The National Population and Housing Census (NPHC) is part of an integrated national statistical system of Nepal. It provides the benchmark for population count at national and sub-national levels at regular intervals of ten years. For small geographic areas or sub-populations, it may represent the only source of information for certain social, demographic and economic characteristics.
In Nepal, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), under the National Planning Commission (NPC), Government of Nepal (GoN), is responsible for planning, implementation and management of all census activities, including collection, processing, editing, tabulation of data and final dissemination of results.
The first population census of Nepal dates back to 1911. However, the first modern population census of Nepal was conducted in 1952/54 and counted a population of over 8 million. The last census was successfully conducted in 2011 and counted a population of 26.5 million. This information has been widely used for diverse purposes, but especially in development planning and policy making.
The Constitution of Nepal Provisions under article 281 states: "the Government of Nepal shall make appraisal and review of the implementation of special rights of the women and Dalit community and impacts thereof, on the basis of human development index, concurrently with a national population census to be held in every ten years." Similarly, according to Article 84 (2), House of Representatives under the proportional electoral system, representation shall be ensured on the basis of a closed list also from women, Dalit, indigenous peoples, Khas Arya, Madhesi, Tharu, Muslims and backward regions, on the basis of population. As per Article 286 (5), when determining constituencies by the Constituency Delimitation Commission, constituencies shall be determined in the states in accordance with the federal law, taking population as the main basis and geography as the second basis for representation.