Niger Population, Main Cities and Geography

By | January 27, 2023

Niger: population and cities


According to Countryaah website, Niger has about 23.3 million residents. The residents are called Nigerians.

The vast majority of Niger’s residents live in the south of the country. They mainly settled on the borders with Nigeria and Benin. In the north of the country there are many oasis residents as well as nomads and semi-nomads. But they are increasingly giving up their nomadism and moving to the Nigerien cities, some of which are overpopulated.

Niger has an annual population growth of around 2.75%, which is partly due to the high birth rate of 7.4 births per woman. The immensely high birth rate is mainly due to the practiced polygamy and the great poverty. The population has almost quadrupled since independence from the country in 1960. However, life expectancy in the country is quite low. It is currently around 42 years. Infant mortality is very high. About 50% of Niger are under 15 years old.

Ethnic composition

53% Haussa

21% Djerma-Songhay

10% Fulbe,

10% Tuareg

4% Kanouri

Furthermore Toubu, Gourmantche, Europeans, Arabs, Buduma and Moors

The Tuaregs tend to live in the north of the country, while the Haussa live in the south. In the south lies the capital Niamey and thus also the power in the country.

Around 3,000 French have settled in the cities in particular.


About 90% of Niger’s residents are Sunni Muslims. Around 15% are also followers of natural religions. There is also a Christian minority of around 5%.

National language Although French is the official language in Niger, 75% of Nigerians speak Haussa as their mother tongue. In addition, Songhai-Djerma (22%), Fulfulde (10%), Tamaschagh (10%) and Kanuri (4%) are in use. English- or even German-speaking people can hardly be found in the country.

Capital and other cities


The city of about 80,000 residents in northern Niger used to be an important center of the caravan trade. But it is still the center of the Tuareg. Agadez was founded in the 15th century and is still the seat of a sultan today, even if he only has a purely representative power. In part, numerous testimonies can still be found in Agadez, which represent the typical Sudanese clay architecture. The most interesting buildings include the imposing Great Mosque of Agadez with its famous 27 meter high minaret made of clay, the Kaocen Palace, which is now a hotel, and the Agadez Sultan’s Palace. According to Abbreviation Finder, NER stands for Niger in English. Click to see other meanings of this 3-letter acronym.


The city of Arlit spreads out in the Ténéré desert in the north of Niger and was founded in the 1960s because they wanted to exploit the nearby uranium deposits. Around 35,000 people live in Arlit, a city that still lives from uranium mining today.


Maradi with 150,000 residents spreads in the south of the country in close proximity to the Nigerian border. The old trading town accommodates a branch of the Abdou Moumouni University Niamey, where electrical engineering, civil engineering and mechanical engineering are taught.


Niamey is the capital of Niger and with around 1.5 million residents also the most populous city in the country. The political, cultural and economic center of Niger was founded in the 20th century and is therefore still a relatively young city. Niamey stretches on both sides of the Niger River, both of which are connected by the Kennedy Bridge. The city has numerous interesting buildings and museums and is the seat of the Abdou Moumouni University.


Zinder is the capital of the region of the same name with around 250,000. Zinder even functioned as the state capital until 1926 and is now one of the most important cultural and economic centers of Niger. The former quarter for nomads attracts with a colonial new town, the old French fort and a water tower.

Niger: Geography and Map

As a landlocked country in the west of Central Africa, Niger has no coastline to the sea and covers an area of 1,267,000 km². Check topmbadirectory for politics, flags, famous people, animals and plants of Niger. Thereof:

  • BushAround 2% of Niger is bush land.
  • Arable land and fieldsAround 3% of the land is used as arable land or fields, especially for growing cotton and peanuts.
  • DesertAbout 88% of the country is now occupied by the Sahara and the Ténére desert.

The country shares a border with the following seven states

  • Algeria with a length of 956 km
  • Benin with a length of 266 km
  • Burkina Faso with a length of 628 km
  • Chad with a length of 1,175 km
  • Libya with a length of 354 km
  • Mali with a length of 821 km
  • Nigeria with a length of 1,497 km.

Longitude and latitude

Niger extends over the following geographical latitude (abbreviation Δφ) and geographical longitude (abbreviation Δλ):

Δφ = from around 12 ° to 23 ° north latitude Δλ = from around 000 ° to 016 ° east longitude

You can find detailed information on this subject under Longitude and Latitude.

Legal time

For Niger, the following value applies to Central European Time (CET), i.e. the time (without summer time) in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. A minus sign means that it is earlier there, a plus sign that it is later than CET:

Δt (CET) = 0 h

Further and detailed explanations of the time can be found under Time zones, time.

The highest point of the sun in Niamey

Niamey lies at a north latitude of around φ = 13.5 ° (13 ° 30 ‘). If the declination δ of the sun has the value of 13 ° 30 ‘north and the image point of the sun is thus exactly above the city, the sun is perpendicular there. This happens exactly twice a year, roughly 39 days before June 21st and then 39 days after June 21st (for details see position of the sun).


If the image point of the sun and thus the declination is north of the latitude of Niamey, the sun is not in the south at noon, as in our latitudes, but in the north. In this case, the sun moves from east to north to west, where, like us, it sets.


The highest mountain in the country is Mount Bagzane with a height of 2,022 m. Other high mountains are the Adrar Tamgak at 1,988 m and the Gréboun at 1,944 m.


The longest river in the country is the Niger with a total length of around 4,181 km. Another river is the Kamdougou Yobé.


The largest lake in the country is Lake Chad, which is located in the border region of Chad, Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon and the area of which cannot be specified precisely because it varies with the seasons and also shrinks over longer periods of time. Lake Chad is extremely shallow (only 3 m in the south, 7 m in the north), and its size has therefore always been subject to extreme fluctuations. Scientists assume that about 30,000 years ago Lake Chad still had an area of 370,000 km² and was therefore the largest lake on earth at the time. Since then, it has been steadily silting up. At the last high point, in 1963, the lake had an area of 12,700 km².

In addition, there are no larger lakes in Niger.

The Sahara

The Sahara covers an area of around 9 million km², making it the largest dry desert in the world. However, only about 20% of the Sahara is what can be described as a sandy desert. In contrast, 80% of it is a stone or rubble desert. The Sahara in northern Africa stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Nile and on the other side further to the Red Sea in the east. In the north it is bounded by the Maghreb – Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, in the south lies the Sahel zone.

Sand dunes as one would imagine as an outsider can be found in the Ténéré sand desert – which is often referred to as a desert within the desert (Sahara). There are “real” sand dunes with heights of up to 400 m, and there are also a few wadis (rivers that only carry water at times) and valleys with numerous plants and animals. Mainly Tuaregs live here. Numerous dinosaur fossils were found in the vicinity of the village of Tiguidit, proof that a considerably different climate prevailed here at their time (they died out 60 million years ago). In the west it is bounded by the Air Mountains.

Countries in which parts of the Sahara are located in addition to Niger: Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, Sudan, Chad and Tunisia. The few residents of the Sahara are Arabs, Berbers and Moors as well as small groups of Tubu or Tuaregs.

Uranium mining

In the north of Niger – the habitat mainly of the Tuaregs – in the border area between Mali and Algeria, uranium has been used by the French state company Areva since about 1970 reduced. As a result of the mining, large parts of the region are turned into hostile lunar landscapes, perhaps comparable to the mining sites for lignite. The mining of uranium not only leads to the destruction of the habitats of the people and animals there, but also endangers the health of the people in the settlements and oases in the vicinity of the mining sites through radioactive contamination of the groundwater and the drifting of radioactive dust. Around 2008 the French energy giant had secured further mining rights and wants to contribute in this way to Niger becoming the second largest uranium supplier in the world by 2012. The uranium is mined both in opencast and underground. In the area are the cities of Arlit, Akokan and, further south-east, Agadez.

For the people living there, the uranium mining and processing into so-called “yellow cake” has developed into a catastrophe. More and more people develop cancer – especially lung cancer – and die from it. The situation can certainly be compared with the consequences of uranium mining in the GDR, where around 12,000 people died of the so-called SChneeberger disease – lung cancer.

Niger Population