Lagos, Nigeria Population

Population in Urban Area, now

14,100,790

Population in City Area, 2019-09-05

9,000,000

Lagos Urban Area Population Graph

Lagos Population Review

The sprawling metropolis of Lagos is Nigeria’s largest city. Until 1991, it was also the capital of Nigeria until Abuja replaced Lagos as the federal capital. Lagos has 9 million people living in the city proper and 14 million or so in the urban area. This makes it not only the largest city in Nigeria but also the largest cities in Sub-saharan Africa followed closely by Cairo, Egypt.

Lagos is a huge city whose topography is made up of by systems of sandbars, islands, and lagoons. The low-lying city covers 1,171 square kilometers and encompasses what used to be four islands: Victoria Island, Lagos, Iddo, and Ikoyi. Land reclamation over the years has meant that some of the former islands are no longer true islands and are connected to the mainland.

A massive population that’s still on the rise

While 14 million people is nothing to scoff at, Lagos’ population continues to rise. In 50 years, the city went from just 1.3 million inhabitants to the 14 million it has today and shows no sign of stopping. Experts predict that by 2035, the city will have 24.4 million people and that by 2050, the population will double and make the city one of the top three largest in the entire world. Unfortunately, Lagos’ and Nigeria's meteoric growth means that resources and housing continue to be spread thin and much of the population struggles with poverty.

From penthouses to slums

When it comes to the distribution of wealth, Lagos is a city of extremes. The city has over 6,000 millionaires (and even multi-millionaires and a handful of billionaires). However, most of the city’s residents live in total poverty. 66% of the population of Lagos lives in slums and the city has been called the “mega-city of slums”—a less than flattering title. The slum of Makoko, which has about 100,000 people living there, is rampant with crime and dangerous for the inhabitants.

An ethnic smorgasbord

Lagos has a very diverse population due to immigration from surrounding areas and other parts of Nigeria. While the Yoruba people were the original inhabitants of the area and remain the largest ethnic group, Lagos also has 250 other ethnic groups that call the city home. There are also small communities of British, Greek, Chinese, American, Lebanese, and Japanese people living in the city. There are also communities in Lagos made up of ex-slaves from the Americas and from Sierra Leone, where they were of Afro-Brazilian and Afro-Cuban descent.

Review Updated: October 18, 2019
Lagos business districtLagos business district

Lagos Urban Area Population History

1950 325,000
1951 342,000
1952 359,000
1953 386,000
1954 425,000
1955 468,000
1956 516,000
1957 569,000
1958 627,000
1959 692,000
1960 762,000
1961 840,000
1962 926,000
1963 1,021,000
1964 1,087,000
1965 1,135,000
1966 1,186,000
1967 1,239,000
1968 1,295,000
1969 1,353,000
1970 1,414,000
1971 1,477,000
1972 1,571,000
1973 1,671,000
1974 1,777,000
1975 1,890,000
1976 2,010,000
1977 2,138,000
1978 2,274,000
1979 2,418,000
1980 2,572,000
1981 2,736,000
1982 2,909,000
1983 3,094,000
1984 3,291,000
1985 3,500,000
1986 3,723,000
1987 3,960,000
1988 4,212,000
1989 4,479,000
1990 4,764,000
1991 5,067,000
1992 5,318,000
1993 5,531,000
1994 5,752,000
1995 5,983,000
1996 6,223,000
1997 6,471,000
1998 6,731,000
1999 7,000,000
2000 7,281,000
2001 7,572,000
2002 7,875,000
2003 8,190,000
2004 8,519,000
2005 8,859,000
2006 9,195,000
2007 9,492,000
2008 9,799,000
2009 10,115,000
2010 10,441,000
2011 10,778,000
2012 11,127,000
2013 11,486,000
2014 11,856,000
2015 12,239,000
2016 12,634,000
2017 13,042,000
2018 13,463,000
2019 13,904,000

Lagos Urban Area Population Projections

2020 14,368,000
2021 14,862,000
2022 15,388,000
2023 15,946,000
2024 16,536,000
2025 17,156,000
2026 17,804,000
2027 18,475,000
2028 19,166,000
2029 19,875,000
2030 20,600,000
2031 21,339,000
2032 22,091,000
2033 22,856,000
2034 23,632,000
2035 24,419,000

Map of Lagos, Nigeria

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