Top 10 Poorest States In Nigeria 2021

An update on the poorest states in Nigeria presently. Nigeria is apparently one of the richest countries in the entirety of Africa. This clearly distinguishes it as the African country with the highest economic growth. Despite this advantageous growth, several Nigerian States lag behind in the aspects of economic growth and economic development. These are among the reasons we listed the poorest states in Nigeria.

Majorly, these States are found in the Northern region of the country and unarguably, this indicates that Nigeria’s Northerners are the greatest victims of adverse economic conditions.

In this post, we have collated the names of the Top 10 Poorest Nigerian States together with their various rates of poverty in line with the recent reports issued by the National Bureau of Statistics.

The post divided into two aspects, ranking based on the poverty rates of each state, and their IGR / debts.

Top 10 Poorest States In Nigeria

1. Sokoto

Sokoto is one of the Nigerian States situated in the North West. The state happens to be at the farthest point of the North West. Unfortunately, Sokoto has been identified as Nigeria’s poorest state year after year particularly as a result of its unfavourable climate. As regards the unfriendliness of this region, its usual temperature stretches up to 45 degrees Celsius.

In Sokoto, most of the inhabitants depend on different kinds of agriculture for sustenance. At the same time, the largest portion of the landmass is occupied by rural areas. In accordance with the figures provided by the National Bureau of Statistics, Sokoto State is plagued by an 81.2% poverty rate.

2. Katsina

Katsina is one of the Nigerian States situated in the North Central region of the country. Within the North Central region –one of Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones –Katsina happens to be the state with the highest incidence of poverty.

Furthermore, Katsina is barely favoured by the allocations it receives from the federal government. In that case, the state receives a meagre allocation of N100 million (rated at 0.08%) for its Ministry of Youth and Sports to run the Youth Empowerment Program and the trifling sum of N214, 019, 000 (rated at 0.1%) for its Ministry of Women Affairs to carry out its Women Empowerment Program. Besides that, the state receives a very meagre sum of N276 million (rated at 0.2%) as capital allocation to its manufacturing sector.

The National Bureau of Statistics identified Katsina State with a poverty level of 74.5%.

3. Adamawa

In 1991, Adamawa State emerged from the previously existing Gongola State, and recently, it is one of the Northern States already devastated by the Boko Haram sect. Due to this terrorist devastation, Adamawa suffers from poor rates of economic growth and economic development.

Although Yola –the capital city of Adamawa State –is under transformation and is currently equipped with amenities such as traffic lights, street lights, and motorable roads, Adamawa State lags behind due to the poor rates of development across its various other areas.

As obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics, Adamawa State is associated with a poverty rate estimated at 74.2%.

4. Gombe

This State is situated in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria and it borders upon several other Northern States including Bauchi, Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, and Taraba. In Nigeria, Gombe is one of the Northern States extremely prone to terrorist invasions, and due to this, the North-Eastern State suffers severe economic and developmental setbacks.

In accordance with the estimates obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics, Gombe State is declared with a poverty rate of 74.2%.

5. Jigawa

Jigawa is one of the Nigerian States situated in the country’s North Central region. Meanwhile, this State emerged from Kano State –one of the oldest States in Nigeria.

Jigawa State is flanked by several other Nigerian States. Around its North-Eastern region, the state borders upon Yobe State. Around its Eastern region, it borders upon Bauchi State and in its Western region, it is bordered by Katsina and Kano States.

Furthermore, Jigawa borders upon Zinder Region –a foreign territory situated in The Republic of Niger. Significantly, this gives Jigawa State the advantage to engage in commercial activities outside its Nigerian territory.

As contained in the reports issued by the National Bureau of Statistics, Jigawa lives under a poverty rate of 74.1%.

6. Plateau

Plateau State is arguably situated in Nigeria’s central region. Undoubtedly, it is considered one of the Nigerian region endowed with tourist attractions. Likewise, the state is associated with a cold atmospheric condition and has one of Nigeria’s fortified cities –Jos –as its capital.

On frequent occasions, Plateau State has been plagued by conflicts associated with tribal differences. Above that, the state suffers recurring terror attacks particularly between its people and Fulani herdsmen.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Plateau is afflicted with a poverty rate of 74.1%.

7. Ebonyi

Ebonyi State is situated in the South Eastern region of Nigeria and considered the poorest in that region. Meanwhile, it is obviously one of the Nigerian States established (in 1996) under the military regime led by General Sanni Abacha.

In recent times, Ebonyi State is reportedly tainted by dishonest public officials, particularly in its local council development areas.

In line with the reports issued by the National Bureau of Statistics, Ebonyi State is under a 73.6% level of poverty.

8. Bauchi

Following the split-up of the previously-existing Northern-Eastern State, Bauchi State came into being –precisely in 1976. In the language of Hausa’s, the term “Bauchi’’ is literally understood as the land that appreciates tourism and freedom. But unfortunately, present-day attacks by Boko Haram insurgents have deprived Bauchi of freedom and prevented adventurists from using it as a tourist centre.

Based on the reports obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics, Bauchi lags behind with a poverty rate of 73%.

9. Kebbi

In 1991, Kebbi State emerged from Sokoto –one of the oldest Northern States. As a State situated in the North-Western zone of the country, Kebbi shares borders with several other Northern States including Niger and Sokoto. Besides that, the Kebbi borders upon the Benin Republic and Dosso Region –an area in the Republic of Niger.

Though Kebbi State remains one of the poorest Nigerian States, the North-Western State has been favoured by recent infrastructural developments capable of buttressing its economic standards.

As regards the reports from the National Bureau of Statistics, Kebbi suffers a 72% rate of poverty.

10. Zamfara

Just like Kebbi, Zamfara State also emerged from long-existing Sokoto in 1996. Meanwhile, Zamfara is another Nigerian State located in the North-Western zone. The inhabitants of this state are well known as agriculturists and this embraces the State’s slogan which implies “Farming is Our Pride’’.

In accordance with the National Bureau of Statistics, Zamfara suffers a 70.8% rate of poverty.

Now take another look at the rating/list of the top 10 Poorest States in Nigeria based on the sustainability Index of each state, which takes into consideration the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Recurrent Expenditure, and the Total Debt of each State.

Pls Note: if the rating is based on just the Internally Generated Revenue, the list will be different, some states in this list will probably be among the richest in Nigeria.

Definition of terms

  • By Internally Generated Revenue; we mean the total amount the state makes for a year.
  • Recurrent Expenditure; the amount remaining, either positive or negative, after paying staffs and all required payments
  • Total Debt Stock; This is the total amount of money the state is owing from money borrowed

Calculation of the Sustainability Index

Index A = Revenue Generated / IGR + Derivation + Vat

Index B = Revenue Generated / Total Revenue

Index C = Total Debt Stock / Total Revenue

Sustainability Index = ((Index A x 35) + (Index B x 50) + (Index C x 15)) / 15

Scores = 100 / Sustainability Index

Hence Sustainability Index will be written as SI, Monthly Internally Generated Revenue as MIGR, State Debt as SD

That’s all on the Poorest States in Nigeria so far, share your opinions and suggestions with us through the comment box and like us on