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Purple Hibiscus


Nigeria map"Nigeria, a nation on the west coast of Africa, has more people than any other country in Africa. Nigeria ranks as one of the most populous countries in the world. 

Nigeria is a land of great variety. It has hot, rainy swamplands; dry, sandy areas; grassy plains; and tropical forests. High plateaus and rocky mountains rise in various parts of the country. The population of Nigeria consists of more than 250 ethnic (cultural) groups. About half of the country's people live in rural areas. Nigeria also has several large, crowded cities. Lagos is the chief commercial center. Abuja is the capital of the country.

Most Nigerians earn their livelihood by farming, fishing, or herding. The country is a leading producer of cacao, peanuts, and other crops. In addition, Nigeria has mineral resources, including large deposits of petroleum. Since the late 1960's, profits from Nigeria's oil industry have brought new wealth to the nation. Nigeria has used this wealth to develop new industry, improve its educational system, and modernize its agriculture.

A number of ancient kingdoms developed in the area that is now Nigeria hundreds of years ago. Some of the kingdoms became important cultural and trade centers. The United Kingdom gained control of Nigeria in the late 1800's and the early 1900's. Nigeria was a British colony and protectorate until 1960, when it gained independence."

Onwudiwe, Ebere. "Nigeria." World Book Advanced, World Book, 2021,
"Nigeria." World Book Advanced, World Book, 2021. Online map,

Nigerian People

"The country has more than 250 ethnic groups. These groups differ from one another in language and in some of their customs and traditions. The three largest ethnic groups are, in order of size, the Hausa, the Yoruba, and the Igbo (also spelled Ibo). These three ethnic groups account for about three-fifths of the total population of Nigeria.

The Hausa people live primarily in northern Nigeria and in the neighboring countries of Niger and Chad. Most of them are farmers, and many also are craftworkers and traders. The Hausa have lived in the area for more than a thousand years. During the 1200's, the Fulani, a people who originally came from what are now Senegal and Gambia, began to settle in the Hausa territory. The Fulani took control of the region during the early 1800's. The two peoples intermixed so much that the group is sometimes called the Hausa-Fulani.

The Yoruba live mainly in the southwestern part of the country and in Benin and Togo, two nations that lie to the west of Nigeria. Many of the Yoruba live in cities and farm the land in the surrounding countryside. Several Yoruba cities, including Lagos, were founded hundreds of years ago.

The Igbo form a majority of the population in southeastern Nigeria. In addition, a large number of Igbo live in other areas of the country. During the period of British rule in the 1900's, many Igbo accepted Western education and ways of life more quickly than the other Nigerian ethnic groups. The Igbo were also more willing to travel. As a result, the Igbo held many important positions in business and government during the period of colonial rule."

Onwudiwe, Ebere. "Nigeria." World Book Advanced, World Book, 2021,


"About half the people of Nigeria are Muslims. They make up the majority of the population in the north. Nearly 40 percent of the people are Christians. They live mainly in southern and central parts of Nigeria. Many Nigerians, especially in the rural areas, practice traditional religions based on the worship of many gods and spirits. People throughout the country may combine Christian or Muslim religious practices with traditional beliefs."

Onwudiwe, Ebere. "Nigeria." World Book Advanced, World Book, 2021,