10 Smallest states in Nigeria

Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa and the most populated black nation on the planet. The country has a landmass of 923,768 square kilometres and is one of the continent’s biggest countries by size. 

Nigeria has 36 states and a Federal Capital Territory, the country is located in the west African region close to the bight of Biafra. Nigeria is bordered to the east by Cameroon, to the west by the Benin Republic, to the North by Niger and to the south by the Atlantic Ocean. The country has 6 geopolitical zones, which are the southeast, the southwest, the south-south, the northeast, the northwest and the north-central zones.

This article lists the smallest states in Nigeria by landmass. 

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Smallest state in Nigeria by land mass.

RankStatesLand area (km2)
1.Lagos3,345
2.Anambra state4,844
3.Imo state5,530
4.Ebonyi state5,670
5.Abia state6,320
6.Ekiti state6,353
7.Akwa Ibom state7,081
8.Enugu state7,161
9.Federal Capital Territory7,315
10.Osun state9,251

1. Lagos state

Land area: 3,345 km2

Lagos is the smallest state in Nigeria with a land area of 3,345 km2, the Oyo state capital, Ibadan has a land area of 3,080 km2, which is almost 70% of the entire Lagos state. Nonetheless, Lagos is also the richest, and most economically vibrant state in the country. The state is also argued to be Nigeria’s most technologically advanced state and is the most developed state in Nigeria, with a development index of 0.686.

Lagos has a population of over 20 million people and a density of 2,500 people per square kilometre making it the most densely populated state in Nigeria. Its per capita income is $4,333 with an economy of over $100 billion in GDP.

2. Anambra state

Land area: 4,844 km2

Anambra state is the second smallest state in Nigeria. The state is bordered to the north by Kogi and Enugu states, the west by Delta state, the east by Abia state and the south by Imo state. The state has a large diversified economy with a population of over 11 million people and is the 8th most populated state in the country.

Its major cities include Onitsha, Awka and Nnewi. Anambra state is also home to the largest open-air market in west Africa. 

The state of Anambra has a density of 860 persons per square kilometre, a per capita income of $3,200 and is the 3rd most developed state in the country with an HDI of 0.656.

3. Imo state

Land area: 5,530 km2

Imo state is the third smallest state in Nigeria with a land area of 5,530 km2. The state is bordered to the east by Abia state, the south by Rivers state, the west by Anambra state and the north by Enugu state. Imo state’s economy is significantly influenced by tourism, agriculture and petroleum.

The Imo state’s capital, Owerri, is one of Nigeria’s few cities with the highest hotels and entertainment centres. The state has a population of over four million people and is the 13th most populated state in Nigeria. 

Imo state has a per capita of $3,527 and a GDP of over $14 billion. The state is Nigeria’s 5th most developed state with a development index of 0.643. 

4. Ebonyi state

Land area: 5,670 km2

Ebonyi is another state in the southeast geopolitical zone. The state is bordered to the north by Benue state, the west by Enugu state, the east by Cross River state and the south by Abia state. Ebonyi state has a population of over 3 million people and a density of 630 people per square kilometre. 

The state has a GDP per capita of $3,222 and an economy of $16.50 billion. A majority of its GDP is derived from agriculture, with the state being the largest producer of rice in southern Nigeria. Ebonyi is Nigeria’s 20th most developed state with an HDI of 0.567.

Also read: 10 Biggest economic problems in Nigeria

5. Abia state

Land area: 6,320 km2

Abia state is another southeastern state on the list. The state is bordered to the north by Enugu and Ebonyi, to the west by Imo state, to the east by cross rivers state and to the south by Rivers and Akwa Ibom states. The state’s largest city is Aba, which is known for its craftsmanship, production and trade with strong influence in commerce. 

Abia state has a population of over four million people living in a land area of 6,320 km2 and a density of 650 persons per square kilometre. Abia state has a per capita of $3,003, an economy of over 18 billion and an HDI of 0.640 as the 8th most developed state in Nigeria.

6. Ekiti state

Land area: 6,353 km2

Ekiti state is the second smallest state in the southwest. The state is bordered to the north by Kwara and Kogi states, the east and south by Ondo state, and the west by Osun state. 

Ekiti state has a population of over two million people on a land area of 6,353 km2. The state has a density of 350 persons per square kilometre and a development index of 0.611 and is the 13th most developed state in Nigeria. 

Ekiti’s economy is largely influenced by agriculture and trade. The state has a per capita income of $1, 169 and a GDP of over $2 billion.

7. Akwa Ibom state

Land area: 7,081 km2

Akwa Ibom state is the smallest state in the south-south region of Nigeria with a land area of 7,081 km2. The state is bordered to the east by Cross River state, the west by Rivers and Abia states, the south by Cross Rivers state and the north by Abia state.

Akwa Ibom state has a population of over five million people with a density of 770 persons per square kilometre. The state’s economy is dependent on petroleum, agriculture and manufacturing. Its largest city and capital is Uyo. Akwa Ibom has a per capita of $2,779, an economy of over $11 billion and a development index of 0.604 being Nigeria’s 17th most developed state.

8. Enugu state

Land area: 7,161 km2

The state of Enugu is the biggest in the southeast by land area. The state is bordered to the north by Benue and Kogi states, the east by Ebonyi state, the south by Abia state and the west by Anambra state. 

The state has a population of over three million people and a density of 205 people per square kilometre. 

9. Abuja (FCT)

Land area: 7,315 km2

Technically the FCT is not a state but rather a territory serving as the capital of Nigeria. The FCT has a population of over one million people and a population density of 88 people per square kilometre.

The FCT is the 8th most developed territory in Nigeria with a development index of 0.640. 

10. Osun

Land Area: 9,251 km2  

Osun is a southwestern state bordered by Kwara to the north, Ondo and Ekiti to the east and Ogun to the west. The state of Osun has a per capita of $2,076 and an economy of over $7 billion. 

The state is the 14th most developed state in Nigeria with an HDI of 0.609.

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Conclusion

Nigerian states all have forms of trade to sustain their economies. Some states possess very large sizes than others. The southeast region is the smallest in Nigeria by size, with all southeast states making it to the list of the smallest states in Nigeria.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which state is the largest state in Nigeria by land?

Niger state is Nigeria’s largest state by land area with 76,363 km2.

Which state is the smallest in Northern Nigeria?

Gombe state is Northern Nigeria’s smallest state with a land area of 18,768 km2.

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Richard Okoroafor

Richard Okoroafor

Richard is a brilliant legal content writer who doubles as a finance lawyer. He brings his wealth of legal knowledge in corporate commercial transactions to bear, offering the best value that exceeds expectations.

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