Republic of Niger
République du Niger
LOCATION AND SIZE.
Niger is a landlocked West African country. It is bordered by Algeria and Libya to the north, Nigeria and Benin to the south, Mali and Burkina Faso to the west, and Chad to the east. Niger is about 600 kilometers (373 miles) from east to west at its widest point and about 400 kilometers (248 miles) north to south, and it extends into the Saharan desert. Niger's land area is 1,267,000 square kilometers (48,919 square miles), almost twice the size of Texas. Naimey, the capital city, is in the southwest, and both it and Agadez have international airports.
The population is estimated at 10,355,156 in July 2001. Of Niger's 10 main ethnic groups, the Hausa accounted for 56 percent of the population in 1998. They were followed by the Djerma-Songhai (22 percent), the Fula (8.5 percent), the Tuaregs (8 percent), the Kanouri (4 percent), with Toubous, Arabs and Gourmatche making up 1 percent of the population. About 80 percent of Nigeriens are Muslim. The official language is French, but Djerma and Hausa are also spoken.
The vast majority of the population lives in rural areas (81 percent), but urban populations are growing at a rate of 5.7 percent per year. The population is estimated to be growing at 3.2 percent per year, and the United Nations estimates the population in 2025 will be 22.4 million. This figure is mainly due to the high fertility rate of 7 children born per woman (2000 estimate), although this rate is falling.
Niger has no territories or colonies.
Communauté Financiaire Africaine Franc (CFA Fr). One franc equals 100 centimes. CFA franc notes are in denominations of 500, 1,000, 2,500, 5,000, and 10,000 notes, and coins of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, and 250 francs.
Uranium, livestock and animal products, cowpeas, and onions.
Consumer goods (cereals, petroleum products), and intermediate and capital goods.
GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT:
US$10 billion (purchasing power parity, 2000 est.).
BALANCE OF TRADE:
Exports: US$385 million (f.o.b., 1999). Imports: US$317 million (f.o.b., 1999).