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Prithvi Narayan Shah.jpg
Prithvi Narayan Shah वडामहाराजधिरज पृथ्वीनारायण शाह, first King of unified Nepal
Total population
c. 30 million
Regions with significant populations
   Nepal 26,494,504a[1]
 India 2,871,749b[2]
 Bhutan 265,000b[3]
 United States 59,490c[4]
 Hong Kong, China 15,950c[5]
 Canada 9,780c[6]
 China (Mainland) 3,500c[7]
 Myanmar 300,000c[8]
Nepal Bhasa
Predominantly Hinduism and Buddhism

a Total population of Nepal, b Nepali-speaking population, c Nepali diaspora
Some Famous Nepalese Generals from history

Nepalis, also referred to as Nepalese (Nepali: नेपाली), are the Indo-Aryan and Sino-Tibetan citizens of Nepal under the provisions of Nepali nationality law. The country is home to people of many different national origins. As a result, people of Nepal do not equate their nationality with ethnicity, but with citizenship and allegiance. Although citizens make up the majority of Nepalese, non-citizen residents, dual citizen, and expatriates may also claim a Nepalese identity. Nepalese are descendants of migrants from parts of India, Tibet, and parts of Burma and Yunnan, and much further traces origin to Central Asia, along with indigenous peoples.

Nepal is a multicultural and multiethnic country. Kathmandu Valley, in the middle hill region, constitutes a small fraction of the nation's area but is the most densely populated, with almost 5 percent of the nation's population.[1][9]


Local legends say that a Hindu sage named "Ne" established himself in the valley of Kathmandu in prehistoric times and that the word "Nepal" came into existence as the place was protected ("pala" in Pali) by the sage "Ne". It is mentioned in Vedic texts that this region was called Nepal centuries ago. According to the Skanda Purana, a rishi called "Ne" or "Nemuni" used to live in the Himalayas.[10] In the Pashupati Purana, he is mentioned as a saint and a protector.[11] He is said to have practised meditation at the Bagmati and Kesavati rivers[12] and to have taught there.[13]

The name of the country is also identical in origin to the name of the Newar people. The terms "Nepāl", "Newār", "Newāl" and "Nepār" are phonetically different forms of the same word, and instances of the various forms appear in texts in different times in history. Nepal is the learned Sanskrit form and Newar is the colloquial Prakrit form.[14] A Sanskrit inscription dated 512 CE found in Tistung, a valley to the west of Kathmandu, contains the phrase "greetings to the Nepals" indicating that the term "Nepal" was used to refer to both the country and the people.[15][16]


Hindus as percentage of total population in districts of Nepal

Nepali population comprises of 81.34% of Hindus. [17]

Various Nepalese children at Kathmandu


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues – 2000, Census of India, 2001
  3. ^
  4. ^ "ASIAN ALONE OR IN COMBINATION WITH ONE OR MORE OTHER RACES, AND WITH ONE OR MORE ASIAN CATEGORIES FOR SELECTED GROUPS". United States Census Bureau. United States Department of Commerce. 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2016. 
  5. ^ "Thematic Report: Ethnic Minorities" (PDF). Publications and Products of the 2006 Population By-census. Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong (xvi). 2007-12-28. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  6. ^ Statistics Canada. "2011 National Household Survey: Data tables". Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  7. ^ "Start Kathmandu-Guangzhou flight: NRNs". The Himalayan Times. Archived from the original on 12 January 2006. Retrieved 13 September 2016. 
  8. ^ The Irrawaddy - LAWI WENG. "The Forgotten Gurkhas of Burma". The Irrawaddy. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  9. ^ "Nepalese peoples and nationality law". The World Factbook. CIA. 
  10. ^ Dangol, Amrit (6 May 2007). "Alone in Kathmandu". Alone in Kathmandu. Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  11. ^ Prasad, P. 4 The life and times of Maharaja Juddha Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana of Nepal
  12. ^ Khatri, P. 16 The Postage Stamps of Nepal
  13. ^ W.B., P. 34 Land of the Gurkhas
  14. ^ Malla, Kamal P. "Nepala: Archaeology of the Word" (PDF). Archived from the original on 22 March 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2011.  Page 7.
  15. ^ Malla, Kamal P. "Nepala: Archaeology of the Word" (PDF). Archived from the original on 22 March 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2011.  Page 1.
  16. ^ Majupuria, Trilok Chandra; Majupuria, Indra (1979). Glimpses of Nepal. Maha Devi. p. 8. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  17. ^