Nepal - HowStuffWorks

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Country (long form) Kingdom of Nepal
Capital Kathmandu
Total Area 54,363.18 sq mi
140,800.00 sq km
(slightly larger than Arkansas)
Population 25,284,463 (July 2001 est.)
Estimated Population in 2050 53,293,874
Languages 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)
Literacy 27.5% total, 40.9% male, 14% female (1995 est.)
Religions Hinduism 86.2%, Buddhism 7.8%, Islam 3.8%, other 2.2%
note: only official Hindu state in the world (1995)
Life Expectancy 58.65 male, 57.77 female (2001 est.)
Government Type parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy
Currency 1 Nepalese rupee (NR) = 100 paisa
GDP (per capita) $1,360 (2000 est.)
Industry tourism, carpet, textile; small rice, jute, sugar, and oilseed mills; cigarette; cement and brick production
Agriculture rice, corn, wheat, sugarcane, root crops; milk, water buffalo meat
Arable Land 17%
Natural Resources quartz, water, timber, hydropower, scenic beauty, small deposits of lignite, copper, cobalt, iron ore
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Geography of Nepal

Nepal, or Kingdom of Nepal, a country in the Himalayas in southern Asia. It is bounded by India and the Tibetan region of China.

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History of Nepal

Much of Nepal's early history is known only by legend. Apparently there were migrations from surrounding areas, and small tribal principalities were established.