Statistical information Bhutan 2001Bhutan

Map of Bhutan | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
Military | Transportation | Transnational Issues | Year:  | More stats

Bhutan in the World
Bhutan in the World


Bhutan - Introduction 2001
top of page

Background: Under British influence a monarchy was set up in 1907; three years later a treaty was signed whereby the country became a British protectorate. Independence was attained in 1949 with India subsequently guiding foreign relations and supplying aid. A refugee issue of some 100,000 Bhutanese in Nepal remains unresolved; 90% of these displaced persons are housed in seven United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) camps. Maoist Assamese separatists from India who have established themselves in the southeast portion of Bhutan have drawn Indian cross-border incursions.

Bhutan - Geography 2001
top of page

Location: Southern Asia between China and India

Geographic coordinates: 27 30 N 90 30 E

Map referenceAsia

Total: 47,000 km²
Land: 47,000 km²
Water: 0 km²
Comparative: about half the size of Indiana

Land boundaries
Total: 1,075 km
Border countries: (2) China 470 km; , India 605 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

Climate: varies; tropical in southern plains; cool winters and hot summers in central valleys; severe winters and cool summers in Himalayas

Terrain: mostly mountainous with some fertile valleys and savanna

Extremes lowest point: Drangme Chhu 97 m
Extremes highest point: Kula Kangri 7,553 m

Natural resources: timber hydropower gypsum calcium carbide
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 2%
Permanent crops: 0%
Permanent pastures: 6%
Forests and woodland: 66%
Other: 26% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 340 km² (1993 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: violent storms coming down from the Himalayas are the source of the country's name which translates as Land of the Thunder Dragon; frequent landslides during the rainy season

Note: landlocked; strategic location between China and India; controls several key Himalayan mountain passes

Bhutan - People 2001
top of page

Note: other estimates range as low as 800,000
Growth rate: 2.17% (2001 est.)
Below poverty line: NA%

Noun: Bhutanese (singular and plural)
Adjective: Bhutanese

Ethnic groups: Bhote 50% ethnic Nepalese 35% indigenous or migrant tribes 15%

Languages: Dzongkha (official) Bhotes speak various Tibetan dialects Nepalese speak various Nepalese dialects

Religions: Lamaistic Buddhist 75% Indian- and Nepalese-influenced Hinduism 25%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 39.99% (male 424,832; female 394,725)
15-64 years: 56.05% (male 591,152; female 557,498)
65 years and over: 3.96% (male 41,125; female 40,080) (2001 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 2.17% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 35.73 births/1000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 14.03 deaths/1000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1000 population (2001 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: soil erosion; limited access to potable water
International agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Nuclear Test Ban
International agreements signed but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male/female
Under 15 years: 1.08 male/female
15-64 years: 1.06 male/female
65 years and over: 1.03 male/female
Total population: 1.07 male/female (2001 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 108.89 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 52.79 years
Male: 53.16 years
Female: 52.41 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.07 children born/woman (2001 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Adult prevalence rate: less than 0.01% (1999 est.)
People living with hivaids: less than 100 (1999 est.)
Deaths: NA

Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 42.2%
Male: 56.2%
Female: 28.1% (1995 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Bhutan - Government 2001
top of page

Country name
Conventional long form: Kingdom of Bhutan
Conventional short form: Bhutan

Government type: monarchy; special treaty relationship with India

Capital: Thimphu

Administrative divisions
Note: there may be two new districts named Gasa and Yangtse

Dependent areas

Independence: 8 August 1949 (from India)

National holiday: National Day (Ugyen WANGCHUCK became first hereditary king) 17 December (1907)

Constitution: no written constitution or bill of rights; note - Bhutan uses 1953 Royal decree for the Constitution of the National Assembly; on 7 July 1998 a Royal edict was ratified giving the National Assembly additional powers

Legal system: based on Indian law and English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: each family has one vote in village-level elections

Executive branch
Chief of state: King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK (since 24 July 1972)
Head of government: Chairman of the Council of Ministers Sangay NGEDUP (since NA 1999)
Cabinet: Council of Ministers (Lhengye Shungtsog) nominated by the monarch, approved by the National Assembly; members serve fixed, five-year terms; note - there is also a Royal Advisory Council (Lodoi Tsokde), members nominated by the monarch
Elections: none; the monarch is hereditary, but democratic reforms in July 1998 give the National Assembly authority to remove the monarch with two-thirds vote

Legislative branch
Elections: last held NA (next to be held NA)
Election results: NA

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Appeal (the monarch); High Court (judges appointed by the monarch)

Political parties and leaders: no legal parties

International organization participation: AsDB CP ESCAP FAO G-77 IBRD ICAO IDA IFAD IMF Intelsat IOC IOM (observer) ITU NAM OPCW SAARC UN UNCTAD UNESCO UNIDO UPU WHO WIPO WTrO (observer)

Diplomatic representation
In the us consulates general: New York
From the us: the US and Bhutan have no formal diplomatic relations although informal contact is maintained between the Bhutanese and US Embassy in New Delhi (India)

Flag descriptionflag of Bhutan: divided diagonally from the lower hoist side corner; the upper triangle is yellow and the lower triangle is orange; centered along the dividing line is a large black and white dragon facing away from the hoist side

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Bhutan - Economy 2001
top of page

Economy overview: The economy one of the world's smallest and least developed is based on agriculture and forestry which provide the main livelihood for more than 90% of the population. Agriculture consists largely of subsistence farming and animal husbandry. Rugged mountains dominate the terrain and make the building of roads and other infrastructure difficult and expensive. The economy is closely aligned with India's through strong trade and monetary links. The industrial sector is technologically backward with most production of the cottage industry type. Most development projects such as road construction rely on Indian migrant labor. Bhutan's hydropower potential and its attraction for tourists are key resources. The Bhutanese Government has made some progress in expanding the nation's productive base and improving social welfare. Model education social and environment programs in Bhutan are underway with support from multilateral development organizations. Each economic program takes into account the government's desire to protect the country's environment and cultural traditions. Detailed controls and uncertain policies in areas like industrial licensing trade labor and finance continue to hamper foreign investment.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 6% (2000 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 38%
Industry: 37%
Services: 25% (2000 est.)

Agriculture products: rice corn root crops citrus foodgrains; dairy products eggs

Industries: cement wood products processed fruits alcoholic beverages calcium carbide

Industrial production growth rate: 9.3% (1996 est.)

Labor force
Note: massive lack of skilled labor
By occupation agriculture: 93%
By occupation services: 5%
By occupation industry and commerce: 2%
Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA%

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: NA%

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10: NA%
Highest 10: NA%

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $146 million
Expenditures: $152 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY95/96 est.)
Note: the government of India finances nearly three-fifths of Bhutan's budget expenditures

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 7% (2000 est.)

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $154 million (f.o.b. 2000 est.)
Commodities: cardamom gypsum timber handicrafts cement fruit electricity (to India) precious stones spices
Partners: India 94% Bangladesh

Imports: $269 million (c.i.f. 2000 est.)
Commodities: fuel and lubricants grain machinery and parts vehicles fabrics rice
Partners: India 77% Japan UK Germany US

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $120 million (1998)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: ngultrum per US dollar - 46.540 (January 2001) 44.942 (2000) 43.055 (1999) 41.259 (1998) 36.313 (1997) 35.433 (1996); note - the Bhutanese ngultrum is at par with the Indian rupee which is also legal tender

Bhutan - Energy 2001
top of page

Electricity access

Electricity production: 1.856 billion kWh (1999)
By source fossil fuel: 0.05%
By source hydro: 99.95%
By source nuclear: 0%
By source other: 0% (1999)

Electricity consumption: 191.1 million kWh (1999)

Electricity exports: 1.55 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity imports: 15 million kWh (1999)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Bhutan - Communication 2001
top of page

Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: NA

Telephone system
General assessment: NA
Domestic: domestic telephone service is very poor with few telephones in use
International: international telephone and telegraph service is by landline through India; a satellite earth station was planned (1990)

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .bt

Internet users: 500 (2000)

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Bhutan - Military 2001
top of page

Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $NA
Percent of gdp: NA%

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Bhutan - Transportation 2001
top of page

National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 2 (2000 est.)
With paved runways total: 1
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 1 (2000 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 1
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 1 (2000 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 1
15-24 to 2437 m: 1 (2000 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 1
914 to 1523 m: 1 (2000 est.)



Railways: 0 km


Waterways: none

Merchant marine

Ports and terminals

Bhutan - Transnational issues 2001
top of page

Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


You found a piece of the puzzle

Please click here to complete it