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Area: 147,181 sq km
Population: 28.8 million
Languages: Nepali
Religions: Hindu, Buddhism, Muslim, Kirant
GNI per capita: US$340
Currency: NPR (Nepalese rupee): 1USD = 65.21 rupees
In 1951, the Nepalese monarch ended the century-old system of rule by hereditary premiers and instituted a cabinet system of government. Reforms in 1990 established a multiparty democracy within the framework of a constitutional monarchy. In 1996, Maoist rebels waged a decade-long campaign against the monarchy, leaving more than 12,000 people dead and 100,000 people displaced according to UN figures. The monarchy was abolished in 2008, and a Maoist-dominated government took office. 
Nepal is a landlocked country in a strategic location between China and India. It has eight of world's 10 highest peaks, including Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga - the world's tallest and third tallest - on the borders with China and India respectively. Its climate varies from cool summers and severe winters in north to subtropical summers and mild winters in south
Nepal has the flourishing tourism industry, but faces problems of deforestation and encroachment on animal habitats. Most of the population depends on agriculture, and the UN estimates that about 40% of Nepalis live in poverty. Foreign aid is vital to the economy, and Nepal is also heavily dependent on trade with neighboring India.