The population of Nepal in 2003 was estimated by the United Nations at 25,164,000, which placed it as number 43 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In that year approximately 4% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 41% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 104 males for every 100 females in the country in 2003. According to the UN, the annual population growth rate for 2000–2005 is 2.23%, with the projected population for the year 2015 at 32,011,000. The government seeks to reduce the population growth rate through social, cultural, economic, and educational reforms, as well as child health and family planning programs. The population density in 2002 was 162 per sq km (420 per sq mi). Population distribution is uneven, with about 45% of all Nepalese concentrated in the hilly central region, 47% in the fertile Terai plain, and only 8% in the mountains.
It was estimated by the Population Reference Bureau that 12% of the population lived in urban areas in 2001. The capital city, Ka¯thmāndu, had a population of 669,000 in that year. According to the United Nations, the urban population growth rate for 2000–2005 was 5.1%.