Nigeria: population and cities
Countryaah website, about 214 million people live in Nigeria. This makes Nigeria the
most populous country on the continent. Current life expectancy is 51.3 years
for men and 51.7 years for women. The birth rate of 45.4 per 1,000 people
contrasts with a death rate of 15.4 per 1,000 people.
The largest and most politically influential ethnic groups in Nigeria are the
Hausa and Fulbe (29%), the Yoruba (20%) and the Ibo (12%). The north of Nigeria
is ruled by the Muslim Haussa Fulbe. But up to 400 other ethnic minorities live
in the country. They include the Ijaw (11%), the Kanuri (8%), the Ibibio (4.5%)
and the Tiv (3.5%). In the past there have always been brutal clashes between
individual ethnic groups. Individual ethnic minorities resisted the politically
dominant Hausa and Yoruba, especially in the 1960s, with fatalities. Interesting
but also frightening in Nigeria is the formation of vigilante groups, gangs
(area boys), protection troops, militias and secret societies that have been
formed since the end of the military dictatorship in 1999.
A European minority of around 16,000 people also live in Nigeria. These are
Slightly more than 50% of the residents of Nigeria are Christians
(about 2/3 of them are Protestant) and about 50% are Muslim.
Natural religions are also common. Most of the Christians live in the south and
the Muslims more in the north of the country. At the "border" between the two
religions in the state of Plateau there are always bloody clashes between the
Muslim Hausa Fulani nomads and the local Christians. In 2001 around 1,000 people
were killed. In January 2010, 300 people - mostly Muslims - died and in March
2010 around 500 people, mostly Christians. The mining town of Jos is a
particular focus of violence. Reasons for the riots include the tendencies
towards Islamization, which have been observed more and more since the
democratization of Nigeria from 1999 onwards. In addition, the extremist Islamic
sect "Boko Haram" is striving
The official language of Nigeria is English. The most important colloquial
languages are Yoruba in the southwest of the country, Ibo/Igbo in the
southeast, Hausa in the north and Fulbe. There are also around 400 other
languages in use. In northern Nigeria, because of the Muslim faith, the Arabic
language is also found.
English or Nenglish?
Even if English is one of the official languages in the country, you shouldn't
be surprised if you quickly discover that Nigerian English (Nenglisch) often
contradicts the English we know. Examples? Instead of "I don't know" one usually
hears "I no know" and instead of "I know" "I know now". Instead of "don't",
"done" is often used, and in Nigeria people prefer to use "no" instead of
"don't". The strong Nigerian accent makes things just as difficult as the fact
that in the country - as in other parts of Africa - politeness is usually not
used, which can sound very harsh. It is not meant to be rude. Therefore, one
should not flinch offended when, for example, instead of a friendly "Could you
hand me the cup, please" only hear: "Bring hammer" or simply "Hammer
now". Another confusion is the duplication of numbers, so that instead of “Ten
Dollars” you hear “Ten ten Dollars”.
Capital and other larger cities
Abuja, Nigeria's capital since 1991, is located in the west of the
country and, with a population of 2.7 million, extends exactly between the
Christian south and the Muslim north. It is the seat of the Secretariat of the
West African Economic Community (ECOWAS), a federation of African states that
was created on the model of the European Union. Abuja is a drawing board city -
clean, safe, artificial and controlled in its growth. In contrast to the preppy
flair of the urban artifact, there are hardly any, and if so, only overpriced
leisure opportunities in Abuja. There are no theaters and no opera houses. There
are only two cinemas and only one small animal park, which for financial reasons
cannot afford to care for predators. The cityscape itself is characterized by
modern buildings. At the moment, the 170 meter high Millennium Tower is still
being built, a gigantic leisure complex that, for financial reasons, cannot be
completed until the next few years. Buildings worth seeing in Abuja are the
National Mosque, the Christian Nigerian National Church, the Presidential
Complex and the Abuja Stadium. The largest park is the Millennium Park in the
center of Abuja.
Since smoking is illegal in the streets of Abuja and even smokers who have
smoked in their own car have already been punished, it is better not to get
caught with a glowing stick.
The capital of the Nigerian state Oyo is inhabited by about 3,600,000 people and
is - after Lagos and Kano - Nigeria's third largest city. Ibadan spreads in the
southwest of the country and is architecturally characterized by Africa's first
high-rise, the Cocoa House, as well as the Bower's Tower, an observation tower
on the Oke Aàre hill. Ibadan also has Nigeria's oldest university, founded in
1948, and the Mapo Hall, a colonial-style town hall.
Around 1,500,000 people live in Kaduna, a city that is one of the
political and religious strongholds of the Muslim north of Nigeria. Kaduna, also
known as the trade fair city, is also economically important and the
headquarters of Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited.
Nigeria's second largest city has a population of around 3,600,000 and
spreads across the north of the country. The clay remnants of the former city
wall are among the structurally outstanding components of the city. These are
almost 20 kilometers long and are reminiscent of the pre-colonial urban
structure. Architecturally, Kano is dominated by the Great Emir's Palace and the
Nigeria's largest and former capital, Lagos, with around 18 million
residents, is one of the largest and most populous cities in Africa and the
world, alongside Cairo and Kinshasa. In terms of area, the city is roughly the
same size as the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. Lagos spreads along the
coast of the Gulf of Guinea and, in addition to the mainland, extends over
several islands that are connected to the Nigerian mainland by three
bridges. The city, which is blessed with numerous beautiful beaches, is the
focus of inner Nigerian migration. The gigantic number of immigrants is
reflected in urban chaos, in which life predominantly takes place on the
streets. The city is also the hub of the Nigerian film industry
(Nollywood), owns one of the most important theaters in Nigeria with the
National Arts Theater and is considered the country's financial and banking
center. But Lagos is also the most expensive city in Nigeria. The most
outstanding buildings in the city include the National Museum in Onikan, the
National Theater and the Surulere National Stadium.
The capital of the Nigerian state Rivers spreads out with about 1.2
million residents in the south of the country. It was founded by the British
in 1912 and has recently had to look back on a violent past, which was marked by
ethnic-religious conflicts and the kidnappings of foreigners.
Nigeria: geography, map
Defined by DigoPaul, Nigeria covers an area of a total of 923,768 square kilometers. Thereof:
Around 10% of the country is forested.
- Meadow and pasture land
Around 44% of the land is used as meadow or pasture land.
- Fields and fields
Around 36% of the land is used as arable land or fields, especially for
growing peanuts, cocoa, oil palms, rubber and cotton.
Nigeria shares a border with the following four countries:
Benin with a length of 773 km,
Cameroon with a length of 1,690 km,
Chad with a length of 87 km and
Niger with a length of 1,497 km.
Longitude and latitude
Nigeria extends over the following geographical latitude (abbreviation Δφ)
and geographical longitude (abbreviation Δλ):
|Δφ = from around 04 ° to 14 ° north latitude
Δλ = from 002 ° 40 'to 014 ° 40' east longitude
You can find detailed information on this subject under Longitude and
For Nigeria, the following value applies to Central European Time (CET), i.e.
the time (without summer time) in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. A minus
sign means that it is earlier there, a plus sign that it is later than CET:
Further and detailed explanations of the time can be found under Time zones,
Highest sun in Lagos
Lagos lies at a northern latitude of around φ = 06 °.
If the declination δ of the sun has a value of 06 °, and the sun's image point
is thus exactly above the city, the sun is perpendicular to the city. This
happens exactly twice a year, roughly 23 days after March 21st and 23 days
before September 21st (for details see position of the sun).
If the image point of the sun and thus the declination is north of the latitude
of Lagos, the sun is not in the south at noon, as in our latitudes, but in the
north. In this case, the sun moves from east to north to west, where, like us,
The highest mountain in the country is the Chappal Waddi with a height of 2,419
m. Other high mountains are:
- the Dimlang with a height of 2,042 m
- the Sara peak with a height of 1.690 m
- the Mount Kagora m with a height of
The longest river in the country is the Niger with a total length of 4,181
km. Other rivers in the country are:
- the Benua
- the kaduna
- the Hadejia
- the cross,
- the ogun
- the Oshun
The largest lake in the country is Lake Chad, which is located in the border
region of Chad, Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon and the area of which cannot be
specified precisely because it varies with the seasons and also shrinks over
longer periods of time.
Lake Chad is extremely shallow (only 3 m in the south, 7 m in the north), and
its size has therefore always been subject to extreme fluctuations. Scientists
assume that about 30,000 years ago Lake Chad still had an area of 370,000 km²
and was therefore the largest lake on earth at the time. Since then, it has been
steadily silting up. At the last high point, in 1963, the lake had an area of
12,700 km². Other larger lakes in Nigeria are:
- the Kainji Reservoir
- the Tisa reservoir.
Gulf of Guinea, Atlantic
Nigeria borders in the south of the country with a coastline of 855 km
directly on the Gulf of Guinea, which is part of the Atlantic. You can find a
detailed description of these seas at Goruma under the following links:
- Atlantic Ocean
- Gulf of Guinea