Sunday, 4 June, 2023

Demographic Trends

According to the preliminary results of the National Census 2021, Nepal’s population has increased to 29,192,480 from 26,494,504 in 2011. The total population as counted in the latest census is more by 2,697,976 than the figures of the previous census. The population is about 800,000 less than the projected figure of 30 million. This is the increase of 10.18 per cent in a decade as per a report released by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) on Wednesday. However, the data might some marginal change in the final results of the census. The country has witnessed a fall in population growth within the given period. The average annual population growth rate during the period stood at 0.93 per cent while it had been 1.35 per cent 10 years back. Of the total population, 14,901,169 (51.04 per cent) are females and the remaining 14,291,311 (48.96 per cent) are males.

In the previous census, the female population accounted for 51.5 per cent and the male population made up 48.4 per cent. Though real census activities could not be carried out in Lipulek, Limpiyadhura and Kalapani, the population size in these areas is estimated to be between 500-600 people. Looking at the province-wise population distribution pattern, the Madhes Province has possessed the highest number (6,126,288) while the Karnali Province has the lowest figure (1,694,889). Of the country’s total population, the Madhes Province and Karnali Province have accounted for 20.99 per cent and 5.81 per cent, respectively. Likewise, the Lumbini Province has topped other provinces in terms of annual population growth rate (1.25 per cent) while the Gandaki Province has the lowest population growth rate of 0.30 per cent. The Madhes Province, however, has 1.20 per cent annual population growth rate and the remaining provinces have recorded less than 1.0 per cent.

Meanwhile, among the 77 districts, Kathmandu has the highest population (2,017,532) while Manang has the lowest population (5,645). Morang district has the second-highest population and Rupandehi the third-highest, Jhapa fourth and Sunsari fifth. Mustang is the second in terms of least population and Dolpa, Rasuwa and Humla come thereafter. In comparison to the earlier census, Bhaktapur district (3.32 per cent) has the highest population growth rate while Ramechhap district has recorded the most declining rate (-1.65 per cent). Similarly, the country has witnessed an increase in the number of families by a quarter. There are 6,761,059 families across the nation. They live in 5,643,945 houses. It indicates that 12 families live in 10 houses. In the last 10 years, the number of families increased by 1.33 million.

The family size is 4.32 persons per family as compared to 4.88 persons per family a decade ago. But the family size differs from urban to rural areas as well as geographical regions. The population density in the country has increased to 198 people per square kilometres. The density was 180 people per square kilometres 10 years ago. Amidst COVID-19, the CBS conducted the census in October and November last year. Almost 1,900 employees were mobilised for the managerial work. Some 8,500 supervisors and 39,000 enumerators were deployed in the fieldwork. Needless to say, national censuses are very significant because they portray an integrated picture of society within a given timeframe. The latest census has collected the comprehensive and detailed data about the country’s whole population along with social and economic features of society. The demographic data and their indicators from the census will be important for the country’s overall planning and policy making.