The South West states in Nigeria comprises of the 6 Yoruba-speaking states in Nigeria, including Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo state.
Population for the states in this region is estimated to be around 30+ million, making it one of the largest ethnic groups in Nigeria and in Africa as a whole.
Based on statistics, the Yoruba people constitute up to 35% of Nigeria’s population and there are millions of them scattered across the countries of the world.
As earlier said, all the 6 Southwestern states in Nigeria are Yoruba speaking states, and it might interest you to know that there are different dialects even within the same state. For instance, the Yoruba spoken in Eruwa is slightly different from the one in Ibadan, both of which are in the same state (Oyo state).
Take for example, the tool for fetching water inside the well is called “Iloko” in Eruwa town while it is called “Doro” or “Ifami” in Ibadan city.
Religious-wise, the most practiced religion in the South West is Christianity and Islam, while there are also some people who still practice their history of traditional practices and beliefs.
The Yoruba People are as well renowned for their high literacy and exposure rate (although there are still some areas lagging behind). In a bid to further their education, there are many youths from these states who are currently studying in a varsity in some other regions of Nigeria and even outside the African continent.
In fact, a recent JAMB statistics showed that Oyo, Osun, Ogun and Ondo are among the Top 10 States with highest number of candidates, showing how hard the young folks from this region are pushing to secure admission.
That’s not all; it is worthy to let you know that Ekiti State has the highest number of professors in Nigeria. Ogun state from this region also has the highest number of registered higher institutions in Nigeria (more than 20), including Covenant University (one of the top 10 Universities in Nigeria).
The south western Nigeria again is the base for The Premier University of Ibadan, the foremost varsity in Nigeria.
Having said that, it is equally important to highlight that the people in this region are into a lot of cultural works, and this include but not limited to – pottery, beadwork, weaving, metalwork, and mask making. Again, the major economic activities in the southwestern Nigeria include trading, farming and entrepreneurship.
Most of them, especially those who are from the rural settlements are into farming and agriculture. Part of the foods they cultivate include corn, yams, cocoyams, nuts, and cocoa, and the host of others.
In addition to the above, the South West Nigerians are renowned for their unique lifestyle, culture and foods. They organize various musical and cultural festivals that attract legions of people, not from the region alone but from other parts of the world too.
They also have some local dishes and delicacies that has gained global recognition, some of which include – Amala, Moin moin, Akara, Ofada rice, Pounded Yam, Ewa Agonyin, Eba, Ikokore, to mention but a few.
Also Read: South East States in Nigeria
Beyond what we’ve highlighted so far, below are some other things you need to know about the South West Nigeria.
Quick Facts About South West States in Nigeria
NECOM House, the tallest Building in Nigeria and West Africa is from this region (Lagos state to be precise). It measures 160 m (520 ft) and has 32 floors.
Igbo Ora Town in Oyo state has the world’s highest rate of twin-births (45 to 50 sets of twins per 1000 births)
Ogun state has the highest number of registered private universities and higher institutions in Nigeria (20+)
Ekiti state has the highest number of professors in Nigeria
The current most populous state in Nigeria is from this region; Lagos State (16+ million)
University of Ibadan in Ibadan, Oyo State is the oldest University in Nigeria
The first and only University of Education in Nigeria comes from this region; Tai Solarin University of Education, Ogun state
Lagos state is the state with the highest IGR in Nigeria; N382.18bn (December 2018)
Ogun state is the only state running two state-owned universities in Nigeria; Olabisi Onabanjo University and Tai Solarin University of Education
Osun State from this region, is considered one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria
Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) in Ibadan, Oyo state is the oldest television station in Africa
Profile of Yoruba States
Nickname and important things you should know about the states that comprises of the Yorubas.
1.) Lagos State
- Nickname: Centre of Excellence
- State Capital: Ikeja
- Date Created: May 27th, 1967
- Current Governor & Deputy: Babajide Sanwo-Olu & Kadiri Hamzat
- Estimated Population: 16+ million
- Number of local governments: 20
- Land mass: 3,577 square kilometres
Tourism Attractions: National Arts Theatre, Palms Beach Resort, Inagbe Grand Resorts and Leisure, Funtopia Water Park, National Museum Lagos, Badagry Black Heritage Museum, Terra Kulture, Freedom Park, Lacampagne Tropicana Beach Resort.
Popular towns and cities: Ikeja, Lekki, Ikorodu, Eko Atlantic, Badagry, Epe, Ojo, Ikoyi, etc.
Top Tertiary institutions: Yaba College of Education (YABATECH), University of Lagos (UNILAG), Lagos State University (LASU), Lagos State Polytechnic of Technology (LASPOTECH).
2.) Osun State
- Nickname: State of the Virtuous (Ipinle Omoluabi)
- State Capital: Osogbo
- Date Created: August 27, 1991
- Current Governor & Deputy: Adegboyega Oyetola & Benedict Gboyega Alabi
- Estimated Population: 3.4+ million
- Number of local governments: 30
- Land mass: 9,251 square kilometres
Tourism attractions: Osun Osogbo Groove, Erin Ijesha Waterfall, Oluminrin Waterfalls, Ooni’s Palace Obafemi Awolowo University, Oranmiyan Staff (Opa Oranmiyan), Osogbo Arts and Metal Works, Ataoja Royal Palace, Museum of Arts, African Heritage Gallery, MicCom Golf Hotels and Resort.
Popular towns and cities: Oke-Ila Orangun, Ila Orangun, Ede, Iwo, Ejigbo, Esa-Oke, Ilobu and Ilesa.
Top Tertiary institutions: Federal Polytechnic Ede, Obafemi Awolowo University, Bowen University, Osun State University.
3.) Oyo State
- Nickname: The pace setter
- State Capital: Ibadan
- Date Created: 3rd February 1976
- Current Governor & Deputy: Oluwaseyi Makinde & Rauf Olaniyan
- Estimated Population: 6 million
- Number of local governments: 33
- Land mass: 28, 249 square kilometres
Tourism attractions: The University of Ibadan, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Ibadan, The National Museum of Unity, Cocoa House, Agodi Gardens, Old Oyo National Park, IITA Forest, Cultural Centre, Irefin Palace, Mapo Hall.
Popular towns and cities: Ibadan, Oyo, Iseyin, Ogbomoso, Okeho, Saki, Igboho, Kisi, Igbo-Ora, Lalupon, Fiditi, Ilora, and Eruwa.
Top Tertiary institutions: The University of Ibadan, The Polytechnic Ibadan, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Leeds City University, The Ibarapa Polytechnic, Eruwa (TIPE).
4.) Ogun State
- Nickname: Gateway State
- State Capital: Abeokuta
- Date Created: February 3, 1976
- Current Governor & Deputy: Dapo Abiodun & Noimot Salako-Oyedele
- Estimated Population: 4 million
- Number of local governments: 20
- Land mass: 16,980.55 square kilometres
Tourism attractions: St. Peters Cathedral, Sungbo’s Eredo, Ebute Oni Tourist Beach Resort, Alake Palace, Olowu Palace, Itoku Market, Omo Forest Reserve, Hill Top Golf Resort, Abeokuta Museum, Osuuru Spring Water, Olumo Rock, Yemoji Natural Swimming Pool, Oyan Dam.
Popular towns and cities: Abeokuta, Ijebu-Ode, Sagamu, Ikenne Remo, Ilaro, Ijebu-Igbo, and Aiyetoro.
Top Tertiary institutions: Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Covenant University, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Babcock University, Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Bells University of Technology.
5.) Ekiyi State
- Nickname: Fountain of Knowledge
- State Capital: Ekiti
- Date Created: 1 October 1996
- Current Governor & Deputy: John Olukayode Fayemi & Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi
- Estimated Population: 3 million
- Number of local governments: 16
- Land mass: 6,353 square kilometres
Tourism attractions: Ikogosi Warm Spring, Ikogosi, Orole Hills, Olosunta Hills, Ewi’s Palace, Fajuyi Memorial Park, Ero Dam & Lake, Ipole-Iloro Waterfall, Erin Ayonigba Sacred Fish River, Oroke Ewo War Centre, Osun River Source, Ooni River, Egbigbu Artificial Lake, Esa Cave.
Popular towns and cities: Ado-Ekiti, Ikere, Efon, Ikole, Aramoko-Ekiti, Ode, Ijero, Ise, Ilawe, Omuo, Igede, Otun, Ido, Iye, Iyin, Aisegba, Emure, Ayedun, Okemesi, Ogotun, Odo-Oro, Afao, Erinmope and Oye-Ekiti.
Top Tertiary institutions: Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti, The Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State University, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE).
6.) Ondo State
- Nickname: Sunshine State
- State Capital: Akure
- Date Created: 3rd of February 1976
- Current Governor & Deputy: Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu & Agboola Ajayi
- Estimated Population: 4 million
- Number of local governments: 18
- Land mass: 15,500 square kilometres
Tourism attractions: Idanre Hills, Owo Museum of Antiques, Deji of Akure Palace, Cave Ashes, Ebomi Lake Tourist Centre, Igbo Olodumare, Olowo’s Palace.
Popular towns and cities: Akure, Owo, Ore, Ondo, Oka-Akoko, Okitipupa, Ile-Oluji, and Ikare.
Top Tertiary institutions: Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko (AAUA), Achievers University, Rufus Giwa Polytechnic (RUGIPO).
Wrapping it Up
The Yorubas dominated the south west states in Nigeria which are 6 in number. The most popular and developed of them all is Lagos State which is also the previous Federal Capital Territory of the country until less than 3 decades ago.