Niger Economy - 2021


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Economic overview

Niger is a landlocked, Sub-Saharan nation, whose economy centers on subsistence crops, livestock, and some of the world's largest uranium deposits. Agriculture contributes approximately 40% of GDP and provides livelihood for over 80% of the population. The UN ranked Niger as the second least developed country in the world in 2016 due to multiple factors such as food insecurity, lack of industry, high population growth, a weak educational sector, and few prospects for work outside of subsistence farming and herding.

Since 2011 public debt has increased due to efforts to scale-up public investment, particularly that related to infrastructure, as well as due to increased security spending. The government relies on foreign donor resources for a large portion of its fiscal budget. The economy in recent years has been hurt by terrorist activity near its uranium mines and by instability in Mali and in the Diffa region of the country; concerns about security have resulted in increased support from regional and international partners on defense. Low uranium prices, demographics, and security expenditures may continue to put pressure on the government’s finances.

The Government of Niger plans to exploit oil, gold, coal, and other mineral resources to sustain future growth. Although Niger has sizable reserves of oil, the prolonged drop in oil prices has reduced profitability. Food insecurity and drought remain perennial problems for Niger, and the government plans to invest more in irrigation. Niger’s three-year $131 million IMF Extended Credit Facility (ECF) agreement for the years 2012-15 was extended until the end of 2016. In February 2017, the IMF approved a new 3-year $134 million ECF. In June 2017, The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) granted Niger $1 billion over three years for IDA18, a program to boost the country’s development and alleviate poverty. A $437 million Millennium Challenge Account compact for Niger, commencing in FY18, will focus on large-scale irrigation infrastructure development and community-based, climate-resilient agriculture, while promoting sustainable increases in agricultural productivity and sales.

Formal private sector investment needed for economic diversification and growth remains a challenge, given the country’s limited domestic markets, access to credit, and competitiveness. Although President ISSOUFOU is courting foreign investors, including those from the US, as of April 2017, there were no US firms operating in Niger. In November 2017, the National Assembly passed the 2018 Finance Law that was geared towards raising government revenues and moving away from international support.

Real GDP growth rate

4.9% (2017 est.)

4.9% (2016 est.)

4.3% (2015 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

-2.5% (2019 est.)

6.3% (2018 est.)

2.3% (2017 est.)

Credit ratings

Moody's rating: B3 (2019)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$28.544 billion (2019 est.)

$26.953 billion (2018 est.)

$25.138 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$12.926 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$1,225 (2019 est.)

$1,201 (2018 est.)

$1,164 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Gross national saving

22.1% of GDP (2018 est.)

20.1% of GDP (2017 est.)

21.2% of GDP (2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 41.6% (2017 est.)

industry: 19.5% (2017 est.)

services: 38.7% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 70.2% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 9.4% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 38.6% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 16.4% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -34.6% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores

Overall score: 56.8 (2020)

Starting a Business score: 91.5 (2020)

Trading score: 65.4 (2020)

Enforcement score: 54.7 (2020)

Agricultural products

millet, cow peas, sorghum, onions, milk, groundnuts, cassava, cabbages, goat milk, fruit


uranium mining, petroleum, cement, brick, soap, textiles, food processing, chemicals, slaughterhouses

Industrial production growth rate

6% (2017 est.)

Labor force

6.5 million (2017 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 79.2%

industry: 3.3%

services: 17.5% (2012 est.)

Unemployment rate

0.3% (2017 est.)

0.3% (2016 est.)

Population below poverty line

40.8% (2018 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

34.3 (2014 est.)

50.5 (1995)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.2%

highest 10%: 26.8% (2014)


revenues: 1.757 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 2.171 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

21.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Public debt

45.3% of GDP (2017 est.)

45.2% of GDP (2016 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$1.16 billion (2017 est.)

-$1.181 billion (2016 est.)


$1.525 billion (2018 est.)

$1.466 billion (2017 est.)

Exports - partners

United Arab Emirates 54%, China 25%, France 7%, Pakistan 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

gold, sesame seeds, uranium, natural gas, refined petroleum (2019)


$2.999 billion (2018 est.)

$2.88 billion (2017 est.)

Imports - partners

China 19%, France 9%, United Arab Emirates 7%, Cote d'Ivoire 6%, India 6%, Nigeria 5%, Togo 5%, Turkey 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

rice, packaged medicines, palm oil, cars, cement (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$1.314 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$1.186 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Debt - external

$3.728 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$2.926 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Exchange rates

Communaute Financiere Africaine francs (XOF) per US dollar -

605.3 (2017 est.)

593.01 (2016 est.)

593.01 (2015 est.)

591.45 (2014 est.)

494.42 (2013 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Niger on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Niger 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Niger 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.