The Hindu Region

The Country Similarity Index groups just the neighboring countries of India and Nepal into the Hindu Region. Here are some of the traits most of these countries share:

GEOGRAPHY
Nepal and India have land on the Indian and the Eurasian tectonic plate. The collision between these plates has created the Himalaya Mountains that are located in both countries. Other than their mountainous areas, their low lying lands are warm and generally get an ample amount of rainfall. Most of the land in the region is either agricultural land or forested. Rice and wheat are two major crops grown there. Both countries are very densely populated.

Photo by Gerd Eichmann

DEMOGRAPHICS
Most people in India and Nepal have a mix of Caucasian and Australo-Melanesian ancestry to varying degrees, although Nepalis have some East Asian ancestry as well. Their population is younger than the world average. They are also lower than the world average in height and weight. Literacy rates are low in this region as well. More than 25% of the people in the region cannot read. The majority of people are farmers, so incomes in this region remain quite low. One interesting difference is the employment rate for females in Nepal is much higher than in India.

Photo by PDPics

CULTURE
The majority of people in Nepal and India speak closely related languages from the Indic language branch. In addition, the majority of people in both countries use the Devanagari script. They are the only two countries in the world with a majority Hindu population. The marriage rate is quite high in these countries. Their diets are especially low in meat. Vegetarians are common in the region. Rice, potatoes, and wheat are their main staple grains. Neither country is especially good at Olympic sports. Cricket is by far the most popular sport in the region.

Photo by Shri Thigala

GOVERNMENT
Both Nepal and India are democracies with parliamentary system of government. Furthermore, their head of state is elected by bicameral legislatures and state governments. They also have supreme courts based on the American model. Their legal systems are based on Common Law and Customary Hindu Law. The Indian Rupee is legal tender in both countries. In fact, Nepalis do not need visas or passports to enter India and can live there indefinitely as well. Both countries are part of SAFTA. Their entitlements and laws are also somewhat similar. Pensions are given to the elderly even if they did not work. High schools generally require tuition, but are tuition free up to that point. Abortion is relatively unrestricted. Same sex marriage is not allowed. One difference is that polygamy is criminalized in Nepal, while it is allowed for Muslims in India. India still retains the death penalty, while Nepal does not.

Photo by Rai Shashank

Infrastructure
Nepal and India are still developing and do not have the most advanced infrastructure. Most people have access to electricity, but many do not have improved sanitation. The electrical voltage is between 220 and 240 volts and the frequency is 50 hertz. Both countries primarily use Type M electrical outlets. These countries also drive on the left side of the road and use Indian broad gauge railroad tracks. Both countries are transitioning from PAL analog TV broadcasting to DVBT digital TV broadcasting. Their medical infrastructure is not well developed. They have few doctors and hospital beds per capita. One difference is that Indian gets most of its energy from coal power, while Nepal uses hydropower. Another difference is their military infrastructure. India’s army is well equipped and even has nuclear weapons, while Nepal has little military equipment.

Photo by Gerd Eichmann

The Hindu Region‘s Most Representative Country: India (71.6 regional average)

Most Similar Region to the Hindu Region: Bangladesh (5-C)

(Statistics as of 2020)

Photo by Arya Joshi

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