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In 1951, the Nepali monarch ended the century-old system of rule by hereditary premiers and instituted a cabinet system of government. Reforms in 1990 established a multiparty democracy within the framework of a constitutional monarchy. An insurgency led by Maoist extremists broke out in 1996. The ensuing 10-year civil war between insurgents and government forces witnessed the dissolution of the cabinet and parliament and assumption of absolute power by the king. Several weeks of mass protests in April 2006 were followed by several months of peace negotiations between the Maoists and government officials, and culminated in a November 2006 peace accord and the promulgation of an interim constitution. Following a nation-wide election in April 2008, the newly formed Constituent Assembly declared Nepal a federal... See More



 Southern Asia, between China and India

Geographic Coordinates:

 28 00 N, 84 00 E


 Total: 147,181 sq km
Land: 143,351 sq km
Water: 3,830 sq km

Area - Comparative:

 Slightly larger than Arkansas

Land Boundaries:

 Total: 2,926 km
Border countries: China 1,236 km, India 1,690 km


 0 km (landlocked) (Rank: 231)

Maritime Claims:

 None (landlocked)


 Varies from cool summers and severe winters in north to subtropical summers and mild winters in south


 Tarai or flat river plain of the Ganges in south, central hill region, rugged Himalayas in north

Elevation Extremes:

 Lowest point: Kanchan Kalan 70 m
Highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m

Natural Resources:

 Quartz, water, timber, hydropower, scenic beauty, small deposits of lignite, copper, cobalt, iron ore

Land Use:

 Arable land: 16.07%
Permanent crops: 0.85%
Other: 83.08% (2005)

Irrigated Land:

 11,680 sq km (2008)

Total Renewable Water Resources:

 210.2 cu km (1999)

Freshwater Withdrawal:

 Total: 10.18 cu km/yr (3%/1%/96%)
Per capita: 375 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural Hazards:

 Severe thunderstorms; flooding; landslides; drought and famine depending on the timing, intensity, and duration of the summer monsoons

Environment - Current Issues:

 Deforestation (overuse of wood for fuel and lack of alternatives); contaminated water (with human and animal wastes, agricultural runoff, and industrial effluents); wildlife conservation; vehicular emissions

Environment - International Agreements:

 Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

Signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation

Geography - Note:

 Landlocked; strategic location between China and India; contains eight of world's 10 highest peaks, including Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga - the world's tallest and third tallest - on the borders with China and India respectively

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 Noun: Nepali (singular and plural)
Adjective: Nepali

Ethnic Groups:

 Chhettri 15.5%, Brahman-Hill 12.5%, Magar 7%, Tharu 6.6%, Tamang 5.5%, Newar 5.4%, Muslim 4.2%, Kami 3.9%, Yadav 3.9%, other 32.7%, unspecified 2.8% (2001 census)


 Nepali (official) 47.8%, Maithali 12.1%, Bhojpuri 7.4%, Tharu (Dagaura/Rana) 5.8%, Tamang 5.1%, Newar 3.6%, Magar 3.3%, Awadhi 2.4%, other 10%, unspecified 2.5% (2001 census)

Note: many in government and business also speak English (2001 est.)


 Hindu 80.6%, Buddhist 10.7%, Muslim 4.2%, Kirant 3.6%, other 0.9% (2001 census)


 29,391,883 (July 2011 est.)

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 34.6% (male 5,177,264/female 4,983,864)
15-64 years: 61.1% (male 8,607,338/female 9,344,537)
65 years and over: 4.4% (male 597,628/female 681,252) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 21.6 years
Male: 20.7 years
Female: 22.5 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 1.596% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 22.17 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 6.81 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 0.61 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 19% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 4.7% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 KATHMANDU (capital) 990,000 (2009)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate:

 380 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 44.54 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 44.54 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 44.55 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 66.16 years
Male: 64.94 years
Female: 67.44 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 2.47 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 5.8% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 0.21 physicians/1,000 population (2004)

Hospital Bed Density:

 5 beds/1,000 population (2006)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 93% of population
Rural: 87% of population
Total: 88% of population
Urban: 7% of population
Rural: 13% of population
Total: 12% of population (2008)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 51% of population
Rural: 27% of population
Total: 31% of population
Urban: 49% of population
Rural: 73% of population
Total: 69% of population (2008)

HIV/AIDS - Adult Prevalence Rate:

 0.4% (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - People Living With HIV/AIDS:

 64,000 (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - Deaths:

 4,700 (2009 est.)

Major Infectious Diseases:

 Degree of risk: high
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne disease: Japanese encephalitis, malaria, and dengue fever (2009)

Children Under 5 - Underweight:

 38.8% (2006)

Education Expenditures:

 4.6% of GDP (2009)


 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 48.6%
Male: 62.7%
Female: 34.9% (2001 census)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 9 years
Male: 10 years
Female: 8 years (2003)

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Country Name:

 Conventional long form: Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
Conventional short form: Nepal
Local long form: Sanghiya Loktantrik Ganatantra Nepal
Local short form: Nepal

Government Type:

 Federal democratic republic


 Name: Kathmandu
Geographic coordinates: 27 43 N, 85 19 E
Time difference: UTC+5.75 (10.75 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative Divisions:

 14 zones (anchal, singular and plural); Bagmati, Bheri, Dhawalagiri, Gandaki, Janakpur, Karnali, Kosi, Lumbini, Mahakali, Mechi, Narayani, Rapti, Sagarmatha, Seti


 1768 (unified by Prithvi Narayan SHAH)

National Holiday:

 Republic Day, 29 May; Democracy Day, 24 April


 15 January 2007 (interim Constitution); note - in April 2008, a Constituent Assembly was elected to draft and promulgate a new constitution by May 2010; the fourth and final deadline extended to May 2012

Legal System:

 English common law and Hindu legal concepts

International Law Organization Participation:

 Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


 18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: President Ram Baran YADAV (since 23 July 2008); Vice President Paramananda JHA (since 23 July 2008)

Head of government: Prime Minister Baburam BHATTARAI (since 29 August 2011); Deputy Prime Ministers Bijay Kumar GACHCHADAR (since 29 August 2011) and Narayan Kaji SHRESTHA

Cabinet: cabinet was formed in May 2009 by a majority coalition made up of the Communist Party of Nepal-United Marxist-Leninist, Nepali Congress, Madhesi People's Rights Forum, Nepal-Democratic, and several smaller parties

Elections: president elected by Parliament; term extends until the new constitution is promulgated; election last held on 21 July 2008; date of next election NA

Election results: Ram Baran YADAV elected president by the Constituent Assembly in a second round of voting on 21 July 2008; Ram Baran YADAV 308, Ram Jaja Prasad SINGH 282

Legislative Branch:

 Unicameral Constituent Assembly (601 seats; 240 members elected by direct popular vote, 335 by proportional representation, and 26 appointed by the Cabinet (Council of Ministers))

Elections: last held on 10 April 2008 (next to be held NA)

Election results: percent of vote by party - CPN-M 38%, NC 19%, CPN-UML 18%,Madhesi People's Right Forum 9%, other 11%; seats by party - CPN-M 229, NC 115, CPN-UML 108, Madhesi People's Rights Forum 54, Terai Madhes Democratic Party 21, other smaller parties 74; note - 26 seats filled by the new Cabinet are included in the totals above

Judicial Branch:

 Supreme Court or Sarbochha Adalat (the president appoints the chief justice on recommendation of the Constitutional Council; the chief justice appoints other judges on the recommendation of the Judicial Council)

Political Parties and Leaders:

 Chure Bhawar Rastriya Ekata Party [Keshav Prasad MAINALI]; Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (inactive); Communist Party of Nepal-Marxist Leninist or CPN-ML [C.P. MAINALI]; Communist Party of Nepal-Unified [Raj Singh SHRIS]; Communist Party of Nepal-United [Chandra Dev JOSHI]; Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist or CPN-UML [Jhalanath KHANAL]; Dalit Janajati Party [Vishwendraman PASHWAN]; Federal Democratic National Forum; Madhesi People's Rights Forum-Democratic [Bijay Kumar GACHHADAR]; Madhesi People's Rights Forum-Nepal [Upendra YADAV]; Nepal Loktantrik Samajbadi Dal [Upendra GACHCHHADAR]; Nepal Pariwar Dal [Eknath DHAKAL]; Nepal Sadbhavana Party-Anandi Devi [Sarita GIRI]; Nepal Workers and Peasants Party or [Narayan Man BIJUKCHHE]; Nepali Congress or NC [Sushil KOIRALA]; Nepali Janata Dal [Harish Chandra SHA]; Newa Rastriya Party [Keshav Man SHAKYA]; Rastriya Janamorcha [Chitra Bahadur K.C.]; Rastriya Janamukti Party [Malwar Singh THAPA]; Rastriya Janashakti Party or RJP [Surya Bahadur THAPA]; Rastriya Prajantantra Party [Pashupati Shumsher RANA]; Rastriya Prajantantra Party Nepal [Kamal THAPA]; Sadbhavana Party [Rajendra MAHATO]; Samajbadi Prajatantrik Janata Party Nepal [Prem Bahadur SINGH]; Terai Madhes Democratic Party [Mahantha THAKUR]; Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) [Pushpa Kamal DAHAL, also known as PRACHANDA]

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders:

 Other: several small armed Madhesi groups along the southern border with India; a variety of groups advocating regional autonomy for individual ethnic groups

International Organization Participation:


Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Shankar Prasad SHARMA
Chancery: 2131 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone: [1] (202) 667-4550
FAX: [1] (202) 667-5534
Consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic Representation From the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Scott H. DELISI
Embassy: Maharajgunj, Kathmandu
Mailing address: use embassy street address
Telephone: [977] (1) 400-7200
FAX: [977] (1) 400-7272

Flag Description:

 Red with a blue border around the unique shape of two overlapping right triangles; the smaller, upper triangle bears a white stylized moon and the larger, lower triangle displays a white 12-pointed sun; the color red represents the rhododendron (Nepal's national flower) and is a sign of victory and bravery, the blue border signifies peace and harmony; the two right triangles are a combination of two single pennons (pennants) that originally symbolized the Himalaya Mountains while their charges represented the families of the king (upper) and the prime minister, but today they are understood to denote Hinduism and Buddhism, the country's two main religions; the moon represents the serenity of the Nepalese people and the shade and cool weather in the Himalayas, while the sun depicts the heat and higher temperatures of the lower parts of Nepal; the moon and the sun are also said to express the hope that the nation will endure as long as these heavenly bodies

Note: Nepal is the only country in the world whose flag is not rectangular or square

National Symbols:

 Rhododendron blossom

National Anthem:

 Name: "Sayaun Thunga Phool Ka" (Hundreds of Flowers)
Lyrics/music: Pradeep Kumar RAI/Ambar GURUNG

Note: adopted 2007; after the abolition of the monarchy in 2006, a new anthem was required because of the previous anthem's praise for the king

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Economy - Overview:

 Nepal is among the poorest and least developed countries in the world, with almost one-quarter of its population living below the poverty line. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, providing a livelihood for three-fourths of the population and accounting for about one-third of GDP. Industrial activity mainly involves the processing of agricultural products, including pulses, jute, sugarcane, tobacco, and grain. Nepal has considerable scope for exploiting its potential in hydropower, with an estimated 42,000 MW of feasible capacity, but political instability hampers foreign investment. Additional challenges to Nepal's growth include its landlocked geographic location, civil strife and labor unrest, and its susceptibility to natural disaster.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $35.81 billion (2010 est.)
$34.25 billion (2009 est.)
$32.66 billion (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $15.84 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 4.6% (2010 est.)
4.9% (2009 est.)
6.1% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $1,200 (2010 est.)
$1,200 (2009 est.)
$1,200 (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 32.8%
Industry: 14.4%
Services: 52.8% (2010 est.)

Labor Force:

 18 million

Note: severe lack of skilled labor (2009 est.)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 75%
Industry: 7%
Services: 18% (2010 est.)

Unemployment Rate:

 46% (2008 est.)
42% (2004 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line:

 24.7% (2008)

Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: NA
Highest 10%: 40.6% (2008)

Distribution of Family Income - Gini Index:

 47.2 (2008)
36.7 (1996)

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons:

 Refugees (country of origin): 107,803 (Bhutan); 20,153 (Tibet/China)
IDPs: 50,000-70,000 (remaining from ten-year Maoist insurgency that officially ended in 2006; displacement spread across the country) (2007)

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 3.5% of GDP (2020 est.)


 Revenues: $3 billion
Expenditures: $4.6 billion (FY10)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 18.9% of GDP (FY10)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -10.1% of GDP (FY10)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 10% (2010 est.)
11.6% (2009 est.)

Central Bank Discount Rate:

 6% (31 December 2010 est.)
6.5% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 8% (31 December 2010 est.)
8% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $2.53 billion (31 July 2009)
$2.106 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of Quasi Money:

 $7.49 billion (1 April 2009)
$6.99 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $3.175 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$2.587 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $10.34 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$8.508 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $8.069 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$6.695 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market Value of Publicly Traded Shares:

 $4.843 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$5.485 billion (31 December 2009)
$4.894 billion (31 December 2008)

Agriculture - Products:

 Pulses, rice, corn, wheat, sugarcane, jute, root crops; milk, water buffalo meat


 Tourism, carpets, textiles; small rice, jute, sugar, and oilseed mills; cigarettes, cement and brick production

Industrial Production Growth Rate:

 1.8% (FY08)

Electricity - Production:

 2.6 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 8.5%
Hydro: 91.5%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 2.525 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 0 kWh (2010 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 70 million kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - Production:

 0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 20,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 13,740 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 0 cu m (2010 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 0 cu m (2010 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 0 cu m (2010 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 -$449 million (2010)
-$227.4 million (2009)


 $901.9 million (2009)
$837.4 million (2008)

Exports - Commodities:

 Clothing, pulses, carpets, textiles, juice, pashima, jute goods

Exports - Partners:

 India 61.7%, US 7.5%, Germany 4.6%, Bangladesh 4.1% (2010)


 $5.016 billion (2009)
$4.266 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Petroleum products, machinery and equipment, gold, electrical goods, medicine

Imports - Partners:

 India 56.2%, China 22.5% (2010)

Debt - External:

 $4.5 billion (2009)
$3.285 billion (2008)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Nepalese Rupee to Any Currency

Nepalese rupees (NPR) per US dollar -
72.56 (2010)
77.44 (2009)
65.21 (2008)
70.35 (2007)
72.446 (2006)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 841,700 (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 9.196 million (2010)

Telephone System:

 General assessment: poor telephone and telegraph service; fair radiotelephone communication service and mobile-cellular telephone network

Domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular telephone service subscribership base only about 30 per 100 persons

International: country code - 977; radiotelephone communications; microwave landline to India; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (2008)

Broadcast Media:

 State operates 2 television stations as well as national and regional radio stations; more than 60 independent radio stations and a small number of independent television stations (2007)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 6, FM 80, shortwave 4 (2008)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 9 (plus 9 repeaters) (2008)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 43,928 (2010)

Internet Users:

 577,800 (2009)

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 47 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 11
Over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 9
Under 914 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - With Unpaved Runways:

 Total: 36
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 4
Under 914 m: 31 (2010)


 Total: 59 km
Narrow gauge: 59 km 0.762-m gauge (2010)


 Total: 17,282 km
Paved: 10,142 km
Unpaved: 7,140 km (2007)

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Military Branches:

 Nepal Army (2010)

Military Service Age and Obligation:

 18 years of age for voluntary military service; 15 years of age for military training; no conscription (2011)

Manpower Available For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 6,941,152
Females age 16-49: 7,618,397 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 5,260,878
Females age 16-49: 5,947,512 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 380,172
Female: 367,103 (2010 est.)

Military Expenditures:

 1.6% of GDP (2006)

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Disputes - International:

 Joint border commission continues to work on contested sections of boundary with India, including the 400 square kilometer dispute over the source of the Kalapani River; India has instituted a stricter border regime to restrict transit of Maoist insurgents and illegal cross-border activities; approximately 106,000 Bhutanese Lhotshampas (Hindus) have been confined in refugee camps in southeastern Nepal since 1990

Illicit Drugs:

 Illicit producer of cannabis and hashish for the domestic and international drug markets; transit point for opiates from Southeast Asia to the West

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Last Updated: December 2011

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