Yenagoa is the traditional home of the Ijaw people, Nigeria's fourth largest ethnic group after the Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo. The Ijaw form the majority of the town. English is the official language, but Epie/Atissa language, one of the Ijo languages, is the major local language spoken in Yenagoa.
Since attaining the status of state capital in 1996, construction and other activities have accelerated appreciably. Yenagoa's population is estimated at about 150,000 people. It is the home of the Bayelsa United FC, a premier league football club.