Nigeria Demographics

What is the population of Nigeria?

Population 214,028,302
Population - note 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
Population Growth Rate 2.54%
Urban Population 49.6%
Population in Major Urban Areas Lagos 11.223 million; Kano 3.375 million; Ibadan 2.949 million; ABUJA (capital) 2.153 million; Port Harcourt 1.894 million; Kaduna 1.524 million
Nationality Noun Nigerian(s)
Nationality Adjective Nigerian
Ethnic Groups Nigeria, which is Africa's most populous country, is composed of more than 250 ethnic groups; the following are the most populous and politically influential: Hausa and Fulani 29%, Yoruba 21%, Igbo (Ibo) 18%, Ijaw 10%, Kanuri 4%, Ibibio 3.5%, Tiv 2.5%
Languages Spoken English (official), Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo), Fulani

Nigeria Learning

What is school like in Nigeria?


Over the past 30 years, government has made little or no effort at providing new buildings, maintaining existing ones or providing up to date technology used in teaching like computers and audiovisuals. Dilapidated structures, poorly maintained buildings and lack of proper teaching and learning materials are some of the many features of government and some private owned primary schools in Nigeria. Out of the three levels of education in Nigeria, primary education receives the least attention from the government leaving primary education to be funded mostly by private individuals or group. Some of the features seen in such poorly managed schools include inadequate supply of desks and chairs for students use which leaves many pupils either standing or sitting on the floor during classes; lack of teaching, learning and writing materials like chalk, pen, pencils, text and exercise books; inadequate number of teaching staff; no or poorly stocked libraries; absence of health care facilities like sick-bay etc. In a government owned primary school, the average number of people in a classroom range from 60-100 students and the teacher to student ratio is about 1-100 students. The situation is somewhat the same in both rural and urban areas except for big cities like Lagos, Abuja and Portharcourt. In the case of privately run schools, the reverse is the case. Private schools in Nigeria, though not all, provide qualitative education to students but at very expensive rates. One major similarity between public and private primary school is lack of space for adequate sporting facility. The most common sporting facility you will see in a typical Nigerian school is a soccer field while very few of them can boast of an outdoor basketball court and long tennis court. Outside these sporting facilities mentioned, most others used in developed countries, like the gymnasium, are almost unavailable.

Education Culture

Many parents in Nigeria view formal education as a compulsorily part of a child’s upbringing and make it their responsibility to ensure that their kids go to school regardless of their financial status. Culture also plays a key role in the level of education a child can reach. In the past, female children were not encouraged to attend university or even secondary school but these days, girls attend school to the highest possible level although in the North, education and culture are still at logger heads especially where girls are concerned. Some girls are married off at 12 years of age while boys are made attend Qur’anic schools. Western education is not totally accepted in the rural north because of the belief that it only turns children away from Islamic way of life. In the south however, education is highly accepted and statistics have shown that there are more girls enrolled in both primary and secondary schools than boys in the south-eastern part of the country.


Since the advent of western education in Nigeria, uniforms are worn by primary and secondary school children and it forms part of the criteria for the establishment of a primary or secondary school. Learning, in Nigerian schools, encompasses not just the regular classes but also includes morals and values. Therefore, students are expected to show respect to their teachers and have high regard for them. Once a teacher arrives in class, the students are expected to stand on their feet and greet in unison. Although this does not apply to all schools, most do carryout this practice as a means of inputting moral standard in their pupils. Flogging and other forms of physical punishment like kneeling while raising the hands are accepted modes of discipline in primary and secondary schools. The class teacher has the power to punish any student though with caution. Generally, regardless of whether it is public or private, classes in primary schools begin by 8 a.m. and end by 2 p.m. except on Fridays where classes end by 1 p.m. because it is a Muslim day of worship. Break time normally starts by 11 a.m. and ends by 11:30 a.m. although some schools may have short break in between classes. Kids are expected to use this period to eat, play games and relax before returning to class. It is very unusual for you to find a primary school in Nigeria, whether public or private, that offers lunch or break time meal (as is called in Nigeria) to students. Kids come to school with their own food and snacks while kids from poor homes come with nothing at all. You may also find schools having a canteen where food is sold to students usually in public primary and secondary schools. Subjects that are commonly taught in primary schools includes; English, mathematics, integrated science, social studies, verbal reasoning and quantitative aptitude (taught in private schools only), fine art, French language (private schools only). Kids in Nigeria often communicate in their native language both at home and in school and find it difficult to speak English fluently. Except for private schools, the government of Nigeria has made little or no effort at solving this problem. Primary schools lack adequate English teaching staff and materials that are needed for teaching English. Even teachers, who are supposed to be teaching in English, are forced to teach in the native language of the students in order to carry the kids along especially in the rural areas of Northern and Southern Nigeria. Year after year, the number of students that fail English and are deprived entry into the university increases.

To School

In Nigeria, transportation of school children to school is not handled by the government. Some private schools provide school buses for their pupils but such schools usually demand high fees for such services. Parents who cannot afford such schools are left with the option of placing their children in government run schools where the standard of education is very low. Most children who live in rural areas usually have to make the journey to school on foot for long distances to and fro everyday while in urban areas, getting to school and back for majority of the kids is by public transport. Such means of transportation includes buses, motorcycles and tricycles or tricars. Kids whose parents own a car are taken to school by their parents but are most times left to return home on their own after school either by walking or by taking public transport.

Nigeria Health Information

What are the health conditions in Nigeria?

Animal Contact Disease (s) rabies
Contraceptive Prevalence Rate - female 15-49 14.1%
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 13.2
Diseases - note highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds
Drinking Water Source - percent of rural population improved 49.1%
Drinking Water Source - percent of total population unimproved 36%
Drinking Water Source - percent of urban population improved 78.8%
Food or Waterborne Disease (s) bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
Health Expenditures - percent of GDP 5.3%
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 3.6%
HIV/Aids Deaths 239,700
Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population .53
Infant Mortality Rate - female deaths/1,000 live births 67.66
Infant Mortality Rate - male deaths/1,000 live births 77.98
Infant Mortality Rate - total deaths/1,000 live births 72.97
Major Infectious Diseases - degree of risk very high
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 630
Mean Age for Mother's First Birth 20.9
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 6.5%
People Living with HIV/AIDS 3,300,000
Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population .4
Respiratory disease (s) meningococcal meningitis
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of total population unimproved 72.2%
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of urban population improved 30.8%
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of rural population improved 24.7%
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 5.31
Underweight - percent of children under five years 24.4%
Vectorborne Disease (s) malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever
Water contact disease (s) leptospirosis and schistosomiasis

Nigeria Life Expectancy

How long do people live in Nigeria?

Life Expectancy at Birth 52 Years
Life Expectancy at Birth - female 55 Years
Life Expectancy at Birth - male 49 Years
Median Age 17 Years
Median Age - female 18 Years
Median Age - male 17 Years

Nigeria Infant Mortality - per 1,000 live births

Nigeria median age, birth rate and death rates

Birth Rate - births/1,000 population 39
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 13.2
Median Age 17 Years
Median Age - female 18 Years
Median Age - male 17 Years
Net Migration Rate - migrant(s)/1,000 population -0.22
Population Growth Rate 2.54%
Sex Ratio 0-14 Years - male/female 1.05
Sex Ratio 15-24 Years - male/female 1.05
Sex Ratio 25-54 Years - male/female 1.05
Sex Ratio 55-64 Years - male/female 1.04
Sex Ratio at Birth - male/female 1.06
Sex Ratio of Total Population - male/female 1.01
Sex Ratio Over 64 Years - male/female .85

Nigeria Medical Information

What are the health conditions in Nigeria?

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Nigeria has a number of well-trained doctors, yet medical facilities in Nigeria are in poor condition, with inadequately trained nursing staff. Diagnostic and treatment equipment is often poorly maintained, and many medicines are unavailable. Caution should be taken when purchasing medicines locally as counterfeit pharmaceuticals are a common problem and may be difficult to distinguish from genuine medications. This is particularly true of generic medicines purchased at local pharmacies or in street markets. Hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.

Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease. Plasmodium falciparum malaria, the type that predominates in Nigeria, is resistant to the anti-malarial drug chloroquine. Because travelers to Nigeria are at high risk for contracting malaria, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that travelers take one of the following anti-malarial drugs: mefloquine (Lariam™), doxycycline, or atovaquone/proguanil (Malarone™). If you become ill with a fever or flu-like illness while traveling in a malaria-risk area, and up to one year after returning home, you should seek prompt medical attention and tell the physician your travel history and what anti-malarials you have been taking. T

Nigeria Education

What is school like in Nigeria?

Literacy - female 60.6%
Literacy - male 75.7%
Literacy - total population 68%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write
School Life Expectancy - female 8 Years
School Life Expectancy - male 10 Years
Total School Life Expectancy - (primary to tertiary) 9 Years

Nigeria Literacy

Can people in Nigeria read?

Literacy - female 60.6%
Literacy - male 75.7%
Literacy - total population 68%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write
Predominant Language English (official), Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo), Fulani

Nigeria Crime

Is Nigeria a safe place to visit?

Crime Information

Violent crimes committed by individual criminals and gangs, as well as by some persons wearing police and military uniforms, occur throughout the country, especially at night. Visitors and residents have experienced armed muggings, assaults, burglaries, car-jackings, rapes, kidnappings, and extortions, often involving violence. Home invasions remain a serious threat, with armed robbers accessing even guarded compounds by scaling perimeter walls; following or tailgating residents or visitors arriving by car into a compound; or subduing guards to gain entry into homes or apartments. Armed robbers in Lagos also access waterfront compounds by boat. U.S. citizens, as well as Nigerians and other expatriates, have become victims of armed robbery at banks, grocery stores, and on airport roads during both daylight and evening hours. Law enforcement authorities usually respond slowly or not at all, and provide little or no investigative support to victims. U.S. citizens, other expatriates, and Nigerians have experienced harassment and shakedowns at checkpoints and during encounters with Nigerian law enforcement officials. Traveling outside of major cities after dark is not recommended due to crime and road safety concerns. Maritime crime including piracy, continues off the coast of Nigeria in the Gulf of Guinea, with armed gangs boarding commercial and private vessels to rob travelers and occasionally take hostages for ransom. The Nigerian Navy has limited capacity to respond to criminal acts at sea.

Nigerian-operated fraud schemes, known locally as "419" scams, are noted for their cleverness and ingenuity. These scams target foreigners worldwide, posing risks of financial loss and personal danger to their victims. Scams are often initiated through internet postings or from internet cafes by unsolicited emails, faxes, and letters, or can involve credit card use. As anywhere else, no one should provide personal or financial information to unknown parties or via Nigerian telephone lines. The expansion of bilateral law enforcement cooperation has resulted in numerous raids on commercial fraud premises and the limited return of some assets to fraud victims. New types of even more sophisticated scams seem to appear almost daily.

U.S. citizens frequently become victims of Nigerian confidence artists offering companionship through internet dating web sites and social networks. These confidence artists almost always pose as U.S. citizens visiting or living in Nigeria who unexpectedly experience a medical, legal, financial, or other type of “emergency” requiring immediate financial assistance. We strongly urge you to be very cautious about sending money to any unknown person or traveling to Nigeria to meet someone with whom your sole communications have occurred via the internet and telephone. Other common scams involve a promise of an inheritance windfall, work contracts in Nigeria, or an overpayment for goods purchased on-line. For additional information on these types of scams, see the Department of State's publication, International Financial Scams.

Commercial scams that target foreigners, including many U.S. citizens, are common. You should remain alert regarding scams that may involve you in illegal activity that could result in arrest, extortion, or bodily harm. These scams generally involve phony offers of money transfers, lucrative sales, contracts with promises of large commissions or up-front payments. They may improperly invoke the authority of one or more ministries or offices of the Nigerian government and may cite, by name, the involvement of a Nigerian government or a U.S. embassy official. In some scams, criminals use government stationery and seals to advance the scam. The ability of U.S. consular officers to extricate U.S. citizens from unlawful business deals or scams and their subsequent consequences is extremely limited. U.S. citizens have been arrested by police officials and held for varying periods on charges of involvement in illegal business activity or scams. Nigerian police and other law enforcement officials do not always inform the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General immediately of the arrest or detention of U.S. citizens.

The U.S. Department of Commerce has published advisories for the U.S. business community on a variety of issues that should be seriously reviewed with respect to doing business in Nigeria. To check on a business’ legitimacy within the United States, contact the Nigeria Desk Officer at the International Trade Administration, Room 3317, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C. 20230, telephone: 1-800-USA-TRADE or (202) 482-5149, fax: (202) 482-5198. If you are abroad, contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.

Nigeria Penalties for Crime

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Nigeria, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. In some places you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you or if you take pictures of certain buildings. In some places, driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Nigeria, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not wherever you go.

Nigeria Population Comparison

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