Niger Flag Icon

Niger Country Guide

Explore Niger in Africa

Travel warning information is updated daily: The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's advisory service has marked this country as DO NOT TRAVEL. This means that travelling this country can result in potentially life-threatening situations! If you really have to go: Check with your local authorities whether your exact destination is safe.

Niger with the capital city Niamey is located in Africa (Western Africa, southeast of Algeria). It covers some 1,267,001 square kilometres (slightly less than twice the size of Texas) with 13,272,000 citizens.

Map of the area of  in

The topography includes predominately desert plains and sand dunes with flat to rolling plains in south and hills in north. The average density of population is approximately 10 per km². The notable climate conditions in Niger can be described as desert with mostly hot, dry, dusty, tropical in extreme south. Possible natural disasters include recurring droughts.

To reach someone in Niger dial +227 prior to a number. There are 65,000 installed telephones. And there are 2,599,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900 Mhz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".ne". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 220V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Niger

Three equal horizontal bands of orange (top), white, and green with a small orange disk centered in the white band; the orange band denotes the drier northern regions of the Sahara; white stands for purity and innocence; green symbolizes hope and the fertile and productive southern and western areas, as well as the Niger River; the orange disc represents the sun and the sacrifices made by the people
note: similar to the flag of India, which has a blue spoked wheel centered in the white band.

Niger became independent from France in 1960 and experienced single-party and military rule until 1991, when Gen. Ali SAIBOU was forced by public pressure to allow multiparty elections, which resulted in a democratic government in 1993. Political infighting brought the government to a standstill and in 1996 led to a coup by Col. Ibrahim BARE. In 1999, BARE was killed in a counter coup by military officers who restored democratic rule and held elections that brought Mamadou TANDJA to power in December of that year. TANDJA was reelected in 2004 and in 2009 spearheaded a constitutional amendment that would allow him to extend his term as president. In February 2010, a military coup deposed TANDJA, immediately suspended the constitution, and dissolved the Cabinet. ISSOUFOU Mahamadou emerged victorious from a crowded field in the election following the coup and was inaugurated in April 2011. Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world with minimal government services and insufficient funds to develop its resource base. The largely agrarian and subsistence-based economy is frequently disrupted by extended droughts common to the Sahel region of Africa. The Nigerien Movement for Justice, a predominately Tuareg ethnic group, emerged in February 2007, and attacked several military targets in Niger's northern region throughout 2007 and 2008. Successful government offensives in 2009 limited the rebels'' operational capabilities. Niger is facing increased security concerns on its borders from various external threats including insecurity in Libya and spillover from the rebellion in Mali.

Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: Africa
Neighbours: Chad, Benin, Algeria, Libya, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Mali
Capital: Niamey
Size 1,267,000 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 489,191 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly less than twice the size of Texas
Population 13,272,000
Currency Name: Franc, Currency Code: XOF
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .ne
Telephone Country Prefix +227
Mobile Phone Connections 2,599,000
Landline Phone Connections 65,000

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value name Value World Rank
Area 1,267,000 (sq km) 22

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 16,899,327 63
Population growth rate 3.32 (%) 5
Birth rate 46.84 (births/1,000 population) 1
Death rate 13.07 (deaths/1,000 population) 21
Net migration rate -0.60 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 137
Maternal mortality rate 590.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 13
Infant mortality rate 87.98 (deaths/1,000 live births) 7
Life expectancy at birth 54.34 (years) 207
Total fertility rate 7.03 (children born/woman) 1
Health expenditures 5.20 (% of GDP) 133
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.80 (%) 56
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 61,000 54
HIV/AIDS - deaths 4,300 42
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 2.40 (%) 180
Children under the age of 5 years underweight 39.90 (%) 5
Education expenditures 4.50 (% of GDP) 94
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 3.2 (%) 138


Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 13,340,000,000 145
GDP - real growth rate 11.20 (%) 5
GDP - per capita (PPP) 800 221
Labor force 4,688,000 84
Distribution of family income - Gini index 34 93
Taxes and other revenues 25.2 (% of GDP) 121
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -4.10 (% of GDP) 138
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 3.90 (%) 107
Central bank discount rate 4.75 (%) 74
Commercial bank prime lending rate 4.30 (%) 166
Stock of narrow money 1,064,000,000 148
Stock of broad money 1,201,000,000 163
Stock of domestic credit 1,040,000,000 157
Industrial production growth rate 5.10 (%) 57
Current account balance -1,628,000,000 130
Exports 1,654,000,000 147
Imports 2,491,000,000 157
Debt - external 1,451,000,000 148


Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 210,000,000 (kWh) 179
Electricity - consumption 695,300,000 (kWh) 159
Electricity - imports 500,000,000 (kWh) 78
Electricity - installed generating capacity 145000 (kW) 159
Electricity - from fossil fuels 100.0 (% of total installed capacity) 28
Crude oil - production 6,712 (bbl/day) 86
Refined petroleum products - consumption 5,629 (bbl/day) 166
Refined petroleum products - imports 3,330 (bbl/day) 166
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 1,796,000 (Mt) 152


Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 85,900 148
Telephones - mobile cellular 4,743,000 110
Internet hosts 454 186
Internet users 115,900 155


Value name Value World Rank
Airports 30 116
Roadways 18,949 (km) 112
Waterways 300 (km) 94


Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 0.90 (% of GDP) 141

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Name Since
Air and Ténéré Natural Reserves
This is the largest protected area in Africa, covering some 7.7 million ha, though the area considered a protected sanctuary constitutes only one-sixth of the total area. It includes the volcanic rock mass of the Aïr, a small Sahelian pocket, isolat ...
Historic Centre of Agadez
Known as the gateway to the desert, Agadez, on the southern edge of the Sahara desert, developed in the 15th and 16th centuries when the Sultanate of Aïr was established  and Touareg tribes were sedentarized in the city, respecting the boundaries ...
W National Park of Niger
The part of 'W' National Park that lies in Niger is situated in a transition zone between savannah and forest lands and represents important ecosystem characteristics of the West African Woodlands/Savannah Biogeographical Province. The site reflects ...