Understanding Rural Poverty in Nepal

Type Conference Paper - Asia and Pacific forum on poverty: Reforming policies and institutions for poverty reduction
Title Understanding Rural Poverty in Nepal
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2001
URL http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=
Nepal, with an area of 147,181 square kilometers (km2
), is a land of enormous geographical
diversity. The country has three main geographical/ecological regions: the terai1
region, the
hill region and the mountain region, which cover 23.1 percent, 41.7 percent, and 35.2
percent of the total area, respectively. Each ecological region is a narrow strip of land
stretching from east to west. These three regions not only manifest immense diversity of
geographic features, but also display immense diversity of human settlement patterns;
population and land distribution; availability of productive resources; and levels of economic,
human and infrastructure development.
The terai region has a high population density2
but relatively low population pressure on
the farmland and relatively advanced infrastructure development. The conditions of the
hill region appear to be somewhere between those of the terai region and the mountain
region, with a relatively moderate population density and moderate population pressure on
the farmland. The mountain region has a low population density but relatively high
population pressure on the farmland, as well as difficult terrain, adverse climatic conditions,
and very little infrastructure development, and that rudimentary.
Nepal’s population is currently projected at a close to 23 million. The distribution of
population across the three ecological regions is continually changing due to migration,
particularly from the hill/mountain region to the terai region, but also from neighboring
countries. However, the 1991 population distribution was 46.7 percent for the terai region,
45.5 percent for the hill region, and 7.8 percent for the mountain region. The
population distribution is closely related to the distribution of the farmland (total area of
holdings): 52.9 of the arable land is terai, 40.3 percent is hill country, and 6.8 percent is

Related studies