Niger country profile



Short name Niger
Official  name

The Republic of Niger

Location West Africa
Capital Niamey
Population 16.6 million inhabitants
Area 1.27 million sq km (489,000 sq miles)
Languages French (official), Hausa, Songhai, Arabic
Religions Islam, indigenous beliefs


Niger is a landlocked country in West Africa that is named after the Niger River. Nigeria and Benin border it to the south, Mali and Burkina Faso to the west, Libya and Algeria to the north, and Chad to the east. Its total area is 1,270,000 sq. km and 80 percent of Niger is covered by the Sahara. Its population of more than 17,4 million people are mostly Muslim and live in the south and west. Niamey is the capital city. Desertification and drought threaten the non-desert locations. Subsistence agriculture is a major part of the economy outside export areas in the fertile south and uranium ore. Poor education, poverty, the landlocked desert terrain, poor infrastructure, and environmental degradation handicap the country.

The country has diversity that comes from the histories of its ethnic groups. Niger has been on the edges of several large states. There have been five constitutions and three periods of military rule since independence. Most people live in rural areas and do not have access to education.




Niger is the 146th largest export economy in the world and the 98th most complex economy according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI). In 2014, Niger exported $1.2B and imported $2.3B, resulting in a negative trade balance of $1.1B. In 2014 the GDP of Niger was $8.17B and its GDP per capita was $937.

Niger borders Benin, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Libya, Mali, Nigeria and Chad.

Trade Balance


As of 2014 Niger had a negative trade balance of $1.1B in net imports. As compared to their trade balance in 1995 when they still had a negative trade balance of $236M in net imports.




The top exports of Niger are Radioactive Chemicals ($546M), Refined Petroleum ($249M), Uranium and Thorium Ore ($106M), Other Oily Seeds($37.7M) and Rice ($23.6M), using the 1992 revision of the HS (Harmonized System) classification. Its top imports are Rice ($130M), Cement ($93.6M), Cars ($90.4M), Excavation Machinery ($89.2M) and Packaged Medicaments ($77.1M).

In 2014 Niger exported $1.2B, making it the 146th largest exporter in the world. During the last five years the exports of Niger have increased at an annualized rate of 10.3%, from $730M in 2009 to $1.2B in 2014. The most recent exports are led by Radioactive Chemicals which represent 45.7% of the total exports of Niger, followed by Refined Petroleum, which account for 20.9%.


In 2014 Niger imported $2.3B, making it the 157th largest importer in the world. During the last five years the imports of Niger have increased at an annualized rate of 4.6%, from $1.83B in 2009 to $2.3B in 2014. The most recent imports are Rice, machinery, vehicles and parts, petroleum, cereals.


The top export destinations of Niger are France ($524M), Nigeria ($138M), Burkina Faso ($134M), China ($133M) and the United States ($80M). The top import origins are China ($451M), France ($308M), the United States ($124M), India ($97.3M) and Thailand ($87.5M).


The top import origins of Niger are China ($451M), France ($308M), the United States ($124M), India($97.3M) and Thailand ($87.5M).

Finance and Investment

Niger does have one of the largest uranium deposits in the world, but subsistence crops and livestock are major parts of the economy. The high population growth, droughts, and drop in uranium demand have hurt the economy.

Niger’s currency, the CFA franc, is shared with seven other members of the Wes African Monetary Union. These countries also share a common central bank. Niger belongs to the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA).

Internal markets, subsistence farming, and exporting raw commodities form the basis of Niger’s agricultural economy. Most residents involved in crop production are in the nation’s south center and south west areas.


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