Nigeria People - 2021


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese


219,463,862 (July 2021 est.)

note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected


noun: Nigerian(s)

adjective: Nigerian

Ethnic groups

Hausa 30%, Yoruba 15.5%, Igbo (Ibo) 15.2%, Fulani 6%, Tiv 2.4%, Kanuri/Beriberi 2.4%, Ibibio 1.8%, Ijaw/Izon 1.8%, other 24.7% (2018 est.)

note: Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, is composed of more than 250 ethnic groups


English (official), Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo), Fulani, over 500 additional indigenous languages


Muslim 53.5%, Roman Catholic 10.6%, other Christian 35.3%, other .6% (2018 est.)

Demographic profile

Nigeria’s population is projected to grow from more than 186 million people in 2016 to 392 million in 2050, becoming the world’s fourth most populous country. Nigeria’s sustained high population growth rate will continue for the foreseeable future because of population momentum and its high birth rate. Abuja has not successfully implemented family planning programs to reduce and space births because of a lack of political will, government financing, and the availability and affordability of services and products, as well as a cultural preference for large families. Increased educational attainment, especially among women, and improvements in health care are needed to encourage and to better enable parents to opt for smaller families.

Nigeria needs to harness the potential of its burgeoning youth population in order to boost economic development, reduce widespread poverty, and channel large numbers of unemployed youth into productive activities and away from ongoing religious and ethnic violence. While most movement of Nigerians is internal, significant emigration regionally and to the West provides an outlet for Nigerians looking for economic opportunities, seeking asylum, and increasingly pursuing higher education. Immigration largely of West Africans continues to be insufficient to offset emigration and the loss of highly skilled workers. Nigeria also is a major source, transit, and destination country for forced labor and sex trafficking.

Age structure

0-14 years: 41.7% (male 45,571,738/female 43,674,769)

15-24 years: 20.27% (male 22,022,660/female 21,358,753)

25-54 years: 30.6% (male 32,808,913/female 32,686,474)

55-64 years: 4.13% (male 4,327,847/female 4,514,264)

65 years and over: 3.3% (male 3,329,083/female 3,733,801) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 86

youth dependency ratio: 80.9

elderly dependency ratio: 5.1

potential support ratio: 19.6 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 18.6 years

male: 18.4 years

female: 18.9 years (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

2.53% (2021 est.)

Birth rate

34.38 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

Death rate

8.89 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

Net migration rate

-0.21 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

Population distribution

largest population of any African nation; significant population clusters are scattered throughout the country, with the highest density areas being in the south and southwest as shown in this population distribution map


urban population: 52.7% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 3.92% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

14.862 million Lagos, 4.103 million Kano, 3.649 million Ibadan, 3.464 million ABUJA (capital), 3.171 million Port Harcourt, 1.782 million Benin City (2021)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female

total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

20.4 years (2018 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-49

Maternal mortality rate

917 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 58.23 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 63.67 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 52.46 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 60.87 years

male: 59.07 years

female: 62.78 years (2021 est.)

Total fertility rate

4.67 children born/woman (2021 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

16.6% (2018)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 92.6% of population

rural: 63.6% of population

total: 77.9% of population

unimproved: urban: 7.4% of population

rural: 36.4% of population

total: 22.1% of population (2017 est.)

Current Health Expenditure

3.9% (2018)

Physicians density

0.38 physicians/1,000 population (2018)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 80.2% of population

rural: 39.5% of population

total: 59.7% of population

unimproved: urban: 19.8% of population

rural: 60.5% of population

total: 40.3% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

1.3% (2020 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

1.7 million (2020 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

49,000 (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever

water contact diseases: leptospirosis and schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis

aerosolized dust or soil contact diseases: Lassa fever

note: on 7 October 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a Travel Health Notice for a Yellow Fever outbreak in Nigeria; a large, ongoing outbreak of yellow fever in Nigeria began in September 2017; the outbreak is now spread throughout the country with the Nigerian Ministry of Health reporting cases of the disease in all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory; the CDC recommends travelers going to Nigeria should receive vaccination against yellow fever at least 10 days before travel and should take steps to prevent mosquito bites while there; those never vaccinated against yellow fever should avoid travel to Nigeria during the outbreak
note: widespread ongoing transmission of a respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is occurring throughout Nigeria; as of 19 July 2021, Nigeria has reported a total of 169,678 cases of COVID-19 or 82.31 cumulative cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population with 1.03 cumulative death per 100,000 population; as of 19 July 2021, 1.23% of the population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

8.9% (2016)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

18.4% (2019/20)

Education expenditures



definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 62%

male: 71.3%

female: 52.7% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 9 years

male: 9 years

female: 8 years (2011)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 18.3%

male: 18.4% NA

female: 18.2% NA (2019 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Nigeria on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Nigeria 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Nigeria 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.