The population of Nepal in 2019 is reportedly 29.7 million. There are about 101 ethnic groups speaking over 92 languages. The distinction in caste and ethnicity is understood better with a view of customary layout of the population. The official language of Nepal is Nepali which is spoken and understood by a majority of the population. The ethnic groups have their own mother tongues. English is taught in schools and many of them are English medium schools so a large portion of the population understands the language. Most private schools today teach in EngIish.
Northern Himalayan People
The mountainous regions of Nepal are inhabited by Sherpas, Dolpa-pas, Lopas, Baragaonlis, Manangays. The Sherpas are mainly found in the east, Solu and Khumbu region; the Baragaonlis and Lopas live in the semi-deserted areas of Upper and Lower Mustang in the rain-shadow area; the Manangays live in Manang district while the Dolpa-pas live in Dolpa district of west Nepal.
Middle Hills and Valley People
Several ethnic groups live in the middle hills and valleys. Among them are the Magars, Gurungs, Tamangs, Rais, Limbus, Thamis, Sunuwars, Newars, Thakalis, Chepangs, Brahmins, Chhetris and Thakuris, Damai, Sarki, Kami and Sunar.
Ethnic Diversity in the Kathmandu Valley
Kathmandu Valley represents a cultural melting pot of the country, where, people from varied backgrounds have come together to form a diverse population. The natives of the Kathmandu Valley are the Newars. Although Newars are either Hindus or Buddhists, their culture is vastly different from the rest of the Nepali people. Their rituals, food and festivals are unique to them. Newars of Kathmandu Valley were traders or farmers by occupation.
The main ethnic groups in the Tarai are Tharus, Darai, Kumhal, Rajbangsi, Bote, Majhi and other groups. They speak north Indian dialects like Maithili and Bhojpuri. Owing to the fertile plains of the tarai, most inhabitants subsist on agriculture. There are, however, some occupational castes like Majhi (fisherman), Kumhal (potter) and Danuwar (cart driver).