Abuja is the capital of Nigeria. It replaced the former capital, Lagos, as the capital city in 1991, although Lagos remains the most populous city.
Abuja has a short history, as it was a planned city that was developed primarily during the 1980s. However, despite its brief history, Abuja is not just the fastest-growing city in Africa but is also one of the fastest-growing in the world.
The last census taken in 2006 put the population at 776,298. However, between 2000 and 2010, the population grew by almost 140%, with more recent estimates showing that the population now exceeds 2.4 million.
The city of Abaja is one of the only planned cities in Africa, and judging by its massive population growth, it is one of the most successful. The city is home to multiple religious sites and centers, including the Nigerian National Mosque. Abuja is one of the wealthiest cities in Africa.
The city was planned to bring together all of the various tribes, religions and ethnic groups found throughout Nigeria. The city was designed to be a safe one, one that is united and peaceful, unlike many other Nigerian cities that experience high rates of violence.
The city’s population is hugely diverse, and groups that reside here include Afo, Gwari, Hausa, Koro, and Bassa, to name a few.
The official language of the city is English, although other languages are spoken, including Ibo, Fulani, and Yoruba. Approximately half of the city’s residents are Muslim, 40% are Christian, and the remainder follow other religions.
As previously mentioned, the city’s history isn’t very long, as it was a planned city. Once Nigeria declared its independence, it was decided that a capital would be created that would unite the ethnicities and religions of the country. The location was selected during the 1970s.
Lagos, the capital city at the time, was also becoming extremely overcrowded. It was also decided by the government to expand the economy and move toward the inner part of the country, while taking some of the burdens off of Lagos, by making the new capital.
The city was dedicated in the 1970s and construction broke ground. However, major construction was delayed until the 1980s, and the first stages of the city were not developed until the latter part of the decade.
Today, many embassies were relocated to Abuja. The population has grown very quickly since the city’s inception, including squatter settlements and towns in and out of the city limits.
Abuja Population Growth
Abuja is one of the fastest growing cities in the world, with a population that already is climbing to 2.5 million since its development in the 1980s. During the early 2000s, the city’s population grew by almost 140%. Today, most areas of the city still see annual growth of 35%, making it one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. Because of the city’s reputation for being welcoming to all groups, no matter their ethnicity or religion, the population is only expected to continue to grow for Nigeria’s capital city.