According to current projections, Niger’s population is expected to continue its growth through the rest of the century. Its population will surpass 50 million people by 2041 and 100 million by 2068. Niger’s population is expected to be around 163.2 million people by 2099.
In past decades, Niger had slower population growth, at rates less than 3%. Since 1990, the population growth rate has remained above 3% each year. The 2020 population grew 3.84% over the 2019 population, adding about 896,000 people to the population.
Niger had one of the highest fertility rates in the world of 6.95 births per woman. This is lower than the 2019 rate of 7.27 births per woman. Niger’s high fertility rates have resulted in a consistently young population where the median age is 15.2 years old.
|Niger Population (as of 8/24/2023)||27,352,681|
|Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2023)||27,202,843|
|Births per Day||3,332|
|Deaths per Day||560|
|Migrations per Day||3|
|Net Change per Day||2,775|
|Population Change Since Jan. 1||652,125|
Net increase of 1 person every 31 seconds
Population estimates based on interpolation of data from World Population Prospects
|One birth every 26 seconds|
|One death every 2.57 minutes|
|One immigrant every 480 minutes|
|Net gain of one person every 31 seconds|
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. 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.
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.
There are people over age 18 in Niger.
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.
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 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%.