Nigeria is divided into 36 states. In the 13 northern states, the vast majority of people are Muslim. The Hausa have been Muslims for almost a thousand years, having been converted to Islam by Arab traders and merchants from the 10th century.
Nigeria has experienced a population explosion for at least the last 50 years due to very high fertility rates, quadrupling its population during this time. Growth was fastest in the 1980s, after child mortality had dropped sharply, and has slowed slightly since then as the birth rate has sunk slightly.
Nigeria has the largest Muslim population in sub-Saharan Africa. The majority of Nigerian Muslims are Sunni and are concentrated in the northern area of the country, while Christians dominate in the Middle Belt and south.
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