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.


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 (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.