Niger Facts

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How much do you know about Niger?

Niger is a desert country about the size of France, with no access to the sea. Most of the country has no paved roads, electricity, or infrastructure. The official language is French, but there are about 20 indigenous languages.

The poorest country in the world, an unwanted award.  In 2009, the United Nations Development Fund declared Niger as the country with the lowest Human Development Index (HDI).  The HDI provides the composite measure of three dimensions of human development: living a long and healthy life (measured by life expectancy), being educated (measured by adult literacy and gross enrollment in education) and having a decent standard of living (measured by income).

The average person in Niger is less educated, lives a shorter life, is less likely to be literate or enrolled in school and has less income than the average person in any other country on earth.  Over the years, the HDI index ratings vary, but Niger lingers in the bottom five.

Despite such hardship, the nomadic women, men and children who partner with RAIN to improve education, food production and water security are inspired, motivated and hardworking.  Their lives abound with family love, generosity and good humor.

2009 Niger Rankings for the UN Categories 

Life Expectancy

52 years

US is 79.6

Average Adult Literacy Rate


Europe is 99%

School Enrollment Ratio


2nd lowest in the world

Per Capita GNI


Nigeria is $2300/yr

Fertility Rate

Over 7.5

Highest in the world

While statistics for Niger are achingly low, they are worse for the nomadic and rural peoples who comprise of 85% of the total population.  For example, both adult literacy rates and school enrollment rates among nomadic families is estimated to be only 10%-15%.

Women and children in Niger

Women and children suffer the most.  Women in Niger do not fare well; their opportunities for self-improvement and autonomy are few.  They earn less than men, and only a third of the literate people in Niger are women.  Niger has very high rates of maternal mortality and many women lack knowledge about and have access to healthcare.

The average girl in Niger drops out of school after only three years.

Each additional year of school that a girl receives results in her having .26 less children over her lifetime - enabling her to lead a healthier, more productive life.

RAIN in Niger

RAIN is directly partnering with nomadic communities to bring about grassroots solutions to these many challenges. Our mentoring programs keep girls succeeding in school, school market gardens create food security in the face of drought, and community based enterprise forges creative and culturally preserving paths to new livelihoods.  Visit Our Work to see how RAIN is making an impact.

About RAIN

61% of people in Niger live on less than $1 a day.
Did you know
Great Nonprofits Global Giving Shop for Taureg and Wodaabe made Goods Ebay Giving 1% For the Planet

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