Top 10 Poorest Tribes in Nigeria (2024)

Last updated on April 4th, 2024 at 09:40 pm

In Nigeria, there are three major ethnic groups (Igbo, Yourba and Hausa/Fulani) with about 300 different tribes.

These Nigerian tribes are existent in the 36 states in Nigeria.


But which among them is the poorest Nigerian tribe?

While the nation strives for economic development, some tribes struggle more than others.

Today, we delve into a sensitive yet crucial topic – the ten tribes facing the most significant poverty challenges in Nigeria.

This isn’t about pointing fingers or negativity.

It’s about shining a light on disparity and understanding the root causes.

By acknowledging these issues, we can work towards a more equitable future for all Nigerians.

So, join us as we explore the factors contributing to poverty within these tribes, their unique struggles, and potential solutions.

No one can deny that Nigeria is a wealthy country.

We listed the richest Nigerian states that can even survive without help from the Federal Government.

That being said, the poorest Nigerian tribes and states are areas and villages that are vulnerable and have been left neglected by the Nigerian government for donkey years.

These tribes lack basic social amenities, welfare, good health care system, increase death rates e.t.c all which form the criteria of poverty in Nigeria.

With Nigeria being the most populous country in the African continent, it’s ineluctable that the country will have some numbers of this people to be living in the poverty line.

The country has three significant ethnic groups (which includes Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa/Fulani) adding with about 300 other different ethnic groups.

With these tribes being existent in the 36 states of the country, in any case, you might be thinking of which among them is the most poorest when compared with others.

In the course of this write-up, we will highlight the top ten poorest tribes in Nigeria.

Moreover, it’s not easy to rule out the fact that Nigeria is a wealthy country.

It is very obvious that petroleum is the significant source of wealth in the country, notwithstanding the pervasiveness of agribusiness.

In any case, an incredible level of Nigerian populace lives in the destitution line.

This cuts across pay workers, students, marketers, farmers, etc.

Poverty level is the base monetary strength that is expected to secure essential necessities throughout everyday life.

An individual whose pay falls beneath neediness level is adjudged to be living in poverty.

Looking at the stats, the World Bank uncovered that practically 50% of Nigerians live in the poverty line – $2 dollars daily.

As indicated by reports delivered on 2018, the joblessness rate topped to 23.1%.

As per the world bank “Nigeria is a nation encountering significant level of disparity along geographic lines, with high poverty focus in Northern and local areas.”

Additionally, in 2024, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBC) said that over 40% of the country are living in poverty and destitution. NBC used $1 dollar as a norm of assessment.

This figure implies that 5 out of each 10 Nigerian, procures below $1 every day.

Ordinarily, this can relates to that 82 million Nigerians lives in poverty as per reports by National Bureau of Statistics.

From all what we have seen in the stats of the poverty level in the country, which areas in the country is most affected?

It’s certain that not all tribes making up the areas of Nigeria are rated the same in terms of poverty.

The poverty level is being contingent upon factors like socio-economic activities, employment availability, population, and other related variables which influences the rise of poverty in a tribe or an area.

Continue reading this piece, as we unravel the most poorest tribes in the country.

These criteria are the most prevalent that shows the poverty rate in tribes of Nigeria. Now, lets look at the states in Nigeria that are poor according to the National Bureau of Statistics poverty ratings.


National Bureau of Statistics poverty ratings
Zamfara 70.8%
Kebbi 72.0%
Bauchi 73.0%
Ebonyi 73.6%
Plateau 74.1%
Jigawa 74.1%
Gombe 74.2%
Adamawa 74.2%
Katsina 74.5%
Sokoto 81.2%


From the above table, we can see the level of poverty within Nigeria states, in no particular order lets now see the poorest ethnic groups, living on the territory of the country.

  1. Igbo. After the Civil War, people of this ethnicity continued to suffer. Although they boast of rich business men, they are seen struggling for their rights. They are still neglected by their various state government. That’s why they have become one of the poorest tribes in the whole country. Many Igbos had to move from their native places to the west because of the lack of infrastructure, poor business environment and other facilities.
  2. Yoruba. This is another great ethnicity of the country. But many people claim that the youths in this tribe are really poor. This is because of the bad leaders in this region. Apart from Lagos, they do not have access to all the modern facilities, such as, for instance, roads. Though many of them are creative and intelligent, they are neglected and badly treated by the government.
  3. Fulani. This group lives in such states, as Plateau. And as you know, it is very liable to clashes, herdsmen and terrorist attacks, which have made this tribe not very rich. They are the poorest tribe in the country today. The Fulani people are one of the largest ethnic groups in Nigeria and extensively in West Africa, where they are widely dispersed across the region. This tribe has been attributed as one of the poorest in Nigeria. The reason for this is because most of the primary states of the tribe are living below the poverty line. The states with Fulani roots include: Bauchi, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Taraba, Borno, Niger, Sokoto, Kaduna e.t.c.
  4. Hausa. Just like the Fulani’s, they also live in the most suffering states, such as Sokoto. Thus, it is impossible to avoid poverty in such case. The Hausa are the largest ethnic group in Nigeria, with a total population of about 80 million. They also qualify as the single most numerous African ethnic group. With roots in Bauchi, Kano, Borno, Niger, Taraba, Zamfara and Kebbi states which all have an average poverty ratings of 70%, the tribe can be classified as one of the poorest.
  5. Kanufi. They are one of the biggest tribes as well. And they occupy the most suffering lands. This fact has added them into our list.
  6. Kanuri. The Kanuri tribe is an African ethnic group that is the dominant element of the population of Bornu state in northeastern Nigeria. The group is also found in large numbers in the southeastern part of Niger. With the Kanuri tribe contributing significantly to the population of Nigeria, it is sure to say that a lot of them lives in abject poverty. Also, with the occupying states of the tribe being rated high in terms of poverty, the ethnic group can be seen as the most poorest in the country. The states are Borno, Niger Adamawa, Kano, Jigawa, Taraba, Kaduna, Plateau e.t.c. Looking at NBS stats, most of these states has poverty ratings around 72%.
  7. Uncinda. This is a tribe in the northern part of the country. The ethnic group is found in states like Kebbi, Sokoto, Kaduna, Niger e.t.c. With these areas rated high in terms of poverty level, Uncinda, can likewise be seen as one of the poorest tribes in Nigeria.
  8. Kurama. This is an unpopular tribe in Nigeria. They are known generally as the Kurama, and are situated to the north and north-west of the Katab in the Zaria province. In terms of population, the Kurama people number between 11,000 and 12,000 persons and in terms of leadership, they are administered by the Emir of Zaria. With roots in Niger, Jigawa, Plateau and primarily Kaduna states, this tribe is below the poverty level ratings.
  9. Jukun. Jukun tribe are people living on the upper Benue River in Nigeria. The ethnic group has a high poverty rating of about 73% and they are located in Benue, Taraba and Bauchi states.
  10. Lunguda. With Lunguda ethnic group being situated in Bauchi and Adamawa, they are one of the most poorest tribes in the country. The two states has a poverty rating as high as 74% to earn the tribe this unwanted place in the list.
  11. Higgi. Higgi is a tribe and language that is primarily from Michika Local Government Area in Adamawa State of Nigeria. The language is made up of 24 dialects with Aghummu and Kammwe being the two major dialects. This tribe is situated in a region that is known for high inclination to poverty – Adamawa and Borno states.
  12. Angas. The Angas people are a minority ethnic group that is found majorly in Plateau State. They are also known as Ngas and the Kerang. They are attributed as one of the poorest tribes in Nigeria, due to their presence in regions with high poverty rating. Their root states, Plateau, Bauchi and Jigawa has poverty ratings of 74.1%, 73.0% and 74.1% respectively.
  13. Terawa. Terawa is yet another ethnic group that make up the list of the top ten poorest tribes in Nigeria. Having roots in Borno and Bauchi states, the ethnic group is seen as one of the poorest in the country.

Nigeria is vast and is still a developing nation with various problems, among which includes economic and security problems.

There are much more causes of such high poverty rate in many states.

These include corruption, ethnic clashes, economic instability, among others.

All these must stop so that the tide may change for tribes in Nigeria.

Those were the most poorest tribes in Nigeria.

With the above information, obviously minority ethnic groups are the most influenced of all.

With the unsteady state of Nigeria’s economy, what else could truly be the reason for this drawn out difficulty?

Some other factors that influences poverty ratings in an area include: Unemployment; Conflicts and insecurity; Bad government administration; Lack of fundamental Infrastructure; Poor Social Amenities; and other related variables.

On a last note, the government in the country should focus on the primary issues causing poverty rise in Nigeria.

Making an equilibrium in the wealth distribution chain is a decent method to begin.

Among all these tribes listed above, the Hausa and Fulani speaking tribes are the poorest tribes in Nigeria even though they boast of having wealthy business men and also control political power in the country.

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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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