Find Out Which State Has The Highest Crime in Nigeria After Factoring the State Population

The Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently released its 2016 Crime Statistics in Nigeria. According to the NBS, the states with the most crime in Nigeria were: Crime Stats According to NBS

  1. Lagos
  2. Abuja
  3. Delta
  4. Kano
  5. Plateau
  6. Ondo
  7. Oyo
  8. Bauchi
  9. Adamawa
  10. Gombe

Lagos was shown as the most crime ridden state with almost 3 times more than the second contender, FCT Abuja.



When we cross cued those numbers based on the population of individuals living in those states (Per Capita), we quickly found out that Abuja is the state with the highest levels of crime per capita with Lagos coming in at a distant second.

2016 Crime Stats Per Capita
2016 Crime Stats Per Capita
  1. Abuja
  2. Lagos
  3. Plateau
  4. Delta
  5. Gombe
  6. Ondo
  7. Bayelsa
  8. Adamawa
  9. Taraba
  10. Ekiti

Of note with the per capita data, is that Plateau state was bumped up to third place, Gombe went up from 10th to 5th place. While Bayelsa, Taraba and Ekiti found themselves contending for top ten crime ridden states in Nigeria.


  • Abuja figures may be high due to the high number of law enforcement officials headquartered within the territory. Crime is quickly given more visibility compared to lesser populated states such as Abia or Kwara.
  • Lagos figures are low when the population of that state is taken into consideration. Thereby, reflecting a state security command that is operating decently considering its unique circumstances.
  • The crime figures may also be high in Lagos, as in the case of Abuja, because of the high number of media and law enforcement officials stationed within the state; Crime is quickly given more visibility.
  • Despite these pretexts, the Lagos state crime figures are still high, and the state needs to do more.
  • Nigeria needs to be honest with its population figures. The latest population figures derived from the NBS are still 2006 figures.
  • Lagos state for instance, has almost tripled its population figures since the 2006 census. (States such as Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, and so on, with updated population figures, were adjusted in the dataset used for this analysis)
  • Also, conflicts in the Middle Belt and North East have likely significantly altered the state populations across the country. Yet, the NBS, state and federal governments have not taken the time to be honest about their population figures. This must change.
  • The initial crime figures posted by the NBS deceptively make states such as Gombe, Bayelsa, Taraba and Ekiti think they are performing decently whereas a simple look at the numbers compared with their population figures quickly present states whose governments need to do more about combating crime.


Of total surprise to security analysts about the NBS data is the low crime number coming out of Kogi state! It is common knowledge that Kogi is currently combating rampant crime including migrated crimes such as kidnap, cultism and an influx of Boko Haram fighters who have fled Sambisa. Yet this seems not to have reflected in the data.

It turns out that what was labelled as “Crime Statistics” was police data on probably total arrests made withincrime-against-lawful-authority that year including arrest of people who “committed offences against property” and “committed offences against lawful authority”, among others.

Data categorized as offences against lawful authority, probably means those who dared to stand up to state governments or security officials. States that made the top ten list included: Oyo (home of constituted authority) and Ondo (possibly in relation to the 2016 gubernatorial election).

Three Niger Delta states (Delta, Rivers and Akwa Ibom) also made it to the top 10 of this list which makes sense considering how the Niger Delta people feel about the Nigerian government and security personnel!


Bottom line, this data was not necessarily crime centric. But regardless of this, it is commendable that Nigeria is starting to see the importance of keeping and analysing data which can be used to focus limited resources

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