Niger is a landlocked country located in West Africa. Niger is bordered by Libya to the northeast, Chad to the east, Nigeria to the south, Benin to the southwest, Burkina Faso to the southwest, and Mali to the northwest. Niger covers a land area of 1,270,000 km2 (490,000 sq mi), making it the largest country in West Africa. The country's predominantly Islamic population of about 21 million live mostly in rural areas. The capital and largest city is Niamey, located in the far-west corner of Niger. Niger is a semi-arid nation with desert landscapes in the north and savanna grasslands in the south. Niger's economy is largely dependent on subsistence agriculture, livestock, and re-exporting raw materials, such as uranium. Niger faces serious challenges, such as chronic food shortages due to drought and desertification, overpopulation, and the spread of infectious diseases such as malaria and hepatitis.