The major Yoruba states in the country are six in number and they are all located in the south-western geopolitical zone in Nigeria.
Being one of the major tribes in the country, people that belong to this ethnic group are numerous in Nigeria and as such, they span across different states in the country.
In fact, about 21% of the Nigerian population are Yorubas and they are among the popular languages spoken in Nigeria today.
This article will give the full list of Yoruba states in Nigeria. It is important to note that aside Nigeria, the Yoruba speaking people can also be found in other areas.
In fact, the Yoruba-land spans the present day Nigeria, Togo and Benin. However, the highest population of them is found within Nigeria.
In Nigeria, the South West Geopolitical Zone is the home to the Yoruba speaking people. States in this region includes:
- Oyo State
- Ogun State
- Lagos State
- Osun State
- Ondo State
- Ekiti State
Aside the South-Western part of the country, The Yoruba land also comprises Kwara state. In Kogi and Edo state respectively, a number of people that speaks the Yoruba language exist and their settlements are well known to all.
List Of All Yoruba States in Nigeria
Below is an overview of each of the Yoruba speaking states found in Nigeria.
1. Oyo State
The first Yoruba speaking state is Oyo and its slogan is the pace setter state. It is located in southwestern Nigeria and home to the University of Ibadan, the first University in Nigeria.
The first skyscraper built in Africa is located here; it is known as the Cocoa House and built from cocoa earning.
The state also houses the old Oyo National Park, Ado-Awaye Suspended Lake and other tourist hubs. Ibadan is the capital of this state.
The main occupation in this state is agriculture. It has 33 LGAs.
2. Ogun State
The Gateway state, Ogun is the most industrialized state in Nigeria that’s, it is Nigeria’s industrial hub. Many companies are located strategically within the 2km Government acquisition area of the Lagos – Sagamu Expressway.
Aside been an industrial zone, it also a host to many religious organization headquarters as well as many tertiary institutions.
The state has 20 LGAs and it is located in South Western Nigeria and shares border with Lagos. The capital of this state is Abeokuta.
3. Lagos State
This is just one of the Yoruba states in the country that stands out economically. It is unarguably the most economically important state in the country.
Lagos is also the second most industrial state in the country directly following Ogun state (Yes, Ogun state is Nigeria’s No.1 industrial zone).
Its strategic location makes it a commercial hub and the “hustling zone in Nigeria”. Lagos state is home to Africa’s largest metropolitan city; Lagos. This city is termed as one of the world’s growing city.
According to the 2006 census, Lagos state is the second most populated state in Nigeria, directing behind Kano despite being the smallest state in the country in terms of land mass and size.
Talking of economy, Lagos has the largest economy in Nigeria. It had been said that if Lagos was to be a country, then it will be the 5th largest economy in Africa.
It is home to one of the busiest and largest ports in Africa as well as the busiest international airport in Nigeria. It is also houses a lot of manufacturing industries as well as many startups.
To crown it up, it is the economic nerve of Nigeria. No wonder the state prides’ itself as the centre of excellence.
Like some will argue, Lagos is a no man’s land! This is false as Lagos is a Yoruba state though, due to its economy, it is now like a mini-Nigeria where almost all ethnic groups can be found. The state has 20 Local Government Areas.
4. Osun State
This is another Yoruba speaking state located in the south west and a home to the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University as well as the Osun-Osogbo Grove, a world heritage site.
This states houses Ile-ife; an important Yoruba cultural location. The state has 30 LGAs and it has “Land of Virtue” as it slogan.
History has it that Osun State is the birthplace of the Yoruba race and where the origin of Yoruba civilization began. Their ancestor, Oduduwa, was the first Ooni of Ife and his descendants established most Yoruba ruling houses we hear of today.
The popular Osun river, which is among the major rivers in Nigeria is revered by the inhabitants of this state. According to tradition, the Osun deity is worshipped as godess of fertility and protection. The state’s capital is located at Osogbo.
5. Ondo State
The sunshine state is located in the south western geopolitical zone in Nigeria and it is an oil producing state. The state is home to the much talked about Idanre Hill which is a popular tourist hub in Nigeria.
Ondo state is the largest producers of cocoa in Nigeria. It is also a producer of timber among others. The state has 18 LGAs, it is dominated by the Yorubas and some patches of Ijaw.
6. Ekiti State
Nicknamed the land of honour, Ekiti state is a Yoruba state located on the western highland otherwise known as the Yoruba highland. The Yoruba highland seats gracefully in the southwestern part of the country.
Ekiti state has the highest number of professors in Nigeria and also pride itself as a state with several pioneer academics.
Ekiti state is home to the Ikogosi Warm spring. Talking of mineral resources, Ekiti boast of having granite, kaolin, columbite,iron ore, limestone, gold, gemstone, aquamine, barite, phosphate, etc.
The state is predominantly made of the Yoruba ethnic group and it has 16 LGAs.
7. Kwara State
The Yoruba states with a lot of Fulanis; this is what best describes Kwara. It is located in North Central Nigeria and has 16 Local Government Areas. Yoruba still remains the major ethnic group in Kwara state.
This state has a number of industries in it. It is also an agricultural state as agriculture is the most important economic activity in the state.
They grow oil palm, coffee, kolanut, tobacco, cotton and beniseed among other crops.
Mineral resources in Kwara includes gold, limestone, marble, feldspar, clay, kaolin, granite and quartz.
Aside the Yoruba majorities and Fulani minorities, there are other tribes like the Nupe and Bariba. Islam is the major religion in this state.
8. Edo State
Unlike the states above, the place occupied by the Yoruba ethnic group is the Akoko Edo Area.
Edo State is an oil producing state in Nigeria and it is located in the South South Geopolitical zone.
Aside being an oil producing/Niger-Delta states, agriculture is the major occupation of the people living in the area.
Edo state is dominated by the Edo, Okpe, Esan, Afemai/Etsako, Ora, Akoko-Edo, Igbanke, Emai and Ijaw. Edo is divided into 18 LGAs.
9. Kogi State
There is a part of Kogi state occupied by the Yoruba tribe. Kogi state is also listed among the Yoruba speaking states in the country. Even if you wouldn’t find majority of indigenes in the state that communicates in Yoruba language, they are also part of the community that speaks Yoruba in Kogi.
That’s the Okun part of the state. These includes Ijumu, Yagba West, Yagba East, Kabba/Bunu and Mopa – Moru.