National Census 2011 shows that there are 126 caste, ethnic and religious groups in Nepal. Out of the 126 caste/ethnic groups, Chhetri is the largest group whose population constitutes 16.6 percent of the total population followed by Hill Bahun/Brahman (12.2 %), Magar (7.1%), Tharu ((6.6%), Tamang (5.8%), Newar (5.0%), Kami (4.8%), Muslims (4.8%), Yadav (4.0%) and Rai (2.3%) (CBS, 2012). The total caste and ethnic (Adivasi Janajati/ indigenous nationalities) groups have been classified into five major categories for the convenience in the data analysis following the format of DFID and The World Bank, 2006 (DFID/World Bank, 2006). Table 1 demonstrates the distribution of male/female population of different caste and ethnic groups by major social categories.
Table 1: Male/Female Population by Caste/Ethnic Group and Sex, 2011
|s.n.||Caste/Ethnic Group||Male||Female||Female % (Row)||Female % (Column)|
|1.||Bahun, Chhetri, Thakuri and Dasnami/Sanyasi||3,956,635||4,321,766||52.21||31.67|
|2.||Tarai Brahman, Chhetri, Rajput and high caste||142,832||131,140||47.87||0.96|
|3.||Tarai other/middle castes||1,881,694||1,771,760||48.50||12.98|
|Hill & Mountain Adivasi Janajati other than Newar||3,583,358||3943770||52.39||28.9|
|Tarai Adivasi Janajati||313,418||323,935||50.83||2.37|
|Adivasi Janajati Others||598||630||49.77||0.00|
Source: CBS, 2012: 144-163.
The Census also shows that about 51.5 percent of total population of 26,494,504 constitutes women which is an increase in women’s population compared to that (50.04 percent) of the past census of 2001. ‘Sex ratio of the population, defined as the number of males per 100 females’ recorded in 1991 and 2001 censuses were 99.5 and 99.8 respectively, which has further decreased to 94.2 in 2011 census. However, sex ratio of Tarai high, middle and Dalit castes are 108.9, 106.2 and 101.2 respectively. This indicates son preference among Tarai caste groups.
 See Acharya et al. 2008: 13-16 for the analytical discussion on it.
Acharya, Meena, Chaitanya Subba, Badri Niraula, Harihar Regmi, Shankar Aryal, Ananda Aditya, Shalik Ram Sharma and Amar Krishna Joshi. 2008. Caste, Ethnic and Gender Dimensions of Nepal’s Population: A Statistical Analysis, 1991-2001. Kathmandu: TPAMF, DFID and The World Bank.
DFID and The World Bank, 2006. Unequal Citizens: Gender, Caste and Ethnic Exclusion in Nepal: Summary. Kathmandu: The World Bank and DFID.
Government of Nepal. 2012. National Population and Housing Census 2011 (National Report). Kathmandu: Central Bureau of Statistics.