Niger Overview

By | May 1, 2021

Niger is characterized by its deserts and semi-deserts, dry and wet savannas and the Niger River. The barren north is sparsely populated; the population density in the south and southwest, however, is high. Rich in mineral resources, especially uranium, Niger is primarily characterized by nomadic animal husbandry and agriculture.

Country overview

Great landscape: the Niger River, immeasurable desert and steppe areas and the “W” park – that is the fascinating diversity of nature in Niger. People have to come to terms with a variety of ecological problems such as the absence of precipitation, desertification, but also floods, reduced soil fertility, plagues of locusts and bushfires.


Niger can look back on ancient cultural and historical roots. After decades of military rule, the democratization of Niger is in motion in the new millennium. The domestic political situation has been in an unstable equilibrium since 2011, because the unrest in neighboring countries Nigeria, Libya, Mali and their tens of thousands of refugees are also destabilizing Niger.


According to a2zgov, Niger is an agricultural country, but at the same time it is the third largest uranium exporter in the world and has the largest population growth in Africa. These are difficult starting conditions for securing the life of the population. The industrial sector is poorly developed. In the informal sector, with services and handicraft activities, people earn their living.


Although only inhabited by a few ethnic groups, Niger is culturally very diverse – the same religion is a strong link. The urban-rural divide is clear, but public social services in rural areas are constantly improving: schools and health centers are being built. With a polygamous character, the position of women differs among the ethnic groups.

Everyday life

The urban-rural contrast is significant, but urbanization is increasing rapidly. Telecommunication now connects the most remote corners via mobile and satellite networks. Because of the security risks, foreigners have limited travel options. The health and nutritional supply in Niamey is satisfactory.


Official name: Republic of Niger

Area: 1,267 million kmĀ²

Residents: over 24 million (2020, estimated)

Growth of population: 3.8% / year (2019, estimated)

Seat of government: Niamey

Official language: French

National languages: Haussa, Djerma-Songhai, Fulfulde, Tamaschek and others

Distinctive indicators of Niger’s human development

Average life expectancy 64.9 / 62.4 (2020)
Population growth per year 3.8% (2020)
Gross domestic product (per capita, purchasing power parity) US $ 912 (2019)
Illiteracy rate among people over the age of 15 71.3% (2016)
Enrollment rate 71% (2016)
Child mortality (deaths / 1,000 live births) 88 / 1,000 (2016)
Proportion of malnourished children younger than 5 years 40% (2012)
Proportion of the population without access to clean drinking water 48% (2012)
Birth rate (number of children / woman) 7.2 (2018)

According to the indicators for human development (according to the Human Development Report), Niger ranks last out of 189 states: 189th place (HDI 2020). Niger has consistently ranks in the last two ranks in recent years. All of the following information is taken from the Human Development Report, Populationdata.

The CIA World Factbook has interesting figures and values on Niger. Further valuable information can be found in the overview of the Federal Foreign Office, the French Embassy, as well as the BBC, RFI, Jeune Afrique and others. It is also worth checking the websites of the University of Pennsylvania and the Statistical Institute of Niger.

The population growth of Niger is one of the highest in the world (the various statistics show values between a good 3% and just under 4% (3.82%); the highest level was reached in the years 2013-2014 with 3.98% and there is a gradual decline.

In the course of the rapid population increase, urbanization is also increasing; Meanwhile over 19% (2017) of the Nigerien population live in urban centers and the trend is increasing.

The multidimensional poverty index of Niger is 0.591. A good 90% (90.6%: HDI 2018) of the Nigerien live in poor conditions with considerable supply problems: 44.5% of the Nigerien population lives below the poverty line and have less than 1.90 US dollars at their disposal every day.

For some of these averages, it should be noted that there are large differences between urban and rural areas, for example in the supply of clean water: 91% in the city and 32% in the countryside. These deficits are even more pronounced as Niger continues to host many refugees from Mali (in the west of the country) and from Nigeria (in the east of the country). These people mostly live in economically weak regions, where food shortages often occur.

Corona crisis

Another challenge for the state of Niger. The investigation capacities are low; in this respect, the gray numbers of diseases are supposedly higher than the statistics show us.

Country flag

The national flag of the Republic of Niger has been in use since November 23, 1959, with its three colored stripes and the sun.

The symbols of the colors of the national flag can be read as follows:

  • Orange stands for the Sahara desert in the north of the country.
  • Green stands for the grass plains in the south and west through which the Niger River flows.
  • White represents hope. Geographically, it symbolizes the savanna region.

The sun symbolizes the willingness of people to stand up for their rights.

Niger Overview