July 11, 2017
On the eve of World Population Day, the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) released a report on Tuesday.
The report entitled, UNFPA Nepal 2017: Population Situation Analysis of Nepal, noted that the average annual population growth rate of Nepal has declined from 2.25 percent during 1961-2001 to 1.35 percent by 2001-11 period.
Whereas, the number of working Nepalese has increased during the 1991-2011 period, among the age group of 15-64 years. The male and female working population increased from 52.9 percent to 57.9 percent, and 55.3 percent to 61.6 percent, respectively, during the said period.
The shift of working men population to foreign locations for employment is cited as a reason for the relatively lower proportion of men to women working population.
The rankings of the projected population of Nepal’s seven provinces will remain the same, even until 2031, the report said.
When it comes to poverty, Nepal is facing a worsening situation in high mountain and urban areas, despite the overall decline in poverty level across the country.
Mountain and hill regions of the country hold an ever-declining share even in terms of spatial distribution, which was observed to have declined to 50% by 2011 from 62% in 1971. The report forecasts this proportion to go down further to 47% by 2031, despite these areas holding 77% share of the country’s overall land mass.
Despite the country’s aspiration to gain middle-income status above the level of Least Developed Country (LDC) by 2030, the living condition of an average Nepali was still found to be far from the targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“School enrolment for girls has improved substantially but the drop-out rate is high. Sexual discrimination is high among women and girls in the Tarai, among Dalit community and illiterates. Sex-selective abortion practice appears to be increasingly evident in some parts of Nepal as 12 of Nepal’s 75 districts, which comprise over 25 percent of the total population, showing sex ratio at birth over 110 (per 100 females),” the report stated.
In the light of Nepal’s new federal structure, the UN report projects demographic transition and population momentum in the country over the coming 15 years.