Nigeria is made up of 36 states and a Federal Capital Territory. The West African country is made up of over 200 million people scattered in six different regions. Nigeria is also made up of over 250 tribes with varying dialects.
In September 2022, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced Nigeria as the country with the most out-of-school children in the world, the country was awakened to the high rate of illiteracy growing across its quarters. Schools across the country were in ruins while poverty, corruption, and poor infrastructure had been the norm in Nigeria.
Nonetheless, despite these shortcomings, there exist some states in Nigeria where the out of school children are considerably low. This article brings the most educated states in Nigeria.
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Nigerian states with the largest literacy rate
|Rank||State||Literacy rate (%)|
1. Imo State
Literacy rate: 80%
The state of Imo is the most literate in Nigeria with a literacy rate of over 80% of its population. The state has a large population that can read and write the English language with ease.
The educational system in Imo state has been an averagely excellent standard system enrolling persons to learn under the best educational environs offered in Nigeria.
2. Lagos State
Literacy rate: 77.5%
Lagos State is the 2nd most literate state in Nigeria with a literacy rate of 77.5% of its population as literate. The state of Lagos is the country’s most populated state with over 20 million people, a majority of the population speak, read and write proper English according to African standards.
Lagos state runs a free education system with an aim to educate all Nigerians living in Lagos, whether indigenes or not. The state has since attracted Nigerians from far and wide through its free education for all offerings. Though not the best education system overall, Lagos is nonetheless, the state with the best free educational system.
3. Anambra state,
Literacy rate: 75.1%
Anambra is among the Nigerian states with some of the best educational systems in Nigeria. The state’s educational successes are largely the best compared to all the 36 states and the Federal capital territory. Anambra state public schools have some of the best standards and are sometimes mistaken for private schools by most Nigerians.
Nonetheless, the state doesn’t run a free educational system. Anambra state is Nigeria’s most literate state without a free educational system. What is most surprising is that the state has never since history ran a free education system. In 2015, the Anambra state board announced that it made over 500 million Naira from public school fee collection.
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4. Federal Capital Territory
Literacy rate: 74.7%
Technically not a state but the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has an educational system worth writing of. The FCT runs a free educational system for all persons living in the FCT.
The FCT also has an averagely standard educational system, all these successes push it to the top 4 locations in Nigeria with a standard educational system.
5. Ekiti State
Literacy rate: 74.1% l
Following Abuja closely is Ekiti state, the state is bragged to have some of the most educated people in the country today. Ekiti is the southwest’s 2nd most educated state after Lagos with a literacy rate of 74.1% of its population.
Ekiti state has an average standard educational system but leverages its coverage to gain strengths. The state has continued to advocate and operate a free educational system for all its population, whether indigenes or not. In 2012, the state was ranked the 4th richest state ahead of Abuja by UNESCO and also Nigeria’s 2nd lowest number of out-of-school children.
6. Abia State
Literacy rate: 72.5%
Abia State is yet another state that has made considerable success in its educational system. The state is home to some of the smartest Nigerians, a survey conducted by the University of Calabar in 2011, showed Abia state had the smartest Nigerians with an average IQ of 60% of the general population.
The State of Abia was the country’s best in the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016,2018 and 2019; the state was the second best in 2014, 2020 and the third best state in 2015, and 2017. In 2021, Abia state finished as the fourth-best state, this was the first time the state didn’t finish among the top three in over a decade.
Just like Anambra, the state of Abia doesn’t run a free educational system.
7. Rivers State
Literacy rate: 70.8%
Rivers state is the seventh most literate state in the country. A majority of the Rivers state populace obtain at least a high school degree. Rivers state educational facilities are also some of the best in the country today.
The Rivers state’s capital, Port-Harcourt, is argued to be the most literate city in the entire country with over 90% of Nigerians in Port-Harcourt being literate.
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8. Enugu State
Literacy rate: 70.1%
Enugu is the third state in the southeast on the list. The state has also considerably done excellently well in the SSCE examinations.
Nonetheless, education has been largely politicized in the state of Enugu, with politicians using the free education policy as a campaign promise. In 2011, the elected governor declared free education in Enugu for the first time in the history of the state, free education ended in 2015 when the governor won another term.
Free education has been on hold from 2015 to 2022, in January 2022 (11 months before the election of 2023) the Enugu government inaugurated the free education policy yet again. It is believed that this would be changed upon the conclusion of the elections in 2023.
9. Edo State
Literacy rate: 68.7%
Edo state is the 9th most literate state in the country. The state has topped the SSCE examinations table twice in the last decade and has done considerably well in education.
According to the UNESCO report, Edo also had one of the lowest percentages of out-of-school children in Nigeria.
10. Delta State
Literacy rate: 67%
Delta State is another south-south state with a high literacy rate. The state has some of the best educational facilities in the country for its public education system.
Delta also runs a free educational system with its states for all Nigerians.
There are six geopolitical zones in Nigeria, a majority the literate states cut across all southern Nigerian zones with only the FCT coming from the North-central zone.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Nigeria has a literacy rate of 50.2% overall.
The southeast zone is the most developed geopolitical zone in Nigeria with four out of five states being in the top 10 literate states.