Natural population growth fluctuates: 2.66% in the 1970s, 2.08% in the 1980s, 2.25% in the 1990s and early. 21 c. The birth rate is quite high (33.5 ‰). The highest birth rate is in the Terai, the lowest is in the high mountainous regions. Mortality 9.62 ‰, infant mortality 64.2 people. per 1000 newborns. The average life expectancy is 59.5 years (59.8 for women; 71.1 years in cities).
Women make up 50.2% of the population. The share of young people (up to 15 years of age) is slightly less than 40%. Urban population – 14.2% (2001). Among the population over 15 years old, 50.7% are literate (in cities – 69%; among men – 65.8%, among women – 35.4%) (2000).
Lives approx. 60 ethnic groups, speaking 65 languages and dialects, belonging to the Indo-European and Sino-Tibetan language families. The main people are Nepalese, speaking the Nepali language (Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European family) and living mainly in the central and southwestern part of the country (over 11 million). Terai are inhabited by Bihari people (which include Maithili – 2.8 million people, Bhojpuri – more than 1.7 million), as well as Tharu (more than 1.3 million), Avadhi (more than 560 thousand), who speak languages. Indo-European family. Tamangs (more than 1.1 million) live in the east, Nevars (825 thousand) in the center (primarily in the Kathmandu valley), and Magars (770 thousand) and Gurungs (340 thousand) in the west, who speak different languages. groups of the Tibeto-Chinese family of languages. Sherpas (130 thousand) who are close to the Tibetans live on the borders with Tibet. Compared to 1981 (58.4%), the share of Nepalese (49%) has dropped sharply, with a slight increase in the share of other major ethnic groups.
80.6% are Hindus, 10.7% are Buddhists (mainly Lamaists), 4.2% are Muslims. Although Nepal is proclaimed a Hindu state, the proportion of Hindus in the 1990s. decreased by more than 6%.