Full List of Northern States in Nigeria & Details

Full List of Northern States in Nigeria & Details

What do you know about the Northern part of Nigeria? do you know that the northern part of Nigeria is dominated by the Hausa tribe? Do you know that there are 19 states in the northern part of Nigeria?

Do you know that the sultan of Sokoto — the head of Muslims in Nigeria — resides in the northern part of Nigeria? If No, now you know! Are there other things you want to know about Northern Nigeria? If yes, stick to his page as we are set to reveal everything about the region.Full List of Northern States in Nigeria


The 19 northern states in Nigeria are:

  • Benue state
  • Borno state
  • Bauchi state
  • Kano state
  • Katsina state
  • Plateau state
  • Taraba state
  • Niger state
  • Adamawa state
  • Kaduna state
  • Sokoto state
  • Gombe state
  • Jigawa state
  • Kebbi state
  • Nassarawa state
  • Yobe state
  • Zamfara state
  • Kwara state.

So, let’s discuss them one after the other.

Bauchi State

Bauchi is one of the states in the Northern part of Nigeria. Created on the 3rd of February 1976 from the old north-eastern state, Bauchi has over 6.5 million citizens as of 2022.

Bauchi is a cotton-producing state. Its soil benefitted greatly from the country’s irrigation program in the mid-1970s, thereby ensuring a bountiful farm yield annually.

Bauchi is also a good producer of cattle and livestock because a vast number of the Bauchi inhabitants are involved in animal husbandry.

It is dominated by the Hausa tribe like many other states in the region. The city of Bauchi is the State capital. Meanwhile, it will interest you to know that the Gombe state was carved out from Bauchi in 1996.

Benue State

Though Benue state is not mainly a northern state, it makes this list because it is located in the north-central also known as the middle belt. It was created in 1976 when the Benue-plateau state split to form Plateau and Benue State.

Benue state is dominated by the TIV, Igede, and Idoma tribes. It is known as one of Nigeria’s best food crop-producing states, hence it is referred to as “the food basket of the nation” Meanwhile, Benue State has close to 5.7 million citizens and Makurdi is the state’s capital.

Borno State

Borno state was among the States created from the northern region on the 3rd of February 1976. It used to be a part of Borno in the past but it all changed in 1991 when the government decided to create Yobe state from Borno.

The Kanuri people are the leading population in the state. Borno is well known for its agricultural practices.

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Kaduna State

Located in Northwestern Nigeria, Kaduna was created on the 27th of May 1967 after the Federal Government split the Old North-central state to create more states. Kaduna city is the capital of Kaduna state which has 8.25 million citizens.

Kano State

Kano is among the first-generation states in Nigeria as it was created on the 27th of May 1967 from the northern region.

Located in the northwestern part of the country, Kano is the largest state in the region in terms of population and economy. It shares borders with Katsina (to the North), Jigawa state (to the east), Bauchi (to the South), and Kaduna (to the west).

Kano boasts 17.55 million citizens and it is largely dominated by the Hausa tribe. Kano city is Kano state’s capital.

Katsina State

Katsina was established on the 23rd of September 1987. It was carved out from the old Kaduna state which means it’s located in the northwestern part of the country with over 8.5 million people.

Katsina is best known for its high production of peanuts (groundnuts), hides, and skins. You will also come across sorghum, cotton, millet, onions, and different domestic animals in the state’s central market. Meanwhile, the City of Katsina is Katsina state capital.

Kebbi State

Kebbi and Sokoto States used to be one until the 27th of August 1991 when the Federal Government split both states.

Located in the northwestern region of the country, Birnin-kebbi is the Kebbi state’s capital city. It shares bounders with Sokoto state, Niger state, and Zamfara state. Kebbi is one of the averagely-populated states in Nigeria with over 4.4 million citizens.

Kogi State

Like Benue state, Kogi state is not located in the deepest part of the Northern region. Instead, it is in the middle belt region of Nigeria.

Also known as the Confluence State, Kogi state (Lokoja precisely) is the spot where River Niger and River Benue Meet. The three major tribes in Kogi state are Igala, Ebira, and Okun, while Bassa, Gwari, Kakanda, and Oworo are minorities.

It has at least 4.4 million citizens. Kogi is best known as home to Nigeria’s largest iron and steel industry known as Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited. It also serves as home to the Obajana Cement Factory which is one of Africa’s largest cement factories.

It will interest you to know that Kogi was created from part of Kwara and Benue state on 27 August 1991

Kwara state

Contrary to popular belief that Kwara is located in Southwest Nigeria, Kwara state is one of the states in the north-central geo-political zone (that is middle belt).

Nonetheless, Kwara is dominated by the Yoruba tribe followed by the Fulani, Nupe, and Bariba ethnic groups. Meanwhile, you must know that Kwara was created on the 27th of May 1967 and it currently has 3.2 million citizens.

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Kwara state is known for its high agricultural produce like cotton, cocoa, coffee, Kolanut, tobacco, beniseed, and palm produce.

Niger State

Niger State was created on 3rd February 1976 from the old north-western state. Located in the central part of Nigeria, Niger state is one of the largest states in the country with over 5.5 million population.

Its capital city is Minna. The major tribes in Niger state are Nupe, Gbagyi, and Hausa, while Koro, Kadara, Kambari, Kamuku, Fulani, Dukawa, Mauchi, Ayadi, etc are minor ethnic groups in the state.


Also known as the seat of the caliphate, Sokoto was one of the states created in 1976 from the northwestern region.

Sokoto city is the Sokoto state capital, and it has 5 million citizens. Sokoto is best known as home to the Sultan of Sokoto

Taraba State

Taraba state was formed from the Gongola state on the 27th of August 1991. Located in north-eastern Nigeria, the state contains at least 3 million citizens while Jalingo is the capital.


As stated earlier, Yobe was created from Borno state on the 27th of August 1991. The state is located in the Northeastern part of Nigeria and it contains approximately 3.3 million citizens who are largely involved in commercial farming and other agricultural practices. Damaturu is Yobe state capital.


Zamfara is another state created by Sokoto on the 1st of October 1996; therefore, it is located in the northwestern region of the country with over 4.5 million citizens. Gusau is its capital and it is largely dominated by the Hausa tribe.


Created from Kano state in 1991, Jigawa state is located in the northwestern part of the country. It is well-known for the Dutsen Habude cave paintings in Birnin Kudu

Dutse is the capital city of Jigawa state which has nothing less than 5.8 million citizens of different tribes like Fulani, Hausa, Mangawa, Badawa, and Ngizimawa.


Gombe was created on the 1st of October 1996 as part of the event to celebrate Nigeria’s independence anniversary. It was formed from Bauchi state which means it is located in the northern part of Nigeria.


Located in the Northeastern part of Nigeria, Adamawa is a popular and peaceful state in Nigeria. The state’s history can be traced back to the Gongola state which was divided to form Taraba and Adamawa in 1991.

Meanwhile, Adamawa is a good producer of cotton, hides, and skins because a large percentage of its citizens are engaged in different agricultural practices.

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Nasarawa State

Nasarawa wraps up the list of states in the northern part of Nigeria. Located in the north-central zone, Nasarawa was created on the 1st of October 1996. It shares borders with Kaduna, Abuja, Kogi, and Benue states.

Featuring slightly over 2.5 million population, Nasarawa remains one of the least populated states in the country.

Northern Nigeria History

Northern Nigeria’s history can be traced back to January 1897 when Frederick Lord Lugard declared the creation of the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria—a decision that completely distinguished the Nothern Nigeria from the Southern part of the country in terms of culture, customs, languages, government, and relationships with foreign countries.

The Northern Nigerian became an autonomous part of the country after the declaration. It ensured the region was owned and controlled by the British government.

Lord Lugard controlled the region alongside some of his preferred local rulers and chiefs. This system of leadership is known as the indirect rule.

Things remained unchanged until 1914 when the Northern Nigeria Protectorate finally merged with Southern Nigeria and one other existing region to form a united country.

Despite the integration of both regions, the Richards Constitution in 1945 gave more autonomy to the North over Southern Nigeria, especially when it comes to matters related to foreign affairs and customs policies.

Nonetheless, the amalgamation of both territories gave birth to one Nigeria which also pave way for state creation in the country. The Federal government, under General Yakubu Gowon’s leadership carved out 12 states from the existing regions in 1967.

However, the government had to split Northern Nigeria into fragments or sub-regions to achieve its dream. Hence, the first set of states in the Northern part of the country are North-Eastern State, North-Western State, Kano State, Kaduna State, Kwara State, and Benue-Plateau State.

Frequently Asked Questions About Nigeria

How reliable is the electricity supply in Nigeria?

The power supply in Nigeria is nothing to write about. It is unreliable. Hence, we advise you have your generator or install your power inverter if you must live successfully and happily in the country.

Will I be safe in Nigeria?

Though Nigeria currently has huge security challenges, some parts of the country are safe for citizens or foreigners.

However, some areas, especially some of the northern states are not safe places to stay at the time of this report.

Do I need a car in Nigeria?

Yes, most Nigerians travel by road. So, you are advised to have a car in the country to enhance in-state movements. In the same vein, having your car promotes more security and comfort.




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