Niger is three times as large as Sweden and
consists largely of desert and semi-desert. Most
residents live in the south. After independence in 1960,
Niger has been governed by military coup regimes for
long periods. The Desert people Tuaregans have at times
waged an armed struggle for increased social and
political rights. In the 2010s, however, Islamist
extremists created the biggest problems. The economy is
based on exports of uranium.
Brief profiles of Niger, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Niger is West Africa's largest country with
an area approximately three times the size of Sweden.
The country lacks coast and consists of two-thirds of
desert and peninsula.
The Sahara Desert extends into northern Niger and to
the south lies the steppe-like Sahel area. At the far
south is a cultivable land strip.
The Niger River, which gave the country its name,
runs parallel to the border in the southwest. In the
south-east is Lake Chad and in northern and central
Niger the Djadon Plateau and the Aïr Massif are
spreading with peaks over 2,000 meters above sea level.
The climate in Niger is dry and hot, and the country
is experiencing recurrence of severe drought.
From November to January, the dry desert wind gives
the harmattan some coolness, but the wind also tears up
clouds of dust and sand that settle as a fog over the
The heat in the Sahara causes the rain to evaporate
before it reaches the ground, but in southern Niger it
rains some during the summer. The capital Niamey in the
southwest receives between 500 and 600 mm of rain per
year. This is almost as much as the average annual
rainfall in Sweden.
In the mountainous areas of central Niger, the
temperature at night can drop to zero. Frost is not
uncommon at the top of the peaks.
FACTS - GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
1 267 000 km2 (2018)
Adjacent country (s)
Mali, Algeria, Libya, Chad, Nigeria, Benin, Burkina
Capital with number of inhabitants
Niamey 829,000 (Estimated 2007)
Other major cities
Zinder 202,000, Maradi 172,000, Agadèz 95,000, Arlit
92,000, Tahoua 85,000 (Estimated 2007)
Monts Bagazane (2,022 m asl)
Niger, Dallol Bosso
Average Precipitation / month
Niamey 188 mm (Aug), 0 mm (Feb)
Average / day
Niamey 37 °C (April), 25 °C (Dec)