Lagos, usually referred to as Lagos State to distinguish it from Lagos Metropolitan Area, is a state located in the southwestern geopolitical zone of Nigeria. The smallest in area of Nigeria’s 36 states, Lagos State is arguably the most economically important state of the country, containing Lagos, the nation’s largest urban area. The actual population total is disputed between the official Nigerian Census of 2006, and a much higher figure claimed by the Lagos State Government. Lagos State is located in the south-western part of the Nigerian Federation. On the North and East it is bounded by Ogun State. In the West it shares boundaries with the Republic of Benin. Behind its southern borders lies the Atlantic Ocean. 22% of its 3,577 km2 are lagoons and creeks.
Lagos is the most populous city in Lagos State and in Nigeria as a whole. The conurbation is the second fastest-growing city in Africa and one of the most populous in the world. As of 2015, the population of Lagos city is approximately 16 million. Lagos is a port which originated on islands separated by creeks, such as Lagos Island, fringing the southwest mouth of Lagos Lagoon while protected from the Atlantic Ocean by barrier islands and long sand spits such as Bar Beach, which stretch up to 100 kilometres (62 miles) east and west of the mouth. The Metropolitan area of Lagos include: Ikeja (which is the capital of Lagos State) and Agege and Mushin.