The Republic of the Niger is a landlocked country in West Africa, with its capital and largest city being Niamey. 80% of the country is located in the Sahara desert, and its capital is located along the Niger River, for which the country is named. Niger declared its independence from France on 3 August 1960, and the country suffered from several calamities. Niger lived under five constitutions and three periods of military rule and faced desertification, inefficient agriculture, high fertility rates/overpopulation, poor education, and poverty. In July 2016, Niger had a population of 18,636,600 people, with 80% being Muslim and 20% either Christian or animist.