Full List of Smallest States in Nigeria by Land Size

Nigeria is a country located in West Africa, bordered by Benin to the west, Niger to the north, Chad to the northeast, and Cameroon to the east. It also has a coastline along the Gulf of Guinea to the south. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, with over 200 million inhabitants, making it the seventh most populous country in the world.

Nigeria has a rich history that includes ancient civilizations, empires, and kingdoms. The region saw the rise of powerful states like the Kingdom of Nri, the Benin Empire, and the Sokoto Caliphate. European contact began in the 15th century with Portuguese explorers, followed by the British who established colonial rule over the territory in the late 19th century. Nigeria gained independence from British colonial rule on October 1, 1960.

It is made up of 36 states and a Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. While some states in Nigeria boast expansive territories, others are notably smaller in terms of land area. Understanding the geographical distribution of these states provides insights into the nation’s administrative and territorial structure.

Here is the list of the smallest states in Nigeria by land area, exploring their unique characteristics and significance.

The Criteria: Land Area as a Metric

Land area is a crucial metric for understanding the physical size and territorial boundaries of states. In Nigeria, the diversity in land area among states impacts various aspects of governance, resource allocation, and economic development. The smallest states, by land area, may exhibit distinctive features and challenges compared to their larger counterparts.

Exploring Nigeria’s Smallest States

  1. Lagos State

    Lagos, despite being Nigeria’s smallest state by land area, stands out as the country’s economic and commercial hub. Its significance lies in its population density and economic activities rather than territorial expanse. Lagos is known for its bustling city life, financial districts, and vibrant culture.

  2. Anambra State

    Anambra is one of Nigeria’s smaller states, located in the southeastern region. Despite its relatively modest land area, Anambra is notable for its rich history, cultural heritage, and contributions to Nigeria’s industrial sector.

  3. Abia State

    Abia State is another compact state in Nigeria, characterized by its agrarian economy and emerging industrial sector. It is renowned for its entrepreneurial spirit and potential for economic growth.

  4. Ekiti State

    Ekiti, situated in southwestern Nigeria, is one of the smallest states in terms of land area. The state is known for its agricultural activities, educational institutions, and cultural heritage.

  5. Yobe State

    Yobe, located in the northeastern part of Nigeria, is among the smallest states by land area. It is predominantly rural and has faced various challenges, including those related to security and development.

  6. Taraba State

    Taraba State, in Nigeria’s middle belt region, is relatively small in terms of land area. It boasts diverse natural resources and is known for its agricultural potential.

  7. Gombe State

    Gombe, a state in northeastern Nigeria, is compact in size but has a rich cultural heritage and significant agricultural activities.

  8. Enugu State

    Enugu, located in southeastern Nigeria, is known for its coal mining history and cultural landmarks. Despite its modest size, it plays a vital role in the region’s economy.

Significance of Small States

While smaller states in Nigeria may have limited land area, they contribute uniquely to the country’s socio-economic landscape. Many of these states are centers of culture, commerce, and agriculture, playing crucial roles in regional development and national integration.

Challenges and Opportunities

Smaller states often face distinct challenges, including limited resources, infrastructural constraints, and economic dependencies. However, these states also present opportunities for targeted development initiatives, efficient governance, and community-driven solutions.


Understanding Nigeria’s smallest states by land area sheds light on the country’s diverse geography and administrative structure. While some states are expansive and resource-rich, others are compact yet culturally significant. Each state, regardless of size, plays a vital role in Nigeria’s socio-economic fabric and collective identity. By recognizing the unique attributes and challenges of smaller states, policymakers can tailor strategies for inclusive development and sustainable growth across the nation.

In summary, the smallest states in Nigeria by land area encompass a range of geographical, cultural, and economic attributes. Exploring their significance enriches our understanding of Nigeria’s diverse landscape and highlights opportunities for targeted development efforts and inclusive governance.


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