Top 10 Largest & Populous Ethnic Groups In Nigeria (2020)

Nigeria is the most populous black country in the world and most populous African country.

largest ethnic groups in nigeria

Nigeria is a multi-ethnic country with over 200 ethnic groups. Also, Nigeria is a secular state and has three major religions which are Christianity, Islam and African Traditional Religion (ATR).

Ethnic groups in Nigeria are easily and commonly recognized by their culture & traditions which include language, mode of dressing, religion etc.

Hausa-Fulani,Igbo and Yoruba are the three (3) biggest and largest ethnic groups in Nigeria. They are easily recognized and considered majority ethnic groups while the rest are regarded as minority groups.

The debate of which ethnic groups comes after the largest 3 ethnic groups in Nigeria in terms of size and influence has been a long standing one.

In this post, Nigerian Informer will be discussing top 10 largest ethnic groups in Nigeria. These are ethnic groups that occupies greater land mass of Nigeria and make up greater number of its huge population.

Nigeria Largest & Biggest Ethnic Groups

Hausa-Fulani

Hausa-Fulani is one of the three major and largest ethnic groups in Nigeria. The Hausa-Fulani ethnic group is found in northern Nigeria and are predominantly Muslims.

Most Hausa-Fulani people are farmers and cattle herders. They are estimated to make up 25% of Nigeria population.

Hausa-Fulani States In Nigeria

Hausa-Fulani people can be found in the following Nigeria states:

  • Kano State
  • Kaduna State
  • Katsina State
  • Sokoto State
  • Jigawa state
  • Zamfara State
  • Kebbi State
  • Borno State
  • Yobe State
  • Bauchi State
  • Adamawa State
  • Taraba State
  • Niger State
  • Kwara State
  • Gombe State
  • FCT-Abuja

Igbo

One of the largest ethnic groups in Nigeria is Igbo. The Igbo people are found in eastern part of Nigeria and are predominantly Christians.

The major occupation of Igbo people is trade and commerce. They regarded as the most traveled ethic group in Nigeria. Igbo people can be found at all parts of Nigeria and globe.

Igbo States In Nigeria

Igbo people can be found in the following states in Nigeria:

  • Anambra State
  • Enugu State
  • Imo State
  • Abia State
  • Ebonyi State
  • Delta State
  • Rivers State

Yoruba

Completing the 3 major and biggest ethic groups in Nigeria is the Yoruba nation. The Yoruba people are found at the western part of Nigeria.

Yoruba people are predominantly of either Christian faith or Muslim. The major occupations of Yoruba people are agriculture, trading and artisans.

Yoruba States In Nigeria

Yoruba people can be found in the following states in Nigeria:

  • Lagos State
  • Osun State
  • Ogun State
  • Ondo State
  • Ekiti State
  • Oyo State
  • Kwara State

Ijaw

The Ijaw ethic group though regarded as one of minority ethnic groups is the 4th largest ethnic group in Nigeria.

The Ijaw people are predominantly Christians and are known for their bravery. The major occupation of Ijaw nation is farming and artisans.

Ijaw States In Nigeria

Ijaw people can be found in the following states in Nigeria:

  • Bayelsa State
  • Rivers State
  • Delta State
  • Ondo State

Efik / Ibibio

Efik / Ibibio is one of the ten largest ethnic groups in Nigeria. This ethnic group is found in southern Nigeria and are predominantly Christians with agriculture and mining their major occupation.

Efik / Ibibio States In Nigeria

Efik/Ibibio people can be found in the following states in Nigeria:

  • Cross River State
  • Akwa Ibom State

Tiv

The Tiv ethnic group is estimated to make up 4% of Nigeria population. Tiv people are warriors and brave.

They are predominantly into agriculture as well as mining. Tiv is one of the most recognized ethnic groups in Nigeria.

Tiv States In Nigeria

Tiv people can be found in the following states in Nigeria:

  • Benue State
  • Kogi State

Kanuri

Kanuri is a Nigerian ethnic group found in northeast Nigeria. People of Kanuri are predominantly Muslims and farmers. They are one of ethnic groups with high population in Nigeria.

Kanuri States In Nigeria

Kanuri people can be found in the following states in Nigeria:

  • Borno State
  • Adamawa State
  • Yobe State

Igala

Igala ethnic group is one of the largest 10 ethnic groups in Nigeria. They are mostly farmers and traders. They are known for being highly industrious.

Igala States In Nigeria

Igala people can be found in the following states in Nigeria:

  • Kogi State
  • Anambra State

Idoma

Another ethnic group in Nigeria with large and huge presence is the Idoma. Idoma people are predominantly farmers, hunters and are known for their hospitality. The name Idoma means ‘God has done it’.

Idoma States In Nigeria

Idoma people can be found in the following states in Nigeria:

  • Benue State
  • Enugu State

Edo-Bini

Edo-Bini is an ethnic group found in southern Nigeria and occupies areas known as present Edo State.

The population of Edo-Bini people is 4.7 million. They are predominantly Christians and speaks Edo language.

Edo-Bini States In Nigeria

Edo-Bini people can be found in the following states in Nigeria:

  • Edo State
  • Ondo State

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The Author

Igwenagu Emmanuel

Igwenagu Emmanuel is the founder of Nigerian Informer. He holds B.A, M.Sc in Mass Communication. He is a Communication researcher and 112 emergency help line dispatcher.

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