Top 10 Largest States in Nigeria by Landmass

Last updated on August 4th, 2023 at 09:28 pm

The Nigerian landmass is not divided equally between the 36 states and FCT. While some have a land area of an area of more than 70,000kmsq and are bigger than some countries, others have a small land area of less than 5,000kmsq.

In Nigeria, the largest states are located in the northern part of the country, dominated by the Hausa-Fulani ethnic group.

The largest and biggest state in Nigeria by land area is Niger state, measuring a land area size of 76,363 km², while the smallest Nigerian state in the country is Lagos State.

This article will discuss the top 10 largest states in Nigeria by landmass. It is worthy of note that this states are some of the poorest in the country.


According to the Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics, here are Nigeria’s largest states and their measurements by land area.

Rank State Land Area (km²)
1 Niger 76,363
2 Borno 70,898
3 Taraba 54,473
4 Kaduna 46,053
5 Bauchi 45,837
6 Yobe 45,502
7 Zamfara 39,762
8 Adamawa 36,917
9 Kebbi 36,800
10 Benue 34,059


Located in north central Nigeria, Niger state is the largest state in Nigeria; it has a land area of 76,363kmsq. It is about 22.8 times the size of Lagos state, ten times the size of Akwa Ibom and 3.7 times the size of Kano state.

Niger state is larger than countries in Africa like Sierra Leone, Togo, Guinea Bissau, Lesotho, Equatorial Guinea, Burundi, Rwanda, Djibouti, Swaziland, Gambia, Cape Verde, Comoros, Mauritius, Sao Tome and Principe, and Seychelles.

However, it is the 18th most populous state in the country; this shows that land area is not a yardstick for a large population.

Niger state has 25 local government areas and houses two Nigerian former military rulers; Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar. The slogan of Niger is “The power state”

It is host to Kainji Dam and Shiroro Dam, the 2 major hydroelectric power stations in the country. The famous Gurara Falls and Kainji National Park is also in this state.


Borno state is located in north eastern Nigeria and it is the second largest state in Nigeria. It has a landmass of about 57,799 km2 (22,316 sq mi) making it the second biggest.

It is twenty one times the area of Lagos, ten times the size of Akwa Ibom and 3.5 times the size of Kano state. It is also bigger than all the African countries stated above with exception of Sierra Leone.

There are 27 local government areas in Borno state and The motto or slogan of the state is “Home of Peace”. This is ironic as this state is one of the states that had suffered in the hand of the Boko Haram insurgence.

The state is the 18th most populous state in the country. Again, large land area does not equate large population.


Taraba state is located in the north east geopolitical zone of Nigeria. It has an area extent of 54,473kmsq making the third largest state in Nigeria.

Ironically, this third biggest state is the 30th most populous state in the country. There are 16 local government areas in Taraba state and its capital is Jalingo.

It is 16.3 times bigger than Lagos, 7.7 times larger than Akwa Ibom and 2.7 times the size of Kano. The slogan of Taraba is “Nature’s Gift To The Nation” and the main occupation or economcal base of the people within this state is Agriculture.

The prominent Mambilla Plateau is located in this state. Some prominent languages spoken in Taraba state include: Akum, Bukwen, Esimbi, Fali of Baissa, Fulfulde, Adamawa, Jiba, Njerep, Tha, Yandang, Yotti and Ywom.


Kaduna state is the 4th largest state by landmass in Nigeria and has a land area of about 46,053kmsq.

It is 13.8 times the size of Lagos, 6.5 times the size of Akwa Ibom and 2.3 times larger than Kano.

Unlike the above states, the large landmass of Kaduna state corresponds with it population as it is the third most populated state in Nigeria according to the 2006 census.

Kaduna state is located in North West Nigeria and have the city of Kaduna as it capital. The new slogan of Kaduna state is Centre of Learning (formerly Liberal State)

The state boasts of having some of the best and unique schools. It is also a home to several military bases and schools.


The 5th largest state in Nigeria by landmass is Bauchi state with an area extent of about 45,502kmsq.

In terms of population, it ranks 7th in the country. The state is 13.6 times the size of Lagos, 6.4 times the area of Akwa Ibom and 2.3 times the size of Kano.

The state is located in northern Nigeria and has the city of Bauchi as its capital. It is home to the popular Yankari Game Reserve, the largest game reserve in Nigeria.


This state is located in the North Eastern part of the country and has Damaturu as it Capital; it is the 6th largest state in the country with a size a little less than that of Bauchi.

Its area extent is about 45,502kmsq. The state is one of the most populated in the country, taking the 6th spot of the most populous state.


Zamfara state is one of the largest states in Nigeria ranking 7th on the list in terms of land mass.

The state has an area extent of about 39,762kmsq making it 11.9 times larger than Lagos, 5.6 times bigger than Akwa Ibom and approximately twice the size of Kano.

However, it ranks 23rd in terms of human population. The state is located in North Western Nigeria and has Gusau as it capital.


Adamawa state has a land area of 36,917kmsq bringing it as the 8th largest states in Nigeria.

It is 11 times the size of Lagos state, 5.21 times the size of Akwa Ibom and 1.8 times the size of Kano. Adamawa is bordered by Borno to the northwest, Gombe to the west and Taraba to the southwest. It also shares its eastern border with Cameroon.

There are 21 local government areas in Adamawa state and the main economical base of its citizens is Agriculture. The new slogan of Adamawa state is “The Land of Promise”


Kwara ranks 9th on the list of states in Nigeria that are big in terms of area. It is located in north central Nigeria and has the city of Ilorin as it Capital.

Kwara has a land area of about 36,825 kmsq, making it 11 times bigger than Lagos and almost 5.21 times the size of Akwa Ibom and 1.8 times Kano’s size.

Just like most states on the list, agriculture is the primary economic activity here.

Kwara is a state in Western Nigeria with its capital at Ilorin. The primary ethnic group in Kwara is Yoruba, with other minorities such as Nupe, Bariba, and Fulani also in existence there


Kebbi state is one of the states in the country that shares boundary with other countries (it shares with Niger Republic and Benin Republic). Kebbi has a total area of 36,800 km².

It has a size almost the size of Kwara state. In terms of population, it ranks 22.

Kebbi is also a state in north-western geopolitical zone in Nigeria, and has its capital at Birnin Kebbi. Originally, the state was carved out of Sokoto State in 1991. The following states share boundaries with Kebbi State: Sokoto, Niger State, Zamfara State, Dosso Region in the Republic of Niger and the nation of Benin.

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Oluchi Chukwu

Oluchi is a seasoned Information blogger, content developer and the editor of Nigerian Queries. She is a tech enthusiast who loves reading, writing and research

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