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South Asia :: Nepal Print
Page last updated on November 24, 2020
  • Introduction :: Nepal
  • Background field listing

    During the late 18th-early 19th centuries, the principality of Gorkha united many of the other principalities and states of the sub-Himalayan region into a Nepali Kingdom. Nepal retained its independence following the Anglo-Nepalese War of 1814-16 and the subsequent peace treaty laid the foundations for two centuries of amicable relations between Britain and Nepal. (The Brigade of Gurkhas continues to serve in the British Army to the present day.) In 1951, the Nepali monarch ended the century-old system of rule by hereditary premiers and instituted a cabinet system that brought political parties into the government. That arrangement lasted until 1960, when political parties were again banned, but was reinstated in 1990 with the establishment of a multiparty democracy within the framework of a constitutional monarchy.

    An insurgency led by Maoists broke out in 1996. During the ensuing 10-year civil war between Maoist and government forces, the monarchy dissolved the cabinet and parliament and re-assumed absolute power in 2002, after the crown prince massacred the royal family in 2001. A peace accord in 2006 led to the promulgation of an interim constitution in 2007. Following a nationwide Constituent Assembly (CA) election in 2008, the newly formed CA declared Nepal a federal democratic republic, abolished the monarchy, and elected the country's first president. After the CA failed to draft a constitution by a 2012 deadline set by the Supreme Court, then-Prime Minister Baburam BHATTARAI dissolved the CA. Months of negotiations ensued until 2013 when the major political parties agreed to create an interim government headed by then-Chief Justice Khil Raj REGMI with a mandate to hold elections for a new CA. Elections were held in 2013, in which the Nepali Congress (NC) won the largest share of seats in the CA and in 2014 formed a coalition government with the second-place Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist (UML) with NC President Sushil KOIRALA serving as prime minister. Nepal's new constitution came into effect in 2015, at which point the CA became the Parliament. Khagda Prasad Sharma OLI served as the first post-constitution prime minister from 2015 to 2016. OLI resigned ahead of a no-confidence motion against him, and Parliament elected Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) leader Pushpa Kamal DAHAL (aka "Prachanda") prime minister. The constitution provided for a transitional period during which three sets of elections – local, provincial, and national – needed to take place. The first local elections in 20 years occurred in three phases between May and September 2017, and state and federal elections proceeded in two phases in November and December 2017. The parties headed by OLI and DAHAL ran in coalition and swept the parliamentary elections, and OLI, who led the larger of the two parties, was sworn in as prime minister in February 2018. In May 2018, OLI and DAHAL announced the merger of their parties - the UML and CPN-M - to establish the Nepal Communist Party (NCP), which is now the ruling party in Parliament.


  • Geography :: Nepal
  • Location field listing
    Southern Asia, between China and India
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    28 00 N, 84 00 E
    Map references field listing
    Area field listing
    total: 147,181 sq km
    land: 143,351 sq km
    water: 3,830 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 96
    Area - comparative field listing
    slightly larger than New York state
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 3,159 km
    border countries (2): China 1389 km, India 1770 km
    Coastline field listing
    0 km (landlocked)
    Maritime claims field listing
    none (landlocked)
    Climate field listing
    varies from cool summers and severe winters in north to subtropical summers and mild winters in south
    Terrain field listing
    Tarai or flat river plain of the Ganges in south; central hill region with rugged Himalayas in north
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 2,565 m
    lowest point: Kanchan Kalan 70 m
    highest point: Mount Everest (highest peak in Asia and highest point on earth above sea level) 8,848 m
    Natural resources field listing
    quartz, water, timber, hydropower, scenic beauty, small deposits of lignite, copper, cobalt, iron ore
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 28.8% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 15.1% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 1.2% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 12.5% (2011 est.)
    forest: 25.4% (2011 est.)
    other: 45.8% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    13,320 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    most of the population is divided nearly equally between a concentration in the southern-most plains of the Tarai region and the central hilly region; overall density is quite low
    Natural hazards field listing
    severe thunderstorms; flooding; landslides; drought and famine depending on the timing, intensity, and duration of the summer monsoons
    Environment - current issues field listing
    deforestation (overuse of wood for fuel and lack of alternatives); forest degradation; soil erosion; contaminated water (with human and animal wastes, agricultural runoff, and industrial effluents); unmanaged solid-waste; wildlife conservation; vehicular emissions
    Environment - international agreements field listing
    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
    Geography - note field listing
    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 mountains - on the borders with China and India respectively
  • People and Society :: Nepal
  • Population field listing
    30,327,877 (July 2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Nepali (singular and plural)
    adjective: Nepali
    Ethnic groups field listing
    Chhettri 16.6%, Brahman-Hill 12.2%, Magar 7.1%, Tharu 6.6%, Tamang 5.8%, Newar 5%, Kami 4.8%, Muslim 4.4%, Yadav 4%, Rai 2.3%, Gurung 2%, Damai/Dholii 1.8%, Thakuri 1.6%, Limbu 1.5%, Sarki 1.4%, Teli 1.4%, Chamar/Harijan/Ram 1.3%, Koiri/Kushwaha 1.2%, other 19% (2011 est.)

    note: 125 caste/ethnic groups were reported in the 2011 national census

    Languages field listing
    Nepali (official) 44.6%, Maithali 11.7%, Bhojpuri 6%, Tharu 5.8%, Tamang 5.1%, Newar 3.2%, Bajjika 3%, Magar 3%, Doteli 3%, Urdu 2.6%, Avadhi 1.9%, Limbu 1.3%, Gurung 1.2%, Baitadeli 1%, other 6.4%, unspecified 0.2% (2011 est.)

    note: 123 languages reported as mother tongue in 2011 national census; many in government and business also speak English

    Religions field listing
    Hindu 81.3%, Buddhist 9%, Muslim 4.4%, Kirant 3.1%, Christian 1.4%, other 0.5%, unspecified 0.2% (2011 est.)
    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 28.36% (male 4,526,786/female 4,073,642)
    15-24 years: 20.93% (male 3,276,431/female 3,070,843)
    25-54 years: 38.38% (male 5,251,553/female 6,387,365)
    55-64 years: 6.64% (male 954,836/female 1,059,360)
    65 years and over: 5.69% (male 852,969/female 874,092) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 53
    youth dependency ratio: 44.1
    elderly dependency ratio: 8.9
    potential support ratio: 11.2 (2020 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 25.3 years
    male: 23.9 years
    female: 26.9 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    Population growth rate field listing
    0.98% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    Birth rate field listing
    18.1 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    Death rate field listing
    5.7 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    Net migration rate field listing
    -3.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    Population distribution field listing
    most of the population is divided nearly equally between a concentration in the southern-most plains of the Tarai region and the central hilly region; overall density is quite low
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 20.6% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 3.15% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030: PDF
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    1.424 million KATHMANDU (capital) (2020)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.11 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.82 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.98 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth field listing
    20.8 years (2016 est.)

    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    186 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 25.1 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 26.3 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 23.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 71.8 years
    male: 71.1 years
    female: 72.6 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    Total fertility rate field listing
    1.96 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    52.6% (2016/17)
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 91.7% of population
    rural: 91.4% of population
    total: 91.5% of population
    unimproved: urban: 8.3% of population
    rural: 8.6% of population
    total: 8.5% of population (2017 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure field listing
    5.6% (2017)
    Physicians density field listing
    0.91 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    0.3 beds/1,000 population (2012)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: urban: 91.7% of population
    rural: 71.9% of population
    total: 75.7% of population
    unimproved: urban: 7.3% of population
    rural: 28.1% of population
    total: 24.3% of population (2017 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    0.1% (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    30,000 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    <1000 (2019 est.)
    Major infectious diseases field listing
    degree of risk: high (2020)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: Japanese encephalitis, malaria, and dengue fever
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    4.1% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight field listing
    27.2% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    Education expenditures field listing
    5.2% of GDP (2018)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    Literacy field listing
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 67.9%
    male: 78.6%
    female: 59.7% (2018)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) field listing
    total: 13 years
    male: 13 years
    female: 13 years (2019)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 field listing
    total: 21.4%
    male: 19.7%
    female: 23.9% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
  • Government :: Nepal
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
    conventional short form: Nepal
    local long form: Sanghiya Loktantrik Ganatantra Nepal
    local short form: Nepal
    etymology: the Newar people of the Kathmandu Valley and surrounding areas apparently gave their name to the country; the terms "Nepal," "Newar," "Nepar," and "Newal" are phonetically different forms of the same word
    Government type field listing
    federal parliamentary republic
    Capital field listing
    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)
    etymology: name derives from the Kasthamandap temple that stood in Durbar Square; in Sanskrit, "kastha" means "wood" and "mandapa" means "pavilion"; the three-story structure was made entirely of wood, without iron nails or supports, and dated to the late 16th century; it collapsed during a 2015 earthquake
    Administrative divisions field listing
    7 provinces; Gandaki Pradesh, Karnali Pradesh, Province No. One, Province No. Two, Province No. Three, Province No. Five, Sudurpashchim Pradesh
    Independence field listing
    1768 (unified by Prithvi Narayan SHAH)
    National holiday field listing
    Constitution Day, 20 September (2015); note - marks the promulgation of Nepal’s constitution in 2015 and replaces the previous 28 May Republic Day as the official national day in Nepal; the Gregorian day fluctuates based on Nepal’s Hindu calendar
    Constitution field listing
    history: several previous; latest approved by the Second Constituent Assembly 16 September 2015, signed by the president and effective 20 September 2015
    amendments: proposed as a bill by either house of the Federal Parliament; bills affecting a state border or powers delegated to a state must be submitted to the affected state assembly; passage of such bills requires a majority vote of that state assembly membership; bills not requiring state assembly consent require at least two-thirds majority vote by the membership of both houses of the Federal Parliament; parts of the constitution on the sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence, and sovereignty vested in the people cannot be amended; last amended 2016
    International law organization participation field listing
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: yes
    citizenship by descent only: yes
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 15 years
    Suffrage field listing
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: President Bidhya Devi BHANDARI (since October 2015)
    head of government: Prime Minister Khadga Prasad (KP) Sharma OLI (since 15 February 2018); deputy prime ministers Ishwar POKHREL, Upendra YADAV (since 1 June 2018) (an)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister; cabinet dominated by the Nepal Communist Party
    elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by an electoral college of the Federal Parliament and of the state assemblies for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 13 March 2018 (next to be held in 2023); prime minister indirectly elected by the Federal Parliament
    election results: Bidhya Devi BHANDARI reelected president; electoral vote - Bidhya Devi BHANDARI (CPN-UML) 39,275, Kumari Laxmi RAI (NC) 11,730
    head of state: President Bidhya Devi BHANDARI (since 29 October 2015); Vice President Nanda Bahadar PUN (since 31 October 2015)
    Legislative branch field listing
    description: bicameral Federal Parliament consists of:
    National Assembly (59 seats; 56 members, including at least 3 women, 1 Dalit, 1 member with disabilities, or 1 minority indirectly elected by an electoral college of state and municipal government leaders, and 3 members, including 1 woman, nominated by the president of Nepal on the recommendation of the government; members serve 6-year terms with renewal of one-third of the membership every 2 years)
    House of Representatives (275 seats; 165 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 110 members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by party-list proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)
    first election for the National Assembly held on 7 February 2018 (next to be held in 2024)
    first election for House of Representatives held on 26 November and 7 December 2017 (next to be held in 2022)
    election results:
    National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NCP 42, NC 13, FSFN 2, RJPN 2; composition - men 37, women 22, percent of women 37.3%
    House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NCP 174, NC 63, RJPN 17, FSFN 16, other 4, independent 1; composition - men 185, women 90, percent of women 32.7%; note - total Federal Parliament percent of women 33.5%
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and up to 20 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice appointed by the president upon the recommendation of the Constitutional Council, a 5-member, high-level advisory body headed by the prime minister; other judges appointed by the president upon the recommendation of the Judicial Council, a 5-member advisory body headed by the chief justice; the chief justice serves a 6-year term; judges serve until age 65
    subordinate courts: High Court; district courts
    Political parties and leaders field listing

    the Election Commission of Nepal granted ballot access under the proportional system to 88 political parties for the November-December 2017 House of Representatives election to the Federal Parliament; of these, the following 8 parties won seats:
    Federal Socialist Forum, Nepal or FSFN [Upendra YADAV]
    Naya Shakti Party, Nepal [Baburam BHATTARAI]
    Nepal Communist Party or NCP [Khadga Prasad OLI, Pushpa Kamal DAHAL]
    Nepali Congress or NC [Sher Bahadur DEUBA]
    Nepal Mazdoor Kisan Party [Narayan Man BIJUKCHHE]
    Rastriya Janamorcha [Chitra Bahadur K.C.]
    Rastriya Janata Party or RJPN [Mahanta THAKUR]
    Rastriya Prajatantra party or RPP [Kamal THAPA]

    International organization participation field listing
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Arjun Kumar KARKI (since 18 May 2015)
    chancery: 2730 34th Place NW, Washington, DC 20007
    telephone: [1] (202) 667-4550
    FAX: [1] (202) 667-5534
    consulate(s) general: Chicago (IL), New York
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Randy BERRY (since 25 October 2018)
    telephone: [977] (1) 423-4000
    embassy: Maharajgunj, Kathmandu
    mailing address: US Embassy, Maharajgunj Chakrapath, Kathmandu, Nepal 44600
    FAX: [977] (1) 400-7272
    Flag description field listing
    crimson 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 displays a white 12-pointed sun; the color red represents the rhododendron (Nepal's national flower) and is a sign of victory and bravery, the blue border signifies peace and harmony; the two right triangles are a combination of two single pennons (pennants) that originally symbolized the Himalaya Mountains while their charges represented the families of the king (upper) and the prime minister, but today they are understood to denote Hinduism and Buddhism, the country's two main religions; the moon represents the serenity of the Nepalese people and the shade and cool weather in the Himalayas, while the sun depicts the heat and higher temperatures of the lower parts of Nepal; the moon and the sun are also said to express the hope that the nation will endure as long as these heavenly bodies

    note: Nepal is the only country in the world whose flag is not rectangular or square

    National symbol(s) field listing
    rhododendron blossom; national color: red
    National anthem field listing
    name: "Sayaun Thunga Phool Ka" (Hundreds of Flowers)
    lyrics/music: Pradeep Kumar RAI/Ambar GURUNG

    note: adopted 2007; after the abolition of the monarchy in 2006, a new anthem was required because of the previous anthem's praise for the king

  • Economy :: Nepal
  • Economy - overview field listing

    Nepal is among the least developed countries in the world, with about one-quarter of its population living below the poverty line. Nepal is heavily dependent on remittances, which amount to as much as 30% of GDP. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, providing a livelihood for almost two-thirds of the population but accounting for less than a third of GDP. Industrial activity mainly involves the processing of agricultural products, including pulses, jute, sugarcane, tobacco, and grain.

    Nepal has considerable scope for exploiting its potential in hydropower, with an estimated 42,000 MW of commercially feasible capacity. Nepal has signed trade and investment agreements with India, China, and other countries, but political uncertainty and a difficult business climate have hampered foreign investment. The United States and Nepal signed a $500 million Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact in September 2017 which will expand Nepal’s electricity infrastructure and help maintain transportation infrastructure.

    Massive earthquakes struck Nepal in early 2015, which damaged or destroyed infrastructure and homes and set back economic development. Although political gridlock and lack of capacity have hindered post-earthquake recovery, government-led reconstruction efforts have progressively picked up speed, although many hard hit areas still have seen little assistance. Additional challenges to Nepal's growth include its landlocked geographic location, inconsistent electricity supply, and underdeveloped transportation infrastructure.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $79.19 billion (2017 est.)
    $73.39 billion (2016 est.)
    $72.96 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 95
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $24.88 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    7.9% (2017 est.)
    0.6% (2016 est.)
    3.3% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $2,700 (2017 est.)
    $2,500 (2016 est.)
    $2,500 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 195
    Gross national saving field listing
    45.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
    40.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
    44% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 78% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 11.7% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 33.8% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 8.7% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 9.8% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -42% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 27% (2017 est.)
    industry: 13.5% (2017 est.)
    services: 59.5% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    pulses, rice, corn, wheat, sugarcane, jute, root crops; milk, water buffalo meat
    Industries field listing
    tourism, carpets, textiles; small rice, jute, sugar, and oilseed mills; cigarettes, cement and brick production
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    12.4% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    Labor force field listing
    16.81 million (2017 est.)

    note: severe lack of skilled labor

    country comparison to the world: 32
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 69%
    industry: 12%
    services: 19% (2015 est.)
    Unemployment rate field listing
    3% (2017 est.)
    3.2% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    Population below poverty line field listing
    25.2% (2011 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: 3.2%
    highest 10%: 29.5% (2011)
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 5.925 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 5.945 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    23.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -0.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    Public debt field listing
    26.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
    27.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    Fiscal year field listing
    16 July - 15 July
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    4.5% (2017 est.)
    9.9% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    Current account balance field listing
    -$93 million (2017 est.)
    $1.339 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    Exports field listing
    $818.7 million (2017 est.)
    $761.6 million (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    Exports - partners field listing
    India 53.1%, US 11.8%, Turkey 7.2% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    clothing, pulses, carpets, textiles, juice, jute goods
    Imports field listing
    $10 billion (2017 est.)
    $8.764 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    Imports - commodities field listing
    petroleum products, machinery and equipment, gold, electrical goods, medicine
    Imports - partners field listing
    India 70.2%, China 7.5% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $9.091 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $8.506 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    Debt - external field listing
    $5.849 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $4.321 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    Exchange rates field listing
    Nepalese rupees (NPR) per US dollar -
    104 (2017 est.)
    107.38 (2016 est.)
    107.38 (2015 est.)
    102.41 (2014 est.)
    99.53 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Nepal
  • Electricity access field listing
    population without electricity: 2 million (2019)
    electrification - total population: 93% (2019)
    electrification - urban areas: 94% (2019)
    electrification - rural areas: 93% (2019)
    Electricity - production field listing
    4.244 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    4.983 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    Electricity - exports field listing
    2.69 million kWh (FY 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    Electricity - imports field listing
    2.175 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    943,100 kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    5% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 152
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    92% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    3% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    Crude oil - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 176
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    27,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    26,120 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    Natural gas - production field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    8.396 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
  • Communications :: Nepal
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 855,926
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2.85 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 41,880,311
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 139.45 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    Telecommunication systems field listing
    general assessment: mountainous topography hinders development of telecom infrastructure; mobile service has been extended to all 75 districts covering 90% of Nepal’s land area; fixed broadband is low due to limited number of fixed lines and preeminence of the mobile platform, with overall penetration 2.8%; 3G and 4G subscribers, early stages for mobile broadband market; first launch of a Nepalese satellite (2020)
    domestic: 3G coverage is available in 20 major cities (2019); disparity between high coverage in cities and coverage available in underdeveloped rural regions; fixed-line 3 per 100 persons and mobile-cellular 139 per 100 persons; fair radiotelephone communication service; 20% of the market share is fixed (wired) broadband, 2% is fixed (wireless) broadband, and 78% is mobile broadband (2019)
    international: country code - 977; Nepal, China and Tibet connected across borders with underground and all-dielectric self-supporting (ADSS) fiber-optic cables; radiotelephone communications; microwave and fiber landlines to India; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (2019)
    note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media field listing
    state operates 3 TV stations, as well as national and regional radio stations; 117 television channels are licensed, among those 71 are cable television channels, three are distributed through Direct-To-Home (DTH) system, and four are digital terrestrial; 736 FM radio stations are licensed and at least 314 of those radio stations are community radio stations (2019)
    Internet country code field listing
    Internet users field listing
    total: 10,103,980
    percent of population: 34% (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 791,961
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 3 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 75
  • Transportation :: Nepal
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 6 (2020)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 39
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 3,296,953 (2018)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 4.66 million mt-km (2018)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    9N (2016)
    Airports field listing
    47 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 11 (2017)
    over 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2017)
    914 to 1,523 m: 6 (2017)
    under 914 m: 1 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 36 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 6 (2013)
    under 914 m: 29 (2013)
    Railways field listing
    total: 59 km (2018)
    narrow gauge: 59 km 0.762-m gauge (2018)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    Roadways field listing
    total: 27,990 km (2016)
    paved: 11,890 km (2016)
    unpaved: 16,100 km (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 100
  • Military and Security :: Nepal
  • Military and security forces field listing
    Nepal Army (includes Air Wing); Nepal Armed Police Force (under the Ministry of Home Affairs; paramilitary force responsible for border and internal security, including counter-insurgency, and assisting the Army in the event of an external invasion) (2019)
    Military expenditures field listing
    1.6% of GDP (2019)
    1.6% of GDP (2018)
    1.7% of GDP (2017)
    1.7% of GDP (2016)
    1.6% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 75
    Military and security service personnel strengths field listing
    the Nepal Army has approximately 95,000 active troops (including a small air wing of about 500 personnel); approximately 15,000 Nepal Armed Police (2019 est.)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions field listing
    the Army's inventory includes a mix of older equipment largely of British, Chinese, Indian, Russian, and South African origin; since 2010, China, Italy, and Russia are the top suppliers of military hardware to Nepal (2019 est.)
    Military deployments field listing
    720 Central African Republic (MINUSCA); 880 Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO); 400 Golan Heights (UNDOF); 870 Lebanon (UNIFIL); 230 Liberia (UNSMIL); 150 Mali (MINUSMA); 1,700 South Sudan (UNMISS) (2020)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    18 years of age for voluntary military service (including women); no conscription (2019)
  • Terrorism :: Nepal
  • Terrorist group(s) field listing
    Indian Mujahedeen (2019)
    note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T
  • Transnational Issues :: Nepal
  • Disputes - international field listing

    joint border commission continues to work on contested sections of boundary with India, including the 400 sq km dispute over the source of the Kalapani River; India has instituted a stricter border regime to restrict transit of illegal cross-border activities

    Refugees and internally displaced persons field listing
    refugees (country of origin): 12,540 (Tibet/China), 6,396 (Bhutan) (2019)
    stateless persons: undetermined (2016); note - the UNHCR is working with the Nepali Government to address the large number of individuals lacking citizenship certificates in Nepal; smaller numbers of Bhutanese Hindu refugees of Nepali origin (the Lhotshampa) who were stripped of Bhutanese nationality and forced to flee their country in the late 1980s and early 1990s - and undocumented Tibetan refugees who arrived in Nepal prior to the 1990s - are considered stateless
    Illicit drugs field listing
    illicit producer of cannabis and hashish for the domestic and international drug markets; transit point for opiates from Southeast Asia to the West