Nepal, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is in South Asia. With an area of 147,181 square kilometres (56,827 sqare miles) and a population of approximately 27 million, Nepal is the world's 93rd largest country by area and the 41st most populous country. It is a landlocked country located along the Himalayas and bordered to the north by China and to the south, east, and west by India. Nepal is separated from Bangladesh by the narrow Indian Siliguri Corridor and from Bhutan by the Indian state of Sikkim.
Kathmandu is the nation's capital city and largest metropolis. The mountainous north of Nepal has eight of the world's ten tallest mountains, including the highest point on Earth, Mount Everest (Nepali: Sagarmāthā). More than 250 peaks over 20,000 ft. (6,096 m) above sea level are located in Nepal. The southern Terai region is fertile and humid.
Hinduism is practiced by about 81.3% of Nepalese, the highest percentage of any country. Buddhism is linked historically with Nepal and is practiced by 9% of its people, followed by Islam at 4.4%, Kiratism 3.1%, Christianity 1.4%, and Animism 0.4%. A large portion of the population, especially in the hill region, may identify themselves as both Hindu and Buddhist, which can be attributed to the syncretic nature of both faiths in Nepal. Buddha was born in Nepal at Lumbini.
A monarchy throughout most of its history, Nepal was ruled by the Shah dynasty of kings from 1768—when Prithvi Narayan Shah unified its many small kingdom–until 2008. A decade-long Civil War involving the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), followed by weeks of mass protests by all major political parties, led to the 12-point agreement of 22 November 2005. The ensuing elections for the 1st Nepali Constituent Assembly on 28 May 2008 overwhelmingly favoured the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of federal multiparty representative democratic republic. Despite continuing political challenges, this framework remained in place, with the 2nd Nepali Constituent Assembly elected in 2013 in an effort to create a new constitution.
On September 20, 2015, a new constitution was announced by President Ram Baran Yadav in the Constituent Assembly. The Constituent Assembly was transformed into a legislative parliament. The new constitution established Nepal as a federal democratic country by making seven unnamed states. For more information on Nepal's regions and districts, please see the following links:
Nepal is a developing country with a low income economy, ranking 145th of 187 countries on the Human Development Index in 2014. It continues to struggle with high levels of hunger and poverty. Despite these challenges, Nepal has been making steady progress, with the government making a commitment to graduate the nation from least developed country status by 2022, but few observers are optimistic.
Generic country information can be located from sources which are regularly maintained and reflect current facts and figures. For a generic country overview, please consult the following sources:
(*note - this is a paid service)