Age at menarche was investigated using data collected from demographic surveys (WFS, DHS) conducted in Nigeria between 1982 and 2018, all of which were based on large representative samples of the female population. Linear-logistic regressions were used to estimate mean age at menarche, its trends and its risk factors. Mean age at menarche had underwent a marked secular decline from 15.02 years for girls born in 1933 to 13.78 years for girls born in 2003. In multivariate analysis, height (stature), body mass index (BMI), level of education and household wealth had independent effects on age at menarche, whereas urban residence had no effect. Socioeconomic gradients were large: +9 years of schooling was associated with a –0.52 year decrease in age at menarche, and +2 standard deviations in household wealth with a –0.33 year decrease. The impact of anthropometry was even greater: +2 standard deviations in height was associated with a –0.99 year decrease in age at menarche, and +2 standard deviations in BMI with a –1.42 year decrease. Northern provinces had a higher mean age at menarche than southern provinces. Compared with independent sources, long-term trends in age at menarche, as well as their fluctuations, appeared to be correlated with trends and fluctuations in income per capita and in under-five mortality, but not with divergent trends in adult height.