Benue State is one of the North central states in Nigeria. Its capital is Makurdi.

Benue State is named after the Benue River and was formed from the former Benue-Plateau State in 1976, along with Igala and some part of Kwara State. In 1991 some areas of Benue state (mostly Igala area), along with areas in Kwara State, were carved out to become part of the new Kogi State. Igbo people are found in the boundary areas like the Obi, Oju etc.

The state is inhabited predominantly by the Tiv, Idoma and Igede peoples, who speak Tiv, Idoma, and Igede languages respectively. Benue is a rich agricultural region; popularly grown crops includes; sweet potatoes, cassava, soya bean, guinea corn, flax, yams, sesame, rice, and groundnuts, Palm Tree.

Population structure and distribution

The State, which is located in the North Central region of Nigeria, has a total population of 4,253,641 in 2006 census, with an average population density of 99 persons per km2. This makes Benue the 9th most populous state in Nigeria. However, the distribution of the population according to Local government areas shows marked duality.

There are areas of low population density . such as Guma, Gwer East, Ohimini, Katsina-Ala, Apa, Logo and Agatu, each with less than seventy persons per km2, while Vandeikya, Okpokwu, Ogbadibo, Obi and Gboko have densities ranging from 160 persons to 200 persons per 2 . Makurdi LGA has over 380 person per km2. The males are 49.8 percent of the total population while females constitute 50.2 per cent.

Settlement pattern and urbanization

Benue State region was depleted of its human population during the slave trade. It is largely rural, with scattered settlements mainly in tiny compounds or homesteads, whose population range from 630 people, most of whom are farmers.

Urbanization in Benue State did not predate the colonial era. The few towns established during colonial rule remained very small(less than 30,000 people) up to the creation of Benue State in 1976.

Makurdi doubles as the capital of the state and the headquarters of Makurdi LGA, while Gboko, Otukpo and Oju double as the local government and ethnic headquarters (i.e. for Tiv, Idoma, and Igede). All the roads in the state radiate from these three centres. As an administrative unit, Benue State was first created on 3 February 1976. It was one of the seven states created by the military administration headed by General Murtala Mohammed, which increased the number of states in the country from 13 to 19. In 1991, its boundaries were re-adjusted with the creation of Kogi State. The new Benue State of today has twenty-three (23) local government areas, which are administered by local government councils.