Stretching over 1,500 miles from east to west, the Himalayas are home to 40 million people. Counting the drainage basin, three billion people in 18 countries live in the area, as of 2015.
As of 2014, the Eastern Himalayas remain a densely populated region. Even though Bhutan has a population of around 800,000, it is one of the smallest countries in the world. Nepal has a population of around 30 million and Northeast India has a population of almost 40 million. Populations are on the rise in all three areas, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
With more than 40 languages spoken in the area, the region is home to Buddhists, Hindus and Christians. Animists live closely with nature, with many of these indigenous communities living in isolation.