How many languages in Nigeria?

What do you know about languages in Nigeria? What is the situation with native languages in Nigeria?

Nigeria is English

Nigeria can speak almost 521 languages. Nevertheless, Nigeria is a former colony of Great Britain and it still, saves connections with England as a country of the Commonwealth. Therefore, the official language of Nigeria is English. Still, English is much more popular in the urban areas of the country. There are also ten other languages that are most popular in Nigeria. The diversity of languages is fantastic as the diversity of nations gathered under one country. Still, despite the popularity of other languages, English is still considered as a language of the educated people. Nigerians can`t enter university without knowing English. It`s impossible to create any official document without knowing English in Nigeria.

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Hausa language

This language is often associated with Muslims of Nigeria. Its spoken region is situated in the West Africa. There are more than 19 million people for whom The Hausa language is native. These people can be found in Gombe, Kebbi, Zamfara, Jigawa, Kano, Bauchi, Katsina, Sokoto states. Hausa can also be rated as a second language for more than sixteen millions of citizens. The Hausa language was prompted on international radio stations, like Voice of Russia, China International Radio, and BBC.

Igbo Language

The Igbo language is spoken by more than twenty-four people in Nigeria. They are primarily descents from Igbo tribe. This tribe is mostly situated in Imo, Enugu, Ebonyi, Anambra and Abia States. Igbo can also be found in parts of Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom states.  People who speak this language can also be found in some areas of Cameroun, Equatorial Guinea. People of Igbo tribe made a great influence on the Nigeria music and movie industry. It should be mentioned that a popular rapper Don Jazzy is also a descent of Igbo tribe. One of the most beautiful women in Nigeria, Genevieve Nnaji, is also a descent from Igbo tribe.

Igbo Language

Yoruba language

Yoruba is a native language for almost nineteen millions of people in Nigeria. This language territory can be found in Lagos, Kwara, Osun, Ondo, Ogun, Oyo states. In parts of Kogi state, you can also hear people speaking the Yoruba language. It can also be named a language of Nigerian immigrants in the USA and the UK. Nevertheless, Yoruba were one of the first people who tried to discover the world outside Nigeria. Unfortunately, many of them had a tragic destiny, like slavery, criminal activity, prostitution. Still, it`s one of the top spoken Nigerian languages outside Nigeria.

Fulfulde language

Fulfulde is the language of cattle pastoralists in the Sahel. This language can also be found in parts of the northern Nigeria. There are more than 1.8 million people in Nigeria for whom this language is native. The representatives of this language can be found in Sokoto, Bororo, Maiduguri, Jos plateau, Zaria, Kano, and Katsina. This language can be found in Fulani diaspora throughout the world. It`s also one of the most spoken languages for Nigerian immigrants. Nevertheless, it`s also one of the most popular languages for Nigerian music and culture.

Fulfulde language


It`s also one of the most spoken languages in the country with over three million of native speakers. They are mainly located in states, like Jigawa, Yobe, and Borno. There more than 500 000 people who can say that Kanuri language is their second. Kanuri language is also spoken in countries, like Cameroon, Niger, and Chad. Small minorities of this language can be traced in Libya and Sudan. This language is usually associated with Bornu and Kane Empires which dominated in Lake Chad long time ago. It`s a written language which used Ajai Arabic script. Nevertheless, in recent times it became strongly associated with Latin script.

Ijaw language

Ijaw can be heard from almost two million people in Nigeria. They are mostly situated in Ekiti, Ondo, Delta and Bayelsa states. Some dialects currently exist in West Tarairi, Ikibiri, Egbema, and Arogbo. Ijaw languages can be traditionally traced to the Niger-Congo family of languages. Ijaw language is spoken by more than one hundred thousand people beyond Nigeria. It`s currently developed in the states, like Bayelsa. Especially after official government ceremony in 2013. The Niger Delta University also works on expanding of the language by trying to provide the range of books on Ijaw language.

Ijaw language

Pidgin English language

Pidgin English language is a mix of ethnic Nigerian languages and English. Pidgin English is the native language for more than five million of citizens. It can be operated as the lingua franca across Nigeria. Moreover, each of the 250 ethnic groups of Nigeria can converse this language and add own additional words. It also has connections with Portuguese and Spanish languages. Nevertheless, it can be overviewed as a synthesis of different languages. Pidgin language variations can be found in many parts of the world, where British soldiers made their steps. There are Pidgin Chinese language, Pidgin Hindu Language, Japanese Pidgin Language and others.

Tiv language

Tiv is spoken by more than two million of people in Nigeria. There are even some speakers in Cameroon. You can found most Nigerian Tiv speakers in Benue State. This language can also be heard in states of Cross River, Nasarawa, Plateau and FCT Abuja. This language is a representative of Niger-Congo family. Therefore, the speakers of Tiv are mostly situated in the South East of Nigeria. Tiv people have their leaders, and they can be ranged as first class Chief (Tor Tiv) and second class chief (Ter). They are responsible for the government traditional council.

Tiv language

Ibibio Language

The Ibibio language is spoken by more than 1.5 million of people in Nigeria. They are mostly situated in Akwa Ibom State.  A few decades ago Ibibio people even asked for the recognition of their nation from British. There are over five million Ibibio people presented in the world. Most of them are situated in Nigeria. They are also located in Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Trinidad and Tobago and Cameroon. They are closed by culture and personal views with Anna, Ekid, Oron and Ibeno. They have many traditions, one of the most famous in the world is wearing masks.

Edo language

Edo is a native language for at least one million people in Nigeria. Most of them are situated in the Edo State. It was an interesting situation about the extinction of Bini language. The alarm arose in 2013. Nevertheless, it can be a situation connected with not united Edo language. More people in the Edo State prefer to speak English or Pidgin English. Moreover, some of them don`t speak their native language even at homes or on the streets.

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