Niger Economy Facts

Economical overview

Niger’s economy is based on exports of a few commodities as well as agriculture. The potential for economic development is hampered by political conflicts, the country’s isolated location, high transport costs, infertile land, unfavorable climate and lack of skilled labor.

In addition to the official economy, there is a large informal sector where around 70 percent of all economic activity takes place according to estimates from the World Bank. Not least, extensive goods smuggling across the border to Nigeria is ongoing.

  • Major imports by Niger, covering a full list of top products imported by the country and trade value for each product category.

The uranium accounts for about half of Niger’s export income and oil for a quarter. The economic development is thus dependent on how the price of these products develops on the world market. Weather is another factor that has a major impact on the economy as 80 percent of the inhabitants live on agriculture, most of them growing what they themselves need. The country has repeatedly been hit by drought and famine.

As a rule, there are deficits in the state budget and trade abroad, and Niger is heavily dependent on aid and loans. Important donors are France, the rest of the EU, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, Japan, the United States and Germany.

In order to obtain loans from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Niger has been forced to implement budgetary restrictions and privatize state property, which has led to layoffs of government employees and the resulting union protests. At times, the external debt has been soaring and the country has in turn received its debts neglected and renegotiated.

Niger’s economic growth has been on average relatively high since the turn of the millennium, but development is from a very low starting point. Average annual growth has been around 5 percent on average in 2000–2014, but the figures vary widely from year to year depending on the weather and how prices for the country’s export products have developed. Niger was only marginally affected by the international financial crisis that spread around the world from 2008, but growth was still negative in 2009 when many aid donors withdrew their aid in protest of President Tandja’s attempt to extend his mandate. After the allocation of Tandja in 2010, aid was resumed.

  • Check this abbreviation website to find three letter ISO codes for all countries in the world, including NER which represents the country of Niger. Check findjobdescriptions to learn more about Niger.


GDP per person

US $ 412 (2018)

Total GDP

US $ 9,240 million (2018)

GDP growth

5.2 percent (2018)

Agriculture’s share of GDP

39.7 percent (2017)

Manufacturing industry’s share of GDP

5.7 percent (2017)

The service sector’s share of GDP

38.3 percent (2017)


-1.3 percent (2019)

Government debt’s share of GDP

53.8 percent (2018)

External debt

US $ 3,323 million (2017)


West African Franc

Merchandise exports

US $ 1,206 million (2017)


US $ 1 952 million (2017)

Current account

– US $ 1,271 million (2017)

Commodity trade’s share of GDP

41 percent (2018)

Main export goods

uranium, cattle, gold

Largest trading partner

France, Nigeria, USA, China

Niger Economy Facts

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