Niger facts for kids

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Republic of Niger
République du Niger (French)
Jamhuriyar Nijar (Hausa)
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: "Fraternité, Travail, Progrès"  (French)
"Fraternity, Work, Progress"
Anthem: La Nigérienne
Location of  Niger  (dark blue)– in Africa  (light blue & dark grey)– in the African Union  (light blue)
Location of  Niger  (dark blue)

– in Africa  (light blue & dark grey)
– in the African Union  (light blue)

and largest city
Official languages French
National languages Hausa, Fulfulde, Gulmancema, Kanuri, Zarma, Tamasheq
Demonym Nigerien (/nɪrɪˈɛn/ or /nˈʒɛəriən/)
Government Semi-presidential republic
 -  President Mahamadou Issoufou
 -  Prime Minister Brigi Rafini
Independence from France
 -  Declared 3 August 1960 
 -  Total 1,267,000 km2 (22nd)
489,678 sq mi
 -  Water (%) 0.02
 -  July 2011 estimate 15,730,754 (63rd)
 -  2001 census 10,790,352
 -  Density 12.1/km2
31.2/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2011 estimate
 -  Total $11.783 billion (140th)
 -  Per capita $781 (175th)
GDP (nominal) 2011 estimate
 -  Total $6.286 billion (143rd)
 -  Per capita $417 (177th)
Gini (1995) 50.5
HDI (2011) Increase 0.295
low · 186th
Currency West African CFA franc (XOF)
Time zone WAT (UTC+1)
 -  Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+1)
Drives on the right
Calling code 227
Internet TLD .ne

Niger is a country in western Africa. The capital is Niamey, and the official language is French. It is surrounded by Algeria and Libya to the north, Chad to the east, Nigeria and Benin to the south, and Burkina Faso and Mali to the west. Niger is landlocked, meaning it has no coastline. Niger gets its name from the Niger River.

The Mali Empire and the Songhai Empire both had land in what is now Niger. Later France controlled the land that is now Niger. Niger has a population, or the number of people living in an area, of 15,306,252 and an area of 1,267,000 square kilometres. Much of Niger is desert.

After a military coup in 2010, Niger is now a democratic, multi-party state. Most of the people live in rural areas, and have little access to advanced education.


Niger is on the border between the Sahara and Sub-Saharan regions. Niger's area is 1,267,000 square kilometres (489,191 sq mi) of which 300 square kilometres (116 sq mi) is water. It is the world's twenty-second largest country. Niger borders seven countries. The longest border is with Nigeria to the south.

The lowest point is the Niger River, with an elevation of 200 metres (656 ft). The highest point is Mont Idoukal-n-Taghès in the Aïr Mountains at 2,022 m (6,634 ft).


This table shows cities with a population over 10,000, according to 2001 census.

City Census division Population
Abalak Tahoua 12,764
Agadez Agadez 78,289
Aguié Maradi 11,475
Arlit Agadez 69,435
Birni Ngaouré Dosso 10,775
Birni Nkonni Tahoua 44,663
Dakoro Maradi 18,875
Diffa Diffa 23,409
Dogondoutchi Dosso 29,244
Dosso Dosso 43,561
Filingué Tillabéri 11,661
Gaya Dosso 28,385
Gouré Zinder 13,422
Guidan Roumji Maradi 10,744
Illéla Tahoua 15,805
Kollo Tillabéri 10,533
Madaoua Tahoua 22,175
Magaria Zinder 17,776
Maïné-Soroa Diffa 10,176
Maradi Maradi 148,017
Matameye Zinder 17,930
Mirria Zinder 19,161
Nguigmi Diffa 15,922
Niamey Niamey Capital District 707,951
Say Tillabéri 10,502
Tahoua Tahoua 73,002
Tânout Zinder 15,779
Tchirozérine Agadez 10,032
Téra Tillabéri 19,508
Tessaoua Maradi 31,667
Tillabéri Tillabéri 16,683
Zinder Zinder 170,575


Niger's subtropical climate is mainly very hot and dry. Much of it is covered by desert. In the extreme south there is a tropical climate on the edges of the Niger River basin. The land is mostly desert plains and sand dunes. There is flat to rolling savanna in the south and hills in the north.


The literacy rate (the amount of the adult population who can read or write) of Niger is among the lowest in the world. In 2005 it was estimated to be only 28.7% (42.9% male and 15.1% female). Primary education in Niger is required for six years. The primary school enrollment and attendance rates are low, particularly for girls. Children are often made to work rather than attend school. This is particularly true during planting or harvest periods.

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