People and Languages


As per the census of 2011, Nepal's population grew from 9 million in 1950 to 26.5 million in 2011. This tells the rapid growth of the population in Nepal, as in many countries, with time. Traditionally Nepali family used to follow the joint system, with the grandfather, father and son residing in the same house. So, basically three generation used to stay together with many family members. However, with the increasing urbanization and modernization, these days, Nepali people have started to follow nuclear system, like in the developed foreign nations, but mostly in the cities. 

The Nepalese people are mostly the descendants of three major migrations from the neighboring India, Tibet, and North Burma. Indo-Nepalese migrations are easy as there is open border system and no need of visa for entering the either country. Because of this, many Indian businessmen ranging from street vendors to affluent corporate businessmen are in Nepal and vice versa. Nepal and India are similar in many ways, mostly the language, people and culture.

The earliest inhabitants in Nepal were the Kirats of Mid-East region, Newars of the Kathmandu Valley and aboriginal Tharus in the southern Terai region. The Brahmin and Chhetri caste groups, quite dominant in Nepali bureaucracy during the current times, are believed to have migrated from Kumaon, Garhwal and the regions of Kashmir, which previously belonged to Nepal before the Sugauli Treaty. People of Gurung, Magar, Rai and Limbu ethnicities in Nepal resemble Tibetans. 

Population density is higher mostly in the southern plains and the hilly region while the mountainous region in the North is sparsely populated. As stated earlier, Nepali is the official language; however, many other local colloquial languages are spoken across the country. Close to 50 percent of total people speak Nepali language while the other languages that are also widely spoken are Maithili, Bhojpuri, Tharu, Tamang and Newari, etc.

Nepali language is derived from Sanskrit and is written in Devanagari script. As it is the official national language, Nepali is used in all types of government related activities. Regional dialects like Awadhi, Bhojpuri, and Maithili are particularly spoken in southern Terai Region. Tibetan language is popular among the Sherpas in the northern mountainous region.