10 Most Populated States In Nigeria 2024


Nigeria is one of the most popular country which is highly famed for its diversity, culture and colorful mix of different individuals from all walks of life.

As one of the leading nations in Africa as well as one of the most populous black nation, Nigeria is home to different people from disparate backgrounds, tribes, nationalities, creed and countries.The Top 10 Largest States in Nigeria By Landmass

This is not a surprise as Nigeria is home to one of the largest metropolitan cities in the world which is Lagos state. Nigeria popularly known as Naija is home to more than 250 ethnic groups which according to research speaks 500 distinctive languages, all of which adds to its world wide appeal.

Nigeria has an estimated population of 216 million, which makes it one of the most populated country in Africa, Hence, the nickname “the giant of Africa”.

Population strategists has predicted that by the year 2050, Nigeria will be the most populated Black country and sadly, this scientific prophecy is coming to pass due to the population growth in different states in Nigeria.

This is due to the low level of literacy in rural areas, migration from rural to urban areas in search of greener pastures and other unchecked causal factors.

Since the last census carried out in 2006, it has been discovered that the population of Nigeria has tripled in size, states like Kano , Katsina and Lagos have been shown to witness a massive increase compared to the previously collated data in 2006.

Are you a businessman seeking to expand your business in a more populated state or are you planning on moving to an urban area, then sit tight as we examine the 10 most populated states in Nigeria .

The 10 most populated states according to the united nations include;












Popularly referred to as “the center of excellence”, Lagos makes the top of the list of the most populated states in Nigeria. it has clinched the title of the fastest growing city in Nigeria.

Lagos is the hub of commercial activities in Nigeria, it has been estimated that if Lagos were an independent country, it would be one of the largest economies in Africa. Lagos now generates about 25 percent of Nigeria’s total Gross domestic product.

Although Lagos is dominated mostly by the Yoruba as well as the ewe and ogu ethnic groups which makes up 58 percent of its population, Lagos is also home to other major Nigerian ethnic groups. Infact Lagos houses a small population of non indegenous Nigerian groups including but not limited to Lebanese, Syrian, British , Japanese, afro cuban, Greek, Zimbabwean, Brazilian and American immigrants.

Also, Lagos is a key cultural, educational and transportation hub for Nigeria as well as sub- Saharan Africa. It has been noted to have the highest human development index in Nigeria. Lagos is quite a big city with a total size of 1,171.28 square kilometers(452.23 square miles).

the population of Lagos city is outgrowing the size of the city. At about 2012, it was recorded that the population of Lagos was 17.5 million. However, based on the research carried out by the United Nations, the population of Lagos state is about 21 million making it the most populous state in nigeria.

There are greater chances that the population will sky rocket as times goes by. It has been predicted that in 25 years the population size of 300 million which will place it as the largest cities in the world.

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The Northern state of Kano is the second most populated state in Nigeria. created in 1967 with an estimation of 16 million, kano state comes second place in the ranking of most populated in Nigeria.

Although located in the north, there are certain factors which have helped kano state attain this position as the most populated state in Nigeria. Kano state has established a multi faceted economy which has become quite a formidable industry in itself.

Kano state is the second largest industrial centre after lagos state. As a commercial giant in textile, tanning, pharmaceuticals, ceramics and other major produce, kano state has attracted a good number of immigrants and investors to the state, thereby leading to an increase in the population of the state.

Another major factor which has contributed to the massive growth in the population is the practice of polygamy in the state. Over 95 percent of the people are Muslims and therefore most of them get married to about four wives, and this practice leads to high level of childbirth and as a result it helps the population grow higher.

As at 2006, the population of kano state was reported to be about 9,383,682. However, following research that has been conducted recently it has been estimated to be about 16 million.


This is an inland state situated in the south western part of Nigeria. the capital of oyo state is Ibadan, which is also one of the largest cities in Nigeria and formerly the second most populous city in Africa. It is nick named the ” pace setter state”.

oyo state is a remnant of a once powerful Oyo empire. The state is most famous for being the first state to house the first university in Nigeria, which is the university of ibadan established in 1948. The state is noted for its homogeneity which is mainly dominated by the yoruba ethnic group.

The population of oyo state is largely made up of the oyos, Ogbomosho’s, the oke oguns,the Ibadan’s and ibirapas, all belonging to the Yoruba family and the indegenous state of oyo.

Due to the favorable climate in the state, there is massive influx of farmers and agricultural enthusiasts as the state favors the cultivation of commercial crops like yam, maize, cassava, palm tree, cashew, plantain, millet, rice and cocoa tree.

This factor largely serves as a population booster for the mega state. The state is also famous for its landmark location which has always attracted visitors and investors alike, most of which have decided to settle in the state.

from independence in 1960, Oyo state came to be known as one of the most populated state in Nigeria. however, following the census carried out in 2006, the figures of the state was shown to be 7,840,864. However, according to the research and estimation carried out by the united nations in 2021, the population of Oyo state is slated to be about 15 million.


This is a state in the northern part of Nigeria. the capital of the state also bears the same name as the state and according to research carried out in 2006, it happens to be the 8th largest city in Nigeria.

The state which is otherwise known as the center of learning due to the prevalence of a large number of learning institutions is known to be the fourth largest and most populated state in Nigeria.

formerly, the state was ranked number four by total area of land and number three by population. kaduna state has a diverse range of ethnicities , traditions which is mostly dominated by the Hausa/moslem population in the northern part of the state while the southern part of the state is dominated by Christians.

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The noted lingua franca in kaduna state is the hausa language , which is used in both daily, social and commercial activities. This magnificent super structure is composed of 32 independent indigenous institutions in the form of emirate councils mostly in the northern part and chiefdoms in the southern part of the state.

the population of kaduna state is fairly evenly divided between urban (48.8 percent) and rural (54.2 percent) areas. The cities of kaduna and Zaria have the majority of commercial activities and industrial activities and both cities are inhabited by 2 million people.

According to a survey conducted in 2013 by the Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey, the state is more or less equally split between Muslims (50.4 percent) and Christians(49.7 percent). Meanwhile, according to recent survey by the united nations, the population of kaduna state is estimated to be 12 million.


Rivers state is a state located in the Niger Delta region of southern Nigeria. the capital of the state is port Harcourt which is known popularly as the ” garden city” which is also the commercial center of the Nigerian oil industry.

The state sits on an area of 21,850 sq. Km. The state is famous for its richness and multi ethnic diversity, albeit the majority being the igbo also known as igboid , but also including the ogoni and ijaw. The state boasts a wide array of languages, with over 28 languages spoken in the state.

research has shown that the state is the largest by area and it is dominated by a great degree of water bodies. The state is highly rich in oil and over the years it has become the base for almost all commercial activities for multi national oil companies in Nigeria placing it among the richest states in the country.

As a result of the successful economy of the state, it has witnessed a large number of immigration cases, thereby leading to a colossal rise in population. Most people from other parts of Nigeria , move to the state in search of greener pastures, education or in a bid to establish a business.

Recent findings has projected that the state will continue to experience a high level of population increase in years to come due to immigration. The census conducted in 2006 placed the population of Rivers state at 5,198,716.

sixty percent of this figures were largely dominated by people within the age of 15 years down to 64 years. the local government areas of port Harcourt and obi akpor produced the highest number of local councils in Rivers state.

Data produced from the National Bureau of statistics showed that the population of Rivers state makes up about four percent of the population of Nigeria. However recent research have it that the population of the state is about 11 million persons.


Katsina state is a core Muslim state which is situated in the northwestern geopolitical zone of Nigeria. the state was originally almagamated with kaduna state until 1987 when it was spitted and became an autonomous state.

The state is nicknamed the Home of hospitality. The state is about 23,938 square kilometers. Amongst its special features what makes this state outstanding is that it is the home of Muhammadu Buhari who is a native of Daura.

The population of Katsina state was recorded to be 5,800,000 in the 2006 census. The state is quite large in population density albeit, ranking 17th out of 36 states in terms of area.

However, with recent findings , the core Muslim state has roughly about 10 million in population size.


This state is also located in the North East Geopolitical zone of Nigeria. the state came into existence as a result of split between North eastern state.

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out of the 36 states in Nigeria, Bauchi state is the fifth largest in area and seventh most populous. According to the Data collected during the 2006 Nation wide census, the population in Bauchi state was at 4,653,066.

The state has a total of 55 tribes which makes up for the different ethnic diversity. However, the population has since skyrocketed, around 2017, the population of Bauchi state was estimated to be close to 7.3 million.

It has been found that the current growth of about 3.6 percent per year, the population of Bauchi state will double in a space of 19 years. Furthermore, population projections estimate that the state’s population will grow almost four times larger by 2050, to over 26 million.

One of the major contributing factors in the population of Bauchi state is the massive amount of young people in the state and the low use of contraceptives among the citizens in the state leading to high birth rate in the state.

Currently, the population size of Bauchi state is slated to be roughly about 9 million.


This is a state located in the south eastern region of Nigeria, formed in 1976 , the state is quite populated based on the 2006 census, the population was over 4.1 million. fondly called ” the light of the Nation”, the state is the eight most populous state in the Nation despite being the second smallest in area.

The state is home to onitsha , which is one of the fastest growing commercial city with an estimated population of over 5 million in 2019. Anambra state is also the second most densely populated state in Nigeria after Lagos.

Anambra state is rich in natural gas, crude oil,bauxite and ceramic with a 100 percent arable soil. With agriculture as its most successful economic sector, anambra state has attracted a good number of traders, businessmen, investors.

People all over west Africa sojourn to onitsha to trade which has not only boosted its economy but also increase its population. This is no surprise as the current population is about 8.3 million which also makes the state the most populated state in south eastern Nigeria.


this is currently the 9th populated state in Nigeria. the state was created in 1991 and it covers a total land area of about 22,410 square kilometers. the vast majority of its population are from Hausa or Fulani background.

The major contributing factor to the population of Jigawa state is high fertility rate among its women and the number of young people within the state. However, the state has been estimated to be about 8 million in size.


finally, Benue state makes the 10th position on the list of the most populated state. during the 2006 National Census carried out in Nigeria, the population of Benue state was pinned at 4,253,641 with an average population density of 99 persons per km2.

The state is populated by a diverse range of ethnic groups namely Tiv, Idoma, igede, etulo, abakpa, jakun, hausa, igbo, akweya and finally Nyifon. The state has twenty three local government areas which makes up for a large amount of its population.

Being an agricultural region, the state has attracted a good number of traders and business investors to the state. The state is also known as the ‘Heartbeat of the middle Belt’. However, currently the estimated population figures is about 7.8 million.

So there you have it, the 10 most populated states in Nigeria ranked.

Final Words

Nigeria is a big country with several populated states. The list above contains the accurate list of populated states in Nigeria. However, details in this article could change over the years.

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