|Form of government
||Federal Democratic Republic
|Telephone area code
With an area of 147,181 km², Nepal is about twice
as large as the German state of Bavaria. The country in
South Asia is a narrow strip in the southern Himalayas
between China in the north and India in the south.
Around two thirds of the country's surface is above
1,000 m (about 28% over 3,000 m).
From south to north, Nepal has a share in four major
geographic regions: The Terai is part of the fertile
lowlands, which are largely part of India. North of it,
the land rises to the Siwalik chain (also: Churia
chain), a promontory up to 100 km wide, which forms the
southernmost part of the Himalayas and reaches heights
of up to 1,800 m. Between the mountain ranges are basin
landscapes such as the Kathmandu Valley, which is about
100 km long and is at an altitude of around 1,350 m. The
Himalayas join to the north, here the mountains rise up
to 4,000 m. This is followed by Nepal's share of the
High Himalayas, where eight of the world's eight eight-thousanders
are located, including the world's highest mountain at
8,848 m, Mount Everest (Tibetan: Chomolungma) on the
border between Nepal and Tibet.
The other mountains over 8,000 meters high are:
Lhotse (8 516 m), Makalu (8 481 m), Dhaulagiri (8 167
m), Manaslu (8 156 m), Cho Oyu (8 153 m) and Annapurna
(8 091 m ).
All rivers in the Himalayas flow into the Ganges, the
longest river is the Kosi (720 km in total, 350 km in
Nepalese territory). The country's capital, Kathmandu
(812,000 residents in the metropolitan area), is located
in the high valley of the same name.
The climate in Nepal is characterized by monsoon
winds: in winter the northwest monsoon brings cool and
dry air from Inner Asia, in summer the southeast monsoon
brings warm and humid air masses. It is tropical hot in
the Terai, the average annual temperature here is around
25 °„ C. The foothills are moderately warm, the temperate
and cool in the Himalayas and the high mountains in the
Himalayas. In the capital Kathmandu, mean values of 10
°„ C are given for January and 24 °„ C in July. The annual
rainfall is 1,400 mm, in the Terai further south up to
2,500 mm are measured. The main rainy season is from
June to September. The snow line in the Himalayas is
5,000 to 5,800 m.
Flora and fauna
In the Terai in the south of Nepal, the original
stocks of damp monsoon forests with bamboo stands and
palm trees were greatly decimated. To the north, the
vegetation changes into evergreen mountain and cloud
forest, which has also decreased due to slash and burn
and deforestation. At higher altitudes, the cloud forest
is replaced by oak, maple, pine, birch and
rhododendrons. The tree line is between 3,700 m and
4,200 m. Alpine mats, lichens and mosses can still be
found up to a height of around 5,000 m, above which
there can no longer be any vegetation in the permanent
The forests in Nepal and the uninhabited high
mountain regions still offer a habitat for many
different animal species. In the high mountains there is
a diverse bird life (including crested pheasant, snow
vulture, rosewood troon). Musk oxen, wild sheep, cat
bears (Little Panda) and snow leopards live in the
mountain forests and represent an endangered species.
The musk animal has also become very rare. In the
southern parts of Nepal (Terai) live the equally
endangered Indian rhinoceros, the Indian elephant,
tiger, lip bear, deer goat antelope and the Gaur, the
largest still existing wild cattle species.
The population of Nepal comprises around 27.68
million people. The many ethnic groups in the country
can be divided into three large groups: Around three
quarters of the total population belong to the
Indonesian Pales, who are descendants of immigrant
Indians. The Gurkhas, who have been the leading
political and social strata since the founding of the
kingdom in 1768, also belong to the Indonesian Pales.
The second group are the Tibetan Pales, who make up
about a quarter of the population and to which most of
the high mountain tribes belong. The smallest group are
the Tibetan peoples, among them the Sherpas, whose share
is just under 1%.
According to COUNTRYAAH, 80% of the total population are committed to
the state religion, Hinduism. Around a tenth are
followers of Buddhism, Muslims and Christians form small
The official language is Nep®Ęli, which belongs to the
New Indo-Aryan languages and is spoken by only around
two thirds of the population. Other languages include
Maithili and Bhojpuri, and a total of over 50 regional
languages are spoken in Nepal.
Most of the residents of Nepal live in the Terai or
in the high valleys, especially in the high valley of
Kathmandu. The regions of the High Himalayas are
Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world,
the standard of living is very low: a quarter of the
population lives below the poverty line. State social
benefits are not provided, and the healthcare system is
poorly developed. The average life expectancy is 69
years for women and 65 years for men, and infant
mortality is over 6.5%. In spite of compulsory schooling
for six to eleven-year-olds since 1975, the literacy
rate is only around 45%. The population growth is 2.2%.
Nepal has been a Federal Democratic Republic since
2008. Your transitional constitution of 2007 establishes
a parliamentary multiparty democracy.
President (with mainly representative functions) has
been Ram Baran Yadav since July 2008. The Prime Minister
(Sushil Koirala since February 2014) is also the
commander-in-chief of the army. The executive lies with
the Council of Ministers.
The Constituent Assembly also acts as a parliament.
Her mandate is five years. 575 seats were allocated
according to majority and proportional representation
rights. There are also 26 members appointed by the
Nepal is divided into five developing regions, 14
administrative zones and 75 districts.
With a per capita income of just under $ 700, Nepal
is one of the poorest countries in the world. The
ten-year civil war, the high level of unemployment, the
lack of trained workers and the unfavorable geographical
location are all responsible for this.
Over half of the population is employed in
agriculture, which contributes 36% to the gross domestic
product. The most productive cultivation areas are in
the Terai, in the mountain landscapes agriculture is
carried out up to altitudes of around 4,000 m. Rice
(also for export), buckwheat, millet, potatoes, barley,
corn, wheat and jute are grown. In the mountain regions,
sheep, goats and house yaks are kept, in the Terai
especially water buffalos and poultry.
The industry is only moderately developed and is
largely limited to the processing of agricultural
products. Among other things, textiles, jute products
and carpets are manufactured for export. In the
inaccessible regions of the Himalayas, mineral resources
are suspected, but have so far not been used. Mica,
limestone, brown and hard coal are already being mined.
The many small hydropower plants, which cover most of
the energy requirement, serve to supply energy. Larger
dam projects (such as the Pancheswar dam) are
controversial due to the region's earthquake hazard.
Nepal's most important trading partners are mainly India
imports (mainly machinery, vehicles, chemical products,
food are imported) and India and China for exports.
Tourism in the Kathmandu Valley, in the tropical
rainforest of the Terai and in the Himalayas is an
important source of foreign exchange income.
Almost two thirds of the approximately 17,000 km of
road are paved and can be used all year round. The
capital Kathmandu has an international airport. Mules
and porters play an important role in the mountain
The currency is the Nepalese rupee.