Full List of Hausa States in Nigeria

The term “Hausa states” refers to a collection of historical kingdoms, city-states, and emirates located predominantly in the northern region of Nigeria. These states emerged over centuries, forming a significant part of Nigeria’s pre-colonial history and cultural heritage. The Hausa states were characterized by a shared language (Hausa), cultural practices, and socio-political organization, although each state had its own unique characteristics and rulership.

The Hausa states played a pivotal role in shaping the political, economic, and cultural landscape of northern Nigeria. They were centers of trade, scholarship, and Islamic learning, and their influence extended beyond their borders, interacting with neighboring kingdoms and empires.

Here is the full list of Hausa states and their significance and contribution to Nigerian history:


Borno, also known historically as the Kanem-Borno Empire, is one of the oldest and most significant Hausa states in Nigeria. Located in the northeastern part of the country, Borno was renowned for its strategic location along the trans-Saharan trade routes. The empire reached its zenith in the 16th century under the rule of the Kanuri dynasty, establishing a powerful and prosperous state that exerted influence over vast territories.


Kano is arguably the most prominent of the Hausa states and is situated in the northwestern region of Nigeria. With a history dating back over a thousand years, Kano emerged as a major center of commerce, scholarship, and Islamic learning. The city-state thrived on trade, particularly in goods such as leather, textiles, and agricultural products. Kano’s rich history is evident in its ancient city walls, grand palaces, and bustling markets.


Sokoto, located in the northwestern part of Nigeria, rose to prominence in the 19th century under the leadership of Usman dan Fodio, a charismatic Islamic scholar and reformer. Dan Fodio’s jihad against the Hausa rulers led to the establishment of the Sokoto Caliphate, which became one of the largest empires in Africa at the time. Sokoto served as the political and spiritual capital of the caliphate, fostering Islamic scholarship and cultural development.


Katsina, situated in the northern region of Nigeria, is renowned for its rich history and cultural heritage. The city-state played a pivotal role in the trans-Saharan trade networks, serving as a hub for commerce and exchange. Katsina was also a center of Islamic learning, attracting scholars and students from across West Africa. The city’s architecture, including its ancient walls and mosques, reflects its illustrious past.

Zazzau (Zaria):

Zazzau, also known as Zaria, is located in present-day Kaduna State and has a long history as a Hausa kingdom. The city-state was renowned for its skilled craftsmen, vibrant markets, and strategic location along trade routes. Zazzau reached its zenith in the 16th century under the reign of Queen Amina, a legendary warrior queen who expanded the kingdom’s territory through military conquests.


Gobir was one of the Hausa city-states that emerged in the northwestern region of Nigeria. The kingdom played a significant role in the pre-colonial history of the Hausa people, with its rulers exerting influence over vast territories. Gobir was known for its military prowess and administrative organization, contributing to the political stability of the region.


Daura is one of the oldest known city-states in Nigeria and holds great historical significance for the Hausa people. Located in present-day Katsina State, Daura is believed to be the ancestral home of the Hausa ethnic group. The city-state was a center of trade and agriculture, with its rulers playing a key role in the political dynamics of the Hausa states.


Rano was a prominent Hausa kingdom situated in present-day Kano State. The city-state flourished during the pre-colonial period, benefiting from its strategic location and fertile agricultural lands. Rano was known for its skilled craftsmen, vibrant markets, and strong cultural traditions, contributing to the rich tapestry of Hausa history.


Bauchi, located in northeastern Nigeria, was one of the Hausa city-states that emerged in the pre-colonial era. The kingdom was renowned for its agricultural productivity, particularly in crops such as cotton, groundnuts, and sorghum. Bauchi’s rulers played a crucial role in the political and economic affairs of the Hausa states, forging alliances and engaging in trade.


The Hausa states represent a vital chapter in the history of Nigeria, reflecting the diversity and richness of the country’s cultural heritage. From the ancient city of Kano to the legendary exploits of Queen Amina of Zazzau, each kingdom has left an indelible mark on the socio-political landscape of Nigeria. By exploring the full list of Hausa states, we gain a deeper understanding of Nigeria’s complex history and the enduring legacy of its diverse peoples.

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