Niger Population 2019
Niger, officially the Republic of Niger, is a landlocked country in Western Africa bordered by Burkina Faso, Mali, Algeria, Libya, Chad, Benin and Nigeria. In 2019, the estimated population of Niger is 23.31 million, ranks 57th in the world.
Niger Area and Population Density
Niger is the largest country in West Africa, and the 22nd largest country in the world, but over 80% of its land is covered by the Sahara desert. This is one reason for Niger's low population density of just 12 people per square kilometer. Niger's estimated population is 23.31 million, compared to an estimated 17.1 million in 2012. 94% of Niger's population live on just 35% of the land. The Maradi region hold 20% of the population on 3.3% of the country's land, while just 3% of the population live in the desert and mountains to the north, which makes up 53% of the land area.
Largest Cities in Niger
Niger is a nation that has a low percentage of an urban population, with roughly 19% of people living in urban areas, and as such doesn't have many large cities. By far the largest city, which is also the country's capital, is Niamey, with 1,302,910 people living within its borders. Niamey sits on the River Niger and is home to both the nation's military and much of its agriculture. The second largest city is Zinder, with a population of 256,000. There aren't any other major city centers with populations much over 100,000.
More than 50% of Niger's population belongs to the Hausa, which also is the largest ethnic group of northern Nigeria, as well as the Zarma-Songhai. Both groups are sedentary farmers who live in the southern area of the country.
The rest of Nigeriens are nomadic or semi-nomadic and raise livestock. The Fulani, Kanuri, Arabs, Toubou, and Tuareg count for around 20% of the country's population. With the country's population rapidly increasing, creating more competition for scarce resources, the farmer and herders have clashed several times.
A study in 2005 estimated that about 8% of Niger's population is enslaved.
Niger Religion, Economy and Politics
Between 80 and 98% of Niger's population is Muslim, although there are small Animist and Christian communities. Most Muslims in the country are Sufi and Sunni, with about 5% being Shi'a Muslims. Niger maintains a reputation as a secular state that is protected by law. Women are not secluded, and hijabs are not mandatory.
As a landlocked nation, mineral export accounts for much of the country's GDP. In recent years, the government has been trying to increase investment in infrastructure, which has unfortunately led to a lot of debt, making for a weak financial system.
Niger gained its independence from France in 1960 and was ruled by a military regime for the next three decades. An election in 1993 dave the country a democratic government and elected a democratic socialist in 2011.
Niger Population History
Niger came under the control of the French in 1922 but became an autonomous state within the French community by 1958. Drought devastated the nation throughout the 70s and 80s, but the population growth has been extremely strong, if not too much so, regardless. For the majority of the 1900s, the growth rate was well over 2% annually but went over 3% by 1990. This has continued until the present day, where the rate is now near 4%.
Niger Population Growth
Niger currently has the highest birth rate in the world, with the average woman giving birth to 7.2 children. This astonishingly high number has also given Niger the top spot as the world's fastest growing country- but this is not necessarily a prized position to be in. Just over half of the population is under 15 years old, a situation which often leads to social unrest as adults struggle to care for that many young. The country is struggling to provide young people with education, health care, and jobs. Jobs are scarce, and half of the population makes less than $2 US every day.
Niger Population Projections
The population rate is expected to slow down somewhat in the years to come, but it is not projected to be enough to overcome the problems they are having with keeping up with their numbers. Today's outrageous annual growth rate of 3.88%, should get down to 3.5% by 2040, but this is still way too high. The population is predicted to be 24,074,693 in 2020, 34,993,530 by 2030, and 49,754,920 by 2040. These huge jumps in the population could be a real problem going forward if Niger doesn't find a way to curb this trend.
Components of Population Change
|One birth every 30 seconds|
|One death every 3 minutes|
|One net migrant every 160 minutes|
|Net gain of one person every 36 seconds|