At a Glance
|Location:||Southern Asia, between India and China|
|Area:||147,181 sq km|
|Government Type:||Federal Democratic Republic|
|Life expectancy at birth:||60.94|
|Literacy:||65.9% (male: 62.7%, female: 34.9%)|
|Religion:||Hindu 81.3%, Buddhist 9.0%, Muslim 4.4%, Kirat 3.1%, Christianity 1.4% and other (2011 census)|
|HDI ranking:||145th (out of 177 countries ranked, 2014)|
Nepal officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, landlocked country in South Asia. It is located mainly in the Himalayas, but also includes parts of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. With an estimated population of 26.4 million, it is 48th largest country by population and 93rd largest country by area. It borders China in the north and India in the south, east. Nepal is a multiethnic country with Nepali as the official language.
Historically, for over 200 years, Nepal was an independent state led by royal families. In 1990 Nepal became a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarchy. However, frequent government changes, inter-party conflicts, wide-spread corruption, slow implementation of important political changes, and the manifestation of armed conflict shaped the political landscape. The Constitution of Nepal, adopted in 2015.
Nepal is governed according to the Constitution of Nepal, which came into effect on 20 September 2015, affirming Nepal as a secular federal parliamentary republic divided into seven provinces. It defines Nepal as having multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-religious, multi-cultural characteristics with common aspirations of people living in diverse geographical regions, and being committed to and united by a bond of allegiance to the national independence, territorial integrity, national interest, and prosperity of Nepal. All Nepali people collectively constitute the state.
The Government of Nepal comprises three branches: Executive, Legislative and Judiciary.
Nepal is a landlocked Asian country bordered by the People’s Republic of China to the north and India to the south, east and west. The Himalayan mountain range stretches through Nepal and the country is home to eight of the world’s ten highest peaks, including Mount Everest (8,848m).
Nepal was a closed country until 1951. Since then there have been great advances in development and infrastructure, but it is still one of the poorest countries in Asia. The economy is largely agriculturally based and nearly one third of the people of Nepal live below the poverty line.
Modern Nepal was unified in the late 18th century. The end of the 20th century brought a decade of civil war instigated by the Maoist party of Nepal. After peace agreements in 2006 and winning historic Constituent Assembly elections in April 2008, the Maoists became the leaders of the country. Nepal’s monarchy was abolished in May 2008 and the country, formerly the world’s only Hindu kingdom, is now a secular democratic republic.
Hinduism and Buddhism are the predominant religions in Nepal. While still representing only a small fraction of the population, Nepal’s Christian, in existence since the early 1950s, is reportedly one of the fastest growing in the world. In the past Nepali Christians faced much persecution, and while this still persists, recent years have brought increased religious freedom for Nepali believers.