Population of Nigeria 2023 | Religion in Nigeria

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Nigeria Population 2023

Nigeria, officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa. Nigeria is the sixth most populous country in the world. By Land area, it’s the 32nd largest country in the world. 

As per the World Population Prospects, 2022 by the United Nations, the expected population of Nigeria in 2023 is 223,804,632 (22.4 Crore or 224 million)

Source: UN World Population Prospects 2022

Nigeria Demographics

Nigeria expected population growth rate of 2.35% during 2022-2023. Its population is equivalent to 2.64% of the total world population. The total land area of Nigeria is 910,768 sq. km (351,649 sq. mi) and the population density of Nigeria is 240 per sq. km. (621 people per sq. mi.).

Nigeria2022 
Total Population218,541,212
Global Rank6th
Share of World Pop.2.64%
Area 910,768 sq. km (351,649 sq. mi)
Area Rank32nd
Density240 person/sq. km
Fertility Rate5.42
Infant mortality rate57.7
Median Age18.1 years 
Life Expectancy55.75 years
Urban Population52%

Source: UN World  Populations Prospects 

Religion in Nigeria

Nigeria is a religiously diverse society, with Islam and Christianity being the most widely professed religions. Nigerians are nearly equally divided into Muslims and Christians, with a tiny minority of adherents of traditional African religions and other religions.

A 2012 report on religion and public life by the Pew Research Center stated that in 2010, 49.3% of Nigeria’s population was Christian, 48.8% was Muslim, and 1.9% were followers of indigenous and other religions or unaffiliated. According to a 2018 estimate in The World Factbook by the CIA, the population is estimated to be 53.5% Muslim, 45.9% Christian (10.6% Roman Catholic and 35.3% other Christian), and 0.6% other.

#ReligionPercentage
1Islam50-52%
2Christians46-48%
3Traditional Faiths0.60%
4Others1.30%

Source: Pew report

Muslims in Nigeria

Nigeria has one of the largest Muslim populations in West Africa. In Nigeria, about 50-52 percent of the population is Muslim. Most of Nigeria’s Muslim population lives in the Northern and Central states.

The vast majority of Muslims in Nigeria are Sunni belonging to the Maliki school of jurisprudence; however, a sizeable minority also belongs to Shafi Madhhab. Shia, Ahmadiyya, and Mahdiyya are minorities, as well as followers of the Baháʼí Faith.

Islam dominates North-Western Nigeria (Hausa, Fulani, and others), with 99% Muslim, and Northern Eastern Nigeria (Kanuri, Fulani, and other groups). In the west, the Yoruba tribe is predominantly Muslim with a notable minority of Christians and 10% adherents of traditional religions.

Christianity in Nigeria

Nigeria has the largest Christian population in Africa though Christians are about 46-48% of the population. Among Christians, the Pew Research survey found that 74% were Protestant, 25% were Catholic, and 1% belonged to other Christian denominations, including a small Orthodox Christian community.

Protestant and locally cultivated Christianity are widely practiced in Western areas, while Roman Catholicism is a more prominent Christian feature of South Eastern Nigeria.

Both Roman Catholicism and Protestantism are observed in the Ibibio, Anaang, Efik, Ijo, and Ogoni lands of the south. The Igbos (predominant in the east) and the Ijaw (south) are 98% Christian, with 2% practicing traditional religions.

The leading Protestant churches in the country are

  • Church of Nigeria of the Anglican Communion
  • The African Church
  • The Assemblies of God Church
  • The Nigerian Baptist Convention
  • The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations.
Traditional Faiths

The middle belt of Nigeria contains the largest number of minority ethnic groups in Nigeria, who were found to be mostly Christians and members of traditional religions, with a small proportion of Muslims.

Top Cities in Nigeria by Population

#CityPopulation
1Lagos9,000,000
2Kano3,626,068
3Ibadan3,565,108
4Kaduna1,582,102
5Port Harcourt1,148,665
6Benin City1,125,058
7Maiduguri1,112,449
8Zaria975,153
9Aba897,560
10Jos816,824