Kathmandu Population 2021

1,471,867
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Kathmandu's 2021 population is now estimated at 1,471,867. In 1950, the population of Kathmandu was 104,479. Kathmandu has grown by 48,352 since 2015, which represents a 3.40% annual change. These population estimates and projections come from the latest revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects. These estimates represent the Urban agglomeration of Kathmandu, which typically includes Kathmandu's population in addition to adjacent suburban areas.

Kathmandu is the largest municipality and the capital of Nepal. It's also the only city in the country with the Mahanagar (Metropolitan City) municipal status.

Kathmandu makes up the core of the largest urban agglomeration in the city in the Kathmandu Valley, which also includes Kirtipur, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Madhyapur Thimi, and smaller regions. Informally, the city is called KTM or the tri-city.

Kathmandu accounts for 1/12 of Nepal's total population, and it's the main gateway to the country's tourism industry. The city has a history going back more than 2,000 years.

City Size and Population Density

The city proper has a population density of 20,288 people per square kilometer (52,550 residents per square mile). This great population density is made possible by the rather small surface area the city has available, which comes to a total of approximately 50 square kilometers (19 square miles).

Kathmandu Demographics

Kathmandu is a very ethnically and culturally diverse city. The Newar are the largest ethnic group at 30% of the population, followed by the Matwali at 25% -- which includes the Tamang, Gurung, Sunuwar, Magars, and others -- the Khas Brahmins at 20%, and the Chettris at 18.5% of the population. The Tamangs were initially from the surrounding hills of the region. Many hill ethnic groups from Terai (the marshy forests and grasslands on the outer foothills of the Himalaya) have also migrated to the area.

Hinduism and Buddhism are the two primary religions in the city. Nepal remains the only official Hindu state in the world.

Nepali is the most commonly spoken language, as well as Nepal Bhasa and English. Hindi is also spoken and understood by most of the educated population.

The Nepal Earthquake

In April 2015, Kathmandu was devastated by the Nepal or Gorkha earthquake. This 7.8 magnitude earthquake killed more than 9,000 and injured over 23,000. It triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest that killed 19, which was the deadliest day of the mountain's history. The earthquake destroyed many landmarks and centuries-old structures in the region, including parts of the Kathmandu Durbar Square, the Changu Narayan Temple, and the Swayambhunath Stupa. The Swayambhunath or Monkey Temple is one of the oldest religious sites in the country. While it's considered a Buddhist temple, it's revered by Hindus and Buddhists alike.

Disaster experts knew the earthquake's damage to the area was coming. The valley is located on a fault line, and the city has an annual growth rate of 6.5% combined with one of the highest urban densities on earth and 1.5 million people living in the valley. Rampant code violations and haphazard urbanization in the region have been blamed for the high death toll.

Kathmandu Population 2021

Year Population Growth Rate Growth
20352,220,4362.65%57,312
20342,163,1242.70%56,828
20332,106,2962.75%56,304
20322,049,9922.80%55,744
20311,994,2482.85%55,171
20301,939,0772.90%54,557
20291,884,5202.95%53,912
20281,830,6083.00%53,240
20271,777,3683.05%52,568
20261,724,8003.10%51,897
20251,672,9033.16%51,261
20241,621,6423.22%50,632
20231,571,0103.28%49,953
20221,521,0573.34%49,190
20211,471,8673.40%48,352
20201,423,5153.45%47,407
20191,376,1083.49%46,376
20181,329,7324.09%52,269
20171,277,4634.09%50,214
20161,227,2494.09%48,240
20151,179,0094.09%46,345
20141,132,6644.09%44,522
20131,088,1424.09%42,774
20121,045,3684.09%41,090
20111,004,2784.09%39,476
2010964,8024.09%37,923
2009926,8794.09%36,384
2008890,4954.10%35,050
2007855,4454.09%33,625
2006821,8204.09%32,304
2005789,5164.09%30,992
2004758,5244.10%29,855
2003728,6694.09%28,642
2002700,0274.09%27,516
2001672,5114.75%30,525
2000641,9864.79%29,318
1999612,6684.78%27,941
1998584,7274.78%26,667
1997558,0604.77%25,416
1996532,6444.79%24,325
1995508,3194.78%23,182
1994485,1374.78%22,125
1993463,0124.77%21,087
1992441,9254.79%20,182
1991421,7435.97%23,770
1990397,9736.00%22,537
1989375,4365.99%21,233
1988354,2036.01%20,086
1987334,1176.00%18,921
1986315,1966.00%17,850
1985297,3465.99%16,817
1984280,5296.01%15,908
1983264,6216.00%14,986
1982249,6356.00%14,137
1981235,4984.60%10,355
1980225,1434.58%9,855
1979215,2884.57%9,410
1978205,8784.57%9,000
1977196,8784.56%8,594
1976188,2844.58%8,241
1975180,0434.57%7,870
1974172,1734.57%7,526
1973164,6474.56%7,187
1972157,4604.58%6,892
1971150,5682.26%3,321
1970147,2472.20%3,166
1969144,0812.19%3,094
1968140,9872.20%3,036
1967137,9512.20%2,966
1966134,9852.20%2,902
1965132,0832.19%2,836
1964129,2472.20%2,783
1963126,4642.20%2,719
1962123,7452.20%2,661
1961121,0841.60%1,907
1960119,1771.59%1,865
1959117,3121.59%1,833
1958115,4791.59%1,804
1957113,6751.59%1,774
1956111,9011.59%1,750
1955110,1511.59%1,721
1954108,4301.59%1,695
1953106,7350.77%815
1952105,9200.69%723
1951105,1970.69%718
1950104,4790.00%

Kathmandu Population Data (Urban Area)

Other Cities in Nepal

  1. Open Nepal - Population of Kathmandu Metropolitan City according to age group and gender - 2011
  2. Central Bureau of Statistics - Kathmandu National Population Census 2011
  3. World Urbanization Prospects - United Nations population estimates and projections of major Urban Agglomerations

Sources