Hindi is mother tongue of 0.29 percent of Nepalis

Sujit Mainali / October 3, 2016


While addressing parliament on September 30, Devkaran Prasad Kalwar, a lawmaker from the Nepali Congress (NC), demanded that Hindi be declared as a national language and said:

“50 percent citizens of Nepal…from Mechi to Mahakali, Mountains, Hills and Tarai, speak Hindi and 80 percent citizens understand Hindi.”

South Asia Check has examined whether this claim is fact-based or not.

So far there has not been any study in Nepal to identify the number of Nepalis who speak or understand Hindi. Therefore, Kalwar’s claim cannot be verified.

But the number of Nepalis with Hindi as the mother tongue has been identified.

According to a report “National Population and Housing Census 2011” prepared by the Central Bureau of Statistics, Hindi is mother tongue of 77,569 Nepalis, which is 0.29 percent of the total population.

Among them, 325 live in the Mountains, 30,311 live in Hills and the rest 46,933 live in Tarai. Similarly, 13,746 live in the Eastern Development Region, 34,467 live in the Central Development Region, 11,688 live in the Western Development Region, 9,374 live in the Mid-Western Development Region and the rest 8,294 live in the Far-Western Development Region.

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