Economic Outline

flag Niger Niger: Economic Outline

Economic Indicators

For the latest updates on the key economic responses from governments to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the IMF's policy tracking platform Policy Responses to COVID-19.

Niger's growth has been particularly resilient to risks spurred by terrorist attacks, low uranium export prices, climate change affecting agriculture and the closure of the border with Nigeria. While GDP growth slowed down to 3.6% in 2020 (IMF) due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Niger’s economy was among the few that avoided recession. In 2021, economic growth rebounded to 5.4%, and it is expected to further accelerate to 6.6% in 2022 and 10.4% in 2023 (IMF). Economic activity will be boosted by the start of oil exports through a new pipeline to the Benin coast and the continuation of major infrastructure projects (IMF, Coface). Major donor-funded projects and foreign direct investment are important drivers of growth.

In 2021, Niger’s economic activity got back close to pre-pandemic levels. However, public finances that deteriorated during the crisis due to increased health spending and the fall of already low tax revenues remained under pressure. Budget deficit increased from -4.9% GDP in 2020 to -6.8% GDP in 2021 (Coface). It is expected to decline to -5.3% GDP in 2022 thanks to increased revenues from customs duties and taxes and the reduction in wage the bill (Coface). However, military and security spending will continue to fuel fiscal pressures owing to Niger's unstable security situation (Coface). Public debt increased from 45% GDP in 2020 to 48.6% GDP in 2021, and it is expected to further rise to 49.5% GDP in 2022 before declining to 47.4% GDP in 2023 (IMF). As it is mainly external and largely held by multilateral creditors, the risk of debt distress is reduced (Coface). Inflation was stable at 2.9% in 2020 and 2021, and it is expected to decrease to 2.5% in 2022 and 2% in 2023, remaining well below the ECOWAS convergence criterion of 10% (IMF). In December 2021, the IMF approved another three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility support the implementation of the authorities’ reform program. Reforms will focus on ensuring debt sustainability, broadening fiscal space, improving spending quality, increasing governance and fighting against corruption, and addressing constraints to the business environment (IMF). The arrangement is expected to catalyse additional bilateral and multilateral financial support (IMF). The main threat to economic stability is the degraded security situation, because of terrorist groups' activities in the region (Boko Haram, AQMI, Al-Murabitoun).

Niger is one of the world’s poorest countries, and it has one of the highest demographic growth rates. Insecurity worsened by Boko Haram attacks led to a major humanitarian crisis. UNHCR counts more than 350,000 refugees and displaced persons in Niger. In 2020, the country still ranked last (189th) in the world in terms of human development. World Bank estimated that official unemployment rate in Niger was around 0.6% in 2020.

Main Indicators 20202021202220232024
GDP (billions USD) 13.7614.9614.6415.5217.86
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change)
GDP per Capita (USD) 568595561574636
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP)
Inflation Rate (%)
Current Account (billions USD) -1.86-2.07-2.29-2.17-1.59
Current Account (in % of GDP) -13.5-13.8-15.6-13.9-8.9

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database - October 2021.

Note: (e) Estimated Data

Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
CFA Franc BCEAO (XOF) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 MUR 16.6816.8816.3816.5014.63

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.


Main Sectors of Industry

Breakdown of Economic Activity By Sector Agriculture Industry Services
Employment By Sector (in % of Total Employment) 72.5 6.7 20.8
Value Added (in % of GDP) 36.5 20.8 37.1
Value Added (Annual % Change) -5.1 4.1 5.4

Source: World Bank - Latest available data.


The Active Population in Figures

Labour Force 8,108,8928,435,8878,749,634

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

Total activity rate 73.60%73.49%73.39%
Men activity rate 84.88%84.72%84.55%
Women activity rate 62.49%62.42%62.37%

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database


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Indicator of Economic Freedom


The Economic freedom index measure ten components of economic freedom, grouped into four broad categories or pillars of economic freedom: Rule of Law (property rights, freedom from corruption); Limited Government (fiscal freedom, government spending); Regulatory Efficiency (business freedom, labour freedom, monetary freedom); and Open Markets (trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom). Each of the freedoms within these four broad categories is individually scored on a scale of 0 to 100. A country’s overall economic freedom score is a simple average of its scores on the 10 individual freedoms.

World Rank:
Regional Rank:

Economic freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Index of Economic Freedom, Heritage Foundation


Country Risk

See the country risk analysis provided by Coface.


Indicator of Political Freedom


The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Partly Free
Political Freedom:

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House


Indicator of Freedom of the Press


The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:

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Sources of General Economic Information

Main Online Newspapers and Portals
Allafrica, Niger News
Niger News Sites
BBC Country Profile, Niger
Useful Resources
Ministry of Finance
List of Ministries in Niger
Ministry of Agriculture
Ministry of Energy
Central Bank of West African States

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Latest Update: February 2023