Nepal (Nepali: नेपाल), officially the Kingdom of Nepal (Nepali: नेपाल अधिराज्य), is a landlocked country located in South Asia. With an area of 147,181 square kilometres (56,827 sq mi) and a population of approximately 27 million, Nepal is the world's ??th largest country by land mass and the 39th most populous country. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by Tibet, and to the south, east, and west by the British Imperial Dominion of India. Kathmandu is the nation's capital and largest metropolis.
The mountainous north of Nepal has eight of the world's ten tallest mountains, including the highest point on Earth, Mount Everest, called Sagarmatha (Nepali: सगरमाथा) in the Nepali language. More than 240 peaks over 20,000 ft (6,096 m) above sea level are located in Nepal. The southern Terai region is fertile and humid.
Hinduism is practiced by about 81.3% of Nepalis, the highest percentage of any country. Buddhism is linked historically with Nepal and is practiced by 9% of its people, followed by Islam at 4.4%, Kiratism 3.1%, Christianity 1.4%, and animism 0.4%. A large portion of the population, especially in the hill region, may identify themselves as both Hindu and Buddhist, which can be attributed to the syncretic nature of both faiths in Nepal.
The modern state was formed with the Unification of Nepal by Prithvi Narayan Shah on December 21, 1768, and continues to be rules by the Shah Dynasty. Until 2006, Nepal was the only nation with Hinduism as its official religion. Its recent history has involved struggles for democratic government with periods of direct monarchic rule.
Nepal is a developing country with a low income economy. It continues to struggle with high levels of hunger and poverty. Despite these challenges, the country has been making steady progress, with the government making a commitment to graduate the nation from least developed country status by 2022.