The administrative zone Behri is located in Western Nepal. Behri is composed of five districts: Banke, Bardiya, Surkhet, Dailekh, and Jajarkot. Behri is part of the Mid-Western development region and its territories spread over the Hills and the Terai. Since the new constitution implemented in 2015, Nepal is a federal state divided into seven provinces. Behri has been divided in the process. Its districts are part of two different federal states: Province No. 6 for Surkhet, Dailekh, and Jajarkot districts and Province No. 5 for Banke and Bardiya districts.


1,702,767 people lived in Behri in 2015. 491,313 (244,255 men and 247,058 women) people lived in Banke; 426,576 (205,080 men and 221,496 women) people lived in Bardiya; 350,804 (169,421 men and 181,383 women) people lived in Surkhet; 261,770 (126,990 men and 134,780 women) people lived in Dailekh and 171,304 (85,537 men and 85,767 women) people lived in Jajarkot.

Figures for the Behri administrative zone are not available, but the Central Bureau of Statistics of Nepal provides data for the widest Mid-Western development region of which Behri is part of.

In 2015, in the Mid-Western region, 3,277,739 out of 3,546,682 people were Hindus, 98,824 were Buddhists, 112,815 were Muslims (living mainly in Banke districts) and 49,913 were Christians (living mainly in Surkhet district).  

In 2010, the largest ethnicities represented in the Mid-Western region were Cheetree with over a million people from this descent, and Magar, Taru and Kami with over 400,000 people from these descents respectively.  

The most spoken languages in the Mid-Western region are Nepali and Tharu.

The Mid-Western region literacy rate in 2008 was 52 percent.


Behri, as a part of the Mid-Western region, is mainly agricultural. Out of 1,325,261 workers, 972,936 are employed in the agriculture sector, 50,368 in manufacturing, and 66,737 in wholesale trade and retail. 88.6 percent of the households are involved in agricultural activities. 87.9 percent of households cultivate maize, 82.4 percent cultivate wheat, and 62.4% cultivate paddy.

The national parks of Bardiya and Banke attract tourists.

The Mid-Western development region is not well integrated to the economy of Nepal as it only accounts for 2.8 percent of Nepal’s exports and 2.67 percent of imports.

The unemployment rate in 2010 was 1.6 percent. The mean income per household was 159,868 Nepalese Rupees and the mean income per capita was of NRs 30,941.

The poverty rate in 2008 was 31.68 percent.

In 2008, 14.1 percent of the Mid-Western region’s population had emigrated out of the region. In 2010, 51.9 percent households were receiving remittances. These remittances represented a share on their income of 30.3 percent.


In the latest general elections, the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML) won a short majority of seats in Province no. 6, with 27 seats compared to 25 for the Nepali Congress and the Maoist Kendra respectively. In Province no. 5 too, the CPN-UML won with 43 seats compared to 33 for the Nepali Congress and 19 for the Maoist Kendra.

In Province no. 6, CPN-UML won in Jajarkot and Dailekh. The Nepali Congress won in Surkhet.

In Province no. 5, CPN-UML won in Banke, but shared the wins in Bardiya with the Maoist Kendra.

The Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal holds sway in the Terai districts of Banke and Bardiya. The party has conducted unrest to disrupt the election process there, but has won no seats.  

Further readings:

Mahendra Lawoti, Susan Hangen (2013) Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict in Nepal: Identities and Mobilization After 1990, Routledge

V. R. Raghavan (2013) Nepal as a Federal State: Lessons from Indian Experience, Vij Books India Pvt Ltd

John Whelpton (2005) A History of Nepal, Cambridge University Press