Nepal’s total population has reached more than 29.1 million, according to the latest census published on Friday, registering a growth of 0.92 per cent in a decade.
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, launching the National Report of the National Census 2022 here, said that the census data have emerged as tools for promoting good governance and measuring the nation’s progress towards the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs).
According to the data published by the Central Bureau of Statistics, out of the 29,164,578 people in Nepal, 14,911,027 are females, while the number of males 14,253,551.
At the time of the previous census, the country’s total population stood at 26,494,504. According to the report, the population has increased at the rate of 0.92 percent in the last 10 years.
“The Census would provide a guideline to monitor and evaluate Nepal’s commitments on the international forum about demography and its development, and the goals of national development as also to analyse the existing indicators of development,” Prachanda said during the launch of the report.
The prime minister said that the data collected is expected to provide a reliable ground for the federal, provincial and local governments to make concrete decisions while preparing their policies, plans and programmes.
“I found the national census as a supporting tool to review the implementation of the 15th Periodic Plan and formulate an approach paper for the consecutive periodic plan,” he said. Citing the latest census data, the prime minister said that the population growth rate is shrinking in the country, and it is more rapid in the mountains and the rural population.
”The number of people staying abroad and thereby considered absent during the census has increased in this census as compared to 2011,” Prachanda said, adding that according to the data, the proportion of women going abroad has risen.
More than 2,190,000 Nepalis live abroad (in countries other than India), the report said, adding that the figure is higher by 269,098 than in the precious census of 2011.
According to the census data, the country’s literacy rate has reached 76.3 per cent, increasing 10.4 per cent in the last ten years.
The census data also reflects that women’s access to family properties increased, with 23.8 per cent of households having their land and house in the woman’s name, a 1.1 per cent increase when compared to the 2011 census.
There are 6,666,937 households in the country, of which 6,660,841 are residential houses. Women run 31.55 per cent of these households, a 5.82 per cent rise compared to the previous census.
According to the census data, Kathmandu has the highest population across the country at 2,041,587, while only 5,658 people reside in the Manang district.
Even after the government’s emphasis on the development and promotion of clean energy, a large section of the country’s population still relies on traditional means of cooking fuel, the report said.
A total of 51 per cent of the households in the country still use firewood in the kitchen, while the percentage of those using LPG gas cylinders stands at 44.3 per cent.
The government’s vision of expanding electricity coverage to all households is almost close to realisation, with 92.2 per cent of these households being under the ambit of electricity. Ten years ago, only 67.3 per cent of the population had access to electricity.
According to the statistics, 98.8 per cent of the population has access to clean energy, while those using kerosene and other fuels remain below 1 per cent.
The Himalayan nation’s government halted the census in 2021, citing the risks of the COVID-19 pandemic. The census was also delayed by five months more than the estimated deadline.
The first census in Nepal was conducted in 1911. Conducted every 10 years, the 12th National Census in 2021 was conducted from November 11-25 in 2021 with the slogan- ‘My Census, My Participation: National Census-2021’.
According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, 39,000 enumerators and 8,000 supervisors were deployed for the census in 2021.
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