An analysis and numerical results are presented for buckling and transverse vibration of orthotropic nonhomogeneous rectangular plates of variable thickness using two dimensional boundary characteristic orthogonal polynomials in the Rayleigh–Ritz method on the basis of classical plate theory when uniformly distributed in-plane loading is acting at two opposite edges clamped/simply supported. The Gram–Schmidt process has been used to generate orthogonal polynomials. The nonhomogeneity of the plate is assumed to arise due to linear variations in elastic properties and density of the plate material with the in-plane coordinates. The two dimensional thickness variation is taken as the Cartesian product of linear variations along the two concurrent edges of the plate. Effect of various plate parameters such as nonhomogeneity parameters, aspect ratio together with thickness variation, and in-plane load on the natural frequencies has been illustrated for the first three modes of vibration for four different combinations of clamped, simply supported, and free edges correct to four decimal places. Three dimensional mode shapes for a specified plate for all the four boundary conditions have been plotted. By allowing the frequency to approach zero, the critical buckling loads in compression for various values of plate parameters have been computed correct to six significant digits. A comparison of results with those available in the literature has been presented.