Key statistics about the geographic, demographic and economic situation of the country which serve as indicators that can be compared with other countries.

Country Surface Area
1 267 000 km2
Population (UN 2021)25 131 000
Population – growth rate (UN 2021)3,8 % per annum (fastest in world)
Population – by gender (UN 2021)Approx. 50/50
(101,2 males for 100 females)
Population – by age (UNESCO 2020)70 % aged 25 years or less
50 % aged 14 years or less
Life expectancy at birth (UN 2021)Females: 63 ans
Males: 60,7 ans
Female marriage age (UNICEF 2019)75 % before 18 years
25 % before 15 years
Fecundity (UNICEF 2019)7.2 children per woman
Literacy (UNESCO 2020)35 % (15 years and over)
Secondary Education Enrolment (UN 2021)25 % of the eligible population
(20.7 females/27.7 males)
GDP – annual growth rate (UN 2021)5.8 %
GDP by inhabitant (World Bank 2019)$488
Human Development Index (UNDP 2019)189/189 (very last)

Niger is a vast country with a surface area of 1 267 000km2. Just 20% of that surface is arable land, with the rest being desert. Global warming has seen desertification increase at the rate of 200,000 hectares/year, an alarming statistic for an economy that is reliant on subsistence agriculture.

Over the 40 years from 1960 to 2000 the population of Niger grew from 4 million to 24 million (the fastest rate of growth in the world). This continues to increase exponentially, with the current population being 25,131,000. The vast majority of young women (75%) are married prior to 18 years of age and the fecundity rate of 7.2 children per women.  These two factors indicate that Nigerien population growth is likely to continue.

Shrinking areas of arable land combined with the continuing increase in population has contributed to a situation where, despite impressive economic growth (annual average of 5.8% of Niger’s GDP), 41% of the Nigerien population lives in extreme poverty. Indeed from 2017-2019 Niger ranked very last on the UN Human Development Index (HDI).

In 2021 the HDI of Niger is 0,4 placing it 189th out of 191 countries. In an attempt to address the alarming levels of poverty, the government in 2022 established a Ministry for Population. In an official communiqué, the government identifies youth as a key priority. Specifically, President Bazouma is targeting the education of girls as a way of reducing the fecundity rate.


Human Development Index value is determined by combining a country’s scores in a wide-ranging assortment of indicators including life expectancy, literacy rate, rural populations’ access to electricity, GDP per capita, exports and imports, homicide rate, multidimensional poverty index, income inequality, internet availability, and many more. These indicators are compiled into a single number between 0 and 1.0, with 1.0 being the highest possible human development. HDI is divided into four tiers: very high human development (0.8-1.0), high human development (0.7-0.79), medium human development (0.55-.70), and low human development (below 0.55).

The Human Development Index (HDI), is a metric compiled by the United Nations and used to quantify a country’s “average achievement in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, knowledge and a decent standard of living”.