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James Manager

Peter NwaoboshiArea
 • Total17,698 km2 (6,833 sq mi)Area rank23rd of 36Population
 (2006 census)
 • Total5,663,400[1] • Estimate 
(2018)
581,054,578 • Rank9th of 36Demonym(s)DeltanGDP (PPP)
 • Year2007 • Total$16.75 billion[2] • Per capita$3,990[2]Time zoneUTC+01 (WAT)postal code
320001
Dialing Code+234ISO 3166 codeNG-DEHDI (2018)0.655[3]
medium · 4th of 37Websitewww.deltastate.gov.ng

Delta State (recognized on August 27, 1991)[4] is an oil and agricultural producing state in Nigeria. It is situated in the region known as the South-South geo-political zone with a population of 4,112,445 (males: 2,069,309; females: 2,043,136).[5] The capital city is Asaba, located at the northern end of the state, with an estimated area of 762 square kilometres (294 sq mi), while Warri is the economic nerve center of the state and also the most populated. It is located in the southern end of the state. The state has a total land area of 16,842 square kilometres (6,503 sq mi).

Geography

The state covers a landmass of about 18,050 km2 (6,970 sq mi), of which more than 60% is land. The state lies approximately between 5°00' and 6°45' E and 5°00' and 6°30' N. It is geographically located in Nigeria's midwest, bounded in the north and west by Edo State, the east by Anambra, Imo, and Rivers States, southeast by Bayelsa State, and on the southern extreme is the Bight of Benin which covers about 160 kilometres of the state's coastline. Delta State is generally low-lying without any remarkable hills. The state has a wide coastal belt inter-lace with rivulets and streams, which form part of the Niger River Delta.

History

Delta State was defined out of the former Bendel State on 27 August 1991.[6] The state was actualized following agitations for the realization of a separate distinct state by the peoples of the old Delta Province.[7] There was yet another state request proposed as "Niger State" comprising the Asaba and Aboh divisions of the old Midwest region.[7] The then Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, recognized Delta state but chose "Asaba" a prominent town within the "Northwestern Lower Niger" as capital city.[7] The proposed capital was a virgin land in the heart of the two constituent divisions that constitutes the Northwestern Lower Niger.[7] Delta state was once integrated in the Mid Western state from 1963 to 1976 and later Bendel state, from 1976 to 1991. The name "Bendel" (Ben-Del) coined from the old Benin and Delta Provinces of Western Region-Delta to reflect the integration of Benin and Delta provinces.[8]

Demographics

Delta State is predominantly inhabited by the Urhobo, Isoko, Ijaw, Ika, Ukwani, Igbo, Itsekiri and the Olukumi people.[7] The population of other groups in the state are negligible.

The Urhobo-Isoko are the most predominant people inhabiting the state[7] and currently more than 4 million. The Igboid group populating Delta State are referred to as the Anioma (People Of Good Land[9]) people.[7] The Itsekiri speak a language very closely related to Yoruba but have been culturally influenced by the Edo from neighbouring Edo state, as well as the Urhobo, and Ijaw.[7] The Ijaws are a group of people related to the predominant people of neighbouring Bayelsa State,[10] while the Olukumi are becoming culturally and linguistically extinct,[11] due to acculturation and assimilation.

The vast majority of inhabitants are Christian, with very few practicing traditional religions.

Administration