macrohistory & world report

Kingdom of Nepal

Map of Nepal

Nepal (capital Kathmandu, elevation 4,593 ft) and neighboring states


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.

Wealth and National Well-Being

Country Comparisons: chart

World Factbook: "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 about one-third of GDP. Industrial activity mainly involves the processing of agricultural products, including pulses, jute, sugarcane, tobacco, and grain."

Economic growth rate
2011: 3.5%
2010: 4.6%
2009: 4.4%

Labor force in agriculture
2010: 75%

Unemployment rate
2008: 46%

Oil export/import per day
2009: exports 0, imports 13,740 barrels

2011: exports $896 million, imports $5.4 billion

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

Export partners
2009: India 66.4%, US 6.8%, Germany 4.8%, Bangladesh 5.4%

Income Distribution – gini index
Ranks 31st among 140 countries (higher rank number is more equal, lower rank number is less equal). Less equal than Britain, which ranks 94th, and the US, which ranks 45th.

Health expenditures
2009: 5.8% of GDP


Living in an urban area
2010: 19%
2008: 17%

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: Hindu 80.6%, Buddhist 10.7%, Muslim 4.2%, Kirant 3.6%, other 0.9%

Net migration rate
2011: Net gain of 2.58 persons per 1,000 population


Between China and India. Slightly larger than Arkansas. Landlocked. Highest point: Mount Everest. Capital: Kathmandu.


Parliamentary democracy.

Recent History

Since 1996, "Maoist rebels" have have been warring against the government, a war that as of February 1, 2005 has left more than 10,000 people dead.

April 17, 2005: "More than 600 human rights activists, journalists, lawyers, students and political activists remain detained for peaceful and legitimate activities since a state of emergency was declared by King Gyanendra on 1 February. Human Rights Watch says a climate of intimidation is preventing human rights monitors from conducting investigations into alleged attacks."

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.