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The Yoruba people (Yoruba: Ìran Yorùbá, Ọmọ Odùduwà, Ọmọ Káàárọ̀-oòjíire) are a West African ethnic group who mainly inhabit parts of Nigeria, Benin, and Togo. The areas of these countries primarily inhabited by the Yoruba are often collectively referred to as Yorubaland. The Yoruba constitute more than 35 million people in Africa, including over a million outside the continent, and bear further representation among members of the African diaspora. The vast majority of the Yoruba population is today within the country of Nigeria, where they make up 15% of the country's population according to CIA estimations, making them one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa. Most Yoruba people speak the Yoruba language, which is the Niger-Congo language with the largest number of native or L1 speakers.
|c. ≈ ≥37,000,000 (2023)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Nigeria||35,780,625 (2023) Nigeria (15.5% of total population)|
|United States||177,330 (2021)|
|Ivory Coast||115,000 (2017)|
|Sierra Leone||16,578 (2022)|
|Related ethnic groups|
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In Africa, the Yoruba are contiguous with the Yoruboid Itsekiri to the south-east in the northwest Niger Delta, Bariba to the northwest in Benin and Nigeria, the Nupe to the north, and the Ebira to the northeast in central Nigeria. To the east are the Edo, Ẹsan, and Afemai groups in mid-western Nigeria. To the northeast and adjacent to the Ebira and northern Edo, groups are the related Igala people on the left bank of the Niger River. To the south are the Gbe-speaking Mahi, Gun, Fon, and Ewe who border Yoruba communities in Benin and Togo, to the west they are bordered by the Kwa-speaking Akebu, Kposo of Togo, and to the northwest, by the Kwa-speaking Anii, and the Gur speaking Kabiye, Yom-Lokpa and Tem people of Togo. Significantly Yoruba populations in other West African countries can also be found in Ghana, Benin, Ivory Coast, and Sierra Leone.
Outside Africa, the Yoruba diaspora consists of two main groupings; the first being that of the Yorubas taken as slaves to the New World between the 16th to 19th centuries, notably to the Caribbean (especially in Cuba) and Brazil, and the second consisting of a wave of relatively recent migrants, the majority of whom began to migrate to the United Kingdom and the United States following some of the major economic and political changes encountered in Africa in the 1960s to 1980s.