It should not be news that Nigeria is the biggest black country in the world, with some of the largest cities in the world. Today, I want to write on the biggest Nigeria cities by their population.

Take note that the following tables shown below is the lists of the most populous and incorporated settlements in Nigeria by its population numbers.

This page is made up of three different tables, thanks to Wikipedia, and these three tables are of different kinds of settlements.

It includes a list for “defined cities”, listing the population, which is strictly within the defined city limits shared by the Nigerian federal government.

The second list covers “urban area” population, while the third list is for the population within metropolitan areas.

How are these Cities Categorized?

Statistics from the Nigerian government official website disclosed that these Nigerian cities are categorized into three types as shared above, but here is the definition. There is the “Metropolis”, which is characterized by having more than one Local Government Areas (LGAs).

Metropolis: This type of cities are usually created and brought to existence, when large municipalities are split into smaller LGAs, to aid efficient administration and management, or usually, when small towns grow and merge into existing large cities or both. Places known as Metropolis are also formed when urban areas of multiple LGAs, merge as a result of growth and are now fully defined as a single settlement.

Most Metropolis cities 90% mid-sized, although there are quite a few large cities which also exist as a single LGA.

The third type of settlement is the “village”, which is basically grouped together with several other villages coming together to form one sizeable LGA.

Important Information For further Understanding

Take note that the following table lists completely defined all the incorporated cities in Nigeria, and these cities have a population of at least, 100,000 citizens, excluding foreigners, as declared by the Nigerian National Population Commission, according to the 2006 National census.

Take note that this list refers only to the population of individual cities within their defined limits, and this list does not include other distinct communities or extended suburban areas within urban agglomerations.

Understanding this Table of Nigerian Cities

A city is displayed in bold if it is a state or federal capital, and any city which is in italics shows that it is the most populous city in the state.

Rank City State 2006 census Total
area (km²)
Population
density (/km²)
1 Lagos Lagos 8,048,430 1,171.3 6,871
2 Kano Kano 2,828,861 449 6,300
3 Ibadan Oyo 2,559,853 3,080 831
4 Benin City Edo 1,147,188 1,204 953
5 Port Harcourt Rivers 1,005,904 369 2,726
6 Jos Plateau 821,618 1,821 451
7 Ilorin Kwara 777,667 765 1,016
8 Abuja FCT 776,298 1,769 439′
9 Kaduna Kaduna 760,084 131 5,802
10 Enugu Enugu 722,664 556 1300
11 Zaria Kaduna 695,089 563 1,234.6
12 Warri Delta 557,398
13 Ikorodu Lagos 535,619 345 1,553
14 Maiduguri Borno 543,016 137 3,964
15 Aba Abia 534,265 72 7,400
16 Ife Osun 509,035 1,791 284
17 Bauchi Bauchi 493,810 3,687 134
18 Akure Ondo 484,798 991 489
19 Abeokuta Ogun 451,607 879 510
20 Oyo Oyo 428,798 2427 177
21 Uyo Akwa Ibom 427,873 362 1,182
22 Sokoto Sokoto 427,760
23 Osogbo Osun 421,000
24 Owerri Imo 401,873 551 729
25 Yola Adamawa 392,854 831 473
26 Calabar Cross River 371,022 406 910
27 Umuahia Abia 359,230 385 933
28 Ondo City Ondo 358,430
29 Minna Niger 348,788 1,664 209
30 Lafia Nasarawa 330,712
31 Okene Kogi 320,260 328 976.4
32 Katsina Katsina 318,459 142 2,243
Ikeja Lagos 313,196 49.92 6,274
33 Nsukka Enugu 309,633 45.38
34 Ado Ekiti Ekiti 308,621 293 1,053
35 Awka Anambra 301,657
36 Ogbomosho Oyo 299,535
37 Iseyin Oyo 286,700
38 Mubi Adamawa 280,009 1,317
39 Onitsha Anambra 261,604 52 5,030.8
40 Sagamu Ogun 253,412
41 Makurdi Benue 249,000
42 Badagry Lagos 241,093 441 547
43 Ilesa Osun 233,900
44 Gombe Gombe 230,900
45 Obafemi Owode Ogun 228,851 1,410 162
46 Owo Ondo 218,886 1,027 213
47 Jimeta Adamawa 218,400
48 Suleja Niger 216,578 119 1,820
49 Potiskum Yobe 205,876 559 368
50 Kukawa Borno 203,864 4,901 41.6
51 Gusau Zamfara 201,200
52 Iwo Osun 191,377 214 894
53 Bida Niger 188,181 51 3,689
54 Ugep Cross River 187,000
55 Ijebu Ode Ogun 186,700
56 Epe Lagos 181,409 965 188
57 Ise Ekiti Ekiti 167,100
58 Gboko Benue 166,400
59 Ilawe Ekiti Ekiti 160,700
60 Ikare Ondo 160,600
61 Osogbo Osun 156,694 47 3,334
62 Okpoko Anambra 152,900
63 Garki Jigawa 152,233 1,408 108.12
64 Sapele Delta 151,000
65 Ila Osun 150,700
66 Shaki Oyo 150,300
67 Ijero Ekiti 147,300
68 Ikot Ekpene Akwa Ibom 143,077 116 1,233
69 Jalingo Taraba 139,845
70 Otukpo Benue 136,800
71 Okigwe Imo 132,237
72 Kisi Oyo 130,800
73 Buguma Rivers 124,200
74 Funtua Katsina 122,500
75 Abakaliki Ebonyi 151,723
76 Asaba Delta 149,603 268 558
77 Gbongan Osun 117,300
78 Igboho Oyo 115,000
79 Gashua Yobe 109,600
70 Bama Borno 102,800
81 Uromi Edo 101,400

Urban areas

According to Wikipedia, an urban area can be defined as a continuously built-up land mass, which contains urban development that is within a labor market, without regard for administrative or city boundaries. A layman’s dictionary explains and defines Urban Area, as a place of human settlement with high population density and infrastructure of built environment.

The list which is shared below, contain the lists of contiguous urban areas in Nigeria, with a population of at least 500,000 Persons. Take note that these figures here have been taken from Demographia’s “World Urban Areas” study 2016.

Demographia uses maps, satellite photographs to estimate continuous urbanization.

Rank City State Population Area (km2) Density (/km2)
1 Lagos Lagos 12,830,000 1,425 9000
2 Onitsha Anambra 7,425,000 1,965 3,800
3 Kano Kano 3,680,000 251 14,600
4 Ibadan Oyo 2,910,000 466 6,200
5 Uyo Akwa Ibom 1,990,000 729 2,700
6 Port Harcourt Rivers 1,865,000 158 11,800
7 Nsukka Enugu 1,735,000 645 2,700
8 Abuja FCT 1,580,000 225 7,000
9 Benin City Edo 1,355,000 228 5,900
10 Aba Abia 1,215,000 91 13,400
11 Kaduna Kaduna 1,100,000 153 7,200
12 Ilorin Kwara 890,000 83 10,700
13 Jos Plateau 790,000 70 11,300
14 Maiduguri Borno 765,000 155 4,900
15 Owerri Imo 750,000 130 5,800
16 Ikorodu Lagos 740,000 130 5,700
17 Zaria Kaduna 735,000 88 8,300
18 Enugu Enugu 715,000 78 9,200
19 Warri Delta 695,000 142 4,900
20 Osogbo Osun 680,000 104 6,600
21 Akure Ondo 585,000 117 5,000
22 Sokoto Sokoto 580,000 88 6,600
23 Abeokuta Ogun 520,000 62 8,400
24 Bauchi Bauchi 520,000 88 5,900

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