Kathmandu: The population of Hindus and Buddhists in Nepal slightly declined over the past decade while the population of Muslims and Christians marginally increased, according to the country’s latest census report.

Hinduism is the predominant religion in Nepal comprising 81.19 per cent of the total population, said the 2021 census report published by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Saturday.

As many as 2,36,77,744 people follow Hinduism. Buddhism is the second most followed religion in the country with 23,94,549 followers – 8.2 per cent of Nepal’s population, it said.

Islam is followed by 14,83,060 people and it’s the third most followed religion with 5.09 per cent of the total population.

The census report suggested that the population of Hindus and Buddhists slightly declined over the past decade while the population of Muslims, Christians, and Kirats marginally increased.

The followers of Hinduism and Buddhism declined by 0.11 per cent and 0.79 per cent respectively over the past 10 years.

Similarly, the population of Islam, Kirat, and Christians increased by 0.69, 0.17 and 0.36 per cent respectively, according to the data.

During the 2011 population census, there were 81.3 per cent Hindus, 9 per cent Buddhists, 4.4 per cent Muslims, 3.1 per cent Kiratis, and 0.1 per cent Christians in the Himalayan nation.

Christianity, the fifth largest religion in the country, is followed by 5,12,313 people or 1.76 per cent of the total population while the indigenous Kirat religion is the fourth largest religion with 3.17 per cent followers.

Nepal conducts a population census every ten years but this time the results were delayed due to Covid-19.

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Among the ten religions followed by the Nepalese, five minor religions include Prakriti, Bon, Jain, Bahai, and Sikh.

Nepalis have a total of 124 mother tongues, out of which Nepali is spoken by 44 per cent of the population followed by Maithali — 11.05 per cent, and Bhojpuri by 6.24 per cent.

Similarly, Tharu is spoken by 5.88 per cent of the population while Tamang is spoken by 4.88 per cent.

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