French is the official national language, but it is spoken by only a small minority of the people. The Various ethnic groups use their own local languages, and Hausa is spoken all over the country as the language of trade.
According to the 1988 census, the population of Niger was 725,383. By 1994, it had risen to an estimated 9,031,163. A population of 10,640,000 is projected for the year 2000. Only about 200,000 people live in the Northern half of the country. In 1990, Niamey the capital had about 500,000 people.
Niger one of the hottest countries in the world has three basic climatic zones: the Sahara desert in the North, the semi desert region to the South of the desert and the Sudan in the Southwest corner stretching across Niger and Chad. The intense heat of the Saharan zone often causes the slight rainfall to evaporate before it hits the ground. At Bilma, in the east, annual rainfall is only two cm.(.79 inches). At Niamey the average maximum daily temperature fluctuates from 31 degrees C (88 degrees F) in August to 41 degrees C (106 degrees F) in April.
A land locked country; the Republic of the Niger is the largest stare in West Africa. With an area of 1,267,000 square Km. (489,191 square miles). Slightly less than twice the size of Texas. It has a total boundary length of 5,621 Km (3,492 miles). Niger s capital city, Niamey is located in the southwestern part of the country.
Several important empires developed in the upper Niger Basin, starting with the Kingdom of Ghana by the 5th century AD. Following Ghana s demise around 1200, the Mali Empire rose to prominence. The decline of Mali in the 15th century coincided with the rise of Songhai, centered at Gao. In the mid-19th century the Mandingo state headed by Samory Tour and the Tukolor Empire of Umar al-Hajj arose in the upper Niger Basin; both were conquered by the French at the end of the century.
They have no railways the highways total about 10,100 Km. Only 798 Km of the highway is paved and 9,302 is unpaved. They have no ports or harbors. They have a to of 9 airports paved and 18 airports unpaved.