Top 10 Most Populated States in Nigeria

A populated state typically refers to a region or administrative division within a country that has a high density of human inhabitants relative to its geographical area. The term “populated state” can vary in meaning depending on the context and criteria used to define population density. In general, a populated state is characterized by a significant concentration of people living within its boundaries, often leading to challenges and opportunities related to urbanization, infrastructure development, social services, and resource management. The population density of a state is usually measured by the number of people per square kilometer or square mile.

Within Nigeria’s borders lie states with varying populations, each contributing to the nation’s vibrant tapestry. Here are the top 10 most populated states in Nigeria, we delve into exploring their demographics, economic significance, and cultural diversity.

Lagos State:

Lagos, Nigeria’s economic nerve center, stands as the most populous state in the country. Its allure as the commercial capital attracts millions in search of opportunities. With a population exceeding 20 million, Lagos pulsates with energy, offering a blend of cultures and lifestyles. The state’s economy thrives on commerce, finance, entertainment, and manufacturing, making it a key player in Nigeria’s GDP.

Kano State:

Situated in the northwestern region, Kano boasts a population exceeding 15 million, making it Nigeria’s second most populous state. Renowned for its rich history, vibrant markets, and ancient city walls, Kano serves as a major commercial hub in the region. Agriculture and trade are pillars of its economy, with industries ranging from textiles to leather goods.

Oyo State:

Oyo, located in the southwestern part of Nigeria, ranks third in population size, with over 10 million inhabitants. The state’s capital, Ibadan, stands as one of the largest cities in West Africa. Oyo is characterized by its agricultural prowess, particularly in cocoa production, alongside a burgeoning service sector.

Kaduna State:

Nestled in Nigeria’s north-central region, Kaduna is home to over 8 million people. The state holds strategic importance, serving as a transportation nexus and hosting a diverse populace representing various ethnicities. Kaduna’s economy revolves around agriculture, mining, and manufacturing, with a growing emphasis on services.

Katsina State:

Katsina, the birthplace of Nigeria’s current president, Muhammadu Buhari, is the fifth most populous state in the country, with a population exceeding 7 million. Located in the northwest, it is renowned for its cultural heritage, including the ancient city of Daura. Agriculture, particularly livestock farming, forms the backbone of Katsina’s economy.

Rivers State:

Rivers State, situated in the Niger Delta region, boasts a population of over 5 million inhabitants. Port Harcourt, its capital, serves as a major seaport and industrial center, driving the state’s economy through oil and gas production, alongside a burgeoning services sector.

Bauchi State:

With a population surpassing 5 million, Bauchi State ranks among Nigeria’s most populous states. Located in the northeast, it is blessed with natural resources, including solid minerals and fertile land for agriculture. Bauchi’s economy is diversified, encompassing agriculture, mining, and tourism.

Anambra State:

Anambra, located in the southeastern region, is home to over 4 million people. The state is renowned for its entrepreneurial spirit, with a thriving commercial sector dominated by traders and manufacturers. Agriculture, commerce, and industry are the key drivers of Anambra’s economy.

Borno State:

Borno, despite facing security challenges, remains one of Nigeria’s most populous states, with a population exceeding 4 million. Located in the northeast, it is known for its rich cultural heritage and historical significance, including the ancient city of Kanem-Borno. Agriculture, trade, and services form the crux of Borno’s economy.

Delta State:

Delta, situated in the Niger Delta region, completes the list of Nigeria’s top 10 most populous states, with a population exceeding 4 million. The state is blessed with abundant oil and gas reserves, which drive its economy alongside agriculture, manufacturing, and commerce.


Nigeria’s top 10 most populous states epitomize the nation’s diversity and dynamism. From the bustling streets of Lagos to the historic landscapes of Kano, each state contributes to Nigeria’s socioeconomic fabric in its unique way. As the country continues to evolve, understanding the demographics and economic significance of these states becomes paramount for policymakers and stakeholders alike.

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