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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.She referred to the area as Nigeria, after the Niger River, which dominates much of the country's landscape. More than 250 ethnic tribes call present-day Nigeria home.The three largest and most dominant ethnic groups are the Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo (pronounced ee-bo).
Nigeria covers an area of 356,669 square miles (923,768 square kilometers), or about twice the size of California.The small ethnic groups living along the coast, such as the Ijaw and the Kalabari, are forced to keep their villages small due to lack of dry land.Living among creeks, lagoons, and salt marshes makes fishing and the salt trade part of everyday life in the area.This general lack of Nigerian nationalism coupled with an ever-changing and often ethnically biased national leadership, have led to severe internal ethnic conflicts and a civil war.Today bloody confrontations between or among members of different ethnic groups continue. Nigeria is in West Africa, along the eastern coast of the Gulf of Guinea, and just north of the equator.