Southeast Asia: Nepal

About Nepal

In 1951, the Nepalese 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. The refugee issue of some 100,000 Bhutanese in Nepal remains unresolved; 90% of these displaced persons are housed in seven United Nations Offices of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) camps.

Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Kathmandu
Population: 25,284,463 (July 2001 est.)
Percent below poverty: 42% (FY95/96 est.)
Language: Nepali (official; spoken by 90% of the population), about a dozen other languages and about 30 major dialects; note - many in government and business also speak English (1995)
Date of independence: 1768 (unified by Prithvi Narayan Sh
Form of government: parliamentary democracy and constit
Title of Leader: King
Natural Resources: quartz, water, timber, hydropower, scenic beauty, small deposits of lignite, copper, cobalt, iron ore
Environmental Issues: deforestation (overuse of wood for fuel and lack of alternatives); contaminated water (with human and animal wastes, agricultural runoff, and industrial effluents); wildlife conservation; vehicular emissions
Agricultural Products: ice, corn, wheat, sugarcane, root crops; milk, water buffalo meat
Imports: gold, machinery and equipment, petroleum products, fertilizer
Exports: carpets, clothing, leather goods, jute goods, grain
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: India 31%, China/Hong Kong 16%, Singapore 14% (FY97/98)
EXPORTS: India 33%, US 26%, Germany 25% (FY97/98)


Nepal Headlines


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