2. General Information about Nepal
Location: Southern Asia, between China and India.
Geographic co-ordinates: 28° 00´ N, 84° 00´ E.
Map reference: Asia
-Total: 140 800 km2
-Land: 136 800 km2
-Water: 4 000 km2
-Total: 2 926 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked).
-Border countries: China 1 236 km, India 1 690 km.
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.
-Lowest point: Kanchan Kalan, 70 m
Natural resources: Quartz, water, timber, hydropower potential, scenic beauty, small deposits of lignite, copper, cobalt and iron ore.
-Highest point: Mount Everest, 8 848 m
-Arable land: 17%
Irrigated land: 8 500 km2 (1993 estimate).
-Permanent crops: 0%
-Permanent pastures: 15%
-Forests and woodland: 42%
-Other: 26% (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:
-Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 1983, Tropical Timber 1994, Wetlands.
Population: 24 302 653 (July 1999 estimate).
-Signed, but not yet ratified: Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation.
-0-14 years: 41% (male 5 182 829; female 4 869 895)
Annual population growth rate: 2.51% (1999 estimate).
-15-64 years: 55% (male 6, 856 905; female 6 571 916)
-65 years and over: 4% (male 407 797; female 413 311) (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).
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Infant mortality rate: 73.58 deaths/1 000 live births (1999 estimate).
Under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.99 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (1999 estimate).
Life expectancy at birth:
-Total population: 58.42 years.
Total fertility rate: 4.78 children born/woman (1999 estimate).
-Male: 58.47 years.
-Female: 58.36 years (1999 estimate).
-Noun: Nepalese (singular and plural).
Ethnic groups: Newars, Indians, Tibetans, Gurungs, Magars, Tamangs, Bhotias, Rais, Limbus, and Sherpas.
Religions: Hindu 90%, Buddhist 5%, Muslim 3%, other 2% (1981)
Note: Only official Hindu state in the world.
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.
-Definition: Age 15 and over can read and write
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.
-Total population: 27.5%
-Female: 14% (1995 estimate)
-Conventional long form: Kingdom of Nepal.
Data code: NP
-Conventional short form: Nepal.
Government type: Parliamentary democracy as of 12 May 1991.
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.
Prime Minister: Krishna Prasad Bhattari.