Top 5 People Groups

Yoruba of Nigeria: 29,337,000

Hausa: 26,389,000

Igbo of Nigeria: 24,947,000

Fulani: 11,857,000

Kanuri of Nigeria: 5,949,000


Christian: 50.5%

Evangelical: 19.7%

Muslim: 43.5%

Ethnic: 5.7%


Operation World

CIA Factbook

Joshua Project

Sometimes referred to as “the Giant of Africa,” Nigeria is home to over 174 million people. It is the most populous nation in the African continent and the seventh most populous country in the world. A member of the Commonwealth of Nations, Nigeria gained independence from Britain in 1960. Today it is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and the federal capital area of Abuja.

Although constitutionally it is a secular country, there is a sharp divide between Muslims who live mostly in the north and Christians who live in the central and southern regions. Persecution of Christians by violent Islamist groups in the north continues to grow. Hundreds of churches have been burned and many believers killed. Since 1999, local Muslim leaders have imposed sharia law in nine northern states and parts of several others. The jihadist militant group Boko Haram is based in northeastern Nigeria and is allegedly responsible for between 3,000 to 10,000 deaths since its founding in 2001.

There are 531 ethnic groups in Nigeria, of which 114 are considered relatively unreached by Christianity. The three major ethnic groups are the Hausa/Fulani, Igbo, and Yoruba. Rivalry between these groups continues to dominate Nigerian politics.

Figures are difficult to confirm, but Joshua Project reports that 50.3% of Nigeria´s population are Christians, 43.6% are Muslims, and 5.8% adhere to other religions. Evangelicals make up 19.7 percent of the Christian population.