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Nationality: Noun and adjective--Nigerien(s).
Population (2002 est.): 11,342,000 million.
Annual growth rate (2001): 3.3%.
Ethnic groups: Hausa 56%, Djerma 22%, Fulani 8.5%, Tuareg 8%, Beri Beri (Kanuri) 4.3%; Arab, Toubou, and Gourmantche 1.2%.
Religions: Islam (95%); remainder traditional and Christian.
Languages: French (official), Hausa, Djerma, Fulfulde, Kanuri, Tomachek, Toubou, Gourmantche, Arabic.
Education: Years compulsory--6. Attendance--34%.Literacy--15%.
Health: Infant mortality rate (2000)--248/1,000. Life expectancy--46 yrs.
Work force: Agriculture--90%;industry and commerce--6%;government--4%.
People of Niger
The largest ethnic groups in Niger are the Hausa, who also constitute the major ethnic group in northern Nigeria, and the Djerma-Songhai, who also are found in parts of Mali. Both groups are sedentary farmers who live in the arable, southern tier of the country. The remainder of the Nigerien people are nomadic or semi-nomadic livestock-raising peoples--Fulani, Tuareg, Kanuri, and Toubou. With rapidly growing populations and the consequent competition for meager natural resources, lifestyles of agriculturalists and livestock herders 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 (248 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 (7.2%), 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.