Nepal in a nutshell: key facts about the mountain nation

Associated Press
Associated Press |

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Here are some key facts about Nepal, which was hit by a magnitude-7.9 earthquake on Saturday:


Straddles the Himalayas between northern India and China and is home to Mt Everest, the world's tallest mountain. It rises steeply from the Ganges River Basin in India and contains highly fertile valleys and eight of the world's 14 highest peaks.


27.8 million; about 90 per cent of them are Hindu and 5 per cent are Buddhist.


Kathmandu, population 700,000


147,181 square kilometres


One of the world's poorest countries; more than 80 per cent of the population depends on agriculture. Per capita annual income is US$656 and an estimated 25 per cent of the people live in poverty.


Some 230,000 people - nearly half of Nepal's yearly foreign visitors - come to trek the Himalayas. In 2013, 810 attempted to climb Mt Everest. It is the star of the tourism industry, earning the country US$3.3 million each year in climbing fees alone.


Political turmoil since the centuries-old monarchy was overthrown in 2008, which also marked the end of a 10-year Maoist insurgency. Political infighting has prevented a deal on a new constitution.