The new Constitution of Nepal reorganizes the country from five development regions into seven provinces. I have updated the HASC codes to show the current relationship between districts and provinces. However, two districts, Nawalparasi and Rukum, are now split between two provinces.

The Nepal Population Report 2002, on the website of the Ministry of Population and Environment, contained a table of districts with populations from the 1981, 1991, and 2001 censuses, and areas, and some other relevant tables. My table of districts on this page had 1981 and 2001 populations and areas. I ran all the data comparisons I could think of, and found numerous internal inconsistencies within the Ministry report. I found no internal inconsistencies in the data on my pages. Some of the data on the Ministry report were in agreement with mine; the ones that weren’t in agreement were suspect anyway. The simplest explanation I could find was that my own data were correct; also, the 1991 census data by district on the Ministry page are probably correct, with one exception: the population of one of the districts in the Mid-Western region is 2,000 too low. Victor Bulgar writes that it is Rukum district, so I have made that change.

I have come to the conclusion that the zones of Nepal have fallen into disuse, and that the development regions are now the primary subdivisions of the country. Accordingly, I’ve changed the middle two letters in the HASC codes for the districts so that they now represent the region, not the zone. The last two letters of the HASC codes didn’t need to be changed, because each pair is unique within Nepal. For historical purposes, I’ve added a column showing, for each district, which zone it used to be in.

Nepal also divides itself into ecological regions called Mountain, Hill, and Tarai. These are east-west strips. Mountain, in the north, includes the highest elevations. The southernmost strip is Tarai, with the lowest elevations. Each development region contains part of each section, and vice versa.

he Provinces of Nepal (Nepali: नेपालका प्रदेशहरू; Nepalka Pradeshaharu) were formed on 20 September 2015 in accordance with Schedule 4 of the Constitution of Nepal. The seven provinces were formed by grouping the existing districts. The current system of seven provinces replaced an earlier system where Nepal was divided into 14 Administrative Zones which were grouped into five Development Regions.

Note: Nawalparasi and Rukum districts are split between two provinces, as explained on the Provinces of Nepal page, so the middle two letters of their HASC codes only tell part of their story.

Steven Verbanck sent me a link to the new Constitution of Nepal. It reorganizes the country from five development regions into seven provinces. The constitution calls them simply Province No. 1 to Province No. 7. Clive Carpenter sent me a link to source [11], which shows “proposed” provinces and names. The former districts have been preserved; however, two districts, Nawalparasi and Rukum, are now split between two provinces.

ISO 3166-2 Newsletter number II-1, dated 2010-02-03, has changes to the listing for Nepal, but nothing that affects data reported on this site. The only change is adding the prefix NP- explicitly to each development region code.

A bill passed by the interim legislature-parliament on 2007-12-28 declared Nepal a democratic federal republic, effective as of 2008-05-28. The monarchy has been abolished. This affects the official name of the country, which has been updated in ISO 3166-1 by Newsletter VI-3, published on 2008-09-09.

In “Administrative Subdivisions of Countries”, I showed aanchal (zones) as the primary subdivisions. The zones could be grouped together to form five vikas kshetra (development regions). I added, “recent publications of the Central Bureau of Statistics of Nepal list development region and district names, but not zone names. The zones are probably less significant than the districts.” Source [8], a profile of Nepal on a government website, doesn’t even mention the zones, and I believe they’re no longer in use.

Country overview: 

Short nameNEPAL
ISO codeNP
FIPS codeNP
LanguageNepali (ne)
Time zone+5:45
CapitalKathmandu

Nepal has been independent during the entire 20th century.

Other names of country: 

  1. Danish: Nepal
  2. Dutch: Nepal
  3. English: Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal (formal)
  4. Finnish: Nepal
  5. French: République f fédérale démocratique du Népal m
  6. German: Nepal n
  7. Italian: Nepal m
  8. Nepali: Sanghiya Loktantrik Ganatantra Nepal (formal)
  9. Norwegian: Nepal
  10. Portuguese: Nepal
  11. Russian: Федеративная Демократическая Республика Непал (formal)
  12. Spanish: Nepal
  13. Swedish: Nepal
  14. Turkish: Nepal

Primary subdivisions: 

Nepal is divided into seven provinces.

ProvinceHASCPopulationArea(km.²)Area(mi.²)Proposed
OneNP.ON4,534,94325,90510,002Koshi
TwoNP.TW5,404,1459,6613,730Janakpur
ThreeNP.TH5,529,45220,3007,838Bagmati
FourNP.FO2,413,90721,5048,303Gandaki
FiveNP.FI4,891,02522,2888,605Lumbini
SixNP.SI1,168,51527,98410,805Karnali
SevenNP.SE2,552,51719,5397,544Far West
7 provinces26,494,504147,18156,827
HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.Population: 2011-06-22 census.Proposed: Proposed name (source [11]).

Note: Populations and areas calculated by adding the component districts. For the two districts that are split between provinces (Rukum and Nawalparasi), I arbitrarily assigned half of their data to each of those provinces.

Postal codes: 

Nepal uses five-digit postal codes. The first digit represents a region; the first three digits represent a district. The codes are rarely used.

Further subdivisions:

See the Districts of Nepal page.

Nepal also divides itself into ecological regions called Mountain, Hill, and Tarai. These are east-west strips. Mountain, in the north, includes the highest elevations. The southernmost strip is Tarai, with the lowest elevations. Most of the provinces contain part of each section. Exceptions: Two is all in Tarai, Five is all in Hill and Tarai, Six is all in Hill and Mountain.

The provinces are subdivided into districts, which are further subdivided into villages.

Territorial extent: 

The UN LOCODE page  for Nepal lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.

Origins of names: 

Dhawalagiri: Nepalese dhaval: white, giri: mountain

Change history: 

In the 1950s, Nepal consisted of 34 districts.

DistrictPopulationArea(mi.²)
Bagllung100,0001,300
Baitadi150,0001,500
Banke and Bardia150,000800
Bara, Parsa, and Rautahat514,5561,388
Chisapani150,0002,000
Chitwan and Nawalpur150,0001,000
Dailekh and Surkhet300,0001,200
Dandeldhura60,000850
Dang and Deokhuri150,0001,100
Dhankuta531,3963,817
Doti300,2483,000
East No. 1 Chautara370,0001,493
East No. 2 Ramechhap250,4471,291
East No. 3 Okhaldhunga275,5032,037
East No. 4 Bhojpur238,533926
Gulmi50,0001,000
Ilam115,057530
Jhapa79,482457
Jumla and Humla160,0005,000
Kailali and Kanchanpur100,0001,400
Khajhani and Syuraj150,000500
Mahottari and Sarlahi700,0001,200
Morang228,9461,080
Palhi Majhkhand250,000600
Palpa400,0005,000
Pyuthan150,0001,000
Sallyan and Jajarkot450,0003,000
Saptari and Siraha431,599912
Sindhuli102,101902
Udaipur90,593927
West No. 1 Nuwakot400,0002,200
West No. 2 Gorkha200,0001,100
West No. 3 Pokhara450,0002,500
West No. 4 Pallo Nauwakot400,0001,500
34 districts8,598,40754,510
Population: 1952 estimate.Source: Encyclopædia Britannica World
Atlas, 1957 edition.

1962-02: Nepal reorganized into the following 14 zones.

ZoneISOFIPSPopulationArea(km.²)RegCapitals
BagmatiBANP012,250,8059,4281Kathmandu
BheriBHNP021,103,04310,5452Nepalganj, Surkhet
DhawalagiriDHNP03490,8778,1483Baglun
GandakiGANP041,266,12812,2753Pokhara
JanakpurJANP052,061,8169,6691Sindhulimadi, Ramechhap
KarnaliKANP06260,52921,3512Jumla
KosiKONP071,728,2479,6694Biratnagar, Dharan
LumbiniLUNP082,013,6738,9753Butawal, Bhairawa
MahakaliMANP09664,9526,9895Dadeldhura, Patan
MechiMENP101,118,2108,1964Ilam
NarayaniNANP111,871,3348,3131Hetauda (Bhimphedi), Birgunj
RaptiRANP121,046,84210,4822Tulsipur, Sallyana
SagarmathaSANP131,600,29210,5914Rajbiraj
SetiSENP141,014,34912,5505Dhangarhi, Silgadhi
14 zones18,491,097147,181
ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.Population: 1991-06-22 census.Reg: ISO code for development region (see below)Capitals: Sources disagree about the identities of the zone capitals. I
wasn’t able to explain the discrepancies as moves from one city to
another, so I have listed all the capitals named by more than one
independent source, giving the most frequently cited capital first. These
may be summer and winter capitals.

~1995: Zones fell into disuse, so the already existing five vikas kshetra (development regions) effectively became the primary subdivisions.

RegionHASCISOPopulationArea(km.²)Area(mi.²)Nepali nameCapital
CentralNP.MM19,656,98527,41010,583MadhyamanchalHetauda
EasternNP.PW45,811,55528,45610,987PurwanchalDhankuta
Far-WesternNP.SP52,552,51719,5397,544Sudur PashchimanchalDipayal
Mid-WesternNP.MP23,546,68242,37816,362Madhya PashchimanchalBirendranagar
WesternNP.PM34,926,76529,39811,351PashchimanchalPokhara
5 regions26,494,504147,18156,827
HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.Population: 2011-06-22 census.
  1. 2015-09-20: Under the new constitution, Central development region split into two parts, one forming province Three, and the other, with the addition of two districts from Eastern region, forming province Two; province One formed by taking fourteen districts from Eastern development region; Far-Western development region renamed province Seven; Mid-Western development region split into provinces Five and Six, with part of Rukum district going to each of the two provinces; Western development region renamed province Four. In addition, the part of Nawalparasi district west of Bardaghat Susta annexed to province Five. Except as mentioned, each district remained intact within one of the provinces.

Other names of subdivisions: 

In some transcriptions from Nepali, long vowels are marked, but not always consistently.

  1. Dhawalagiri: Dhaulagiri (variant)
  2. Kosi: Koshi (variant)
  3. One: Sagarmatha (variant)

Population history:

Region1981-06-221991-06-222001-06-222011-06-22
Central4,909,3576,183,9558,031,6299,656,985
Eastern3,708,9234,446,7495,344,4765,811,555
Far-Western1,320,0891,679,3012,191,3302,552,517
Mid-Western1,955,6112,410,4143,012,9753,546,682
Western3,128,8593,770,6784,571,0134,926,765
Total15,022,83918,491,09723,151,42326,494,504

Sources: 

  1. [1] Library of Congress country study  (retrieved 1999).
  2. [2] Dutt, Ashok K., and M. Margaret Geib. Fully Annotated Atlas of South Asia. Westview Press, Boulder and London, 1987.
  3. [3] Schmidt, Karl J. “An Atlas and Survey of South Asian History”. M.E. Sharpe, Armonk, N.Y., 1995.
  4. [4] Statistical Pocket Book, Nepal, 1990. Central Bureau of Statistics, Kathmandu.
  5. [5] National Population and Housing Census 2011 . Central Bureau of Statistics, Kathmandu, November, 2012 (retrieved 2012-12-07).
  6. [6] Nepal Population Report 2002, Ministry of Population and Environment (http://www.mope.gov.np/population/chapter1.php, dead link, retrieved 2005-10-12).
  7. [7] Table 1, 2001 census report, Nepal’s Central Bureau of Statistics (http://www.cbs.gov.np/pop/Webpage/html/tab1.htm, dead link, retrieved 2004-02-16).
  8. [8] Profile of Nepal (http://www.nepalhmg.gov.np/country.html, dead link, retrieved 2004-02-16).
  9. [9] República (http://archives.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=14563, dead link, retrieved 2015-08-25).
  10. [10] Constitution of Nepal, 2015 , Unofficial translation (retrieved 2015-10-19).
  11. [11] “Making Tarai Separate Province Harmful ,” People’s Review (dated 2014-11-05, retrieved 2015-11-26).

Other names of subdivisions:

  1. Arghakhachi: Arghakhanchi (variant)
  2. Bardiya: Bardia (variant)
  3. Bhaktpur: Bhaktapur (variant)
  4. Chitwan: Chitawan (variant)
  5. Dadeldhura: Dadheldhura (variant)
  6. Dang Deokhuri: Dang (variant)
  7. Dhanusa: Dhanusha (variant)
  8. Dolakha: Dolkha (variant)
  9. Kapilvastu: Kapilbastu (variant)
  10. Kavrepalanchok: Kavrepalanchowk, Kavreplanchok (variant)
  11. Lalitpur: Patan (variant)
  12. Mahottari: Mahotari (variant)
  13. Makwanpur: Makawanpur (variant)
  14. Panchthar: Panchathar (variant)
  15. Parbat: Parwat (variant)
  16. Ramechhap: Ramechap (variant)
  17. Sindhupalchowk: Sindhupalchok (variant)
  18. Solukhumbu: Solukhombu (variant)
  19. Syangja: Syanja (variant)
  20. Tanahu: Tanahun (variant)
  21. Terhathum: Terathum (variant)
  22. Udayapur: Udaypur (variant)

About the Author

Sande Kennedy is the founder and Editor in Chief of SandeKennedy.co.ke & Kenyans247.co.ke He is a Kenyan-based Internetprenuer,blogger Political Activist & informer who has an interest in politics, governance, corporate-fraud and human-interest. Kindly drop me a note if you feel aggrieved on any matter that you would want to be highlighted  Twitter: @nyosake , Instagram: @itssandekennedy WhatsApp: +254791890826 Read More about me here