Profile of Nepal

Basic Facts

(Updated on the 20th of August 2007, based on information found on Reuters, BBC, the Economist, and the CIA’s website.)



Geography and Politics

-Location: Southern Asia, between China and India
-Area size: 143000 sq. km
-Capital: Kathmandu
-Geographical notes: Landlocked; strategic location between China and India; contains eight of world's 10 highest peaks, including Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga. Natural hazards include severe thunderstorms, flooding, landslides, drought, and famine depending on the timing, intensity, and duration of the summer monsoons
-Government type: formerly a constitutional monarchy, now a parliamentary democracy (since April 2006).


-Population: 27.8 million (2007).
-Ethnic groups : 53% Nepali, 18% Bihari. Other ethnic groups include the Tharu, Tamang, Newar, Magar and Abadhi.
-Religion: Hinduism, the official religion, is practised by 86 % of the population. There are also Buddhist (8 %), Muslim (4 %t) and Christian minorities.
-Language: The official language is Nepali, but is only spoken by about half the population. There are numerous other languages, with Tibetan being the second most common language.
-Percentage urban population (2007) 16.7 percent

UNDP Human Development Index (2004)

-HDI Rank: 138
-Life expectancy at birth (years) : 62.1
-Adult literacy rate (% ages 15 and older) 48.6%
-Gender related development index rank: 106
-GDP per capita (PPP US$): 1,490

Economy (2006)

-GDP (purchasing power parity): US$41.18 billion
-GDP - real growth rate: 1.9%
-GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 38%; industry: 20% ; services: 42%

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