Demographics of Nepal
Population pyramid of Nepal in 2020
Population29,164,578 (2021)[1]
Growth rate0.92%
Birth rate17.53 births/1,000 population
Death rate5.58 deaths/1,000 population
Life expectancy72.4 years
 • male71.66 years
 • female73.17 years
Fertility rate1.9 children
Infant mortality rate25.13 deaths/1,000 live births
Net migration rate-4.21 migrant(s)/1,000 population
Age structure
0–14 years28.41%
15–64 years65.69%
65 and over5.90%
Sex ratio
Total0.96 male(s)/female (2022 est.)
At birth1.06 male(s)/female
Nationality
NationalityNepali
Language
OfficialNepali
Historical population of Nepal
Magar girls of Nepal
Nepali Gorkhas
Population of Nepali (1960–2010 Nepal Census)
Hill brahmin girls in traditional attire
Magar Men playing their traditional instrument "Khaijadi

The current population of Nepal is 29,164,578 as per the 2021 census. The population growth rate is 0.92% per year. [2][3]

In the 2011 census, Nepal's population was approximately 26 million people with a population growth rate of 1.35% and a median age of 21.6 years.[4]

In 2016, the female median age was approximately 25 years old and the male median age was approximately 22 years old.[5] Only 4.4% of the population is estimated to be more than 65 years old, comprising 681,252 females and 597,628 males. 61% of the population is between 15 and 64 years old, and 34.6% is younger than 14 years.

In 2011, the birth rate is estimated to be 22.17 births per 1,000 people with an infant mortality rate of 46 deaths per 1,000 live births. Compared to the infant mortality rate in 2006 of 48 deaths per 1000 live births, the 2011 IMR is a slight decrease within that 5-year period. Infant mortality rate in Nepal is higher in rural regions at 44 deaths per 1000 live births, whereas in urban regions the IMR is lower at 40 deaths per 1000 live births. This difference is due to a lack of delivery assistance services in rural communities compared to their urban counterparts who have better access to hospitals and neonatal clinics.[6]

Life expectancy at birth is estimated to be 67.44 years for females and 64.94 years for males. The mortality rate is estimated to be 681 deaths per 100,000 people.

Net migration rate is estimated to be 61 migrants per 100,000 people.

According to the 2011 census, 65.9% of the total population is literate.[7]

Population growth

Historical population
YearPop.±%
0 1,000,000—    
10001,500,000+50.0%
15002,000,000+33.3%
16002,500,000+25.0%
17003,000,000+20.0%
18004,000,000+33.3%
19115,638,749+41.0%
19205,573,788−1.2%
19305,532,574−0.7%
19416,283,649+13.6%
19548,256,625+31.4%
19619,412,996+14.0%
197111,555,983+22.8%
198115,022,839+30.0%
199118,491,097+23.1%
200123,151,423+25.2%
201126,494,504+14.4%
202129,164,578+10.1%
Source:

The population of Nepal has been steadily rising in recent decades. In the June 2001 census, there was a population of about 23 million in Nepal.[8] The population increased by 5 million from the preceding 1991 census; the growth rate is 2.3%.[8] The current population is roughly 30 million which contributes to an increase of about 3 million people every 5 years.

Sixty caste and linguistic subgroups have formed throughout time with the waves of migration from Tibet and India.[9] There was a moderate amount of immigration early in Nepal's history, then the population essentially remained the same without any significant fluctuations for over one hundred years.[9] Natural disasters and the following government resettlement programs in the 1950s led to a spike in internal migration from the hills to the Terai region.[9] In the 1980s the Western Chitwan Valley became a major transportation hub for all of Nepal. Along with this major change came a dramatic increase in government services, business expansion, and growing employment, especially in the agricultural industry. The valley's population grew rapidly through both in-migration and natural increase.[9]

Vital statistics

UN estimates

Period Live births per year Deaths per year Natural change per year CBR[i] CDR[i] NC[i] TFR[i] IMR[i] Life expectancy (years)
1950   395,000   218,000   177,000 47.1 26.0 21.1 6.00 226.7 37.68
1951   404,000   222,000   181,000 47.0 25.9 21.1 6.02 226.0 37.75
1952   411,000   226,000   185,000 46.9 25.8 21.1 6.03 225.4 37.84
1953   418,000   231,000   187,000 46.7 25.8 20.9 6.04 225.0 37.87
1954   424,000   235,000   189,000 46.4 25.7 20.7 6.04 224.6 37.90
1955   428,000   238,000   190,000 46.1 25.6 20.5 6.03 224.0 37.98
1956   433,000   241,000   192,000 45.8 25.5 20.3 6.02 223.2 38.05
1957   438,000   244,000   194,000 45.4 25.3 20.1 6.01 222.2 38.14
1958   444,000   248,000   196,000 45.2 25.2 20.0 6.00 221.1 38.19
1959   449,000   250,000   199,000 44.9 25.0 19.9 5.99 219.4 38.41
1960   458,000   253,000   206,000 45.1 24.9 20.2 6.03 217.1 38.56
1961   468,000   255,000   213,000 45.1 24.6 20.5 6.06 214.4 38.86
1962   476,000   258,000   218,000 45.0 24.4 20.6 6.08 211.2 39.15
1963   483,000   260,000   223,000 44.8 24.1 20.7 6.07 207.5 39.45
1964   492,000   260,000   231,000 44.7 23.7 21.0 6.07 203.1 39.99
1965   498,000   261,000   237,000 44.3 23.3 21.1 6.03 198.7 40.45
1966   505,000   262,000   243,000 44.0 22.9 21.2 6.00 194.2 40.87
1967   513,000   263,000   251,000 43.8 22.4 21.4 5.98 189.7 41.40
1968   523,000   264,000   259,000 43.7 22.1 21.6 5.97 185.5 41.80
1969   529,000   264,000   265,000 43.3 21.6 21.7 5.91 181.1 42.33
1970   537,000   265,000   272,000 43.0 21.2 21.8 5.88 177.1 42.83
1971   546,000   265,000   280,000 42.7 20.8 21.9 5.84 172.9 43.31
1972   551,000   267,000   284,000 42.2 20.4 21.8 5.78 169.1 43.69
1973   554,000   268,000   287,000 41.6 20.1 21.5 5.69 165.5 44.04
1974   568,000   269,000   299,000 41.7 19.7 22.0 5.74 161.9 44.46
1975   579,000   269,000   310,000 41.6 19.3 22.3 5.75 158.2 45.04
1976   592,000   270,000   322,000 41.6 19.0 22.6 5.75 154.6 45.54
1977   601,000   271,000   330,000 41.3 18.6 22.7 5.73 150.9 46.01
1978   614,000   270,000   344,000 41.2 18.1 23.1 5.72 147.0 46.68
1979   625,000   270,000   355,000 41.0 17.7 23.3 5.69 142.9 47.27
1980   632,000   269,000   363,000 40.5 17.2 23.3 5.64 139.0 47.89
1981   645,000   269,000   375,000 40.4 16.9 23.5 5.60 135.4 48.39
1982   658,000   269,000   388,000 40.2 16.5 23.7 5.58 130.9 48.94
1983   672,000   270,000   401,000 40.1 16.1 24.0 5.56 126.8 49.43
1984   686,000   268,000   418,000 40.0 15.6 24.4 5.54 122.7 50.23
1985   695,000   266,000   429,000 39.6 15.2 24.4 5.47 118.6 50.88
1986   706,000   264,000   441,000 39.3 14.7 24.6 5.42 114.3 51.54
1987   717,000   259,000   457,000 39.0 14.1 24.9 5.36 110.2 52.48
1988   726,000   258,000   469,000 38.7 13.7 25.0 5.31 105.7 53.07
1989   735,000   251,000   484,000 38.3 13.1 25.3 5.25 101.0 54.13
1990   748,000   248,000   499,000 38.1 12.7 25.5 5.21 96.5 54.83
1991   757,000   244,000   513,000 37.6 12.1 25.5 5.14 92.1 55.71
1992   768,000   239,000   529,000 37.1 11.6 25.6 5.04 87.6 56.71
1993   791,000   236,000   555,000 37.1 11.1 26.1 5.00 83.8 57.62
1994   795,000   230,000   565,000 36.4 10.5 25.9 4.91 79.4 58.55
1995   797,000   226,000   571,000 35.6 10.1 25.5 4.79 75.6 59.32
1996   787,000   222,000   565,000 34.5 9.7 24.7 4.60 72.1 59.98
1997   773,000   216,000   557,000 33.2 9.3 23.9 4.39 68.3 60.77
1998   768,000   210,000   558,000 32.3 8.8 23.5 4.24 65.2 61.55
1999   760,000   207,000   553,000 31.4 8.5 22.8 4.08 61.8 62.11
2000   754,000   204,000   550,000 30.6 8.3 22.3 3.94 58.7 62.61
2001   739,000   199,000   540,000 29.5 7.9 21.6 3.76 55.8 63.34
2002   724,000   202,000   522,000 28.5 8.0 20.5 3.59 53.2 63.26
2003   719,000   196,000   523,000 27.9 7.6 20.3 3.46 50.5 64.20
2004   707,000   192,000   515,000 27.1 7.4 19.7 3.31 48.1 64.82
2005   687,000   188,000   499,000 26.0 7.1 18.9 3.14 46.0 65.46
2006   666,000   187,000   479,000 25.0 7.0 18.0 2.97 44.1 65.87
2007   650,000   185,000   465,000 24.2 6.9 17.3 2.84 42.2 66.33
2008   637,000   188,000   449,000 23.6 6.9 16.6 2.72 40.1 66.42
2009   625,000   187,000   438,000 23.0 6.9 16.1 2.60 38.3 66.76
2010   617,000   191,000   426,000 22.6 7.0 15.6 2.51 36.7 66.81
2011   614,000   189,000   425,000 22.4 6.9 15.5 2.44 35.1 67.31
2012   615,000   192,000   423,000 22.3 7.0 15.4 2.39 33.7 67.47
2013   613,000   190,000   423,000 22.2 6.9 15.4 2.33 32.2 67.97
2014   614,000   193,000   421,000 22.2 7.0 15.2 2.29 30.6 68.09
2015   611,000   204,000   407,000 22.1 7.4 14.7 2.25 29.6 67.46
2016   607,000   193,000   414,000 21.8 6.9 14.8 2.20 27.7 68.78
2017   603,000   197,000   407,000 21.4 7.0 14.4 2.15 26.6 68.91
2018   600,000   201,000   399,000 21.0 7.0 14.0 2.10 25.5 68.98
2019   602,000   198,000   404,000 20.9 6.9 14.0 2.08 24.5 69.56
2020   603,000   210,000   392,000 20.6 7.2 13.4 2.06 23.8 69.25
2021   610,000   232,000   377,000 20.4 7.8 12.6 2.03 22.8 68.45
  1. ^ a b c d e CBR = crude birth rate (per 1000); CDR = crude death rate (per 1000); NC = natural change (per 1000); TFR = total fertility rate (number of children per woman); IMR = infant mortality rate per 1000 births

Source: UN DESA, World Population Prospects, 2022[10]

Structure of the population

Structure of the population (22.06.2011) (Census):[11]
Age group Male Female Total %
Total 12 849 041 13 645 463 26 494 504 100
0–4 1 314 957 1 253 006 2 567 963 9.69
5–9 1 635 176 1 569 683 3 204 859 12.10
10–14 1 764 630 1 710 794 3 475 424 13.12
15–19 1 443 191 1 488 789 2 931 980 11.07
20–24 1 043 981 1 314 090 2 358 071 8.90
25–29 917 243 1 162 111 2 079 354 7.85
30–34 770 577 964 728 1 735 305 6.55
35–39 740 200 864 119 1 604 319 6.06
40–44 660 290 725 831 1 386 121 5.23
45–49 575 101 597 858 1 172 959 4.43
50–54 505 864 499 612 1 005 476 3.80
55–59 412 892 405 371 818 263 3.09
60–64 368 451 388 376 756 827 2.86
65–69 277 782 276 667 554 449 2.09
70–74 199 610 195 543 395 153 1.49
75–79 117 358 117 777 235 135 0.89
80–84 62 787 65 990 128 777 0.49
85–89 25 810 26 716 52 526 0.20
90–94 8 940 11 395 20 335 0.08
95+ 4 201 7 007 11 208 0.04
Age group Male Female Total Percent
0–14 4 714 763 4 533 483 9 248 246 34.91
15–64 7 437 790 8 410 885 15 848 675 59.82
65+ 696 488 701 095 1 397 583 5.27
Population Estimates by Sex and Age Group (01.VII.2016) (Based on the results of the 2011 Population Census.):[12]
Age Group Male Female Total %
Total 13 784 009 14 647 486 28 431 494 100
0–4 1 525 630 1 424 537 2 950 167 10.38
5–9 1 368 495 1 305 783 2 674 278 9.41
10–14 1 564 080 1 498 784 3 062 865 10.77
15–19 1 680 525 1 636 790 3 317 315 11.67
20–24 1 476 611 1 545 309 3 021 919 10.63
25–29 1 033 222 1 307 709 2 340 931 8.23
30–34 860 512 1 138 303 1 998 816 7.03
35–39 771 970 968 815 1 740 784 6.12
40–44 691 192 830 797 1 521 989 5.35
45–49 632 128 701 958 1 334 086 4.69
50–54 552 834 587 346 1 140 179 4.01
55–59 462 675 468 275 930 950 3.27
60–64 382 738 387 360 770 098 2.71
65–69 303 255 324 567 627 821 2.21
70–74 231 131 251 818 482 949 1.70
75–79 162 123 177 791 339 914 1.20
80+ 84 889 91 543 176 432 0.62
Age group Male Female Total Percent
0–14 4 458 205 4 229 104 8 687 309 30.56
15–64 8 544 406 9 572 663 18 117 069 63.72
65+ 781 398 845 719 1 627 117 5.72
Population Estimates by Sex and Age Group (01.VII.2021) (Based on the results of the 2011 Population Census.):[13]
Age Group Male Female Total %
Total 14 734 201 15 643 853 30 378 055 100
0–4 1 575 174 1 459 441 3 034 615 9.99
5–9 1 515 051 1 414 346 2 929 396 9.64
10–14 1 364 270 1 301 906 2 666 176 8.78
15–19 1 549 116 1 493 723 3 042 838 10.02
20–24 1 646 148 1 627 247 3 273 395 10.78
25–29 1 437 092 1 531 252 2 968 344 9.77
30–34 1 002 200 1 293 007 2 295 206 7.56
35–39 835 668 1 124 125 1 959 793 6.45
40–44 749 759 954 458 1 704 217 5.61
45–49 668 244 814 481 1 482 726 4.88
50–54 604 753 682 332 1 287 085 4.24
55–59 518 686 563 320 1 082 006 3.56
60–64 420 366 439 121 859 487 2.83
65-69 330 597 348 942 679 539 2.24
70-74 241 518 272 499 514 018 1.69
75-79 160 174 186 318 346 493 1.14
80+ 115 385 137 335 252 721 0.83
Age group Male Female Total Percent
0–14 4 454 495 4 175 693 8 630 188 28.41
15–64 9 432 032 10 523 066 19 955 098 65.69
65+ 847 674 945 094 1 792 768 5.90

Life expectancy

Historical development of life expectancy in Nepal
Period Life expectancy in
years
Period Life expectancy in
years
1950–1955 34.0 1985–1990 52.1
1955–1960 34.6 1990–1995 56.4
1960–1965 36.2 1995–2000 60.5
1965–1970 39.1 2000–2005 64.0
1970–1975 42.0 2005–2010 66.7
1975–1980 44.9 2010–2015 68.9
1980–1985 48.3

Source: UN World Population Prospects[14]

.

Nepal Demographic and Health Survey

Total fertility rate (TFR) (wanted fertility rate) and crude birth rate (CBR):[15]

Year CBR (total) TFR (total) CBR (urban) TFR (urban) CBR (rural) TFR (rural)
1996 37 4.64 (2.9) 27 2.85 (1.9) 38 4.83 (3.1)
2001 33.5 4.1 (2.5) 20.6 2.1 (1.4) 34.9 4.4 (2.6)
2006 28.4 3.1 (2.0) 21.9 2.1 (1.4) 29.5 3.3 (2.1)
2011 24.3 2.6 (1.8) 16.6 1.6 (1.2) 25.5 2.8 (1.8)
2016 22.4 2.3 (1.7) 19.9 2.0 (1.5) 26.3 2.9 (2.1)
2022 20.0 2.1 (1.7) 19.3 2.0 (1.6) 21.4 2.4 (1.8)

The following demographic statistics are from the 2011 Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS).[16]

Median birth intervals (median number of months since preceding birth)

Total: 36.2
Rural: 35.9
Urban: 40.3 (2011)

Median age at first birth

Median age: 20.1 (2011)

Fertility rate – past trend and present

Total fertility rate: 4.6 children born/woman (1996)
Total fertility rate: 4.1 children born/woman (2001)
Total fertility rate: 3.1 children born/woman (2006)
Total fertility rate: 2.6 children born/woman
Rural fertility rate: 2.8 children born/woman
Urban fertility rate: 1.6 children born/woman (2011)

Ideal family size – mean ideal number of children

Overall (female/male): 2.1 / 2.3
Currently married (female/male): 2.2 / 2.3
Urban (female/male): 1.9 / 2.0
Rural (female/male): 2.2 / 2.3 (2011)

Ideal family size by gender and age group

Below is a table of the ideal family size by gender and age for 2011.
Age Women Men
15–19 1.9 2.2
20–24 1.9 2.1
25–29 2.1 2.1
30–34 2.2 2.3
35–39 2.3 2.4
40–44 2.5 2.4
45–49 2.6 2.6

CIA World Factbook

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.

Nationality

Noun: Nepali
Adjective: Nepali

Religions

Hindu 81.34%, Buddhist 9.04%, Muslim 4.38%, Kirant 3.04%, other 2.2% (2011 census).

Literacy

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 67.9%
Male: 78.6%
Female: 59.7% (2018)

Population

29,033,914 (2021 census.)

Age structure

0–14 years: 30.93% (male 4,646,048/female 4,333,105)
15–24 years: 21.86% (male 3,176,158/female 3,169,721)
25–54 years: 35.99% (male 4,707,264/female 5,740,985)
55–64 years: 6.22% (male 877,288/female 927,202)
65 years and over: 5.02% (male 723,523/female 732,620) (2016 est.)

Median age

total: 23.6 years
male: 22.4 years
female: 24.8 years (2016 est.)

Population growth rate

1.24% (2016 est.)

Birth rate

19.9 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Death rate

5.7 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Net migration rate

1.9 migrants/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.18 children born/woman (2016 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 18.6% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.18% annual rate of change (2010–15 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.04 males/female
0–14 years: 1.07 males/female
15–24 years: 1 males/female
25–54 years: 0.82 males/female
55–64 years: 0.95 males/female
65 years and over: 0.86 males/female
total population: 0.99 males/female (2016 est.)
CIA World Factbook statistics
Total dependency ratio 61.4
Youth dependency ratio 52.5
Elderly dependency ratio 8.8
Infant mortality rate (IMR) 27.9 deaths/ 1,000 live births
Male IMR 29.2 deaths/ 1,000 live births
Female IMR 26.6 deaths/ 1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth (total pop.) 71 years
Life expectancy at birth (male) 70.4 years
Life expectancy at birth (female) 71.6 years

Languages

Main article: Languages of Nepal

  Nepali (44.64%)
  Maithili (11.67%)
  Bhojpuri (5.98%)
  Tharu (5.77%)
  Tamang (5.11%)
  Newar (3.20%)
  Bajjika (2.99%)
  Magar (2.98%)
  Doteli (2.97%)
  Urdu (2.61%)
  Awadhi (1.89%)
  Limbu (1.30%)
  Gurung (1.23%)
  Baitadeli (1.03%)
  Others (6.63%)

Nepal's diverse linguistic heritage evolved from three major language groups: Indo-Aryan, Tibeto-Burman languages, and various indigenous language isolates. According to the 2001 national census, 92 different living languages are spoken in Nepal (a 93rd category was "unspecified"). Based upon the 2011 census, the major languages spoken in Nepal[17] (percentage spoken out of the mother tongue language) includes

Nepali (derived from Khas bhasa) is an Indo-Aryan language and is written in Devanagari script. Nepali was the language of the house of Gorkhas in the late 18th century and became the official, national language that serves as the lingua franca among Nepali of different ethnolinguistic groups. Maithili, Bhojpuri, Bajjika and Awadhi languages are spoken in the southern Terai. There has been a surge in the number and percentage of people who understand English. Majority of the urban and a significant number of the rural schools are English-medium schools. Higher education in technical, medical, scientific and engineering fields are entirely in English. Nepal Bhasa, the mother-tongue of the Newars, is widely used and spoken in and around Kathmandu Valley and in major Newar trade towns across Nepal.

Other languages, particularly in the Inner Terai hill and mountain regions, are remnants of the country's pre-unification history of dozens of political entities isolated by mountains and gorges. These languages typically are limited to an area spanning about one day's walk. Beyond that distance, dialects and languages lose mutual intelligibility. However, there are some major languages spoken by indigenous peoples in the region: Magar and Gurung in the west-central hills, Tamang in the east-centre and Limbu in the east. In the high Himalayas are spoken various Tibetan languages, including Bhotia.

Since Nepal's unification, various indigenous languages have come under threat of extinction as the government of Nepal has marginalized their use through strict policies[citation needed][18] designed to promote Nepali as the official language. Indigenous languages which have gone extinct or are critically threatened include Byangsi, Chonkha, and Longaba. Since democracy was restored in 1990, however, the government has worked to improve the marginalization of these languages. Tribhuvan University began surveying and recording threatened languages in 2010 and the government intends to use this information to include more languages on the next Nepali census.[19]

Religion

Religion in Nepal (2021 census)[20]

  Hinduism (81.19%)
  Buddhism (8.21%)
  Islam (5.09%)
  Kirat Mundhum (3.17%)
  Christianity (1.76%)
  Other (0.9%)

As of the 2021 census, 81.19% of the Nepali population was Hindu, 8.21% Buddhist, 5.09% Muslim, 3.17% Kiratist/Yumaist, 1.76% Christian, and 0.9% followed other or no religion.[21]

Nepali Hindu bride and groom

Nepal defines itself as a secular nation according to Constitution of Nepal[22] It is common for many Hindus in the country to also worship Buddhist deities simultaneously with Hindu traditions. The notion of religion in Nepal is more fluid than other countries, particularly Western countries.[23] The Nepali people build their social networks through their religious celebrations, which are a central part to the whole of communities within the country.[22]

There is a general idea held by the Nepali people that there is an omnipotent, transcendental "moral order" that is sacred to Hinduism. This idea exists along with the constant presence of chaos and disorder in the material world.[23] In the northwestern region of the country, this all-encompassing state of disorder in the world is synonymous with human affliction, which the religious shamans are believed to alleviate.[23]

Kathmandu Valley is home to the Newars, a major ethnic group in Nepal. The city Bhaktapur is located inside of Kathmandu Valley. Bhaktapur was once an independent Hindu Kingdom.[23] Individual homes typically have at least one shrine devoted to personal deities, with an altar displaying flowers, fruit, and oil among other offerings to the Gods.[22] The perimeter of Kathmandu Valley is lined with shrines devoted to Hindu goddesses, whose purpose is to protect the city from chaotic events. At least one shrine can be found on the vast majority of streets in Kathmandu.[22] The people of Nepal do not feel the need to segregate or compete based upon religion, so Hindu and Buddhist shrines are often coexisting in the same areas.[22] The areas outside of the city are perceived to always possess some form of wild or disordered nature, so the Nepali people inside of the city lines regularly worship the Hindu gods through public ceremonies.[23]

The Hindu god Vishnu is believed to symbolise moral order in the Newar society. The natural human shortcomings in maintaining this moral order is believed to be represented by the Hindu god Shiva.[23] The destruction of Shiva is neutralised by the preserver Vishnu, who tips the scales to restore order.[23] In recent times, there has been a rise in political violence, specifically Maoist violence.[22] This increased violence, along with the widespread poverty, has caused the Nepali to seek stability and peace in religion.

Nepal's constitution continues long-standing legal provisions prohibiting discrimination against other religions (but also proselytization). The king was deified as the earthly manifestation of the Hindu god Vishnu. On May 19, 2006, the government faced a constitutional crisis, the House of Representatives which had been just reformed, having been previously dissolved, declared Nepal a "secular state".

The 2001 census identified 80.6% of the population as Hindu and 10.7% as Buddhist (although many people labeled Hindu or Buddhist often practice a syncretic blend of Hinduism, Buddhism, or animist traditions), 4.2% of the population was Muslim, 3.6% of the population followed the indigenous Kirat Mundhum religion and Christianity was practiced by 0.45% of the population.[24]

Buddhist and Hindu shrines and festivals are respected and celebrated by most Nepali. Certain animist practises of old indigenous religions continue to survive to the modern era.

Ethnic and regional equity

Ethnic groups of Nepal (2011)[20]

  Chhetri (16.6%)
  Bahun (12.18%)
  Magar (7.12%)
  Tharu (6.56%)
  Tamang (5.81%)
  Newar (4.99%)
  Kami (4.75%)
  Muslim (4.39%)
  Yadav (4.3%)
  Rai (2.34%)
  Others (31.28%)

Nepali was the national language and Sanskrit became a required school subject.[25] Children who spoke Nepali natively and who were exposed to Sanskrit had much better chances[citation needed] of passing the national examinations at the end of high school, which meant they had better employment prospects and could continue into higher education. Children who natively spoke local languages of the Madhesh and Hills, or Tibetan dialects prevailing in the high mountains were at a considerable disadvantage. This history of exclusion coupled with poor prospects for improvement created grievances that encouraged many in ethnic communities such as Madhesi and Tharu in the Tharuhat and Madhesh and Kham Magar in the mid-western hills to support the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and various other armed Maoist opposition groups such as the JTMM during and after the Nepali Civil War. The negotiated end to this war forced King Gyanendra to abdicate in 2008. Issues of ethnic and regional equity have tended to dominate the agenda of the new republican government and continue to be divisive. Today, even after the end of a 10-year-old Maoist conflict, the upper caste dominates every field in Nepal. Although Newars are low in numbers, their urban living habitat gives them a competitive advantage. Kayastha of Madhesh are the toppers in Human Development Index.[26] From a gender perspective, Newari women are the most literate and lead in every sector. Brahmin and Chhetri women have experienced less social and economic mobility compared to Newari women. Specifically, Brahmin women experience less equality due to their predominately rural living conditions which deprives them of access to certain educational and healthcare advantages.[27][28][29][30][31]

Nepali diaspora

Gurkhas of Nepal.

Main article: Non-Resident Nepali

Nepali in the U.K.

Main article: Nepalese British

In the 2001 census, approximately 6,000 Nepali were living in the UK.[32] According to latest figure from Office for National Statistics estimates that 51,000 Nepal-born people are currently resident in the UK.[33] There has been increasing interest in the opportunities offered in the UK by the Nepali, especially education. Between the years of 2001 to 2006, there were 7,500 applications for student visas.[32]

Nepali in Hong Kong

Main article: South Asians in Hong Kong

The Nepali people residing in Hong Kong are primarily made up of children of ex-Gurkhas; born in Hong Kong during their parents' service with the British Army's Brigade of Gurkhas, which was based in Hong Kong from the 1970s until the handover. Large groups of Nepali people can be found in Shek Kong and Yuen Long District off of the main bases of the British army. Many ex-Gurkhas remained in Hong Kong after the end of their service under the sponsorship of their Hong Kong-born children, who held right of abode.

Nepali of middle age or older generations in Hong Kong are predominantly found in security, while those of younger generations are predominantly found in the business industry.

Mostly the people from Kirati ethnic groups such as Rai and Limbu are the ones residing in Hong Kong and other neighbouring nations such as Singapore and Japan.

Nepali overseas

Nepali migrants abroad have suffered tremendous hardships, including some 7,500 deaths in the Middle East and Malaysia alone since the year 2000, some 3,500 in Saudi Arabia.[34]

Overseas Nepalis population
Country Article Population
India Nepalis in India 8 million [35]
United Arab Emirates Nepalis in the United Arab Emirates 400,000
Saudi Arabia Nepalis in Saudi Arabia 250,000
Australia Nepalis in Australia 218,870 [36]
Qatar Nepalis in Qatar 200,000[37]
Japan Nepalis in Japan 156,333[38]
United Kingdom[33] Nepalis in the United Kingdom 62,000
Iraq[39] 30,000
China Nepalis in China 21,000
Hong Kong Nepalis in Hong Kong 16,000
Malaysia Nepalis in Malaysia 6,175
South Korea Nepalis in South Korea 22,015
Canada Nepali in Canada 14,385[40]
Singapore Nepalis in Singapore 4000
Total overseas Nepali population ~9,616,709

Foreign population in Nepal

According to the 2001 census, there were 116,571 foreign born citizens in Nepal; 90% of them were of Indian origin followed by Bhutan, Pakistan and China(Bhote).[41] This number does not include the refugees from Bhutan and Tibet.

Foreign population in Nepal as per census of 2001

See also

References

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  34. ^ Sedhai, Roshan (7 January 2014). "'Natural deaths' raise doubts". ekantipur.com. Archived from the original on 26 June 2015.
  35. ^ "About India Nepal Relations".
  36. ^ "Australian Bureau of Statistics". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  37. ^ "Qatar's population – by nationality". bq Magazine. Archived from the original on 23 April 2015.
  38. ^ 令和5年6月末現在における在留外国人数について
  39. ^ "Nepal government lifts Iraq working ban". BBC News. 28 July 2010.
  40. ^ Statistics Canada. "Data tables, 2016 Census". Retrieved 10 March 2019.
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Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from The World Factbook (2024 ed.). CIA. (Archived 2003 edition)