Nepal stats: UNICEF: The State of the World’s Children Report
Population: 29,331,000 (2009)
National language: Nepali
Per capita income: US$ 440/year (2009)
Life expectancy: 67 (2009)
% of population using improved drinking water sources: 88% (2008)
% of population using adequate sanitation facilities: 31% (2008)
Under 5 Mortality Rate: 48/1,000 live births (2009)
Nepal is home to eight of the world’s 10 highest peaks, including Mt Everest and Mt Kanchenjunga (the world’s highest and third-highest, respectively). Situated in Asia between China and India, Nepal is slightly larger than Arkansas.
The majority of Nepalese workers are employed in agriculture, mostly in the production and processing of jute (a cotton-like plant), tobacco and grain. Nepalese carpets are a source of exported revenue, and tourism — mostly in the Himalaya region — brings important funds into the economy. However, a lack of skilled labor and arable land make Nepal one of Asia’s poorer countries. Ongoing conflict with Maoist guerilla rebels provides political and social instability, and violence often mars everyday life.