Lagos Population 2021

14,862,111
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Lagos's 2021 population is now estimated at 14,862,111. In 1950, the population of Lagos was 325,218. Lagos has grown by 493,779 since 2015, which represents a 3.44% annual change. These population estimates and projections come from the latest revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects. These estimates represent the Urban agglomeration of Lagos, which typically includes Lagos's population in addition to adjacent suburban areas.

Lagos is a port city and the most populous city in Nigeria. The metropolitan area originated on islands, including Lagos Island, that were protected from the Atlantic Ocean by sand spits. The city has expanded onto the mainland west of the lagoon, however, with Ikeja, the capital of Lagos, and Agege over 25 miles northwest of Lagos Island. Lagos has a population estimated at 21 million in 2016, which makes it the largest city in Africa.

The Lagos State Government estimates the population of Lagos at 17.5 million, although this number has been disputed by the Nigerian Government and found to be unreliable by the National Population Commission of Nigeria, which put the population at over 21 million in 2016. Lagos surpassed Cairo in size in 2012 to become the largest city of Africa. The population was estimated at just 11.2 million in 2011 by the United Nations.

City Size and Population Density

The city of Lagos covers an immense area, coming in with a total of 1,171.28 square kilometers (452.23 square miles). With the population continuing to grow, and currently exceeding at least 17 million residents, the population density is around 6,871 residents per square kilometer (17,800 per square mile).

Lagos Demographics

Lagos was originally inhabited by the Awori group of the Yoruba people. Today, it has a very diverse population due to heavy migration from other parts of Nigeria and surrounding countries. The Yoruba are the dominant ethnic group. There are more than 250 ethnic groups represented in Lagos, however, including the Hausa, Igbo, and Fulani. Small minorities of American, British, East Indian, Chinese, white Zimbabwean, Greek, Syrian, Lebanese and Japanese are also present in the city. In the mid-19th century, many ex-slaves of Afro-Brazilian and Afro-Cuban descent and emigrants from Sierra Leone created communities in Lagos, along with ex-slaves from the Americas. They became missionaries and merchants in the city.

While there are many millionaires in Lagos, about 66% of the population lives in slums. The city has been dubbed the "mega-city of slums," with millions living in and around the lagoons with no access to roads, clean water, electricity or waste disposal. The World Bank has identified 9 of the largest slums of the city for upgrading with a $200 million loan from the United States, which would benefit about one million people. One large slum is Makoko, which has no security and rampant crime.

Lagos Population Growth

Lagos has enjoyed tremendous growth, reaching 21 million from just 1.4 million as recently as 1970. The city now generates 25% of Nigeria's total gross domestic product, and it has many millionaires. It is also the 8th fastest growing city in Africa. Unlike the rest of Nigeria, Lagos is an excellent example of what is possible when the government offers energy and other initiatives to its residents.

Oddly enough, in 1999 the United Nations predicted that the city's metropolitan area, which had only about 290,000 inhabitants in 1950, would exceed 20 million by 2010 and thus become one of the ten most populated cities in the world. It is certainly close - between the predictions and current estimates - and we will continue to watch as the growth unfolds in this city.

Lagos is also a window to the future. In about 25 years, at the rate Nigeria is currently growing, it will have a population of 300 million, or the same as the present-day United States, all living in an area the size of Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona. With the population doubling over the last 15 years, living standards across Nigeria remain poor. Today, 25% of Africans are Nigerian.

By 2050, Lagos' population is expected to double once more, which will make it the 3rd largest city in the world but with less infrastructure than any other large cities of the world.

Lagos Population 2021

Year Population Growth Rate (%) Growth
203524,418,7683.33%786,728
203423,632,0403.40%776,172
203322,855,8683.46%764,900
203222,090,9683.52%751,668
203121,339,3003.59%739,144
203020,600,1563.65%724,996
202919,875,1603.70%709,392
202819,165,7683.74%691,048
202718,474,7203.77%670,980
202617,803,7403.77%647,348
202517,156,3923.75%620,374
202416,536,0183.70%590,106
202315,945,9123.63%558,273
202215,387,6393.54%525,528
202114,862,1113.44%493,779
202014,368,3323.34%464,712
201913,903,6203.27%440,199
201813,463,4213.23%421,105
201713,042,3163.23%407,935
201612,634,3813.23%395,175
201512,239,2063.23%382,815
201411,856,3913.23%370,840
201311,485,5513.22%358,755
201211,126,7963.23%348,493
201110,778,3033.23%337,121
201010,441,1823.23%326,576
200910,114,6063.22%315,933
20089,798,6733.23%306,895
20079,491,7783.23%296,882
20069,194,8963.79%335,497
20058,859,3994.00%340,629
20048,518,7704.01%328,418
20038,190,3524.00%315,331
20027,875,0214.00%303,191
20017,571,8304.00%291,124
20007,280,7064.01%280,688
19997,000,0184.00%269,502
19986,730,5164.00%259,127
19976,471,3894.00%248,814
19966,222,5754.01%239,895
19955,982,6804.00%230,334
19945,752,3464.00%221,467
19935,530,8794.00%212,653
19925,318,2264.96%251,223
19915,067,0036.36%302,910
19904,764,0936.36%284,802
19894,479,2916.35%267,418
19884,211,8736.37%252,126
19873,959,7476.36%236,717
19863,723,0306.36%222,566
19853,500,4646.35%208,982
19843,291,4826.37%197,030
19833,094,4526.36%184,989
19822,909,4636.36%173,931
19812,735,5326.35%163,314
19802,572,2186.37%153,975
19792,418,2436.36%144,564
19782,273,6796.36%135,923
19772,137,7566.35%127,626
19762,010,1306.37%120,328
19751,889,8026.36%112,974
19741,776,8286.36%106,221
19731,670,6076.35%99,737
19721,570,8706.37%94,033
19711,476,8374.48%63,309
19701,413,5284.48%60,595
19691,352,9334.47%57,919
19681,295,0144.49%55,590
19671,239,4244.48%53,132
19661,186,2924.48%50,853
19651,135,4394.47%48,609
19641,086,8306.45%65,861
19631,020,96910.23%94,736
1962926,23310.23%85,946
1961840,28710.21%77,869
1960762,41810.24%70,838
1959691,58010.23%64,172
1958627,40810.23%58,218
1957569,19010.21%52,747
1956516,44310.24%47,983
1955468,46010.23%43,469
1954424,99110.23%39,435
1953385,5567.39%26,531
1952359,0255.07%17,333
1951341,6925.07%16,474
1950325,2180.00%

Lagos Population Data (Urban Area)

Name Population 2021 Growth
Lagos14,862,1113.44%
Kano4,103,0152.60%
Ibadan3,649,0232.73%
Abuja3,464,1235.69%
Port Harcourt3,171,0764.99%
Benin City1,781,9993.17%
Onitsha1,482,9714.82%
Uyo1,199,9295.65%
Kaduna1,133,4301.82%
Aba1,114,3883.04%
Nnewi1,113,5465.97%
Ikorodu989,1175.49%
Ilorin973,6712.51%
Jos917,2892.46%
Owerri908,1094.07%
Warri898,9275.02%
Umuahia816,9835.58%
Maiduguri802,9882.10%
Enugu795,2712.90%
Lokoja741,4827.14%

Other Cities in Nigeria

  1. National Bureau of Statistics - Nigeria data and statistics
  2. National Population Commission Nigeria - Lagos State population data
  3. World Urbanization Prospects - United Nations population estimates and projections of major Urban Agglomerations

Sources