Nigeria is Africa’s largest country by population and the country with the highest number of black souls together on the planet. With an estimated population of 170 million people in 2013 as against 140 million in 2006 one would wonder which cities contain so many people and why. Here are the top 5 most populated cities in Nigeria.
Lagos (Estimated: 13 million Inhabitants)
By population Lagos is Nigeria’s largest city with an urban population of 13 million people who mostly reside on the mainland. The other part of Lagos surrounded by the Lagos Lagoon – the Island – is the high brow part of the city where fewer people reside due to high cost of rent and general living costs. Lagos used to be the national capital and is presently the economic capital of Nigeria accounting for 65% of the country’s manufacturing and 80% of international trade that must explain why the population is ever growing plus the fact that there are almost equal opportunities for all to succeed.
Kano (Estimated: 11 million Inhabitants)
Kano is the largest city in Northern Nigeria and Nigeria’s second largest city. As the commercial capital of Northern Nigeria it accounts for the highest volume of trade and commercial activities in that region. Naturally the population of this part of Nigeria is expected to raise sharply due to early marriages, polygamy and cultural practices which encourage women to have as many as 19 children during their child bearing years.
Abuja (Estimated: 2.8 million Inhabitants)
The capital city of Nigeria has been attracting folks from all over Nigeria particularly since 1999 making it Nigeria’s fastest growing city. Most migrants to Abuja are from the North and Middle belt regions with Igbos of South Eastern Nigeria attracting the largest number of migrants from Southern Nigeria. Most people who come to Abuja from the South especially Lagos want a fresh start while others want to exploit the heavy government spending and perceived cash filled city. Most of the City’s inhabitants reside on the outskirts of the city and in satellite towns.
Ibadan (Estimated: 2.3 million Inhabitants)
Ibadan the famed former largest city in West Africa has been overtaken by Lagos, Abuja and Kano. The so called city of ‘firsts’ Ibadan in South western Nigeria is predominantly a Yoruba town with trade and Agriculture as the mainstay of the local economy. Migrants from other Yoruba dominated states account for the growing population.
Port Harcourt (Estimated: 2.2 million Inhabitants)
Port Harcourt the so called garden city of Nigeria is the 5th largest city in Nigeria. The local economy is supported by petroleum industry but trade is another major source of attraction to many folks looking for greener pastures mostly from Niger Delta and South Eastern Nigeria. The city’s population is fast growing and could overtake Ibadan in a few years time.