The Yoruba people (Yorùbá in Yoruba orthography) are one of the largest ethnic groups in West Africa. The majority of the Yoruba speak the Yoruba language (Yoruba: èdèe Yorùbá; èdè). The Yoruba constitute between 30 and 50 million individuals throughout West Africa and are found predominantly in Nigeria and make up around 21% of its population.
The Yoruba share borders with the Borgu (variously called "Baruba" and "Borgawa") in the northwest; the Nupe (whom they often call "Tapa") and Ebira in the north; and the Edo, the Ẹsan, and the Afemai to the southeast. The Igala and other related groups are found in the northeast, and the Egun, Fon, and others in the southwest. While the majority of the Yoruba live in western Nigeria, there are also substantial indigenous Yoruba communities in the Republic of Benin and Togo, plus large groups of Yoruba migrants living in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Yoruba settlements are often described as primarily one or more of the main social groupings called "generations":
- The "first generation" includes towns and cities known as original capitals of founding Yoruba states/kingdoms.
- The "second generation" consists of settlements created by conquest.
- The "third generation" consists of villages and municipalities that emerged following the Yoruba wars.
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