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Nepal (2008)

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Nepal 2008 year

Administrative divisions 14 zones (anchal, singular and plural); Bagmati, Bheri, Dhawalagiri, Gandaki, Janakpur, Karnali, Kosi, Lumbini, Mahakali, Mechi, Narayani, Rapti, Sagarmatha, Seti
Age structure 0-14 years: 38.3% (male 5,721,720/female 5,360,391)

15-64 years: 57.9% (male 8,597,037/female 8,134,115)

65 years and over: 3.8% (male 528,113/female 560,414) (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products rice, corn, wheat, sugarcane, jute, root crops; milk, water buffalo meat
Airports 47 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways total: 10

over 3,047 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 8

under 914 m: 1 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 37

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 6

under 914 m: 30 (2007)
Area total: 147,181 sq km

land: 143,181 sq km

water: 4,000 sq km
Area - comparative slightly larger than Arkansas
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. A Maoist insurgency, launched in 1996, gained traction and threatened to bring down the regime, especially after a negotiated cease-fire between the Maoists and government forces broke down in August 2003. In 2001, the crown prince massacred ten members of the royal family, including the king and queen, and then took his own life. In October 2002, the new king dismissed the prime minister and his cabinet for "incompetence" after they dissolved the parliament and were subsequently unable to hold elections because of the ongoing insurgency. While stopping short of reestablishing parliament, the king in June 2004 reinstated the most recently elected prime minister who formed a four-party coalition government. Citing dissatisfaction with the government's lack of progress in addressing the Maoist insurgency and corruption, the king in February 2005 dissolved the government, declared a state of emergency, imprisoned party leaders, and assumed power. The king's government subsequently released party leaders and officially ended the state of emergency in May 2005, but the monarch retained absolute power until April 2006. After nearly three weeks of mass protests organized by the seven-party opposition and the Maoists, the king allowed parliament to reconvene in April 2006. Following a November 2006 peace accord between the government and the Maoists, an interim constitution was promulgated and the Maoists were allowed to enter parliament in January 2007. The peace accord calls for the creation of a Constituent Assembly to draft a new constitution. The Constituent Assembly elections, already twice delayed, are set for April 2008.
Birth rate 30.46 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Budget revenues: $1.153 billion

expenditures: $1.927 billion (FY06/07)
Capital 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)
Climate varies from cool summers and severe winters in north to subtropical summers and mild winters in south
Coastline 0 km (landlocked)
Constitution 9 November 1990; note - a new interim constitution was promulgated in January 2007; the November 2006 peace agreement calls for the election of a constituent assembly to draft a new permanent constitution
Country name conventional long and short form: Nepal

local long and short form: Nepal
Death rate 9.14 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Debt - external $3.07 billion (March 2006)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Nancy J. POWELL

embassy: Maharajgunj, Kathmandu

mailing address: use embassy street address

telephone: [977] (1) 400-7200

FAX: [977] (1) 400-7272
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Suresh Chandra CHALISE

chancery: 2131 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 667-4550

FAX: [1] (202) 667-5534

consulate(s) general:

New York:
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
Economic aid - recipient $427.9 million (2005)
Economy - overview Nepal is among the poorest and least developed countries in the world with almost one-third 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 38% of GDP. Industrial activity mainly involves the processing of agricultural produce including jute, sugarcane, tobacco, and grain. Security concerns relating to the Maoist conflict have led to a decrease in tourism, a key source of foreign exchange. Nepal has considerable scope for exploiting its potential in hydropower and tourism, areas of recent foreign investment interest. Prospects for foreign trade or investment in other sectors will remain poor, however, because of the small size of the economy, its technological backwardness, its remoteness, its landlocked geographic location, its civil strife, and its susceptibility to natural disaster.
Electricity - consumption 1.96 billion kWh (2006)
Electricity - exports 101 million kWh (2006)
Electricity - imports 266 million kWh (2006)
Electricity - production 2.511 billion kWh (2006)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Kanchan Kalan 70 m

highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m
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
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)
Exchange rates Nepalese rupees per US dollar - NA (2007), 72.446 (2006), 72.16 (2005), 73.674 (2004), 76.141 (2003)
Executive branch chief of state: Girija Prasad KOIRALA (since 30 April 2006)

head of government: Prime Minister Girija Prasad KOIRALA (since 30 April 2006)

cabinet: Cabinet historically appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the prime minister; note - the prime minister selected the Cabinet in May 2006 in consultation with the political parties

elections: following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition historically has been appointed prime minister by the monarch
Exports 101 million kWh (2006)
Exports $830 million f.o.b.; note - does not include unrecorded border trade with India (2006)
Exports 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Exports 0 bbl/day (2004)
Exports - commodities carpets, clothing, leather goods, jute goods, grain
Exports - partners India 67.9%, US 11.7%, Germany 4.7% (2006)
Fiscal year 16 July - 15 July
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 bears a white 12-pointed sun
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 38%

industry: 20%

services: 42% (FY05/06 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 2.5% (2007 est.)
Geographic coordinates 28 00 N, 84 00 E
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
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 2.6%

highest 10%: 40.6% (2004)
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
Imports 266 million kWh (2006)
Imports $2.398 billion f.o.b. (2006)
Imports 0 cu m (2005)
Imports 11,530 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Imports - commodities gold, machinery and equipment, petroleum products, fertilizer
Imports - partners India 61.8%, China 3.8%, Indonesia 3.3% (2006)
Independence 1768 (unified by Prithvi Narayan SHAH)
Industrial production growth rate 2.2% (FY05/06)
Industries tourism, carpet, textile; small rice, jute, sugar, and oilseed mills; cigarettes, cement and brick production
Infant mortality rate total: 63.66 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 61.87 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 65.54 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 8.6% (November 2006 est.)
Irrigated land 11,700 sq km (2003)
Judicial branch Supreme Court or Sarbochha Adalat (chief justice is appointed by the monarch on recommendation of the Constitutional Council; the other judges are appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the Judicial Council)
Labor force 11.11 million

note: severe lack of skilled labor (2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture: 76%

industry: 6%

services: 18% (2004 est.)
Land boundaries total: 2,926 km

border countries: China 1,236 km, India 1,690 km
Land use arable land: 16.07%

permanent crops: 0.85%

other: 83.08% (2005)
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)

note: many in government and business also speak English (2001 est.)
Legal system based on Hindu legal concepts and English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Legislative branch a 330 seat Interim Parliament was formed on 15 January 2007 following the promulgation of an interim constitution

elections: Constituent Assembly elections orginally scheduled for June 2007 are expected to be held on 10 April 2008

election results: Interim Parliament seats by party - NC 85, CPN/M 83, CPN/UML 83, NC/D 48, RPP 9, NSP/AD 5, NWPP 4, People's Front Nepal (Amik Sherchan Group) 4, People's Front Nepal (Chitra Bahadur K.C. Group) 3, UFL 3, People's Front Nepal (Chitra Bahadur Ale Group) 2, NSP 1
Life expectancy at birth total population: 60.56 years

male: 60.78 years

female: 60.33 years (2007 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 48.6%

male: 62.7%

female: 34.9% (2001 census)
Location Southern Asia, between China and India
Map references Asia
Maritime claims none (landlocked)
Military branches Nepalese Army, Armed Police Force (2008)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1.6% (2006)
National holiday in 2006, Parliament abolished the birthday of King GYANENDRA (7 July) and Constitution Day (9 November) as national holidays
Nationality noun: Nepalese (singular and plural)

adjective: Nepalese
Natural hazards severe thunderstorms, flooding, landslides, drought, and famine depending on the timing, intensity, and duration of the summer monsoons
Natural resources quartz, water, timber, hydropower, scenic beauty, small deposits of lignite, copper, cobalt, iron ore
Net migration rate 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Political parties and leaders Communist Party of Nepal/United Marxist-Leninist or CPN/UML [Madhav Kumar NEPAL]; National Democratic Party or NDP [Pashupati Shumsher RANA] (also called Rastriya Prajantra Party or RPP); Nepal Sadbhavana (Goodwill) Party or NSP - Mandal [Bhadri Prasad MANDAL]; Nepal Sadbhavana Party - Ananda Devi [Ananda DEVI]; Nepal Workers and Peasants Party or NWPP [Narayan Man BIJUKCHHE]; People's Front Nepal (Amik Sherchan Group); People's Front Nepal (Chitra Bahadur Ale Group); People's Front Nepal (Chitra Bahadur K.C. Group); Rastriya Janashakti Party or RJP [Surya Bahadur THAPA] (split from RPP in March 2005); Samyukta Janmorcha Nepal (merged with People's Front Nepal or PFN in 2002); United Leftist Front or UFL [C.P. MAINALI]
Political pressure groups and leaders Maoist guerrilla-based insurgency [Pushpa Kamal DAHAL, also known as PRACHANDA, chairman; Dr. Baburam BHATTARAI]; numerous small, left-leaning student groups in the capital; several small, radical Nepalese antimonarchist groups
Population 28,901,790 (July 2007 est.)
Population below poverty line 30.9% (2004)
Population growth rate 2.132% (2007 est.)
Radio broadcast stations AM 6, FM 5, shortwave 1 (2000)
Railways total: 59 km

narrow gauge: 59 km 0.762-m gauge (2006)
Religions Hindu 80.6%, Buddhist 10.7%, Muslim 4.2%, Kirant 3.6%, other 0.9% (2001 census)

note: only official Hindu state in the world
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.067 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.057 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.942 male(s)/female

total population: 1.056 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: poor telephone and telegraph service; fair radiotelephone communication service and mobile cellular telephone network

domestic: NA

international: country code - 977; radiotelephone communications; microwave landline to India; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 595,800 (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular 1.042 million (2006)
Television broadcast stations 1 (plus 9 repeaters) (1998)
Terrain Tarai or flat river plain of the Ganges in south, central hill region, rugged Himalayas in north
Total fertility rate 4.01 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate 42% (2004 est.)
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