Nigeria Demography and Economic Geography


Central-West African state. With 140,431,790 residents at the 2006 census and 178,516,904 pop. according to a 2014 UNDESA (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs) estimate, Nigeria remains the most populous country in Africa. The population, which for 54% is under the age of 19, grows by 2.8% annually and is concentrated for 50% in urban areas, especially in the South: Lagos (12,614,000 residents, UNDESA estimate of 2014), Ibadan (3,085,000 residents), Port Harcourt (2,227,000 residents), Benin City (1,453,000 residents) and Onitsha (1,056,000 residents). Other important cities are: the capital, Abuja (2,301,000 residents), in the center of the country, Kano (3,508,000 residents) and Kaduna (1,038,000 residents) in the north.

In the face of some important progress (infant mortality went from 88 ‰ in 2008 to 74.3 ‰ in 2013 and maternal mortality from 2005 to 2013 went from 820 to 560 per 100,000 live births), on the living conditions of population are affected by various negative factors. Life expectancy is very low (52.5 years, 2013), also because the spread of AIDS / HIV (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome / Human Immunodeficiency Virus) continues to weigh.): with 3,200,000 affected people, constantly increasing, the Nigeria is in 2nd place in the world for number of sick people (3% of the Nigerian population between 15 and 49 years and 7.7% of all HIV / AIDS of the world). On this front, however, some results have been achieved: the number of new affected persons per year has gone from 360,000 in 2000 to 220,000 in 2013, although deaths per year are still very numerous (200,000).

One third of the population has no access to safe water and the literacy rate is 60%. Furthermore, poverty is widespread: according to national statistics, it affects 61% of Nigerians (2009-10); according to data from the World Bank, however, it would affect 33% of the population (2012-13), especially in rural areas, where 90% of the population is dedicated to subsistence agricultural activities. Whatever the real extent of the phenomenon, the heaviest problem is represented by inequalities: in rural areas, especially in the North and North-East, the poverty rate is almost four times higher than in urban areas. Furthermore, poverty is on the rise in the North-East, contrary to what happens in the more industrialized South-West.

According to CLOTHESBLISS.COM, there was a significant presence of immigrants, both Africans (Benin, Ghana and Mali) and Europeans, in particular technicians and professionals. The community of Nigerians in Europe (United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Germany) and in other African countries (Chad, Cameroon, Benin, Ivory Coast) is also very large: remittances from abroad increased from 2.3 billion from $ in 2004 to 21 billion in 2012.

Economic conditions. – Following the recalculation of the data and the updating of the sectors taken into consideration for the evaluation of the GDP, the Nigeria, since 2010, has become the first economy of the continent, surpassing South Africa and settling, with a GDP of 594.3 billion $ (2014), ranked 22nd in the world. With a production of 118.157 million tonnes of oil (around 2 million barrels per day, 2013), the country remains the leading African producer (11th worldwide) and leading exporter (5th in the world), especially to Europe. (44% of crude oil exported in 2012), United States (18%), India (12%). Nigeria also has the largest African gas reserves (none worldwide), to a large extent, however, still not adequately exploited due to the lack of infrastructure. But it is precisely this wealth that makes the production structure of Nigeria vulnerable in many ways. As oil represents 90% of exports and 75% of budget revenues, the country is exposed to fluctuations in prices on international markets and drops in production or demand. But vulnerability also manifests itself with respect to some internal factors, first of all endemic corruption, which makes fun of the lack of transparency on real oil revenues and their distribution. To the corruption, then, are added the sabotage of infrastructures (oil pipelines, refineries), acts of vandalism, the kidnappings of personnel, the theft of oil: it is estimated that every day from 100,000 to 500,000 barrels of crude oil are stolen (US-Energy information administration, 2013), i.e. approximately $ 1.7 billion per month (4% of GDP). In fact, Nigeria it was no longer able to reach the production peak recorded in 2005 (2.44 million barrels per day). Finally, to all this, we must add the serious environmental damage, especially in the Niger delta region, affecting cultivated land, air and water, with consequences on the fish resource. It is estimated that in Ogoniland it will take 25-30 years to restore the environmental conditions.

Despite the economy’s dependence on oil, the production structure is nevertheless somewhat diversified. The sustained growth in the period 200310 (on average, + 7.5%), was also based on good results in the agriculture, trade, telecommunications and industry sectors. Agriculture, which benefited from a structural reform, has once again become the leading sector in terms of GDP (22% in 2013, compared to 14.4% for oil), employing 31% of the workforce. Nigeria is in 2nd place in the world for the production of roots and tubers (100 million t, 2012) and sweet potatoes (3.4 million t); in 3rd place for peanuts (3 million t); in 4th place for cocoa (383,000 t) and palm oil (3 million t). Corn production is also significant (12th place, with 9 million t) and rubber (144,000 t); also important is the zootechnical patrimony (57.6 million goats, 38.5 million sheep, 205 million birds).

Growth prospects for the next few years are expected from the energy sector (currently lacking), affected by the reform to open up to private individuals; from the infrastructure sector (especially in transport), whose integrated development plan started in 2013; from the financial sector. The music and cinema sector is very dynamic and lively: Nollywood has become the third largest film industry in the world, after Hollywood and Indian Bollywood. The entertainment industry represents one of the sectors identified for the creation of new jobs (estimated between 50 and 60 million unemployed young people), together with the meat and leather, telecommunications and construction industries. Tourism is also important in its future prospects, with 4,673,000 entries in 2012.

Nigeria Demography and Economic Geography

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