In this article, we have provided comprehensive information on the top 10 smallest states in Nigeria by land area, excluding Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory of the country. We have previously talked about the largest states in Nigeria by land area, that is why it is necessary to also learn about the smallest states in the country. These smallest states are mostly located in the southern part of the nation and are better developed than some of the largest states in the country which are situated in the North. Lagos State is the smallest state in the country and it is by far the richest, also housing a large population of people due to its popularity as the commercial nerve centre of the country. Having said that, let us now focus our attention all states in the federation that make our top 10 list as the smallest in the land.
LIST OF TOP 10 SMALLEST STATES IN NIGERIA BY LAND MASS
Lagos State, with Ikeja as its capital, is the smallest State in Nigeria by land area, covering a total land area of 3,577 kmsq. Irrespective of its small size, Lagos is very densely populated and it is the most densely populated State in the country after Kano. Lagos State is also the richest State in the country and it is the commercial and economic nerve centre of Nigeria. The State houses two major sea ports and it is home to the busiest airport in the country, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport. If Lagos State were a country, it would rank as the fifth largest economy in Africa. The headquarters of many top companies in the country are situated in Lagos State.
Anambra State is the second smallest state in Nigeria after Lagos State, occupying a total land area of 4,844 kmsq. Anambra State has its capital city situated in Awka and it shares boundaries with Delta State to the west, Imo State and Rivers State to the south, Enugu State to the east, and Kogi State to the north. The name of the State was derived from the Anambra River which is one of the longest rivers in Nigeria, flows through the area and is a tributary of the River Niger. Anambra State is an oil producing State in Nigeria and it is also blessed with enormous mineral resources.
Imo State, known as the Eastern Heartland, is the third smallest state in Nigeria, with Owerri as its capital territory. The state occupies a land area of about 5,540 kmsq. Imo State gets its name from the Imo River, which is one of the major rivers in Nigeria. It is part of the nine states which make up the Niger-Delta region and is located in the South-East Geopolitical zone of the country. Mostly dominated by the Igbos, Imo State is the richest state in the South-East. Some of its major towns include Isu, Okigwe, Oguta, Orlu, Atta-Ikeduru, Akokwa, Mbaise, Mbaitoli, Mbieri, Ohaji/Egbema, Orodo, Nkwerre, Ubulu, Ngor-Okpala, Omuma, Owerri, Mgbidi, Awo-Omamma, Izombe, Orsu, and Amaigbo, Umuowa Orlu, Isu/Umuozu.
Ebonyi State can be found in the South-Eastern part of the country. It is the fourth smallest state in Nigeria by land area occupying 5,670 kmsq of land. Ebonyi is one of the least populated states in the Nigeria, its capital city is Abakaliki and majority of its inhabitants are into agriculture making the state a major producer of food crops. Ebonyi State is not as rich as its other counterparts in the South-East.
Abia State is the fifth smallest state in Nigeria by land area and one of the major oil producing states located in the South-East of Nigeria. The State was carved out of Imo State in 1991 and it is predominantly Igbo, a Niger-Delta state as well. Abia has Umuahia as its capital city, with Aba ranking as its most important city. The state occupies 6,320 kmsq of land and it is one of the richest states in Igboland.
Ekiti State is a state in the South-West of the country and it is the sixth smallest state in Nigeria by land area, occupying a total land space of 6,353 kmsq. Ekiti is predominantly a yoruba state and just like Ebonyi State, its population is one of the smallest in the country. Ekiti is famous for having the highest number of professors in Nigeria. Its capital city is Ado Ekiti.
AKWA IBOM STATE
Akwa Ibom State has as its capital city, Uyo. It is the seventh smallest state in Nigeria by land area, occupying a total land mass of 7,081 kmsq and it is located in the South-South geopolitical zone in the country. Akwa Ibom State is the highest oil producing state in Nigeria and one of the richest states in the country. The main ethnic groups in the State are Ibibio, Anaang, Oron, Eket and Obolo.
Enugu State has as its capital city, its namesake, Enugu. It is the eighth smallest state in Nigeria by land area spanning 7,161 kmsq of land. Enugu State is most popular for coal mining and it is home to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The state is located in the South-Eastern part of the country where majority of its inhabitants are Igbo. Enugu State was carved out of old Anambra State in 1991 and its major cities include Enugu, Nsukka, Agbani and Awgu.
Osun State is the ninth smallest state in Nigeria by land area, spanning 9,251 kmsq. The State is a Yoruba state located in the South-West geopolitical zone of the country and it was created from the old Oyo State in 1991. Its capital city is Osogbo. The state is famous for being the cradle of the Yoruba race where it is believed that the entire Yoruba nation originated from Ile-Ife, one of its most important towns. Ile-Ife is famous worldwide for its ancient and naturalistic bronze, stone and terracotta sculptures, dating back to between 1200 and 1400 A.D.
Bayelsa State completes this list. It is the 10th smallest state in Nigeria by land area covering a total land mass of 10,773 kmsq. The State was created in 1996 from Rivers State and it is a very oil rich State located in the South-South geopolitical zone in the country, in the Niger-Delta region. Bayelsa is the least populated State in Nigeria and it has the smallest number of local government areas (8) as well. The capital of Bayelsa State is Yenagoa and the State is where former President, Goodluck Jonathan hails from. It was in Oloibiri, a town in Bayelsa State that crude oil was first discovered in 1956 in commercial quantity and since then, Nigeria has been totally dependent on oil.