.
#3 OYO STATE (15 MILLION)
In 2006 when the census was done, Oyo had a population of 5,508,894 people. According to the United Nations survey of 2016, the Oyo population had increased by three times its previous population.
Oyo state is the third most populated state in Nigeria with over 15 million people. The industrialized state is known for its trade and education and has a massive amount of students and traders.
#2 KANO STATE (16 MILLION)
Kano state has one of the country’s largest landmasses, so it is expected to be among one of the most populated areas. It is one of the prominent areas in northern Nigeria. It was the most populated state as of the last census carried out in 2006, with a total population of 9,401,288. It rose in 2011 and had an estimated figure of 11,058,300.
Presently, Kano has a population of over 16 million and sits behind Lagos as the second most populated state. Being the most popular state in the North and the second most industrialized state in the country, it is a no-brainer that Kano makes it to this list.
#1 LAGOS (21MILLION)
Lagos state, which is also known as the centre of excellence, is at the top of the list. It is the smallest state in Nigeria yet the most populated. Many people tend to troop into this state because of its promising opportunities for everyone. According to the census taken in the year 2006, Lagos’s population was about 9,113,605.
This rose, and in the year 2012, there was an estimated population figure of about 17.5 million people (this was according to the survey carried out by the United Nations). Today, Lagos has over 21 million people, making it the most populated state in Nigeria and in West Africa.
All things being considered; it is safe to say that Nigeria is blessed with people. There is enough manpower in Nigeria to bolster the various market and economic sectors that this country is involved in, be it agriculture, resource mining, domestic services, and even the military can be upgraded in terms of personnel thanks to this potential workforce.
Sadly, the Government is known to mismanage various resources that this country has been blessed with, and human resource is without an iota of doubt one of the least maintained resources in Nigeria.
Above, we have looked at the 10 largest states in Nigeria by population, with Lagos being the first. This list has more of the northern side, and only one eastern state happened to be on this list.