Demographic Nigeria

Nigeria is known as the most populous black nation on earth. It boasts the highest population in Africa with over 167 million inhabitants (2011 population estimate) representing about one-sixth of the continent’s population. It a market that every serious business cannot afford to ignore. Business owners and entrepreneurs that have come to Nigeria have found reasons to be happy about their decision. You have the population, the market, the consumers and the purchasing power.


The most numerous ethnic group in the northern two-thirds of the country is the Hausa-Fulani, the overwhelming majority of whom are Muslim. Other major ethnic groups of the north are the Nupe, Tiv, and Kanuri. The Yoruba people are the most numerous in the southwest. Over half of the Yorubas are Christian and about a quarter are Muslim, with the remainder hold traditional Yoruba views. The predominantly Christian Igbo are the largest ethnic group in the southeast. Roman Catholics are the largest denomination, but Pentecostal and other Evangelical denominations are also strong. The Efik, Ibibio, Annang, and Ijaw (the country's fourth-largest ethnic group) communities also comprise a substantial segment of the population in that area. Persons of different language backgrounds most commonly communicate in English, although knowledge of two or more Nigerian languages is widespread. Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo are the most widely used Nigerian languages. (source:

Major places of high population concentration include:

South East

Aba, Enugu, Onitsha and Owerri


Port Harcourt and Benin City

South West

Ibadan, Abeokuta, Lagos.

North West


North Central

Abuja, Kaduna

North East



Population and Population Projections from the CIA World Factbook, 

Population: 155,215,573 (July 2011 est.)

According to the United Nations, the population of Nigeria will reach 390 million by 2050. In 2100, the population of Nigeria will reach 730 million.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the population of Nigeria will reach 402 million by 2050. Nigeria will then be the 4th most populous country in the world.

Age structure

Nigeria has a very active population. There is a virile labour force. The male population appears to outstrip the female population with some 5% margin. So businesses that cite in Nigeria are assured of a teaming and active workforce.

0-14 years: 40.9% (male 32,476,681/female 31,064,539)
15-64 years: 55.9% (male 44,296,228/female 42,534,542)
65 years and over: 3.1% (male 2,341,228/female 2,502,355) (2011 est.)

Vital statistics

Population growth rate

·         1.935% (2011 est.)


Median age

·         total: 19 years

·         male: 18.9 years

·         female: 19.1 years (2009 est.)


Birth rate

·         43 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

·         36.65 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)

·         35.51 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)


Death rate

·         18 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

·         16.56 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)

·         16.06 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)


Net migration rate

·         0.28 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

·         -0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)


Sex ratio

·         at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

·         under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

·         15–64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

·         65 years and over: 0.94 male(s)/female

·         total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2009 est.)


Infant mortality rate

·         94.35 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)


Life expectancy at birth

·         total population: 51.56 years

·         male: 51.58 years

·         female: 51.55 years (2000 est.)

·         total population: 46.94 years

·         male: 46.16 years

·         female: 47.76 years (2009 est.)


Total fertility rate

·         4.73 children born/woman (2011 est.)


HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

·         3.1% (2007 est.)


HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

·         2.6 million (2007 est.)


HIV/AIDS - deaths

·         170,000 (2007 est.)

In the absence of an up to date census, other population figures do not follow scientific procedures. Only these are backed by settlement figures provided by the government.


English is the official language spoken and written in Nigeria. It is the medium of instruction and of business. The majority can communicate in English. Other languages spoken are Igbo,  Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo Fulani, Efik  and, Ijaw.


Literacy is quite high in the urban and semi-urban locations in Nigeria. According to data from the bureau of statistics, at least 78% of Nigerians can read and write. The 22% remaining are found mostly in the rural areas. In the northern part majority can read and write in Arabic.

Of the 78% literate society, 84% of the male population and 73% of the females are literate. 


Nigeria is a secular state. There is freedom of religion and religious affiliations are allowed. The major religions are Christianity and Islam with the adherents being in the near ratio of 50/50. The Eastern part is predominantly Christian, the North predominantly Islam while the South West is about 70% Christian and 30% Islam.