Nigeria, officially known as the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country that is located on the western coast of Africa. The country features 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, which is known as Abuja. The country of Nigeria features over five hundred different ethnic groups, many different languages, and declared its independence from the United Kingdom on October 1, 1960.
Last collected in 2012 by the Nigeria National Bureau of Statistics, the total population of citizens in Nigeria was around 166.2 million people. In 2016, it is estimated to have over 178.5 million people although United Nations projections have placed the population as high as 186 million. Back in 1960, when the country declared its independence from the United Kingdom, the country recorded an estimated 45.2 million people. That constitutes a change of about 268% between the year 1960 and the year 2012. The entire population of Nigeria accounts for about 2.35% of the entire earth’s population. This means that about 1 out of every 43 people in the world call Nigeria their home.
It should be noted that these estimates by the Nigeria National Bureau of Statistics take into account the residual effects of the very high mortality rate due to the rampant AIDS epidemic in the country. The AIDS epidemic, while a lot more controlled in the United States, is still a very big killer on the entire continent of Africa. Many people and multiple leaders have taken steps to help African nations such as Nigeria fight the AIDS epidemic. Fortunately, the numbers have improved significantly over the last 15 to 20 years. There are currently 3.1 million residents in this country that are living with HIV/AIDS.
When it comes to the average of a Nigerian citizen, the country is relatively young. For both males and females, the median age of the country is actually 18.4 years of age. The split between the males and the females in Nigeria are quite even. Men take the edge in numbers, but not by much. There are, according to estimates, about 1.04 males to every 1 female in the country. It should be noted, though, that while women are slightly outnumbered by men, after the age of 65, women outnumber the number of men.
There are multiple ethnic groups in Nigeria. The Hausa-Fulani ethnicity outnumbers every other ethnic group, accounting for about 30% of the population. A majority of the Hausa-Fulani are of the Muslim faith. The second-largest ethnic group is the Yoruba, accounting for 15.5% of the population, followed by the Igbo (Ibo), comprising about 15.2% of the population.
The official language of Nigeria is English, but the country does feature multiple languages. The most common non-English languages include the language of Hausa, the language of Yoruba, and the language of Igbo. Those three languages are the most widespread, apart from the language of English.
Nigeria Religion, Economy and Politics
The overall religious aspect of Nigeria is generally split between Christianity and Islam. Most Nigerian Muslims are Sunni and are located in the northern parts of the country while the Christian population is located mainly in the middle and the southern areas of the country. A study in 2010 stated that 45.5% of the population was Muslim while the rest were Christian.
The life expectancy in Nigeria is, unfortunately, the lowest in all of West Africa. The average life expectancy is around 54.5 years of age according to WHO data, with men living an average of 53.7 years and women living an average of 55.4 years. This very low number can be attributed to the fact that the country has a lot of health issues. As previously mentioned, the AIDS epidemic is a major player in the low life expectancy. But on top of that, Nigeria has also fallen victim to a high child and maternal mortality rate and the widespread growth of the polio virus. In fact, one out of every five children that are born in Nigeria will die before they reach the age of five due to the many health risks in Nigeria.
While pregnancy is obviously not a disease by any means, a lot of expectant mothers in Nigeria die from pregnancy complications every year. A Nigerian woman's chances of death during pregnancy or childbirth is 1 in 13. In addition to that, many people in Nigeria do not seek professional medical attention as they feel that “healers” will help them live longer. They are not aware that professional doctors will give them a much longer life.
In terms of access to clean drinking water, 68.5% have improved means of access while 31.5% still struggle to get clean water. Similarly, when examining the access to sanitation facilities, only 29% of the entire population of Nigeria have improved sanitation access as compared to the 71% that are still struggling.
The average number of years spent in school here is approximately 9 years, with a national literacy rate of only 59.6%.
Nigeria Population History
Nigeria, since 1960, has grown to be the 7th most populated country in the world. That is saying a lot given the smaller size of the country itself. The government is really relying on population control as a way to save their country because it is quite difficult to survive as a small country without oil or highly valuable exports.