Regional Background

Nepal is a small country packed between two giant countries China and India. Culturally and religiously, it has been a very peaceful country until recently it has broken this tradition and turned to an awful political unrest.   Despite everything, Nepal remains a land of spirituality. The cultural and linguistic diversity in Nepal adds to our beauty, thus making every other community an interesting and different place. The countless number of temples and monasteries that one can see here works as a center of faith for all the people and is what keeps the unity of the people intact. The two largest religions of Nepal Hinduism and Buddhism in Nepal share a special relationship keeping away any threat of religious tension between these two. The Lord Buddha, a peace messenger born in the southern part of Nepal took birth in a Hindu family.

Country Statistics

Country (long form) Kingdom of Nepal
Capital Kathmandu
Total Area 54,363.18 sq mi
140,800.00 sq km
(slightly larger than Arkansas)
Population 25,284,463 (July 2001 est.)
Estimated Population in 2050 53,293,874
Languages Nepali (official; spoken by 90% of the population), about a dozen other languages and about 30 major dialects
note: many in government and business also speak English (1995)
Literacy 27.5% total, 40.9% male, 14% female (1995 est.)
Religions Hinduism 86.2%, Buddhism 7.8%, Islam 3.8%, other 2.2%
note: only official Hindu state in the world (1995)
Life Expectancy 58.65 male, 57.77 female (2001 est.)
Government Type parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy
Currency 1 Nepalese rupee (NR) = 100 paisa
GDP (per capita) $1,360 (2000 est.)
Industry tourism, carpet, textile; small rice, jute, sugar, and oilseed mills; cigarette; cement and brick production
Agriculture rice, corn, wheat, sugarcane, root crops; milk, water buffalo meat
Arable Land 17%
Natural Resources quartz, water, timber, hydropower, scenic beauty, small deposits of lignite, copper, cobalt, iron ore