Population: 170,123,740 (est.)
Language(s): English, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba
- The Nigerian naira is the official currency.
- Nigeria is home to a variety of religions which tend to vary regionally. Overall, around 50.4% of Nigeria’s population are Muslims, 48.2% are Christians and 1.4% adhere to other religions.
- This situation accentuates regional and ethnic distinctions and has often been seen as a source of sectarian conflict amongst the population.
- Nigeria is a middle income, mixed economy and emerging market, with expanding financial, service, communications, and entertainment sectors.
- Nigeria has the 10th largest proven reserves of petroleum, in the world, accounting for around 40% of Nigeria’s GDP and 80% of its government earnings.
- Nigeria has been ruled by military for most of the 47 years of its independence from Britain.
- Football is Nigeria’s national sport.
- As of 2011 Nigeria is ranked 30th in the world in terms of GDP (PPP) and the third largest in Africa.
- Nollywood is the name for Nigerian film industry which is now the second largest movie producer in the world (in terms of amount of films made), behind the Indian film industry and ahead of Hollywood.
- The country was named “Nigeria” after the River Niger.
- Nigeria has the 7th largest population in the world.
Nigeria, officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast in the south lies on the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean. The three largest and most influential ethnic groups in Nigeria are the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba.
The name Nigeria was taken from the Niger River running through the country. This name was coined by Flora Shaw, the future wife of Baron Lugard, a British colonial administrator, in the late 19th century. The British colonised Nigeria in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, setting up administrative structures and law while recognizing traditional chiefs. Nigeria became independent again in 1960. Several years later, it had civil war as Biafra tried to establish independence. Military governments in times of crisis have alternated with democratically elected governments.
Nigeria is roughly split half and half between Muslims in the North and Christians in the South; a very small minority practice traditional religion. Since 2002 there have been a spate of clashes, particularly in the North of the country, between government forces and the Islamists Boko Haram, militant jihadists who seek to establish sharia law.
The people of Nigeria have an extensive history. Archaeological evidence shows that human habitation of the area dates back to at least 9000 BC. The area around the Benue and Cross River is thought to be the original homeland of the Bantu migrants who spread across most of central and southern Africa in waves between the 1st millennium BC and the 2nd millennium.
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, the seventh most populous country in the world, and the most populous country in the world in which the majority of the population is black. Its oil reserves have brought great revenues to the country. It is listed among the “Next Eleven” economies, and is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.