2016 Index of Economic Freedom

Niger

overall score54.3
world rank129
Rule of Law

Property Rights30.0

Freedom From Corruption35.0

Limited Government

Government Spending76.8

Fiscal Freedom76.3

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom39.6

Labor Freedom42.3

Monetary Freedom83.0

Open Markets

Trade Freedom64.6

Investment Freedom55.0

Financial Freedom40.0

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Quick Facts
  • Population:
    • 17.1 million
  • GDP (PPP):
    • $17.9 billion
    • 6.9% growth
    • 6.8% 5-year compound annual growth
    • $1,048 per capita
  • Unemployment:
    • 5.1%
  • Inflation (CPI):
    • -0.9%
  • FDI Inflow:
    • $769.0 million
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Niger’s natural resources, including uranium and oil, have spurred five years of notable growth. However, like many other resource-endowed countries in the region, it continues to lack the economic diversity and dynamism that are critical to stable long-term development.

Economic Freedom Snapshot

  • 2016 Economic Freedom Score: 54.3 (down 0.3 point)
  • Economic Freedom Status: Mostly Unfree
  • Global Ranking: 129th
  • Regional Ranking: 26th in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Notable Successes: Monetary Freedom
  • Concerns: Property Rights, Corruption, Open Markets, and Business Freedom
  • Overall Score Change Since 2012: No Change

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Background

President Mamadou Tandja was overthrown in a military coup in February 2010. In March 2011, opposition leader Mahamadou Issoufou won presidential elections that were deemed free and fair, and his Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism won a plurality in the National Assembly. In 2015, Niger joined a multinational coalition fighting the ISIS-aligned Boko Haram terrorists inside Nigeria. It also faces a restive Tuareg population in the North and spillover violence from conflicts in Libya and Mali. Niger has one of the world’s fastest population growth rates. Poor infrastructure and frequent weather disasters contribute to economic hardship. Other than uranium and oil, substantial mineral resources, including gold, have yet to be exploited. According to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Niger hosts nearly 80,000 refugees, primarily from Mali and Nigeria.

Rule of LawView Methodology

Property Rights 30.0 Create a Graph using this measurement

Freedom From Corruption 35.0 Create a Graph using this measurement

Corruption remains a serious problem in Niger, and observers have raised fresh concerns regarding uranium-mining contracts. In October 2014, former President Mamadou Tandja was charged with corruption as an investigation into the disappearance of nearly $800 million of public money when he left office continued. The rule of law remains hampered by an ineffective judicial framework, and a weak court system is vulnerable to political pressure.

Limited GovernmentView Methodology

The top personal income tax rate is 35 percent, and the top corporate tax rate is 30 percent. Other taxes include a tax on interest and a capital gains tax. The overall tax burden equals 15.8 percent of total domestic income. Government spending amounts to 27.8 percent of GDP. The budget balance remains negative, and public debt equals about 36 percent of total annual domestic output.

Regulatory EfficiencyView Methodology

The inadequate regulatory framework hampers private-sector development. Onerous and inconsistent regulations impose substantial costs on business operations. The labor market is poorly developed, and much of the labor force works in the informal sector. The government provides some citizens with food aid and fixes domestic retail fuel prices, which have not changed since early 2013.

Open MarketsView Methodology

Niger’s average tariff rate is 10.2 percent. Importation of goods is time-consuming and costly. Domestic and foreign investors are generally treated equally under the law. State-owned enterprises operate in the energy and telecommunications sectors. Despite some progress toward modernizing the financial sector, financing options for starting private businesses are limited. Overall bank credit to the private sector remains low.

Country's Score Over Time

Bar Graph of Niger Economic Freedom Scores Over a Time Period

Country Comparisons

Bar Graphs comparing Niger to other economic country groups Download Charts

Regional Ranking

rank country overall change
1Mauritius74.7-1.7
2Botswana71.11.3
3Cabo Verde66.50.1
4Rwanda63.1-1.7
5Ghana630.0
6Seychelles62.24.7
7South Africa61.9-0.7
8Namibia61.92.3
9Madagascar61.1-0.6
10Côte d'Ivoire 601.5
11Swaziland59.7-0.2
12Benin59.30.5
13Uganda59.3-0.4
14Burkina Faso59.10.5
15Gabon590.7
16Zambia58.80.1
17Tanzania58.51.0
18Senegal58.10.3
19Kenya57.51.9
20Nigeria57.51.9
21The Gambia57.1-0.4
22São Tomé and Príncipe 56.73.4
23Mali56.50.1
24Djibouti56-1.5
25Mauritania54.81.5
26Niger54.3-0.3
27Cameroon54.22.3
28Burundi53.90.2
29Togo53.60.6
30Guinea53.31.2
31Mozambique 53.2-1.6
32Comoros52.40.3
33Sierra Leone52.30.6
34Liberia52.2-0.5
35Guinea-Bissau51.8-0.2
36Malawi51.8-3.0
37Ethiopia51.50.0
38Lesotho50.61.0
39Angola48.91.0
40Democratic Republic of Congo46.41.4
41Chad46.30.4
42Central African Republic45.2-0.7
43Equatorial Guinea43.73.3
44Republic of Congo 42.80.1
45Eritrea42.73.8
46Zimbabwe38.20.6
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