PREFACE

This report is published in order to make available in English the more important results of the 1952 /54 Census of Population of Nepal. Much of the data given here are shown for the first time. It is hoped that they will be found useful not only to sociologists and economists and for purposes of administration in general, but also in the preparation of the development plans for Nepal.

The Census was taken in two stages: the eastern portion was enumerated in 1952 and the west in 1954 . Preliminary results were published in March 1955 and detailed tables in the Nepali Language were submitted to the Government in April 1957. In addition to the geographic areas shown in this report, the Department of Statistics has similar data for the thums or progannas which comprise Statistics has similar data for the thums or pragannas which comprise the districts; also a complete list of villages showing population by sex, number of houses, and number of families.

There is evidence that a census was made even before Jung Bahadur, the first Rana prime Minister (1846-1877). The first count for which data are available was made in 1911 and population counts have been made approximately every ten years since that time. The present census, however, was the first to make use of modern census concepts and techniques. It will not be an exaggeration, therefore, to say that this has been the first modern and complete census of Nepal, using internationally accepted concepts and comparable to censuses of other countries.

The Department of Statistics was established early in 1950 with a nucleus of five officers from the Department of Industrial Commercial Intelligence. Prior to the establishment of the Department, They received training in census methods at the International Training center on Censuses and Statistics sponsored by the United Nations and the Government of India, in New Delhi in 1949. The plan for the census was drawn up after taking into consideration the concepts recommended by U.N. for the world census of 1950 and the experience gained in a trial census held in the town of Banepa. Work on the census began in 1951 but was abandoned because of the revolution against the rana rule. In the following year the new government directed that the Department conduct the Enumeration in the east in 1952 and in the west in 1953 . The enumeration of the west could not take place until 1954, however, The census day for the east was Jestha 15, 2009 B.S. (28th May 1954 A.D.) In each case the west, Jestha 15, 2011 B.S. (28th may, 1954 A.D.). In each case the actual enumeration lasted about 3 weeks. Mahotari, a district located in the east was not enumerated until 1954 during the census of the west.

In preparation for the census, 200 supervisors were trained in the central office in Kathmandu and sent into the field. Operating out of 1657. Centers located all over the country, they selected, trained and supervised 17000 enumerators. Most of these were the local state rent collectors. The enumeration involved the transportation from and to Kathmandu  of about 19 tons of census schedule forms and publicity materials. Practically all these were carried by porters over difficult mountain trails where a single one way journey might take up to four weeks. When the enumeration was completed the Department of Statistics was faced with the necessity of sorting and tabulating the 8.5 million individual data slips by hand as it possessed no office equipment of any kind. This operation alone lasted over two years and was done by the census supervisors when they returned from the field.

The census faced other problems beside physical ones. There was no census tradition and the country had just gone through a revolution in the course of which the 104 year old rana regime was overthrown. The officials and supervisors and supervisors were faced with suspicion and conservatism of isolated bodies of people who had very little contact with the world outside of their own valleys. nevertheless, the enumeration was successfully conducted in some of the most inaccessible parts of the country, and in places which had resisted all previous attempts to collect data from them of any kind. Full coverage was assured by the careful delineation of the jurisdiction of each supervisor, using maps; a preliminary personal field check by the supervisors of all the villages in their territory with the cooperation of the district revenue officers and finally a spot check of the work of each of the enumerators by the supervisor.

To aid in obtaining the cooperation of the population, various types of publicity wore employed. These included village meetings which were addressed by census supervisors, the distribution of pamphlets and handbills and radio programmes, all of which explained how and why the census was being taken. These preceded and continued all through the period of the enumeration.

The need and importance of the data provided by the census have been increasingly recognized since the preliminary figures were first published. Requests for more and more data have come, not only from governmental agencies but also from the general public, political parties and social organizations at home and abroad. The data supplied have been used for different purposes among which has been to help in the preparation of a Five Year Development Plan, the delineation of constituencies and the planning of Nepal's first general election. For this work, the population figures and maps of the thums and pragannas prepared by the department wore the only dependable bases. The National Education Commission and the administration Reorganization Commission have also been supplied with information in advance Commission have also been supplied with information in advance of this publication and have incorporated the data in their of this publication and have incorporated the data in their reports and in formulating their programme recommendations. It has been a matter of great satisfaction to find that the data has been a matter of great satisfaction to find that the data are so much needed and are so widely used in building the nation.

The accomplishment of a big operation such as a modern population census in a country like Nepal would never have been possible but for the help and cooperation of the numerous officials at every level of administration . His Majesty, the King showed a keen interest in the work and encouraged it in every possible way. I most humbly express the profound gratitude of the Department and my own for the gracious patronage. The Department owes much to the different Prime Ministers of Nepal and the Honorable Ministers in charge of it at different periods from 1951 onward. Metion must be made of maharaja Mohan shumshere J.B. Rana, during whose premiership in 1950 the department of statistics was established and the budget for the census was sanctioned. The late General Bijay sumshere J.B. Rana was its first director. Both the maharaja and the director deserve great thanks for the spade work done during their tenure. The department is grateful to shri M. P. Koirala, premier during both the 1952 and 1954 enumeration period, Shri Tanka Prasad Acharya, Prime minister (1956-57) , Shri khadgaman Singh, Shri Narad Muni Thuhung, Shri Bhadra Kali Mishra, General Arun Sumshere J.B. Rana Ministers in charge of the department at different times, for their interest in this work and for the support extended to this office. Field Marshall Kaiser Sumshere J.B. Rana kindly placed his library at the disposal of the Department for which acknowledgement is due, Gratitude is also due to my former colleague Shri Suberna Sumshere J.B. Rana, now chied Election commissioner and to the various Seretaries to Goverment among whom mention must be made of Sirdar Bhim Bahadur pande, the first Secretary in 1950 and together with General bijaya, one of the founders of the Department, Shri Kulshear Sharma, Shri Tilak Sumshere Thapa, Shri Ratna Bahadur Bista, Shri Nayan Bahadur Who were at one time or other then Finance Secretary, and Shri Kaiser Bahadur K.C. , now Education Secretary to the government.

I would also like to express my appreciation and gratitude to Mr. W. R. Leonard, Director of the United Nations Statistical office for the office equipment, libary and encouragement received by the department. My thanks are also due to Mr. Harry B. Price, U.N. economic Adviser valuable help and suggestions. Colonel B.M. Vencoba Rao of the Ford Foundation very kindly placed at the Department's disposal the services of Mr. Shankar Nandi, whose skill in typing greatly enhanced the apperance and value of this report. I am most thankful for his help.

The formulation of a comprehensive plan for the economic development of Nepal showed the need for expanding the statistical activities of the government. Accordingly the United Nations was asked for technical help in organizing a permanent statistical office, developing suitable statistical programmes and in training personnel. Mr. Howard J. Kumin, U.N. statistical expert arrived in Kathmandu in July 1957 in response to the request. Besides submitting his recommendations to the Government regarding statistical organization and programmes, Mr. Kumin rendered the department invaluable help in the preparation of this publication. He designed the tables, contributed much to the analysis, worked out checks and controls and actively participated as a regular official of the Department. He has been most helpful not only in completing this book but also in endowing it with its present quality. For this valuable work, the Department owes Mr. Kumin a great debt.

In conclusion I would like to place on record my gratitude to the officers and men of the Department of Statistics who assisted me in this work. Shri Thir Bahadur raimajhi, Chief census superintendent, together with the other four census superintendents, prepared the census plan in 1950 and was in sole charge of the operation in 1952. The others, Shri Narakanta Adhikari, Shri Kaiser Bahadur Acharya, Shri Satya joshi and Shri Hridayanath Sharma, also gave me theri whole hearted cooperation. Theri devotion, initiative and the many qualities of leadership they showed during the field operations and the diligence, energ and selflessness with which they worked in the office are beyond praise. The chief superintendent showed especial talent in the planning and Shri Adhikari in organizing and conducting field work all well as in supervising and directing the difficult work of hand tabulation. To Shri joshi goes the credit of enumerating Manang  Bhot on the third attempt. Shri Acharya and Shri Sharma have also distinguished themselves both in the field as zonal officers and at headquarters. Shri Chatra Dhwaj, Shri Samboo Kumar, Shri Madanlal, Shri Durga Narain and shri Bhanu Bhakta who functioned as assistant superintendents helped in the operation at zonal offices and provided the immediate supervision of tabulation. Their work desrves due appreciation. The Department is also very much indebted to each of the clerks who supervised the enumeration and tabulated the schedules at headquarters. Their patience, industry, and devotion are praiseworthy. I must also thank all of the local officials, the Patwaris and the Mukhiyas who acted as enumerators and rendered a valuable service to their country. Finally the department is deeply grateful to the millions of citizens, the people of Nepal, whos responded to the census as a national duty and contributed to its success.

Kathmandu,

January 1, 1958.

Kulanath Lohani

Census Commissioner

ANALYSIS AND TECHNICAL NOTES

SELECTED SUMMARY STATISTICS FOR REGIONS DISTRICTS, AND PRINCIPAL CITIES

Table 1, Page 1

The  first table in this report brings together data on the population "at home" as well as individuals absent from home for the three principal cities and for the nine regions in which the number of families in each of these areas, the average number of persons per family, the number of cities, towns and villages and the average density of the population.

The total population of Nepal resulting from the enumerations in 1952 and in 1954 1) , was 8473478 of whom 8256625 were at home at the time of the census and 216853 were absent from home 6 months or more. the population was distributed among the regions as follows:

 

Population Present (at home)

Present distribution.

Area in Square Miles.2

Persons per Square Mile.

Nepal

8256625

100.0

54362

152

Hill Regions

5867208

71.1

45097

130

Eastern Hills

1708816

20.7

10114

169

Western Hills

3229177

39.1

29777

108

Kathmandu Valley

410995

5

218

1885

East Inner Terai

189228

2.3

1829

103

Centere Inner Terai

239677

2.9

2445

98

West Inner Terai

89315

1.1

714

125

Terai Regions

2389417

28.9

9265

258

Eastern Terai

1806049

21.9

5115

253

Mid Western Terai

348179

4.2

1307

266

Far Western Terai

235189

2.8

2843

83

Seventy on percent of the population live in the Hill regions which comprise 83 percent of the total area and 29 percent live in the low lands of the Terai. The average population density in the Terai is 258 persons per square mile whereas in the Hills it is 130 persons per square mile. Much of the Hills, however, is uninhabitable. The density in parts of the inhabitable Hill area is probably as high if not higher than in the settled areas of the Terai. In the rural portions of Kathmandu valley, The population density was 1139 persons per square mile. The least densely populated areas were certain mountainous districts such as jumla in the western Hills, Chitawan in the Centre Inner Terai and some unhealthy areas in the Far Western Terar such as Kanchapur which had 29 Persons per square mile.

The largest region in terms of area and population was the Western Hills. The Eastern Terai had the next largest population followed by the Eastern Hills. The average density of the Eastern Hills, however is about half that of the eastern Terai because its area is nearly twice as great. The Kathmandu Valley not only had a high rural population density, but it is also the region in which the three largest cities of the country.

1)      As For details on the enumeration, see the preface and the note facing page 1.

2)      calculated in the department of statistics.

are situated so that it is the most densely populated area in the country, with 1,885 persons per square mile.

            Mahotari in the Eastern Terai is the most populous district in Nepal with 418,436 inhabitants and a density of 511 persons per square mile in 1954. Next in order of population were sallyan with 375,246 inhabitants. Inasmuch as these districts encompass rather large areas, their densities are relatively low, 116 and 120 persons per square mile respectively.

            The population of Nepal were distributed among 28,780 cities, towns, village and hamlets but 97 percent of the people live in rural towns and villages with fewer than 5,000 inhabitants (see Table 4). They live in large family units, which averaged 5.4 persons for the country as a whole but ranging up to 10.6 persons per family in the district of Nawalpur. In that district there was greater degree of doubling up of secondary families with the primary family in the same house than was the custom in other districts.

TOTAL POPULATION BY REGIONS AND DISTRICTS :  1968, 1977, 1987, 1998, 2009/11B.S (1911,1920,1930,1941,1952/54A.D.)

Table 2,Page 4.

The first census of the population of Nepal for which data exist was taken in 1911 A.D. although there is evidence that partial counts were made during the nineteenth century. since 1911 there have been censuses taken roughly every decade. Comparisons of the 1952/54 census with those of previous years are difficult, however, because the early ones apear to have been little more than population counts and there have been changes in the boundaries of disricts.The greatest source of difficulty has been the apparent variation in the care with which the enumerations were made. It is well known that the census of 1930 was dificient owing to a threat of war between Nepal and Tibet which resulted in a fear among the population that the census was for the purpose of making up lists for the conscription of men into the armies. So far as is known, there was no control over the quality of the enumeration in the censuses up to 1952/54 and although under enumeration probably took place in all of the censuses because of the character of the country, the degree of underenumeration varied between censuses and between areas.

            In contrast to the previous censuses, that of 1952/54 was well controlled. supervisors personally visited each of the villages within their areas before the enumeration began to ensure that each village was to be included, and the work of each of the enumerators of children- the most recent census can be regarded as being reasonably accurate. The tables in this report give evidence of this. The data and the findings from each of the tables are consistent with the others. On the other hand, it is difficult to account for the variations in the number of inhabitants of the country since 1911 without assuming that there have been variations in the quality of the counts.

            The population for districts shown in this table have been adjusted for boundary changes so that they are comparable to previous censuses. Because of these adjustments, the population in table 2 shown for districts for 1952/54 are not the same as those shown for these districts in the other tables.

            It has already been pointed out that the enumerations of the recent census took place in two years, 1952 and 1954. In order to facilitate the discussion of the population changes since 1911, the total population of Nepal in 1954 has been estimated. The estimate includes persons absent from home 6 months or more to make the figure comparable with the 1941 census. The same concept was probably used in all previous censuses as well because persons absent from home for long periods are customarily considered to be attached to their families.

 

 1952 (enumerated)

Estimated Percent Increase annually

 1954
(estimated)

Total population, NEPAl

-

-

8552678

Eastern Hills

1767757

1.5

1814017

Eastern Inner Terai

191570

1.5

196583

Eastern Terai, except Mahotari

1389393

1

1417320

 (enumerated)

Kathmandu Valley

-

-

415761

Western Hills

-

-

3374932

Centre Inner Terai

-

-

241473

Mid Western Terai

-

-

348381

West Inner Terai

-

-

89828

Far Western Terai

-

-

235343

Mahotari

-

-

419040

There is no factual basis for the rates of increase used in making the estimates above. because of the known high mortality rates, it is unlikely that the annual increase  is as much as tow percent, hence 1.5 percent was used in the Hill regions. Only one percent was used for the Terai because the death rates in that region are known to be higher than they are in the Hills.

In the 43 years between the census of 1911 and the estimated 1954 figure there was an increase of 2,913,929 persons or 1.2 percent annually. In view of the evidence that there is a high death rate and considerable migration out of the country, this figure does not appear to be unreasonable. One might therefore judge the census of 1911 as having been fairly correct.

Between 1911 and 1920, it will be noted that there was a decline of 64,961 persons whereas one would have expected an increase of at least 500,000 or 1 percent per year. Two occurrences took place during the nine year interval between censuses which account for part of the apparent decline. The world wide epidemic of influenza in 1981 killed a large number of the population; thousands of Nepalese men were recruited for service in the Allied armies during the first World war. It is not certain that this accounts for all of the decline, however, particularly since individuals serving with foreign armies should have been included in the enumeration of 1920. It is most probable that these was considerable under enumeration in 1920 as compared with 1911.

There was further apparent decline of 41,214 persons between 1920 and 1930. The count for 1930 was deficient for the reasons pointed out above.

The census of 1941 was also affected by the large number of men recruited for the armies of the second world war so that the increase of 751,075 persons over the previous census was not as large as it might have been despite the under enumeration in 1930. The annual increase from 1930 to 1941 was 1.2 percent.

            Between 1941 and 1954 there was an increase in population of 2,316,469 or 2.8 percent per year. This percentage increase was more than double that for any previous period. part of it was due to a return of discharged military personnel to Nepal after the end of the war but the greatest part of the apparent increase was probably due to the more careful enumeration of the population in 1952/54 as compared to 1941.

            It is not possible to draw any firm conclusions regarding the growth of regions and districts. They show considerable variation in the rate of rowth. Although the data in the table have been adjusted for changes in boundaries, it is not known how careful the supervisors were in the early censuses to assign enumeration districts and to adhoro to the existing boundaries. It is probably that there were variations in the care with which different areas were enumerated and this would account for some of the variations in the rate of growth between regions.

TOTAL POPULATION OF GEOGRAPHIC REGIONS, DISTRICTS AND THUMS OR PRAGANNAS

Table 3, Page 6

This table shows the total population, including persons absent from home 6 months or more, of the minor civil divisions called thums in some areas and pragannas in others. The data have been summarized by census districts and by regions. A set of maps of the thums and pragannas will appear in the Nepali edition of this report.

NUMBER OF SETTLEMENTS AND TOTAL POPULATION OF CITIES, TOWNS AND VILLAGES BY SIZE GROUP, BY REGIONS

Table 4, Page 13.

Nepal is country of many small villages. Although there are 28,780 cities, towns and villages in the country, 85 percent of them have fewer than 500 inhabitants and only 10 cities have 5000 or more inhabitants within their municipal limits. The predominantly rural character of the country is also shown by the fact that nearly theree- fourths of the population live in villages with fewer than 1000 inhabitants, whereas only 3 percent of the population live in the 10 largest cities. Five of these cities are located in the Kathmandu Valley, which has a pronounced effect on the social and economic characteristics of the people there, four of the cities are located in the Eastern Terai, and one is in the Far Western Terai

TOTAL POPULATION OF CITIES WITH 5000 URBAN INHABITANTS AND OVER

Table 5, Page 14.

This table shows the number of persons living within the municipal limits of the 10 largest cities, not including the population living in the rural area outside of the city limits.

POPULATION PRESENT BY SEX AND AGE, BY REGIONS, DISTRICTS AND PRINCIPAL CITIES

Table 6, page 15.

 This table shows the sex and age distribution of the population present at the time of the census. In the country as a whole, there were 103 females for every 100 males. If the persons absent from home were included, then the ratio becauses 99 females for every 100 males as most of the persons abasent from home were males (Table 15). The sex ratio varies from region to region. Inasmuch as most of thowe who leave home for 6 months or more come from the Hills it is not surprising to find that there were 107 In the western Hills. In contrast, in the Far western Terai, there were only 91 females to every 100 males and 97 to 100 in the Mid Western Terai which compares with adjoining India, were the ratio of famales to males was 95 to 100. There were more males than females in the cities of Kathmandu valley, Which are centers of commerce and government and offer many employment opportunities to males but few to females.

            Not many persons could give their exact age. In most cases the age reported was a round number estimate based on the relation of the date of birth to some known and dated local event. The error in age reported was reduced somewhat by combining the ages into 5 year age groups. The histograph of the age-sex distribution for the country shows a fairly normal distribution except for undreporting of children under 5 years of age and a heaping of the population at ages, 25-29 and for females, those ages ending in "0".

            The age distribution of the population is similar to that of of the other countries of asia, i.e. there is a high proportion of children and a low proportion of old people in contrast to what is found in the industrialized countries North America and Northern and Western Europe. This is illustrated in the following table:



 

 

 

Percentage distribution of the

enumerated population by age groups

Under 15

15-59

60 and Over

Nepal

39

56

5

India

37

57

6

East Asia

37

56

7

South East Asia

43

53

4

South America

39

56

5

Northern & Western Europe

24

61

15

North America

27

61

12

Countries with high per capita incomes are usually those with a high proportion of their population in the working ages, 15 to 59 years, and lesser proportions in the non productive ages. Because of the high proportion of children the average age of the population in Nepal is now. The median age is 21 years, in other words one half the population is less than 21 years of age and the other half is 21 years and over. Males tend to be younger than females, the median being 20.0 for males and 21.8 for females. There are regional following table of median ages:

 

 

Total

Population

 

Males

 

Females

NEPAL

21.0

20.0

21.8

Eastern Hills

19.3

18.2

20.4

Western Hills

20.1

19.1

21.2

East Inner Terai

19.2

18.3

20.3

Centere Inner Terai

19.8

19.5

20.0

West Inner Terai

17.9

18.0

17.9

Kathmandu Valley

22.1

22.0

22.2

Eastern Terai

23.8

23.4

24.0

Mid Western Terai

24.3

24.0

24.6

Far Western Terai

20.9

21.2

20.6

The average age of the inhabitants of the Terai is higher than that of the Hills because there was probably a higher death rate from malaria and other diseases among children there than in the healthier Hills. This results in a relatively greater number of adults in the population.

            The excess of males over females in the Terai is probably the results of the custom of giving better care to male infants than what the females receive so that a greater proportion of the male children survive.

MARTIAL STATUS OF THE POPULATION 5 YEARS OF AGE AND OVER BY SEX AND AGE BY REGIONS

Table 7, Page 35.

A very small proportion of the population – less than one percent – go through life in Nepal without over having been married. The age at which the marriage occurs, and the duration of the marriage, however, very widely as between the Hill areas and the Terai. In the Terai  half the girls and almost a third of the boys aged 10-14 were married, as against only 22 percent of the girls and 7 percent of the boys in other parts of the country.

 

Percent Married 10-14 Years of age

Percent Widowed

45-64 Years of age

Males

Females

Females

NEPAL

11.9

28.2

46.8

Hills

6.8

21.5

41.2

Eastern Hills

8.1

19.7

40.2

Western Hills

6.2

23.6

41.1

East Inner Terai

7.7

21.6

47

Centere Inner Terai

7.6

20.4

39.1

West Inner Terai

9.8

18.1

51.6

Kathmandu Valley

4.4

14.3

43.4

Terai

27.0

50.2

60.7

Eastern Terai

28.6

52.1

61.7

Mid Western Terai

32.7

57.7

60.7

Far Western Terai

17.4

38.2

55.1

The lowest percentage of marriages among the younger age groups was found in the Kathmandu Valley, probably because of the relatively large urban population among whom early marriages are less common. Child marriages are most frequently found in the Terai. In the Eastern Terai, for example, 15 percent of the girls 5 to 9 years of age were recorded as being married.

            Early marriage, and the higher mortality rate among men than among women, result in a large number of widows. Here again there are wide regional differences. In the Terai, 61 percent of the women aged 45-64 were widowed, as against 41 percent in the Hills. This indicates a much higher death rate among males in the terai than in the Hill areas. One percent of the girls aged 10-14 years in the Eastern Terari were reported as being widows.

            Separation and divorce are not problems, since only 0.4 percent of the males and 0.3 percent of the females reported themselves as having parted from their spouse.

LITERACY OF PERSONS 5 YEARS OLD AND OVER BY REGIONS, DISTRICTS AND PRINCIPAL CITIES

Table 8, Page 39

Only 4 percent of all persons of school age and over reported themselves as being able to read a book and write a letter. Wide variations in the degree of literacy exist between men and women. Taking the country as a whose, 8 percent of the men and less than 1 percent of the women 5 years old and over elaimed to be able to read and also write.

            There were no great variations among the regions from the national average, except for Kathmandu Valley . Kathmandu city had the highest proportion of literate people in the country, 50 percent for males and 15 percent for females. Even in rural Kathmandu the literacy rate was 19 percent for males and 3 percent for females. Other cities of the Valley also show significantly higher literacy rates than in the areas outside. This is no doubt because of the greater availability of schooling for its inhabitants, and also because Kathmandu is the national capital and chief commercial center and so attracts the more literate people.

            The literacy rate in the remainder of the country ranged from a low of 2.3 percent for males in the district of Jumla to a high of 15.6 percent in Kaski, both districts being in the Western Hills. For females, the rate varied between 0.1 percent, which was found in several districts to a high of 1.5 percent in the districts of Bara and Biratnagar in the eastern Terai.

LEVEL OF EDUCATIONAL EXAMINATIONS PASSED BY PERSONS 5 YEARS OLD AND OBER BY REGIONS, DISTRICTS AND PRINCIPAL CITIES

Table9, Page 42.

For the country as a whole, only 0.5 percent of the males and less than 0.1 percent of the females 5 years old and over had passed any educational examination of any kind. Of the people who took the examinations, 61 percent took only the primary examinations. Over half of those who took the examinations came from Kathmandu Valley.

MOTHER TONGUE OF THE POPULATION PRESENT, BY REGIONS

Table 10, Page 44.

PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE POPULATION BY MOTHER TONGUE BY REGIONS

Table 11, Page 46.

LANGUAGES SPOKEN BY THE POPULATION PRESENT AS A MOTHER TONGUE AND AS A SECONDARY LANGUAGE, AND PRINCIPAL SECONDARY LANGUAGES SPOKEN BY MEMBERS OF EACH OF THE LANGUAGE GROUPS

Table 12, Page 47.

The census tabulations showed 58 languages spoken in Nepali as a mother tongue (Table11). An additional 1,100,000 persons whose mother tongue was not nepali spoke it as a secondary language (Table 12). The total number of persons speaking Nepali was therefore 62 percent of the population.

            There is a great variation in languages spoken from region to region. Nepali was the dominant language in the western Hills, the Eastern Hills and the East Inner Terai. It was also spoken by a very substantial proportion in Kathmandu valley and in all the Inner Terai regions. Only in the Terai itself was it is a relatively minor language. Tharu was spoken by more than half the population in the West Inner Terai and the Far Western Terai. Over half the population of Kathmandu Valley spoke Newari as a mother tongue. The population of the Eastern Terai and Mid Western Terai speak a number of languages and dialects, no one of which was clearly dominant over the others.

            A large number of the returns from the Terai regions gave "Dehati" as the language spoken. Dehati is not a specific language but is the local dialect of the area and may be any one of several different languages. Its precise meaning varies from place to place. All Dehati returns were therefore classified according to the area and the prevailing language used in that area.

RELIGION OF THE POPULATION PRESENT BY REGIONS, DISTRICTS AND PRINCIPAL CITIES

Table 13, Page 48

The results of the census show that 89 percent of the inhabitants of Nepal were Hindus, 9 percent were Buddhists and slightly more than 2 percent were Moslem.

            Hinduism was the dominant religion in all of the districts, but the relative number of those professing the different religions varied widely among the regions. The Buddhists were found mainly in the Hill areas, and least in the Terai. The Moslems, on the other hand, were concentrated in the Terai, especially the Eastern and Mid Western Terai.

PRESENT PLACE OF RESIDENCE OF THE POPULATION ABSENT FROM HOME SIX MONTHS OR MORE, BY USUAL REGION OF RESIDENCE

Table 14, Page 50

POPULATION ABSENT FROM HOME SIX MONTHS OR MORE, BY PRESENT REGION OR COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE, BY SEX AND AGE

Table 15, Page 51

The census enumerations of 1952 and 1954 included members of families who were away from home for six months or more. These were enumerated on a separate form and were tabulated separately. These two tables show the results of that tabulation. The data for these people were not included in the tables on the characteristics of the population present such as marital status, language, literacy, economic status, etc.

            There were 216,853 persons listed as being away from their usual home for six months or more. Of these, 91 percent were reported as being outside Nepal (Table 15). The remaining 9 percent were in some district other than their home district, which in most cases was Kathmandu Valley.

            Eighty seven percent of the absentees were males, and of these 84 percent were between 15 and 44 years of age. Of those living abroad, 79 percent were in India, 3 percent in Malaya and 1 percent in Burma. These data indicate that most of them were either working or in military service, either abroad or in Kathmandu.

            Two thirds of the absentees originated in the Western Hills, and this region together with with the Eastern Hills was the home of 94 percent of all the people temporarily absent. So many males left that they form a significant proportion of the population in their regions. The males absent from home in the Western Hills comprised 8 percent of the total number of males in that region. The smallest proportion of the absentees came from the terai, particularly the Mid and Far Western Terai.

            The data shown in Tables 14 and 15 refer only to persons absent from established families living in Nepal at the time of the enumeration . No information on whole families which had left Nepal was obtained.

ECONOMIC STATUS AND CLASS OF WORKER OF THE POPULATION PRESENT, BY SEX AND AGE

Table 16,Page 59

Among males 15 years old and over, 95 percent were either working  or had a job from which they were temporarily absent or were looking for work at the time of the census. These were the economically active. The corresponding figure for females was 60 percent. Persons economically inactive were those engaged in their own home housework, students, persons too young to work, the handicapped, the retired- whether self supporting or supported by others, those living in institutions,beggars and others not available for work. The concept of the economically active population used in these tables conforms to international practice, and the data shown in this report are comparable to similar data collected by most of the larger countries of the world.

            The proportion of the population who are economically active varies between sexes and from age to age. Only 9 percent of the males under 15 were active, as against 99 percent of those 25 to 44 years of age. The most active age among women, economically, were those 15 to 24 years, among whom 73 percent were active.

 

All ages

Under 15

15-24

25-44

45-59

60 and Over

Males

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Active

60.7

9.1

96.1

99.1

98.1

61.4

Inactive

39.3

90.9

3.9

0.9

1.9

38.6

 

Females

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Active

40.5

7.3

72.8

61.4

52.9

22.6

Inactive

59.5

92.7

27.2

38.6

47.1

77.4

There appears to be a significant difference between the Hills and the Terai in the proporation of persons active, particularly among women. Fifty –nine percent of all males present in the Hills were active, as against 64 percent of those in the Terai. Among females, 46 percent of those in the Hills were active, as against 27 percent of those in the Terai.

 

 

Percent

Males

Active

Females

NEPAL

60.7

40.5

Hills

59.3

45.6

Eastern Hills

59

47.4

Western Hills

59.4

47.2

East Inner Terai

57.8

37.4

Centere Inner Terai

60.3

50.5

West Inner Terai

57.6

30.6

Kathmandu Valley

59.8

29.7

Terai

64.2

27.4

Eastern Terai

63.8

24.6

Mid Western Terai

67.8

35.6

Far Western Terai

62.4

37.8

There was little variation in the percentage of active males, but among females the percentage in the Hills ranged from a low of 30 percent in the Kathmandu Valley to 51 percent in the center Inner Terai, and in the Terai from 25 percent in the Eastern Terai  to 38 percent in the Far Western Terai.

            Part of the differences among regions in the proportions of persons active were due to differences in the degree to which persons at different ages remain active, particularly women, and part to differences in the sex and age distributions of the population in the various regions. Thus a region with a proportionately greater number of women and children would have a lower percentage of persons economically active than one in which the reverse was true.

            By far the greatest proportion of active workers were either self- employed or worked in a family enterprise as unpaid workers. In the country as a whole, 78 percent of the active male workers were either self –employed or unpaid family workers, 21 percent were employees of others and 1 percent of the male workers indicated that they labour. Only 0.1 percent of the male workers indicted that they were unemployed. This low figure does not reveal the total extent of underemployment, however, as the prevailing family enterprise system gives employment to all members of the family regardless of whether or not they are actually needed.


 

All ages

Under 15

15-24

25-44

45-59

60 and Over

 

Males

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Employer

1.1

0.6

0.8

1.1

1.4

2

Employee

20.6

16.9

18.8

23.5

19

15.6

Own account and un

 

 

 

 

 

 

paid family workers

78

82.4

80.2

75.1

79.4

82.1

Unemployed

0.1

-

0.1

-

-

-

Status unknown

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.1

0.2

Females

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

Employer

0.7

0.4

0.4

0.7

1

2.1

Employee

14.7

11.8

12.9

16

16.3

16.6

Own account and unpaid family workers

Unemployed

84.3

87.6

86.5

83.1

82.6

80

Status unknown

0.3

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.3

The proportion of the various class of worker groups varied with age. Among males, for example, the proportion of employers increased gradually from 0.6 percent among those under 15 years to 2 percent for those 60 years of age and over. The proportion of own account and unpaid family workers declined from 82 percent among those under 15 to a lwo of 75 percent among those 25 to 44 years, and rose again to 82 percent among those 60 years old and over. Among females the tendency was for the proportion of employers and employees to rise from the youngest to the oldest age groups, with a corresponding decrease in the proportion of self- employed and unpaid family workers. This is probably due to the fact that women tend to outlive men, and to the high proportion of widows among the older women; on the death of the head of the household, and the dissolution of families, the widow either takes over the family business or is forced to work for someone else.

            Children, the aged and the handicapped comprise the largest part of the economically inactive population, except among the group aged 15 to 59 years among whom home housework occupied most of the females, and most of the younger males were students.

            The percentage of employees and of own account-unpaid family workers varied quite widely among the regions.

 

 

 

 

Males

Females

Employees

 

Own account &

unpaid family

workers

Employess

 

Own account &

unpaid family

workers

Eastern Hills

10.6

88.4

8.3

90.9

Western Hills

6.2

93.4

5.3

94.3

East Inner Terai

12.3

86.3

11.3

87.5

Centere Inner Terai

10.9

88.8

8.2

91.6

West Inner Terai

56.9

40.3

55.6

41.2

Kathmandu Valley

41.5

56

38.3

58.2

Eastern Terai

43.2

54.8

41.4

55.8

Mid Western Terai

37.4

60.5

40.9

57.2

Far Western Terai

42.7

56.5

37.2

61.8

The western Hills leads all of the regions in the percentage of own account and unpaid family workers, 93 percent of the male workers and 94 percent of the female workers being in that category. In the Eastern Hills, East Inner Terai and Centre Inner Terai the percentages were almost as high.

            On the other hand, the West Inner Terai had the lowest percentage of won account and unpaid family workers, 40 percent males and 41 percent females, and it was the only region in which the employees exceeded the number of workers in other classes of work. There was substantially greater percentage of employees in the West Inner Terai, Kathmandu Valley and all of the Terai regions than in the Hills and the East and Centre Inner Terai regions. This would indicate substantial differences in the extent to which the family enterprise system prevails.

INDUSTRY CLASSIFICATION OF THE ECONOMICALLY ACTIVE POPULATION BY SEX AND AGE

Table 17, Page 69

This table could have been placed among the first of the tables in this report rather than last, for it provides the key to most of the social and economic characteristics of the population shown in were engaged in agriculture, against 2 percent in manufacturing and somewhat over 2 percent in the service industries including personal, commercial, military and government service.

            These figures probably do not reflect the total activity in industries other than agriculture. Although it is the principal industrial activity everywhere, many agriculturalists also engage in other activities between seasons, such as portering, construction and household industry.

            There was relatively little difference between the sexes in the proportion of workers engaged in the various industries. is a whole there was a greater percentage of females in agriculture than males, 96 percent as against 92 percent, and the percentage of females in other industries was less than the percentage for males.

            Over 90 percent of the working population were engaged in agriculture in each of the regions except Kathmandu Valley, where the proportion was 65 percent. The relatively large urban population in the Valley resulted in an industrial distribution government workers are concentrated in Kathmandu city so that the proportion of workers in the services was 15 percent. The number of workers in these industries was 9 percent in commerce and 5 percent in manufacturing.

 POPULATION GROWTH, 1954 to 1964

Planning for social and economic development requires that estimates be made of the size of the population affected. Such estimates for the years 1954 to 1964 are given below. To make them it was necessary to bring the population of the areas enumerated in 1952 up to the level of those enumerated in 1954 and to estimato the number of children under 5 years of age who were not reported in the census.

The under- enumeration of children was estimated by graghing the distribution of each of the sexes according to age. The graph of the age distribution showed heaping, particularly among women at ages 5-9, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 40-44, 50-54, and 60-64. The number of children reported as being under 5 years of age appeared low as compared with those in other age groups. From the peak at age 5-9, it also seemed as though many children 3 and 4 years old were reported as being 5. A freehand curve was drawn through the age frequencies reported for the age groups 10 and over in such a way as to eliminate the deviations from the probable distribution of ages. The total population represented by this line does not differ from that enumerated in the census; the number shown for each age, however, were redstributed, on the assumption that in the absence of a war or the heavy migration of certain age groups, the number of persons at any given age does not differ greatly from the number a year older or a year younger.

superimposed upon these curves were drawn the age distribution curves of the " stationary population" from the life tables for the Central Zone of India for 1951, comprising the states of Madhya Pradesh, Madhya Bharat, Hyderabad, Bhopal and Vindhya Pradesh. This Zone was chosen because the slopes of the age distribution curves were most nearly like those for Nepal. The life expectancy of males at birth om tjos zpme was 25.6 years and that of females was 25.7 years. The "stationary Population" of the life tables is the distribution which results if exactly 100,000 children were born every year in a given area, there was no migration, and the mortality rates were to remain unchanged until the death of the oldest survivor of the original group.

The slopes of the Nepal population curves for each sex for ages 0 to 4 were made to match those for the " stationary population" curvos of the central Zone and the curves for those aged 5-9 were smoothed into the curves for those aged 10 years and over.

            The effect of this proceedure is to assign the same mortality rates to those aged 0-4 in Nepal as exists in the central Zone of India. There is good reason to believe, however that the mortality rates in Nepal are higher than those of the Central Zone and that the estimate of the number of children 0-4 in the following table is low. The slopes of the curves of the population 10 years and over for Nepal are steeper than those of the central zone indicating higher mortality rates for the adult population of Nepal. We are also comparing a constantly increasing population in Nepal with a theoritically stationary one. Each year there is greater number of infants born in Nepal than in the proceeding year and this fact should cause an even greater slope to the curve than was actually drawn.


Estimated distribution of the population by sex and age groups, 1954 (in thousands)

 

 

 

Male

Female

Number

 

Percentage

distribution

Number

 

Percentage

distribution

Total

4182

100.0

4263

100.0

 

 

 

 

 

0-4

688

16.5

657

15.4

9-May

531

12.7

507

11.9

14-Oct

470

11.2

461

10.8

15-19

421

10.1

422

9.9

20-24

373

8.9

384

9

25-29

329

7.9

349

8.2

30-34

289

6.9

307

7.2

35-39

250

6

269

6.3

40-44

212

5.1

226

5.3

45-49

177

4.2

188

4.4

50-54

142

3.4

153

3.6

55-59

109

2.6

119

2.8

60-64

81

1.9

90

2.1

65-69

55

1.3

64

1.5

70-74

32

0.8

38

0.9

75-79

15

0.4

17

0.4

80-84

5

0.1

8

0.2

85-89

2

-

3

0.1

90-94

1

-

1

-

95-99

-

-

-

-

The population present for 1952/54, corrected for the under enumeration of children, was increased by 1.0326 persent, representing the effect of the estimated growth of the three eastern regions between 1952 and 1954 on the total population. The estimated population as of 1954 was 8,445,000 including 103,000 children under 5 who were not originally reported.

The future size of any population is difficult to predict because of the problem of guessing at the strength and direction of migration. In the case of Nepal it is even more difficult because of the lack of reliable data regarding past growth. regardless of this, the population in the future will proably follwo the pattern of growth of all other countries which have initiated programmes for the improvement of social and economic conditions. The difficulty lies in predicting how fast these programmes will be put into operation and their scope.

From the age distribution and the rural character of the country, one can assume a very high birth rate. Judging by the rates found in similar countries, it is probably between 45 and 50 per thousand population . The age distribution curves also indicate that there is also a very high death rate, probably over 30 per thousand inhabitants. The Indian census data also indicates that there is substantial migration from Nepal to that country. Despite the high birth rate, however, the annual rate of increase is probably not very great, somewhere between 1 and 2 percent per year because of the high death rate and emigration.

It has been the experience of all countries that one of the first effects of social improvements is to lower death rates. There are already in operation public health programmes, such as that to reduce the incidence of malaria in the Terai, which will reduce the mortality rates. The improvement and extension of medical care and of child care will also have the same effect. The rate of population increase toward the end of the 1954-1964 period will probably be greater than it was in the beginning.

Theree sets of population estimates have been prepared, based on different rates of population increase.

 

low

Medim

High

Population

Rate of increase (%)

Population

Rate of increase (%)

Population

Rate of increase (%)

1954

8445

 

8445

 

8445

 

1955

8546

1.2

8555

1.2

8563

1.2

1956

8649

1.2

8666

1.3

8683

1.4

1957

8753

1.2

8787

1.4

8813

1.5

1958

8866

1.3

8910

1.4

8946

1.5

1959

8982

1.3

9044

1.5

9089

1.6

1960

9107

1.4

9180

1.5

9243

1.7

1961

9235

1.4

9327

1.6

9410

1.8

1962

9374

1.5

9485

1.7

9588

1.9

1963

9515

1.5

9656

1.8

9780

2

1964

9666

1.6

9839

1.9

9986

2.1

The difference in population between the lowest and highest estimates at the end of the 10 year period was 320,000 or 3 percent. For most practical purposes it would make little difference which set of estimates is used inasmuch as the range in values between the lowest and highest is relatively small.

NEPAL

 

Regions and census Districts

Eastern Hills

Kathmandu Valley

Western Hills

Sindhu Palchok

Kathmandu , urban

Nuwakot

Kabhre Palanchok

Kathmandu , Rural

Dhading

Dolakha

Lalitpur, Urban

Gorakha

Chisankhu, East No.2

Lalitpur, rural

Tanahu

Chisankhu, East No.3

Bhaktapur, Urban

Lamjung

Majh Kirat

Bhaktapur, rural

Kaski

Bhojpur

 

Syangja

Tehrthum

Palpa

Chhathum

East Inner Terai

Gulmi

Ilam

Udaipur

Baglung

 

Sindhuli

Piuthan

 

Sallyan

Far Western Terai

Dailekh

Banke

Mid Western Terai

Jumla

Bardia

Butawal

Doti

Kanchanpur     

Palhi

Baitadi

Kailali

Majkhanda

Dandeldhura

 

Khajahani

 

Siuraj

West Inner Terai

 

 

 

 

Centre Inner Terai

Deokhuri

Chispani Garhi

Dang

Chitawan

 

Nawalpur

NOTES TO THE USER OF THESE TABLES

The population count of the country was not all made at the same time. Part of the country was enumerated in 1952 and part in 1954. The Eastern Hills, East Inner Terai and the Eastern Terai  with  the exception of the district of Mahotari were enumerated as of May 28, 1952 A.D. and Kathmandu Valley, the Western Hills, Center Inner Terai West Inner Terai, Mid western Terai , Far western Terai and the district of Mahotari in the Eastern Terai were enumerated as of may 28, 1954 A.D.  The data in the tables for the eastern portion of the country are not, therefore, wholly comparable with those of the west because of population changes during the two year interval. No adjustment between regions was made in the tables because of the lack of adequate bases for estimates of the change in the regions and districts.

            Most of the tables show national totals in order to facilitate analysis, but these totals are the result of a summation of data for regions which are not comparable in point of time.

            Several different national totals have been shown. Tables 2, 3,4,5 and 14 show the total population as 8,437,478 which includes members of families who have been absent from home for six months or 216,853, persons absent from home, most of whom were abroad, but does include 21,546 persons, inadvertently omitted from the tabulations of personal and economic characteristics. For that reason table 1 shows a total population of 8,256,625 persons whereas table 6,7,8,9,10,12,13,16 and 17 show only 8,235,079,persons. Table 14 on page 50 shows the number of persons in each region omitted from the tabulations.

The census districts shown in this report conform, for the most part, with the revenue districts of the country but deviate in a few instances. The census districts were designed, however, so that they can be combined so as to form revenue districts in those cases where they do not already conform to such a district.

            The Nepali edition of this report will contain a comparative list of the census, revenue and administrative divisions.

APPENDIX

 Questionnaires, Census of Population, 1952/54

General Questionnaire

Serial Number _________                   District ____               Thum or praganna ________

 

Village  __________________           Family number __________

 

 

1.         a) Name                                               b) Relationship to the head of the family

2.         a) Caste*                                             b) Religion

3.         Sex

4.         Age in completed Years

 

5.         State whether:  never married   --- Married   --- Widowed    --- Divorced

6.         Are you able to read (a book)? To Write (a letter )?

      Have you passed any examinations?

7.         What is your mother tongue?  What other languages do You Speak?

8.         Do you support yourself by your own earnings?

            If so: a) what is your occupation? What kind of work?

                     b) Are you an employer--employee- own account worker?

9.         If you do not support yourself by your own earnings, give the occupation and kind of work of the person on whom your are dependent.

10.       a) Are you now employed?  b) If not, give reason*

Questionnaire for Persons Absent from Home

Six Months or More

Serial Number _________                   District ____               Thum or praganna ________

 

Village  __________________           Family number __________

 

1.         a) Name                                               b) Relationship to the head of the family

2.         a) Caste*                                             b) Religion

3.         Sex

4.         Age in completed Years

5.         Name of the place or country in which the person is now living.

________________________________________________________________________

 

* The answers to this question were not tabulated.

 

Errata

Page

Column

Stubitem

Reads

Should read

 

 

 

 

 

1

3

Nepal

1524428

1524511

1

3

Eastern Hills

305789

305792

1

5

Nepal

28770

28780

1

2

Tehrthum

2339

14731

1

2

Chhathum

14731

2339

1

3

Ilam

19487

19490

2

5

Kathmandu Valley

759

768

2

5

Lalitpur rural

285

295

2

5

Bhaktapur rural

103

102

2

3

Western Hills

582753

82833

2

5

Western Hills

11924

11925

2

7

Lamjung

822

82

2

5

Kaski

650

651

2

3

Syangja

62262

62283

2

3

Baglung

37042

37101

3

1

Far western Terai

255189

235189

14

 

Rajpurfatuwa

Rajpurfatuwa

Malanguwa

14

 

Malanguwa

5271

5551

20

5

 10-14

20145

20415

32

1

0-4 Years

14160

15160

32

8

All ages

26767

24767

42

1

Nepal

18392

18389

42

5

Nepal

4795

4794

42

7

Nepal

2538

2536

42

1

Kathmandu Valley

9658

9657

42

5

Kathmandu Valley

2478

2477

42

1

Kathmandu Valley

975

974

42

5

Kathmandu Valley

190

189

43

1

Mid Western Terai

579

577

43

7

Mid Western Terai

94

92

43

1

Khajahani

109

107

43

7

Khajahani

26

24

51

8

Total absent from home

103978

103972

51

9

Total absent from home

11393

11392

51

12

Total absent from home

4247

4253

51

13

Total absent from home

734

735

51

8

Living Within the country

7394

7388

51

9

Living Within the country

1264

1263

51

12

Living Within the country

296

302

51

13

Living Within the country

88

89

51

8

Place unknown

1795

1449

51

9

Place unknown

185

184

51

12

Place unknown

186

192

51

13

Place unknown

54

55

51

8

Total not at usual home

879

873

54

9

Total not at usual home

141

140

54

12

Total not at usual home

107

113

54

13

Total not at usual home

61

62

54

8

Living within the country

365

359

54

9

Living within the country

46

45

54

12

Living within the country

4

10

54

13

Living within the country

1

2

54

1

Living within the same region

310

303

54

2

Living within the same region

261

255

54

3

Living within the same region

49

48

54

8

Living within the same region

149

143

54

9

Living within the same region

20

19

54

8

Districts unknown

82

76

54

9

Districts unknown

18

17

54

12

Districts unknown

1

7

54

13

Districts unknown

0

1

68

6

Economically active

1888

1988

70

4

Male

x944

6944

77

1

Female

13802

13702