Your guide to being an expatriate in Niger

Caffeinate Your Niger Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

Niger, officially the Republic of Niger, is a country in West Africa, named after the Niger River on its southeastern border. It borders Nigeria and Benin to the south, Burkina Faso and Mali to the west, Algeria to the northwest, Libya and Chad to the northeast, and Nigeria again to the southeast. Niger covers a land area of approximately 1,267,000 km2 (489,560 sq mi), making it the largest country in West Africa, with over 80% of its land area covered by the Sahara Desert. Niger is a presidentially governed democratic republic, making it one of fifteen countries in Africa to have successfully introduced multi-party democracy.


Expat destinations in Niger

Demographics of Niger:

Ethnic groups

  • Hausa (51.4%), Zarma/Gurma (21.2%), Tuareg (11.2%), Fulani (9.9%), Kanouri-Hadjerai (3.6%), Beri-Berabéré (2.9%), Songhai (2.5%), Arabe (0.8%), Bija-Bissa (0.7%), Bissa (0.6%), Gourmantche (0.6%), Djerma-Songhai (0.3%), Manga-Poular (0.2%).


  • French (official) 20.7%, Hausa (hausa, hausa kawoye) 15.1%, Zarma (djerma, zarma) 11.4%, Tamashek (tamashek, tamarhašt) 11%, Djerma (djerma, zerma) 6.5%, Fulfulde (fulfulde, peul, poular) 5.4%, Kanuri (kanuri) 5.3%, Gourmantche (gourmantche, gurma) 3.1%, Bissa (bissa) 2.4%, Songhai (sonrhaï) 1.6%.

Religion Overview

Niger is predominantly Muslim, with over 98% of the population following the religion. The remaining 2% are predominantly Christian or animist.

Major Religions


Niger's climate is hot and dry, typical of the Sahara desert. In the east and southeast, there are savannas with scattered trees and grasses, while in the northwest, the terrain becomes more mountainous and arid.

Economy Overview

Niger's economy is primarily agricultural and pastoral, with the majority of the population supporting themselves through subsistence farming and livestock herding. The country is rich in natural resources such as uranium, gold, and oil, but these resources make up a small portion of the country's GDP. Niger is a member of the Organisation for the Harmonisation of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA).

Key Industries

  • Agriculture
  • Livestock Farming
  • Precious Metals and Minerals
  • Fishing (in the north, particularly in the Azawak Delta)
  • Textiles and Leather

Major Companies

  • African Commodities and Trade Company (Actcom)
  • Multinvest Group
  • Bauru Holding SPRL
  • Groupement des Moulins et Fabricants de Semoules et Flour de Mil et de Mais du Niger (SEMAFO)
  • Niger's National Fishing Company (SNAPEX)

Culture and Language Overview

Niger's diverse society is made up of many ethnic groups, each with their unique culture and traditions. Traditional dress, music, and dance are all important elements of Niger's cultural heritage, with materials such as cotton, wool, and indigo playing a prominent role in traditional garments.

Cultural Highlights

  • Traditional Music: Niger has a rich tradition of music, with genres such as Gambeya and Assouf featuring prominently in the region's cultural heritage. Musicians often use traditional instruments such as the kora, ngoni, and balafon.
  • Textiles and Dress: Traditional clothing in Niger is often brightly colored, featuring intricate patterns and designs. The mopti cap and traditional sandals, known as bige and vares, are also important elements of traditional dress.
  • Festivals: Niger celebrates a number of traditional festivals throughout the year, such as the Kandadji Festival in Carakol and the Cherche Fasse Festival (Cherchez-Fasse) in Niamey, which celebrate the country's history and heritage.

Geography and Landmarks Overview

Niger's landscape is dominated by the Sahara desert, which covers much of the country's terrain. However, there are also more fertile areas in the southeast, which support agriculture and have traditional mud-brick structures.

Notable Landmarks

  • The Old Town and Walled City of Zinder: This historic city dates back to the 11th century and is home to a number of traditional mud-brick structures, including mosques, palaces, and houses.
  • The W National Park: This vast national park covers over 100,000 km2 (38,610 sq mi) of the African savanna and is home to iconic wildlife such as lions, elephants, and hippos.
  • Niger River: This mighty river forms the country's southeastern boundary and provides a vital source of water and transportation for much of the area.

National Holidays

  • New Year's Day (1 January)
  • Worker's Day (1 May)
  • Ascension Day (20 May in some years)
  • Whit Monday (40 days after Easter Sunday)
  • Independence Day (3 August)
  • All Saints' Day (1 November)
  • Armed Forces Day (18 November)
  • Republic Day (18 December)

Political Stability

Niger has faced political challenges in recent years, with frequent coups and attempts at coup. However, the country is categorized as a stable democracy by the United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.

Find out more about expats in Africa

Latest articles for expats living in Niger