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Nigeria has been home to a number of kingdoms and tribal states over the millennia.
Members of the clan trace their lineages back to the patriarchal king-figure Eri.This name was coined in the late 19th century by British journalist Flora Shaw, who later married Lord Lugard, a British colonial administrator.The origin of the name Niger, which originally applied only to the middle reaches of the Niger River, is uncertain.Usually the captives were taken back to the conquerors' territory as forced labour; after time, they were sometimes acculturated and absorbed into the conquerors' society.A number of slave routes were established throughout Nigeria linking the hinterland areas with the major coastal ports.With approximately 186 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country in the world.
Being the most populous country with high fertility rate, Nigeria has the third-largest youth population in the world, after India and China, with more than 90 million children under age 18.
It comprises 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja is located.
Nigeria is officially a democratic secular country.
The country is viewed as a multinational state as it is inhabited by over 500 ethnic groups, of which the three largest are the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba; these ethnic groups speak over 500 different languages and are identified with a wide variety of cultures. Nigeria is divided roughly in half between Christians, who live mostly in the southern part of the country, and Muslims, who live mostly in the north.
A minority of the population practice religions indigenous to Nigeria, such as those native to the Igbo and Yoruba ethnicities.
Nigeria is a founding member of the African Union and a member of many other international organizations, including the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations and OPEC.