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2. General Information about Nepal

Location: Southern Asia, between China and India.
Geographic co-ordinates: 28 00 N, 84 00 E.
Map reference: Asia

Land boundaries:

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked).
Maritime claims: None (landlocked).
Geography notes: Strategic location between China and India; contains eight of world's 10 highest peaks
Climate: Varies from cool summers and severe winters in north to subtropical summers and mild winters in south.
Terrain: Terai or flat river plain of the Ganges in the south, central Hill region, rugged Himalayas in the north.

Elevation extremes:

Natural resources: Quartz, water, timber, hydropower potential, scenic beauty, small deposits of lignite, copper, cobalt and iron ore.
Land use:

Irrigated land: 8 500 km2 (1993 estimate).
Natural hazards: Severe thunderstorms with flooding and landslides or drought and famine depending on the timing, intensity, and duration of the summer monsoons.
Environment current issues: Almost total dependence on wood for fuel and cutting down trees to expand agricultural land has resulted in widespread deforestation with associated soil erosion and water pollution (use of contaminated water presents human health risks).
Environment international agreements:

Population: 24 302 653 (July 1999 estimate).
Age structure:

Annual population growth rate: 2.51% (1999 estimate).
Birth rate: 35.32 births/1 000 population (1999 estimate).
Death rate: 10.18 deaths/1 000 population (1999 estimate).
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1 000 population (1999 estimate).
Sex ratio:

Infant mortality rate: 73.58 deaths/1 000 live births (1999 estimate).

Life expectancy at birth:

Total fertility rate: 4.78 children born/woman (1999 estimate).

Ethnic groups: Newars, Indians, Tibetans, Gurungs, Magars, Tamangs, Bhotias, Rais, Limbus, and Sherpas.
Religions: Hindu 90%, Buddhist 5%, Muslim 3%, other 2% (1981)

People: Various ethnic groups, including the Bhotiya (which include the Sherpas), Khas, Kirati, Magar, Newari, Tharu, Tamong and Tibetans.
Languages: Nepale (official), 20 other languages divided into numerous dialects.

People note: There is a refugee issue over the presence in Nepal of approximately 91 000 Bhutanese refugees, 90% of whom are in seven United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) camps.
Country name:

Data code: NP
Government type: Parliamentary democracy as of 12 May 1991.
Capital: Kathmandu.
Administrative divisions: 14 zones (anchal, singular and plural); Bagmati, Bheri, Dhawalagiri, Gandaki, Janakpur, Karnali, Kosi, Lumbini, Mahakali, Mechi, Narayani, Rapti, Sagarmatha and Seti .
Independence: 1768 (unified by Prithvi Narayan Shah).
National holiday: Birthday of His Majesty the King, 28 December (1945).
Constitution: 9 November 1990.
Legal system: Based on Hindu legal concepts and English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction. Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal.
Government: Democracy.
Prime Minister: Krishna Prasad Bhattari.

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