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Oyo, usually referred to as Oyo State to distinguish it from the city of Oyo, is an inland state in southwestern Nigeria. Its capital is Ibadan, the third most populous city in the country and formerly the second most populous city in Africa.[7] Oyo State is bordered to the north by Kwara State, to the east by Osun State, and to the southwest by Ogun State and the Republic of Benin. With a projected population of 7,840,864 in 2016, Oyo State is the fifth most populous in the country.

The vast majority of Oyo State residents are Yoruba, and the Yoruba language remains dominant.[8] Nicknamed the "Pace Setter State", present-day Oyo State sits on territory formerly ruled by various kingdoms and empires. The Oyo Empire was a powerful Yoruba empire that ruled in much of the area from c. 1300 to 1896.[9] Built in the 1830s, modern city of Oyo is considered a remnant of the imperial era, being referred to as "New Oyo" (Ọ̀yọ́ Àtìbà) to distinguish itself from the former capital to the north, 'Old Oyo' (Ọ̀yọ́-Ilé). The Alaafin of Oyo continues to serve a ceremonial role in the city.

Oyo State is noted for being the site of the first university in Nigeria, the University of Ibadan.[10] The state economy remains largely agrarian, with the western city of Shaki being described as the state's breadbasket. Cassava, cocoa, and tobacco are among the most important crops to Oyo State's economy.

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