Sun. Jul 21st, 2024
Nigerian diaspora
Regions with significant populations
Nigeria 227,062,427 (2024 est.)
Benin 6,000,000
Cameroon 4,000,000
United State 461,895
United Kingdom 312,000 (2021)
Niger 155,000
Canada 111,465
Italy 106,069
Germany 100,000
Brazil 4,000
Chad 88,000
Ghana 77,000
Central African  60,000
Chile 60,000
Spain 60,000
Mexico 50,000
Ivory Coast 44,791
South Africa 36,500+
Togo 32,000
Gabon 24,000
Netherlands 20,000
Austria 19,286
Ireland 16,300
Sweden 6,000
Burkina Faso 5,000
Liberia 4,000
finland 3,000
Australia 4,519
Greece 3,000
Japan 3,000
Hungary 2,000
Norway 1,780
Belgium 1,636
France 1,425
Romania 1,000
India 1,000
Brunei 100
Argentina 42
English Language regional languages
Christanity, Islam, Traditional African Religions



Nigerians or the Nigerian people are citizens of Nigeria or people with ancestry from Nigeria The name Nigeria was derived from the Niger River running through the country. This name was allegedly coined in the late 19th century by British journalist Flora Shaw, who later married Baron Fredrick Lugard, a British colonial administrator. Nigeria is composed of various ethnic groups and cultures and the term Nigerian refers to a citizenship based civic nationality.

Nigerians derive from over 250 ethno-linguistic groups. Though there are multiple ethnic groups in Nigeria, economic factors result in significant mobility of Nigerians of multiple ethnic and religious backgrounds to reside in territories in Nigeria that are outside their ethnic or religious background, resulting in the mixing of the various ethnic and religious groups, especially in Nigeria’s cities. The English Name is the lingua francaof Nigerians. Nigeria is divided roughly in half between Muslims, who live mostly in the north, and christians, who live mostly in the south; indigenous religions,  such as those native to the Igbo and Yoruba ethnicities, are in the minority.


Nigerians come from multiple ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds as the founding of Nigeria was the outcome of a colonial creation by the British Empire


There have been several major historical states in Nigeria that have influenced Nigerian society through their kings and their legal and taxation systems, and the use of religion to legitimize the power of the king and to unite the people. Northern Nigeria has been culturally influenced by Islamic, including several major historic Islamic states in the region. The Songhai Empire, Kanem Borno Empire and the Sokoto Caliphate were major historical Islamic states in northern Nigeria. Southern Nigeria historically held several powerful states, including the Benin Empire  and Oyo Empire, and Aro Confederacy


Nigerian Culture was profoundly affected by the  British Colonial rule. Such as British colonial authority’s denouncement and attacks upon polygamy, trial by ordeal, and certain types of sacrifices. At the same time, British colonial authorities maintained and promoted traditional Nigerian culture that strengthened colonial administration. The British spread Christianity throughout southern Nigeria and Christian missionaries assisted British authorities in establishing a Western-style education system in Nigeria that resulted in the teaching of English Language in Nigeria and its subsequent adoption as Nigeria’s main language.

The British replaced unpaid household labor with wage labour. Prior to colonisation in the twentieth century, Nigeria’s tribes usually possessed the land as a community, such that land could not be bought or sold. Colonization brought the notion of individuals owning land and the commercialisation of land began.

In Nigeria, more than fifty percent of Nigerians live in Villages of two different types: the first type used by the Igbo and Tiv involves a collection of dispersed compounds while the second type used amongst the Hausa Fulani, Yoruba and Kanuri involves nuclei of compounds. These villages compose members of the ethnicity-related through ancestry as well as strangers who have been assimilated into the ethnicity. Since the time prior to colonisation to the present it has been a common practice of Nigeria’s tribes to adopt strangers into the tribes. A male elder in the community commonly serves as a village chief or Baale.

In the large cities of Nigeria, there is a substantial intermingling  of Nigerians with foreigners, especially Europeans, Lebanese,  and Indians The economic importance of Nigeria’s cities has resulted in migrations of people from their traditional ethnic or cultural homeland to cities outside those territories. Igbo, Hausa-Fulani and Ibibio people have commonly migrated to Lagos and many southerners migrate to the north to trade or work while a number of northern seasonal workers and small-scale entrepreneurs go to the south.


  • Muslim 48%
  • Christian 49%
  • Other 3%


Ethnic, religious, and regional disputes and tensions have commonly divided Nigerians on political issues. In particular, cultural and political divisions between the Muslim north and the Christian south has politicised religion and caused significant political disputes in Nigeria. Ethnic-motivated and religious-motivated violence by extremists has increased these tensions as well.

However, despite instances of extremism, most Nigerians continue to peacefully coexist, and a common Nigerian identity has been fostered amongst the more educated and affluent Nigerians as well as with the many Nigerians who leave small homogeneous ethnic communities to seek economic opportunities in the cities where the population is ethnically mixed. Although there are cultural divisions amongst Nigerians, the English language is commonly used as their primary language. Also, most Nigerians share a strong commitment to individual liberties and democracy. Even during periods of military rule, such military governments were pressured to maintain democratic stances by the Nigerian people. Nigeria’s political figures are commonly known as multiple indigenous languages outside their own indigenous language.

See also

  • British Nigerian
  • Demographics of Nigeria
  • Nigerian Americans
  • List of Nigerians


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