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Nepal


Background Zone & District Geography People
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Background In 1951, the Nepalese 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 ten-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 democratic republic and abolished the monarchy at its first meeting the following month. The Constituent Assembly elected the country's first president in July. The Maoists, who received a plurality of votes in the Constituent Assembly election, formed a coalition government in August 2008, but resigned in May 2009 after the president overruled a decision to fire the chief of the army staff.
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Zone & District
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Geography
Location:Southern Asia, between China and India
Geographic coordinates:28 00 N, 84 00 E
Area:Total: 147,181 sq km
Land: 143,181 sq km
Water:4,000 sq km
Land boundaries:Total: 2,926 km
border countries: China 1,236 km, India 1,690 km
Climate:varies from cool summers and severe winters in north to subtropical summers and mild winters in south
Terrain:Tarai or flat river plain of the Ganges in south, central hill region, rugged Himalayas in north
Elevation: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:11,700 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:210.2 cu km (1999
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
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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People
Population:29,519,114 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:0-14 years: 38% (male 5,792,042/female 5,427,370)
15-64 years: 58.2% (male 8,832,488/female 8,345,724)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 542,192/female 579,298) (2008 est.)
Median age:total: 20.7 years
male: 20.5 years
female: 20.8 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:2.095% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:29.92 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:8.97 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:Stotal population: 60.94 years
male: 61.12 years
female: 60.75 years (2008 est.)
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)
Religions:Hindu 80.6%, Buddhist 10.7%, Muslim 4.2%, Kirant 3.6%, other 0.9% (2001 census)
Languages:Nepali 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)
Literacy:definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 48.6%
male: 62.7%
female: 34.9% (2001 census)
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