Located in West Africa, Nigeria is home to many fantastic wildlife and natural landmarks. What most Africans and non-Africans know about this country is their famous Nollywood movies. However, there is more to love about Nigeria; including the culture of more than 190 million citizens living within its borders. It has one of the best football teams in the continent with the Super Eagles – as it is known – showing their prowess in the World Cup tournaments.
Apart from the facts mentioned above, what else do you know about Nigeria? We have compiled a list of some of the most amazing must-know facts that contribute to the description of this country. Let’s have a look!
1. It has the highest population in Africa
With over 190 million people, Nigeria has the highest population, not only in the region but also throughout the continent. As a matter of fact, almost every country in Africa has at least a citizen of West Africa, either studying or working. What’s even more mind-blowing is the fact that Nigeria’s population is the seventh-highest in the world, an interesting fact about Nigeria. About 50% of these people are Muslims, while 40% are Christians. The other 10% represents people from different religious backgrounds.
2. It has the highest percentage of social media users in Africa
How active are you on social media? Well, in this age and time, this is the primary means of communication, and it is evident in how much people embrace it. However, very few countries have hit over the 60% mark, and that’s where Nigeria wins. Amazingly, only 25%, that’s about 50 million people, are not active social media users. An interesting fact about Nigeria is that most of these people use smartphones rather than laptops and computers.
3. The richest man in Africa hails from Nigeria
Perhaps this is already an undeniable fact, but it is still worth mentioning that Nigeria is home to the wealthiest African. You must be familiar with the name Aliko Dangote who is worth over $10.6 billion – amazing, right? But that is not all, Forbes listed him among the top 100 wealthiest people in the world. Dangote, as it stands, is the 88th wealthiest person in the world. He has not only made the people of Kano (his native home) happy but also all Africans with the establishment of the Dangote Group in 1977.
4. It hosts over 250 ethnic groups
As they say, ethnicity plays a very significant role in the culture of a country. That’s the same case with Nigeria, which boasts of over 250 ethnic groups. The predominant ethnic groups in the country, mainly located in the north, are the Fulani and Hausa. The Igbo and Yoruba complete the list for the top four most significant groups in Naija. According to statistics, at least 521 languages are spoken throughout the country with over 1150 dialects. Of course, like most African countries, English is the official language, but the native languages overshadow it.
5. Its largest city is not the capital
If you asked outsiders which is the capital of Nigeria, Lagos might be one of the answers. However, despite being the largest city in the country, it is not the capital of Naija. Abuja is the capital city of the nation, and despite not being the most populated, it is just a few figures behind Lagos. By estimation, Abuja hosts about six million people, both citizens, and non-citizens, which is still amazing, a fun fact about Nigeria. Lagos developed faster than the rest of the country since it was the capital city up until 1991.
6. Nigeria is the largest economy in the continent
Of course, with a large population, any country would need to work extra hours to make up for the numbers. However, not all manage to balance these aspects, but luckily Nigeria found a way around this problem. Since 1960, the country’s economy has experienced constant development.
It currently boasts of the largest economy in Africa, with the most significant result coming in 2014 when it recorded a GDP of $568.5 billion. But that is not the only eye-catching fact about Nigeria as it prides itself with the 23rd largest economy in the world.
7. It has the second-largest film industry
I can confidently state that everyone has at least consumed one Nollywood movie. Well, among all the facts, this is the most famous one across the world. In the early 2000s, Nollywood films started gaining popularity within the African borders before exploding to the outside world.
They have since become part of life for some people, and that has made the industry grow as fast as possible. It is currently the second-largest film sector in the world following Bollywood (Indian film industry). Yes, it is larger than that of the United States, which many would be expecting to be leading the pack, an interesting fact about Nigeria.
8. Petroleum accounts for the most substantial part of government revenue
About 70% of Nigeria’s population relies directly or indirectly on agriculture, and many employees work in related companies. However, surprisingly enough, agriculture is not the primary revenue generator. Petroleum is what earns the government most of the money it uses for various activities.
For starters, Nigeria comes 12th worldwide in oil production, which is almost like a given for most West African countries. A fun fact about Nigeria is that it exports more oil than agricultural products. As such, it has been listed as the 8th largest exporter with the 10th largest oil reserves on earth. The GDP, which has a considerable impact on its largest African economy, is, in turn, affected mainly by oil. Petroleum extraction and exportation contributes to 40% of the country/s GDP.
Nigeria not only one of the largest but also the most diverse nations in the world. It leads the African continent in terms of population and economic development. Oh! And we should also mention that Nigerians speak Nigerian Standard English, which is based on U.K English. If you’ve not heard it yet, make friends with a Nigerian, you’ll enjoy it. That’s all we’ve got today about this fantastic country.
I hope that this article on Nigeria facts was helpful! If you are interested, visit the Country Facts Page!