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Benin Cities by Population

31 cities shown of 31 total Benin cities that are over 1,000 in population...

1. Cotonou 690,584
2. Abomey-Calavi 385,755
3. Porto-Novo 234,168
4. Djougou 202,810
5. Parakou 163,753
6. Bohicon 125,092
7. Kandi 109,701
8. Lokossa 86,971
9. Ouidah 83,503
10. Abomey 82,154
11. Natitingou 80,892
12. Save 75,970
13. Nikki 54,009
14. Dogbo 41,312
15. Cove 38,566
16. Malanville 37,117
17. Pobe 32,983
18. Savalou 30,187
19. Sakete 30,111
20. Come 29,208
21. Bembereke 24,006
22. Bassila 23,616
23. Banikoara 22,487
24. Ketou 22,341
25. Dassa-Zoume 21,672
26. Tchaourou 20,971
27. Allada 20,094
28. Aplahoue 19,862
29. Tanguieta 19,833
30. Beterou 13,108
31. Grand-Popo 9,847

Benin History

The new name was chosen for its neutrality. Dahomey was the name of the former Kingdom of Dahomey, which covered only the southern third of the present country and therefore did not represent the northwestern Atakora nor the kingdom of Borgu, which covered the northeastern third.

The kingdom of Dahomey formed from a mixture of ethnic groups on the Abomey plain. Historians theorized that the insecurity caused by slave trading may have contributed to mass migrations of groups to modern day Abomey, including some Aja, a Gbe people who are believed to have founded the city. Those Aja living in Abomey mingled with the local Fon, also a Gbe people, creating a new ethnic group known as Dahomey"". The Gbe peoples are said to be descendents of a number of migrants from Oyo. Gangnihessou, became the first ruler of the Dahomey Kingdom. Dahomey had a military culture aimed at securing and eventually expanding the borders of the small kingdom with its capital at modern day Abomey."

The Dahomey kingdom was known for its culture and traditions. Boys were often apprenticed to older soldiers at a young age, and learned about the kingdom's military customs until they were old enough to join the navy. Dahomey was also famous for instituting an elite female soldier corps, called Ahosi or our mothers"" in the Fongbe language, and known by many Europeans as the Dahomean Amazons. This emphasis on military preparation and achievement earned Dahomey the nickname of ""black Sparta"" from European observers and 19th century explorers like Sir Richard Burton."

Though the leaders of Dahomey appeared initially to resist the slave trade, it flourished in the region of Dahomey for almost three hundred years, leading to the area being named he Slave Coast"". Court protocols, which demanded that a portion of war captives from the kingdom's many battles be decapitated, decreased the number of enslaved people exported from the area. The number went from 20,000 per year at the beginning of the seventeenth century to 12,000 at the beginning of the 1800s. The decline was partly due to the banning of the trans-Atlantic trade by Britain and other countries. This decline continued until 1885, when the last Portuguese slave ship departed from the coast of present-day Benin Repu"

By the middle of the nineteenth century, Dahomey started to lose its status as the regional power. This enabled the French to take over the area in 1892. In 1899, the French included land called Dahomey within the French West Africa colony.

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