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Category Archives: Census and People

More than 50% flouted law to get married



Despite sustained campaigns by government and non-government agencies to curb child marriage in the country, the latest National Census has revealed that a significant number of people were married before they reached a marriageable age.

As per the law amended in 2008, an individual is eligible to get marriage if he/she is 20 years old or above. Before that, the law described the right age to get married for male as 24 and female 18.

The census revealed that 60 percent of those surveyed said that they were married between 10 to 19 years of age. Among them, 70 percent females said they were married before they turned 20.

Of the total 13.8 million married population, more than 8 million said they were married when they were below 20, the prescribed age for marriage. Around 2.4 million males got married early, the instances of early marriage for female population is almost double that figure. More than 5.5 million female were married off at an early age.

Experts say that the scenario has not only revealed the existing gender bias but also the fact that men prefer younger women.

“Most men choose younger women as they want wives to look young and beautiful no matter how old they themselves are,” said Advocate Mira Dhungana, adding, “Also, in such marriages males have the upper hand in all decision making and easily dominate their spouses.”

The early marriage rate is high in rural areas at 86.6 percent. In rural areas, 97,694 girls were married when they were of below 10 years age, whereas the figure for males in the same age category stands at 19,531. More than 3.7 million females and 1.9 million males said they were married between 15-19 years.

Similarly, 0.9 million rural females were married between 10-14 years age, while the corresponding figure for males is 232,597.

The early marriage has been held responsible for Nepal´s mortality rate of 170 per 100,000 live births and family breakdowns. According to demographers, early and unmatched marriages would lead to social problems like separation and divorce.

“It would be better to upgrade marriageable age for both male and female to 24 to reduce the age gap,” said demographer Padma Prasad Khatiwada.
He added that increasing a girl´s legal age for marriage would ultimately protect them from exploitation.


Source: Republica Daily


Published on 2012-12-02 03:00:02

Nepal has 26m plus people: Working-age population at 57%


KATHMANDU, Nov 27: The country´s population has gone up to 26,494,504, with an annual growth rate of 1.35 percent. The population in 2001 was 23.1 million and the annual growth rate was 2.25 percent. The population has increased by 3.3 million in a decade.

The Final Population and Housing Census 2011, released by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) on Monday, shows the lowest inter-censual change in population growth rate in the last five decades. The current rate is 14.44 percent in contrast to 22.2 percent in 1971, 30 percent in 1981 and 25.2 in 2001.

The census report was presented to Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai at a function at the National Planning Commission.

Experts say the significant drop in population growth rate is due to the 1.9 million Nepalis comprising migrant workers or those not present in the country for more than six month at the time of the national census exercise in June 17-27 last year.These have been excluded from the total count.

PM Bhattarai unveil National Population and Housing Census 2011. (Photo: Republica)

“The current growth rate does not meet the figure for population stabilization as population growth is considered to have stopped only at an annual growth rate of 1.2 percent,” said census expert Dr Bal Kumar KC, adding, “Almost all the absent population belongs to the reproductive age group and this group has shown a decline in growth rate.”

Similarly, the absent population has also more than doubled from 762,181 to 1.9 million, following political instability and lack of employment in the country even after the conclusion of the decade-long Maoist insurgency, he added.

The male population has been recorded at 12,849,041 while the female population stands at 13,645,463, with the number of males per 100 females (sex ratio) reduced from 99.8 in 2001 to 94.2 currently.

Among the fastest decadal population growth in the districts, Kathmandu tops the chart with 61.23 percent whereas Manang has a negative growth rate of -31.8 percent. Negative growth rate has been recorded in 27 districts across the country. The population of Kathmandu Valley has increased to 2.51 million from 1.7 million in 2001.

The Tarai region has recorded the highest growth rate of 50.27 percent (to 13,318,705) with an 8 percent annual growth of its total population, while the populations in the hill and mountain areas constituted 43 percent (11,394,007) and 6.73 percent (1,781,792) respectively. The urban population in the 58 municipalities has increased to 17 percent (4,523,820) of the total population compared to 13.94 percent (3,227,879) in the last decade.

Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, accepting the census report, said the report is a progressive indicator of the socio-economic and cultural status of Nepali citizens. Though the findings on the overall development of the country are not satisfactory, the literacy rate of 65 percent and the figure for women´s ownership of fixed assets are positive.

The literacy rate has improved to 65.9 percent from 54.1 percent in the past decade. The male literacy rate is 75.1 percent in comparison to the female rate of 57.4 percent. Similarly, the highest literacy rate of 86.3 percent has been recorded in the capital, whereas Rautahat has the lowest at 41.7 percent.

PM Bhattarai expressed concern over the finding that 64 percent of the people are still dependent on firewood as cooking fuel. The figure was 65.2 percent in 2001.

However, the use of LPG gas as cooking fuel has increased from 7 percent to 21 in a decade. Some 10.3 percent of the people use cow-dung as cooking fuel while kerosene, biogas and electricity are among fuels in nominal use.

The report found that female ownership of fixed assets has increased from last decade´s 9 percent to 19.71 percent this decade.

National Planning Commission Vice-chairman Dipendra Bahadur Kshetry said that the increase in property inheritance by females is the impact of the legal movement for women´s right to property.

“The increase in female-headed households in the country from 14.87 percent to 25.73 is also positive,” Kshetry said.

The report also portrays a shifting demographic, with the working-age population of 15-59 year-olds increasing from 54 percent (12,310,968) in 2001 to around 57 percent (15,091,848) in 2011.

While Nepal is considered the 11th most vulnerable country in terms of earthquake hazard, the census report showed that only around 10 percent of the people live in RCC-pillar houses whereas 44.21 percent of houses are built with mud-bonded bricks.

Meanwhile, the final population stands at 126,305 less than the preliminary report of the national census of 2011. With this, the annual growth rate has also decreased from 1.4 in the preliminary findings to 1.35 percent.

The difference in the preliminary and final findings emerged following data processing in detail, according to officials at CBS.

“The preliminary report published in September last year was calculated manually on the basis of all forms collected from the 75 districts,” said CBS Director General Uttam Narayan Malla.

 Source: Republica Daily



Published on 2012-11-27 00:00:01

Post-war Nepal bucks baby boom trend—-‘Absent population’ led to the drop in rate



Contrary to the trend of ‘baby boom’ (high growth rate) in post-war periods in other countries, Nepal’s census report published on Tuesday shows a significant drop in the growth rate.

Population experts say the population growth could have crossed an average annual growth rate of over 2.25 percent—more than the previous census—had Nepal followed the trend.

However, the absent population played a vital role in the significant drop to 1.40 percent in the annual population growth rate in the post-war situation in the country, they said.

According to the experts, the end of a war in a particular country brings about a baby boom there as people involved in the war return home with the beginning of the peace process. People are psychologically more relaxed and feel safe to spend more time together with the family, which ultimately helps population growth, census expert Bal Kumar KC said.

“The post-war period is also a time to begin new professions and build new families for people involved in and affected by the war. This is an important factor that comes into play in the population growth rate,” KC, who is technical advisor at the Central Bureau of Statistics for the past four decades, said.

However, this was not the case with Nepal, KC said.

While Nepali youths were yet to get good employment opportunities as a relief package after the war, dozens of developed countries opened workers’ visa for underdeveloped countries, and this paved the way for Nepalis to go abroad for employment. As a result, over 1.92 million population is recorded absent in the 2011 census.

Migrant workers and people who are absent in the country for more than six months at the time of census comprise the absent population . The absence of this group of the population who belong to the reproductive age group has significantly contributed to Nepal bucking the trend.

“The absence of a huge chunk of the reproductive population is the main cause for the low population growth rate even after the civil war,” KC said.

The annual population growth in rural areas is more than that in the urban areas in developing countries.

This year’s census records 1.63 million (1,637,469) as absent population , out of which 85.38 per cent belong to rural areas.

Another census expert Bidhya Bir Singh Kansakar agreed that the absence of this predominantly rural population has made a huge difference in slashing the growth rate.

Source: The Kathmandu Post Daily


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Posted on: 2011-09-30 08:04