Snapshot of Nepal


Total Land Area

147,181 sq km

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (purchasing power parity)

$66.78 billion (2014 est.)

GDP per capita (PPP)

$2,400 (2014 estimate)

GDP composition by sector

Agriculture: 30.7%

Industry: 13.6%

Services: 55.7%


Labour force

14.76 million(2012 est)

Labour force by occupation

Agriculture: 75%
Industry: 7%

Services: 18%

Unemployment rate

46% (2008 estimate)

Population below poverty line

25.2% (2011 est.)





31, 551, 305 (July 2015 est.)


Population growth rate

1.79% (2015 est.)


Net migration rate

3.86 migrants/1,000 population (2015 estimate)


Life expectancy

Total: 67.52 years

Male: 66.18 years

Female: 68.92 years


Infant mortality rate

Total: 39.14 deaths/1,000 live births

Male: 39.24 deaths/1,000 live births

Female: 39.04 deaths/1,000 live births




HIV/AIDS prevalence

0.23% adult prevalence (2013 estimate)

People living with HIV/AIDS: 38,800 (2013estimate)




Male: 76.4%



School life expectancy

Total: 12 years

Male: 12 years

Female: 12 years


Education expenditures

4.7% of GDP (2010)



MDG Progress:

In 2000, United Nations members established eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to be reached by the year 2015 in order to tackle some of the world’s key development challenges. They include:

1.       Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger;

2.       Achieve universal primary education;

3.       Promote gender equality and empower women;

4.       Reduce child mortality;

5.       Improve maternal health;

6.       Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases;

7.       Ensure environmental sustainability; and

8.       Develop a global partnership for development.


Nepal has been making progress on some of the UNMDGs, while others will be more challenging to achieve. The first progress report for Nepal, released in 2005 and written jointly by the Government of Nepal and the UN Country Team, explained that despite the 10-year civil war the country has the potential to meet each of the UNMDGs with the exception of the goals pertaining to universal primary education and combating HIV/AIDS. When considering Nepal’s current status in reaching the UNMDGs, the UNDP states that the goals that are the furthest from being reached are those relating to eradicating hunger.


The goals that are said to be most likely to be achieved in Nepal by the UNDP include:

  • Halving the number of people whose income is less than a dollar a day
  • Reducing the children under five mortality rate by two-thirds
  • Halting and beginning to reverse the spread of malaria and other major diseases (such as TB)
  • Halving the proportion of people without sustainable access to drinking water

Goals that are said to be achievable in Nepal, with major changes, by the UNDP include:

  • Ensuring that all boys and girls will be able to complete primary school
  • Eliminating gender disparity at all levels of education by 2015
  • Reducing the maternal mortality rate by three-quarters
  • Halting and beginning to reverse the spread of HIV/ AIDS
  • Integrating the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reversing the loss of environmental resources
  • Developing a global partnership for development

In fact, the first Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of people who live off of less than $1 (USD) per day was achieved ahead of schedule. However, this was accomplished at the national level and unfortunately certain groups, particularly those living in remote areas, have had their livelihoods worsened in the new millennium. This is especially applicable to Dalits and others belonging to lower castes. As an organization, FTG Nepal is trying to change this through hiring people from all castes in various positions as determined by their existing or potential skill sets.

One hindrance of development as a country is that Nepal produces less food than is required by internal demand. What is worse is the lack of transportation required to get resources to remote areas of the country which is why the malnutrition and child development rates greatly vary across the country.


Since the start of the new millennium there has been a huge increase in the proportion of students with a grade five or higher education, as well as their literacy rates. While there remains a wide gender disparity in literacy rates they have generally been narrowed over the past thirteen years. The government is currently working at redistributing teachers across the country to help balance these disproportionate literacy and development rates.


Since the implementation of UNMDGs the gender gap has significantly narrowed, but it is still existent. A law has passed enforcing that political parties must have women as at least one third of their total representation in parliament. Additionally, since the new millennium there has been an incredible increase in maternal health and infant mortality rates have decreased from 108 per 1000 live births in 1990 to 46 in 2013. The goal is to have decreased the infant mortality to 36 per 1000 live births by 2015 which is considered to be realistically achievable.


Sources consulted: