Bayelsa State is a state in southern Nigeria in the core Niger Delta region, between Delta State and Rivers State. Its capital isYenagoa. The four main languages spoken are Izon, Nembe, Epie-Atissa, and Ogbia. Like the rest of Nigeria, English is the official language. The state was formed in 1996 from part of Rivers State and is thus one of the newest states of the Nigerian federation.
Bayelsa State has one of the largest crude oil and natural gas deposits in Nigeria. As a result, petroleum production is extensive in the state. However, the majority of Bayelsans live in poverty. They are mainly rural dwellers due to its peculiar terrain and lack of adequate transportation, health, education or other infrastructure as a result of decades of neglect by the central governments, state governments, and petroleum prospecting companies. This has been a large problem in the state since its creation and successive state governments have not been able to address and repair the issue. The state, as a result, has an almost non-existent commerce. Successive state governments have, however, embarked on various industrial projects (even venturing into the oil and gas sector), and "poverty-alleviation" programs to reverse this situation, however some argue that there is nothing on ground to show for huge sums of money spent for development by successive and present state governments.
The local population engage in fishing on a subsistence and commercial level. The Bayelsa State government is otherwise the main employer of labour in the state.
Bayelsa has a riverine and estuarine setting. A lot of her communities are almost (and in some cases) completely surrounded by water, hence making these communities inaccessible by road. The state is home to the Edumanom Forest Reserve, in June 2008 the last known site for chimpanzees in the Niger Delta.
Other important cities besides Yenagoa include Akassa, Amassoma (the home of the Niger Delta University), Twon-Brass, Kaiama, Nembe, Odi, Ogbia, Okpoama Brass,Oporoma, Otuan, Sagbama, [Olugbobiri] and [peremabiri].