The administrative zone Janakpur is located in mid-Eastern Nepal. Janakpur is composed of six districts: Dolakha, Ramechhap, Sindhuli, Sarlahi, Mahottari, and Dhanusa. Janakpur is part of the Central development region, which spreads over Terai, Hill and Mountain territories. Since the new constitution implemented in 2015, Nepal is a federal state divided into seven provinces. Janakpur has been divided in the process. Its districts are part of two different federal states: Province no. 3 for Dolakha, Ramechhap, and Sindhuli districts; and Province no. 2 for Sarlahi, Mahottari, and Dhanusa districts.
2,837,841 people live in Janakpur. The most populated districts are Sarlahi with 769,729 (389,756 men and 379,973 women) inhabitants and Dhanusa with 754,777 (378,538 men and 376,239 women) inhabitants. 627,580 (311,016 men and 316,564 women) people live in Mahottari; 296,192 (142,123 men and 154,069 women) people live in Sindhuli; 202,646 (93,386 men and 109,260 women) people live in Ramechhap; and 186,557 (87,003 men and 99,554 women) live in Dolakha.
Figures for the Janakpur administrative zone are not available, but the Central Bureau of Statistics of Nepal provides data for the widest Central development region of which Janakpur is part.
In 2015, in the Central development region, out of 9,656,985 people, 7,426,280 were Hindus, 1,409,265 were Buddhists, 556,464 were Muslims (mainly living in Sarlahi, Mahottari and Dhanusa districts), and 165,569 were Christians.
In 2010, the main ethnicities represented in the Central population were Chetree, Brahman and Tamang with above 1 million people from these descents respectively, and Newar, Musalman and Yadar, with above 500,000 people from these descents respectively.
The main languages spoken in 2010 were Nepali, Maithili, Bhojpuri, Tharu and Tamang.
The literacy rate was 55.1 percent in 2008.
The Central development region, of which Janakpur is part, contributes a lot to Nepal’s foreign trade. It accounts for 52.7 percent of Nepal’s exports and 66.88 percent of its imports.
In 2010, the mean income per household was 238,107 Nepalese Rupees and the mean income per capita was NRs 49,128.
The unemployment rate in 2010 was 3.2 percent.
The poverty rate in 2008 was 21.69 percent.
Though the Central development region is mainly agricultural like all Nepali regions, its employment sector is more diversified. Out of 3,467,889 workers, 1,867,500 are employed in the agriculture sector, 270,271 in manufacturing, 325,727 in wholesale and retail trade, 129,202 in construction and 104,120 in transport. Compared to the rest of Nepal, only 64.1 percent of households of the region were involved in agricultural activities in 2010. 74.4 percent of them cultivated paddy, 50.8 percent wheat and 51 percent maize.
In 2008, 34.1 percent of the population had migrated out of the region. This migration induced a large scope of remittances. In 2010, 49.5 percent of households received remittances. The share of remittances on their income was 32.3 percent.
In the latest local elections, the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML) won a majority of seats in Province no. 3, with 64 seats compared to 35 for the Nepali Congress. In the Janakpur zone, the CPN-UML won in Dolkha and Ramechhap districts, while the Nepali Congress and the Maoist Kendra won each 3 seats in Sindhuli district.
Elections in Province no. 2 are to be held on September 2017. The Nepali Congress and the Madhesi parties wield a certain influence in the province and are likely to win a lot of seats in the next elections.
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