List of Minority Ethnic Groups in Nigeria

Nigeria is made of many diverse cultures, tribes, dialects, peoples and states. Though the country is said to have three (3) major ethnic groups which are the Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa, there are other minor ethnic groups that are also included in the federation.


The reason why these tribes are referred to as the minority ethnic groups is because they are not as popular as the main tribes and they have few population when you compare them to the rest. This does not mean that these minor ethnic groups are pushovers when it comes to the development of the nation.

Apart from the development of Nigeria, these ethnic minorities also contributed to the rich cultural heritage which Nigeria boast of across the continent of Africa and beyond. Though these groups might not be as recognized as listed 3 tribes, yet they still stood their ground when it comes to government.

For the benefit of doubt, Nigeria has over 700 different tribes and languages. We shall attempt to list all the minority ethnic groups in the country with explanations for some:

1. Ibibio

This is the first minor ethnic group in Nigeria with more than 6 million people. Based on our research, we found out that this group originated from Akwa Ibom state which consist of Eket community, a Annang, Enyong, Efik, Andomi, Ibeno. It also has cross river state as part of its landed area.

2. Itsekiri

Itsekiri originated from the ancient part of Niger Delta area, Delta state. They’re not that much but can still boast of having more than 2.5 million population. They can also be found across states like Warri, Edo, Ondo, Lagos state, Sapele, and Abuja.

Religion wise, 90% of Itsekiris are Christians while other percent (10%) are Muslims. Its major occupation is fishing and trading.

3. Igala

Igala is mainly seen in Kogi state with over 3 million people, its language is also called Igala language. Religion wise, they are made up of 40% Muslims, while 60% are Christians.

It is somehow related to Yoruba in some of its dressing and culture. The ruler (king) of the Igala speaking people is referred to as “Atah “.

4. Idoma

This is another ethnic minority in the country with a huge number of people. Base on statistics, Idoma has up to 3 million people.

Large portion of Idoma people live in Benue state; occupying 9 local government area(s) in Benue state. You can also see some members of this ethnic group across Cross River, Enugu, Nassarawa states respectively.

5. Igede

This minor ethnic group is also found mostly in Benue state especially in Obi and Oju local government area. With over 1.6 million people, Igede also have its citizens across Osun, Ogun, state.

6. Ijaw

This group is the collection of people from Niger Delta, Bayelsa, Edo, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and riverine part of Ondo state.

Their major occupation is fishing, they’re approximated to be 17 million in population number. Religion wise, 80% are Christians while 20% practice traditional religion.

The rest not explained above are listed below:

  • Isoko
  • Urhobo
  • Nupe
  • Tapa
  • Fulani
  • Ebira
  • Etsako
  • Mafa
  • Ogoni
  • Ogugu
  • Zarma
  • Tiv

That’s all concerning minority ethnic groups in the Nigeria. You may not see your tribe in this list, as we said earlier Nigeria has more than 700 tribes, so please help use the comment to help add it. Thanks

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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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