Burkina Faso vs. Niger


Burkina FasoNiger
20,835,401 (July 2020 est.)

note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected

22,772,361 (July 2020 est.)
Age structure
0-14 years: 43.58% (male 4,606,350/female 4,473,951)
15-24 years: 20.33% (male 2,121,012/female 2,114,213)
25-54 years: 29.36% (male 2,850,621/female 3,265,926)
55-64 years: 3.57% (male 321,417/female 423,016)
65 years and over: 3.16% (male 284,838/female 374,057) (2020 est.)
0-14 years: 50.58% (male 5,805,102/female 5,713,815)
15-24 years: 19.99% (male 2,246,670/female 2,306,285)
25-54 years: 23.57% (male 2,582,123/female 2,784,464)
55-64 years: 3.17% (male 357,832/female 364,774)
65 years and over: 2.68% (male 293,430/female 317,866) (2020 est.)
Median age
total: 17.9 years
male: 17 years
female: 18.7 years (2020 est.)
total: 14.8 years
male: 14.5 years
female: 15.1 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate
2.66% (2020 est.)
3.66% (2020 est.)
Birth rate
35.1 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
47.5 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Death rate
8.2 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
10.2 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Net migration rate
-0.6 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
-0.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.87 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.76 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 95.6 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.92 male(s)/female
total population: 98.2 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Infant mortality rate
total: 52 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 56.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 47.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
total: 67.7 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 72 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 63.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 62.7 years
male: 60.9 years
female: 64.5 years (2020 est.)
total population: 59.3 years
male: 57.8 years
female: 60.8 years (2020 est.)
Total fertility rate
4.51 children born/woman (2020 est.)
7 children born/woman (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
0.8% (2019 est.)
0.3% (2019 est.)
noun: Burkinabe (singular and plural)
adjective: Burkinabe
noun: Nigerien(s)
adjective: Nigerien
Ethnic groups
Mossi 52%, Fulani 8.4%, Gurma 7%, Bobo 4.9%, Gurunsi 4.6%, Senufo 4.5%, Bissa 3.7%, Lobi 2.4%, Dagara 2.4%, Tuareg/Bella 1.9%, Dioula 0.8%, unspecified/no answer 0.3%, other 7.2% (2010 est.)
Hausa 53.1%, Zarma/Songhai 21.2%, Tuareg 11%, Fulani (Peuhl) 6.5%, Kanuri 5.9%, Gurma 0.8%, Arab 0.4%, Tubu 0.4%, other/unavailable 0.9% (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
100,000 (2019 est.)
33,000 (2019 est.)
Muslim 61.5%, Roman Catholic 23.3%, traditional/animist 7.8%, Protestant 6.5%, other/no answer 0.2%, none 0.7% (2010 est.)
Muslim 99.3%, Christian 0.3%, animist 0.2%, none 0.1% (2012 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths
3,100 (2019 est.)
1,100 (2019 est.)
French (official), native African languages belonging to Sudanic family spoken by 90% of the population
French (official), Hausa, Djerma
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 41.2%
male: 50.1%
female: 32.7% (2018)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 19.1%
male: 27.3%
female: 11% (2015)
Major infectious diseases
degree of risk: very high (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
animal contact diseases: rabies
respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis
degree of risk: very high (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
animal contact diseases: rabies
respiratory diseases: meningococcal meningitis
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
total: 9 years
male: 9 years
female: 9 years (2019)
total: 6 years
male: 7 years
female: 6 years (2017)
Education expenditures
4.2% of GDP (2015)
3.5% of GDP (2017)
urban population: 30.6% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 4.99% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
urban population: 16.6% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 4.27% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Drinking water source
improved: urban: 94.9% of population
rural: 67.9% of population
total: 75.6% of population
unimproved: urban: 4.5% of population
rural: 32.1% of population
total: 24.4% of population (2017 est.)
improved: urban: 95.7% of population
rural: 59.2% of population
total: 65.2% of population
unimproved: urban: 4.3% of population
rural: 40.8% of population
total: 34.8% of population (2017 est.)
Sanitation facility access
improved: urban: 88.2% of population
rural: 30.2% of population
total: 46.9% of population
unimproved: urban: 11.8% of population
rural: 69.8% of population
total: 53.1% of population (2017 est.)
improved: urban: 76.6% of population
rural: 12.9% of population
total: 23.3% of population
unimproved: urban: 23.4% of population
rural: 87.1% of population
total: 76.7% of population (2017 est.)
Major cities - population
2.780 million OUAGADOUGOU (capital), 972,000 Bobo-Dioulasso (2020)
1.292 million NIAMEY (capital) (2020)
Maternal mortality rate
320 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
509 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight
17.7% (2018)
21.8% (2018)
Health expenditures
6.9% (2017)
7.7% (2017)
Physicians density
0.08 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
0.04 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
Hospital bed density
0.4 beds/1,000 population (2010)
0.4 beds/1,000 population (2017)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate
5.6% (2016)
5.5% (2016)
Mother's mean age at first birth
19.4 years (2010 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

18.1 years (2012 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

Demographic profile

Burkina Faso has a young age structure – the result of declining mortality combined with steady high fertility – and continues to experience rapid population growth, which is putting increasing pressure on the country’s limited arable land. More than 65% of the population is under the age of 25, and the population is growing at 3% annually. Mortality rates, especially those of infants and children, have decreased because of improved health care, hygiene, and sanitation, but women continue to have an average of almost 6 children. Even if fertility were substantially reduced, today’s large cohort entering their reproductive years would sustain high population growth for the foreseeable future. Only about a third of the population is literate and unemployment is widespread, dampening the economic prospects of Burkina Faso’s large working-age population.

Migration has traditionally been a way of life for Burkinabe, with seasonal migration being replaced by stints of up to two years abroad. Cote d’Ivoire remains the top destination, although it has experienced periods of internal conflict. Under French colonization, Burkina Faso became a main labor source for agricultural and factory work in Cote d’Ivoire. Burkinabe also migrated to Ghana, Mali, and Senegal for work between the world wars. Burkina Faso attracts migrants from Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Mali, who often share common ethnic backgrounds with the Burkinabe. Despite its food shortages and high poverty rate, Burkina Faso has become a destination for refugees in recent years and hosts about 33,500 Malians as of May 2017.


Niger has the highest total fertility rate (TFR) of any country in the world, averaging close to 7 children per woman in 2016. A slight decline in fertility over the last few decades has stalled. This leveling off of the high fertility rate is in large part a product of the continued desire for large families. In Niger, the TFR is lower than the desired fertility rate, which makes it unlikely that contraceptive use will increase. The high TFR sustains rapid population growth and a large youth population – almost 70% of the populace is under the age of 25. Gender inequality, including a lack of educational opportunities for women and early marriage and childbirth, also contributes to high population growth.

Because of large family sizes, children are inheriting smaller and smaller parcels of land. The dependence of most Nigeriens on subsistence farming on increasingly small landholdings, coupled with declining rainfall and the resultant shrinkage of arable land, are all preventing food production from keeping up with population growth.

For more than half a century, Niger's lack of economic development has led to steady net outmigration. In the 1960s, Nigeriens mainly migrated to coastal West African countries to work on a seasonal basis. Some headed to Libya and Algeria in the 1970s to work in the booming oil industry until its decline in the 1980s. Since the 1990s, the principal destinations for Nigerien labor migrants have been West African countries, especially Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire, while emigration to Europe and North America has remained modest. During the same period, Niger’s desert trade route town Agadez became a hub for West African and other Sub-Saharan migrants crossing the Sahara to North Africa and sometimes onward to Europe.

More than 60,000 Malian refugees have fled to Niger since violence between Malian government troops and armed rebels began in early 2012. Ongoing attacks by the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency, dating to 2013 in northern Nigeria and February 2015 in southeastern Niger, have pushed tens of thousands of Nigerian refugees and Nigerien returnees across the border to Niger and to displace thousands of locals in Niger’s already impoverished Diffa region.

Contraceptive prevalence rate
32.5% (2018/19)
11% (2017/18)
Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 87.9
youth dependency ratio: 83.4
elderly dependency ratio: 4.5
potential support ratio: 22.1 (2020 est.)
total dependency ratio: 109.5
youth dependency ratio: 104.1
elderly dependency ratio: 5.4
potential support ratio: 18.4 (2020 est.)

Source: CIA Factbook