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Nepal, The People of Nepal

Nepal had a population of 18,462,081 at the time of the 1991 census. The average population density at the time was 125 persons per sq km (329 per sq mi), although nearly half the people were concentrated in the narrow Tarai region. In contrast, the 2002 population estimate was 25,873,917. The population has grown rapidly since 1950 when there were only 9 million people. Although the government has sponsored family planning since the 1950s, these programs have been slow to affect Nepalís population growth. In 2002 the population was increasing at an annual rate of 2.3 percent. Only 12 percent of the population lived in urban areas in 2000. Major cities include Kathmandu, Lalitpur (Patan), Bhaktapur, Biratnagar, and Birganj.

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