Demographics of Niger

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This article is about the demographic features of the population of Niger, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

The largest ethnic groups in Niger are the Hausa, who also constitute the major ethnic group in northern Nigeria, and the Zarma Songhay (also spelled Djerma-Songhai), who also are found in parts of Mali. Both groups are sedentary farmers who live in the arable, southern tier. The Kanouri (including Beri Beri, Manga) make up the majority of sedentary population in the far southeast of the nation. The remainder of the Nigerien people are nomadic or seminomadic livestock-raising peoples--Tuareg, Fulani, Toubou and Diffa Arabs. With rapidly growing populations and the consequent competition for meager natural resources, lifestyles of these two types of peoples have come increasingly into conflict in Niger in recent years.

Niger's high infant mortality rate is comparable to levels recorded in neighboring countries. However, the child mortality rate (deaths among children between the ages of 1 and 4) is exceptionally high (274 per 1,000) due to generally poor health conditions and inadequate nutrition for most of the country's children. Niger's very high fertility rate (7.4), nonetheless, means that nearly half (49%) of the Nigerien population is under age 15. School attendance is very low (34%), including 38% of males and only 27% of females. Additional education occurs through Koranic schools.


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