Niger
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  Preferred Religion (2015)1: Sunni

  Majority Religion (2015)2: Sunni Muslim (81.2%)

Religious Adherents, (2015)2

Niger Western Africa World
Muslim (all denominations combined) 95.6% 50.5% 22.8%
 
  • Sunni Muslim
  • 81.2% 45% 19%
     
  • Shia Muslim
  • 8.1% 4% 3.4%
     
  • Other and Unknown Muslim
  • 6.4% 1.5% 0.3%
    Ethnoreligionist (incl. Animist, Shamanist) 3.9% 9.8% 2.5%
    Christian (all denominations combined) 0.3% 37.9% 29.9%
     
  • Protestant
  • 0.1% 11.4% 5.6%
     
  • Catholic
  • 0.1% 10.8% 15%
     
  • Pentecostal
  • 0.1% 8.3% 2.8%
     
  • Other and Unknown Christian
  • < 0.1% 0.7% 2.3%
    Other Religionist < 0.1% 0.1% 0.2%
    Not Religious (incl. Atheist) 0.1% 0.3% 12%
    Unknown < 0.1% 1% 4.8%

    Religious Demography3

    The country has an area of 490,000 square miles and a population of 14.8 million. Islam is practiced by more than 90 percent of the population. Approximately 95 percent of Muslims are Sunni and 5 percent Shi'a. There are also small communities of Christians and Baha'is. Christians, both Roman Catholics and Protestants, account for less than 5 percent of the population and are present mainly in the regions of Maradi and Dogondoutchi, and in Niamey and other urban centers with expatriate populations. Adherents of Christianity include local believers from the educated, the elite, and colonial families, as well as immigrants from neighboring coastal countries, particularly Benin, Togo, and Ghana. Numbering a few thousand, Baha'is reside primarily in Niamey and in communities on the west side of the Niger River, bordering Burkina Faso. A small percentage of the population practices traditional indigenous religious beliefs.


    Sources

    1.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

    2.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports the estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. The RCS was created to fulfill the unmet need for a dataset on the religious dimensions of countries of the world, with the state-year as the unit of observation. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivision within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

    3.  The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.

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