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With regard to ethnic breakdown, the Hausa-Fulani make up 29 percent of the population, followed by the Yoruba with 21 percent, the Igbo with 18 percent, the Ijaw with 10 percent, the Kanuri with 4 percent, the Ibibio with 3.5 percent, and the Tiv with 2.5 percent.
Major urban centers include Lagos, Ibidan, Kaduna, Kano, and Port Harcourt. English is the official language of Nigeria, used in all government interactions and in state-run schools.
Today those who are not ethnic Yorubas or Igbos rarely speak Yoruba or Igbo.
Pidgin, a mix of African languages and English, also is common throughout southern Nigeria.
These environmental regions greatly affect the cultures of the people who live there.
Politically, Nigeria is divided into thirty-six states.
The nation's capital was moved from Lagos, the country's largest city, to Abuja on 12 December 1991.
In July 2000, Nigeria's population was estimated at more than 123 million people.
At about 345 people per square mile, it is also the most densely populated country in Africa. Despite the rampages of AIDS, Nigeria's population continues to grow at about 2.6 percent each year. Nearly 45 percent of its people are under age fourteen.
It is bordered on the west by Benin, on the north by Niger and Chad, and on the east by Cameroon.