Statistical information Bhutan 2023Bhutan

Map of Bhutan | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
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Bhutan in the World
Bhutan in the World


Bhutan - Introduction 2023
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Background: Following Britain’s victory in the 1865 Duar War, Britain and Bhutan signed the Treaty of Sinchulu, under which Bhutan would receive an annual subsidy in exchange for ceding land to British India. Ugyen WANGCHUCK - who had served as the de facto ruler of an increasingly unified Bhutan and had improved relations with the British toward the end of the 19th century - was named king in 1907. Three years later, a treaty was signed whereby the British agreed not to interfere in Bhutanese internal affairs, and Bhutan allowed Britain to direct its foreign affairs. Bhutan negotiated a similar arrangement with independent India in 1949. The Indo-Bhutanese Treaty of Friendship returned to Bhutan a small piece of the territory annexed by the British, formalized the annual subsidies the country received, and defined India's responsibilities in defense and foreign relations. Under a succession of modernizing monarchs beginning in the 1950s, Bhutan joined the UN in 1971 and slowly continued its engagement beyond its borders.

Bhutan - Geography 2023
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Location: Southern Asia, between China and India

Geographic coordinates: 27 30 N, 90 30 E

Map referenceAsia

Total: 38,394 km²
Land: 38,394 km²
Water: 0 km²
Comparative: slightly larger than Maryland; about one-half the size of Indiana

Land boundaries
Total: 1,136 km
Border countries: (2) China 477 km; India 659 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

Highest point: Gangkar Puensum 7,570 m
Lowest point: Drangeme Chhu 97 m
Mean elevation: 2,220 m

Natural resources: timber, hydropower, gypsum, calcium carbonate
Land use

Land use
Agricultural land: 13.6% (2018 est.)
Agricultural land arable land: 2.6% (2018 est.)
Agricultural land permanent crops: 0.3% (2018 est.)
Agricultural land permanent pasture: 10.7% (2018 est.)
Forest: 85.5% (2018 est.)
Other: 0.9% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land: 320 km² (2012)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal
Municipal: 20 million cubic meters (2020 est.)
Industrial: 3 million cubic meters (2019 est.)
Agricultural: 320 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources: 78 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

Natural hazards: violent storms from the Himalayas are the source of the country's Bhutanese 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 2023
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Population: 876,181 (2023 est.)
Growth rate: 0.96% (2023 est.)
Below poverty line: 8.2% (2017 est.)

Noun: Bhutanese (singular and plural)
Adjective: Bhutanese

Ethnic groups: Ngalop (also known as Bhote) 50%, ethnic Nepali 35% (predominantly Lhotshampas), indigenous or migrant tribes 15%

Languages: Sharchopkha 28%, Dzongkha (official) 24%, Lhotshamkha 22%, other 26% (includes foreign languages) (2005 est.)

Religions: Lamaistic Buddhist 75.3%, Indian- and Nepali-influenced Hinduism 22.1%, other 2.6% (2005 est.)

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 23.49% (male 105,317/female 100,526)
15-64 years: 69.97% (male 318,732/female 294,292)
65 years and over: 6.54% (2023 est.) (male 29,582/female 27,732)

Dependency ratios
Total dependency ratio: 40.7
Youth dependency ratio: 32.1
Elderly dependency ratio: 8.6
Potential support ratio: 11.1 (2021 est.)

Median age
Total: 30.2 years (2023 est.)
Male: 30.6 years
Female: 29.8 years

Population growth rate: 0.96% (2023 est.)

Birth rate: 15.6 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Death rate: 6.1 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Population distribution

Urban population: 44.4% of total population (2023)
Rate of urbanization: 2.52% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas
Population: 203,000 THIMPHU (capital) (2018)

Current issues: soil erosion; limited access to potable water; wildlife conservation; industrial pollution; waste disposal
International agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
International agreements signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Air pollutants
Particulate matter emissions: 26.1 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions: 1.26 megatons (2016 est.)
Methane emissions: 1.11 megatons (2020 est.)

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.07 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.07 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio: 60 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

Infant mortality rate
Total: 25.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)
Male: 25.9 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 25.3 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 73 years (2023 est.)
Male: 71.8 years
Female: 74.3 years

Total fertility rate: 1.77 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate: NA

Drinking water source
Improved urban: 99.5% of population
Improved rural: 100% of population
Improved total: 99.8% of population
Unimproved urban: 0.5% of population
Unimproved rural: 0% of population
Unimproved total: 0.2% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure: 4.4% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density: 0.5 physicians/1,000 population (2020)

Hospital bed density: 1.7 beds/1,000 population (2012)

Sanitation facility access
Improved urban:
90.8% of population

rural: 83.1% of population

total: 86.4% of population

Unimproved urban:
9.2% of population

rural: 16.9% of population

total: 13.6% of population (2020 est.)


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate: 6.4% (2016)

Alcohol consumption
Per capita total: 0.07 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)
Per capita beer: 0.01 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)
Per capita wine: 0.05 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)
Per capita spirits: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)
Per capita other alcohols: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight: NA

Education expenditures: 7% of GDP (2021 est.)

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 70.9%
Male: 77.9%
Female: 62.8% (2021)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education
Total: 13 years
Male: 13 years
Female: 13 years (2018)

Youth unemployment
Rate ages 15 24 total: 18.8% (2021 est.)
Rate ages 15 24 male: 15.6%
Rate ages 15 24 female: 22%

Bhutan - Government 2023
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Country name
Conventional long form: Kingdom of Bhutan
Conventional short form: Bhutan
Local long form: Druk Gyalkhap
Local short form: Druk Yul
Etymology: named after the Bhotia, the ethnic Tibetans who migrated from Tibet to Bhutan; "Bod" is the Tibetan name for their land; the Bhutanese name "Druk Yul" means "Land of the Thunder Dragon"

Government type: constitutional monarchy

Name: Thimphu
Geographic coordinates: 27 28 N, 89 38 E
Time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Etymology: the origins of the name are unclear; the traditional explanation, dating to the 14th century, is that thim means "dissolve" and phu denotes "high ground" to express the meaning of "dissolving high ground," in reference to a local deity that dissolved before a traveler's eyes, becoming a part of the rock on which the present city stands

Administrative divisions: 20 districts (dzongkhag, singular and plural); Bumthang, Chhukha, Dagana, Gasa, Haa, Lhuentse, Mongar, Paro, Pemagatshel, Punakha, Samdrup Jongkhar, Samtse, Sarpang, Thimphu, Trashigang, Trashi Yangtse, Trongsa, Tsirang, Wangdue Phodrang, Zhemgang

Dependent areas

Independence: 17 December 1907 (became a unified kingdom under its first hereditary king); 8 August 1949 (Treaty of Friendship with India maintains Bhutanese independence)

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

History: previous governing documents were various royal decrees; first constitution drafted November 2001 to March 2005, ratified 18 July 2008
Amendments: proposed as a motion by simple majority vote in a joint session of Parliament; passage requires at least a three-fourths majority vote in a joint session of the next Parliament and assent by the king

Legal system: civil law based on Buddhist religious law

International law organization participation: has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Citizenship by birth: no
Citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Bhutan
Dual citizenship recognized: no
Residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: King Jigme Khesar Namgyel WANGCHUCK (since 14 December 2006); note - King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK abdicated the throne on 14 December 2006 to his son
Head of government: Prime Minister Lotay TSHERING (since 7 November 2018)
Cabinet: Council of Ministers or Lhengye Zhungtshog members nominated by the monarch in consultation with the prime minister and approved by the National Assembly; members serve 5-year terms
Elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary but can be removed by a two-thirds vote of Parliament; leader of the majority party in Parliament is nominated as the prime minister, appointed by the monarch

Legislative branch
bicameral Parliament or Chi Tshog consists of:
non-partisan National Council or Gyelyong Tshogde (25 seats; 20 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 5 members appointed by the king; members serve 5-year terms)
Judicial branch
Highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and 4 associate justices); note - the Supreme Court has sole jurisdiction in constitutional matters
Judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice appointed by the monarch upon the advice of the National Judicial Commission, a 4-member body to include the Legislative Committee of the National Assembly, the attorney general, the Chief Justice of Bhutan and the senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court; other judges (drangpons) appointed by the monarch from among the High Court judges selected by the National Judicial Commission; chief justice serves a 5-year term or until reaching age 65 years, whichever is earlier; the 4 other judges serve 10-year terms or until age 65, whichever is earlier
Subordinate courts: High Court (first appellate court); District or Dzongkhag Courts; sub-district or Dungkhag Courts

Political parties and leaders:
Bhutan Alliance Party or Druk Thuendrel Tshogpa or DTT (Kinga TSHERING) 
Bhutan Peace and Prosperity Party (Druk Phuensum Tshogpa) or DPT [Dorji WANGDI]
Bhutan Tendrel Party or BTP (Dasho Tema CHEWANG)
People's Democratic Party or PDP [Tshering TOBGAY]
United Party of Bhutan (Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa) or DNT [Lotay TSHERING]

International organization participation: ADB, BIMSTEC, CP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission:
Ambassador (vacant); Chargé d'Affaires Phuntsho NORBU (since October 2022)
note - also the Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN

In the us telephone: [1] (212) 682-2,268
In the us FAX: [1] (212) 661-0551
In the us email address and website:


From the us embassy: none; frequent informal contact is maintained via the US embassy in New Delhi (India) and Bhutan's Permanent Mission to the UN

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; the dragon, called the Druk (Thunder Dragon), is the emblem of the nation; its white color stands for purity and the jewels in its claws symbolize wealth; the background colors represent spiritual and secular powers within Bhutan: the orange is associated with Buddhism, while the yellow denotes the ruling dynasty

National symbols: thunder dragon known as Druk Gyalpo; national colors: orange, yellow

National anthem
Name: "Druk tsendhen" (The Thunder Dragon Kingdom)
Lyrics/music: Gyaldun Dasho Thinley DORJI/Aku TONGMI
Note: adopted 1953

National heritage

Bhutan - Economy 2023
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Economy overview: hydropower investments spurring economic development; Gross National Happiness economy; sharp poverty declines; low inflation; strong monetary and fiscal policies; stable currency; fairly resilient response to COVID-19; key economic and strategic relations with India; climate vulnerabilities

Real gdp purchasing power parity:
$8.481 billion (2021 est.)
$8.148 billion (2020 est.)
$9.054 billion (2019 est.)

Note: data are in 2017 dollars

Real gdp growth rate:
4.09% (2021 est.)
-10.01% (2020 est.)
5.76% (2019 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use
Household consumption: 58% (2017 est.)
Government consumption: 16.8% (2017 est.)
Investment in fixed capital: 47.2% (2017 est.)
Investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.)
Exports of goods and services: 26% (2017 est.)
Imports of goods and services: -48% (2017 est.)

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 16.2% (2017 est.)
Industry: 41.8% (2017 est.)
Services: 42% (2017 est.)

Agriculture products

Industries: cement, wood products, processed fruits, alcoholic beverages, calcium carbide, tourism

Industrial production growth rate: 1.96% (2021 est.)

Labor force: 361,000 (2021 est.)
Note: major shortage of skilled labor
Labor force

Unemployment rate:
4.33% (2021 est.)
3.65% (2020 est.)
2.5% (2019 est.)

Youth unemployment
Rate ages 15 24 total: 18.8% (2021 est.)
Rate ages 15 24 male: 15.6%
Rate ages 15 24 female: 22%

Population below poverty line: 8.2% (2017 est.)

Gini index
Coefficient distribution of family income: 37.4 (2017 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10%: 2.8%
Highest 10%: 30.6% (2012)

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $710 million (2020 est.)
Expenditures: $777 million (2020 est.)
Note: the Government of India finances nearly one-quarter of Bhutan's budget expenditures
Surplus  or deficit: -3.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Public debt:
117.33% of GDP (2020 est.)
97.49% of GDP (2019 est.)
101.19% of GDP (2018 est.)

Taxes and other revenues: 12.98% (of GDP) (2020 est.)

From forest resources: 1.89% of GDP (2018 est.)
From coal: 0% of GDP (2018 est.)

Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June

Current account balance:
-$321.535 million (2021 est.)
-$381.153 million (2020 est.)
-$500.802 million (2019 est.)

Inflation rate consumer prices:
7.35% (2021 est.)
5.63% (2020 est.)
2.73% (2019 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:
-$321.535 million (2021 est.)
-$381.153 million (2020 est.)
-$500.802 million (2019 est.)

$741.602 million (2021 est.)
$786.681 million (2020 est.)
$777.529 million (2019 est.)

Note: Data are in current year dollars and do not include illicit exports or re-exports.
Partners: India 94% (2019)
Commodities: iron alloys, dolomite, aircraft, cement, gypsum (2021)

$1.027 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$1.188 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$1.23 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

Partners: India 85%, Thailand 5% (2019)
Commodities: refined petroleum, iron products, delivery trucks, cars, wood charcoal (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$1.056 billion (31 December 2021 est.)
$1.473 billion (31 December 2020 est.)
$1.238 billion (31 December 2019 est.)

Debt external:
$2.671 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.355 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates:
ngultrum (BTN) per US dollar - 73.939 (2021 est.)
74.1 (2020 est.)
70.42 (2019 est.)
68.389 (2018 est.)
65.122 (2017 est.)

Bhutan - Energy 2023
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Electricity access
Electrification-total population: 100% (2021)

Electricity production

Electricity consumption: 4.315 billion kWh (2019 est.)

Electricity exports: 4.6 billion kWh (2019 est.)

Electricity imports: 22.85 million kWh (2019 est.)

Electricity installed generating capacity: 2.334 million kW (2020 est.)

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources
Fossil fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Solar: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Wind: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Hydroelectricity: 100% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)
Biomass and waste: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Total petroleum production: 0 bbl/day (2021 est.)
Refined petroleum consumption: 4,400 bbl/day (2019 est.)
Crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
Crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
Crude oil estimated reserves: 0 barrels (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum
Products production: 0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Products exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Products imports: 3,120 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Natural gas
Production: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)
Consumption: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)
Exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)
Imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)
Proven reserves: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions: 934,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)
From coal and metallurgical coke: 328,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)
From petroleum and other liquids: 606,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)
From consumed natural gas: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

Energy consumption per capita: 100.135 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

Bhutan - Communication 2023
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Telephones fixed lines
Total subscriptions: 19,566 (2022 est.)
Subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 3 (2021 est.)

Telephones mobile cellular
Total subscriptions: 778,008 (2021 est.)
Subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 100 (2021 est.)

Telephone system

Broadcast media: state-owned TV station established in 1999; cable TV service offers dozens of Indian and other international channels; first radio station, privately launched in 1973, is now state-owned; 5 private radio stations are currently broadcasting (2012)

Internet country code: .bt

Internet users
Total: 670,800 (2021 est.)
Percent of population: 86% (2021 est.)

Broadband fixed subscriptions
Total: 3,189 (2020 est.)
Subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 0.4 (2020 est.)

Bhutan - Military 2023
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces:
Royal Bhutan Army (includes Royal Bodyguard and an air wing); National Militia

Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs: Royal Bhutan Police (2023)

Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for voluntary military service for men and women; no conscription; militia training is compulsory for males aged 20-25, over a 3-year period (2023)
Note: in 2021, the Royal Bhutan Army graduated from a year-long training course the first batch of 150 women to be allowed to serve in combat roles; previously, women were allowed to serve in medical and other non-combat roles

Terrorist groups

Bhutan - Transportation 2023
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National air transport system
Number of registered air carriers: 2 (2020)
Inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 6
Annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 275,849 (2018)
Annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 690,000 (2018) mt-km

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix: A5

Airports: 3 (2021)
With paved runways: 2
With paved runways note: paved runways have a concrete or asphalt surface but not all have facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control; the length of a runway required for aircraft to safely operate depends on a number of factors including the type of aircraft, the takeoff weight (including passengers, cargo, and fuel), engine types, flap settings, landing speed, elevation of the airport, and average maximum daily air temperature; paved runways can reach a length of 5,000 m (16,000 ft.), but the “typical” length of a commercial airline runway is between 2,500-4,000 m (8,000-13,000 ft.)
With unpaved runways: 1
With unpaved runways note: unpaved runways have a surface composition such as grass or packed earth and are most suited to the operation of light aircraft; unpaved runways are usually short, often less than 1,000 m (3,280 ft.) in length; airports with unpaved runways often lack facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control

Airports with paved runways: 2
Note: paved runways have a concrete or asphalt surface but not all have facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control; the length of a runway required for aircraft to safely operate depends on a number of factors including the type of aircraft, the takeoff weight (including passengers, cargo, and fuel), engine types, flap settings, landing speed, elevation of the airport, and average maximum daily air temperature; paved runways can reach a length of 5,000 m (16,000 ft.), but the “typical” length of a commercial airline runway is between 2,500-4,000 m (8,000-13,000 ft.)

Airports with unpaved runways: 1
Note: unpaved runways have a surface composition such as grass or packed earth and are most suited to the operation of light aircraft; unpaved runways are usually short, often less than 1,000 m (3,280 ft.) in length; airports with unpaved runways often lack facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control




Total: 12,205 km (2017)
Paved: (2017)
Unpaved: (2017)
Urban: 437 km (2017)


Merchant marine

Ports and terminals

Bhutan - Transnational issues 2023
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Disputes international:
Bhutan-China: lacking any treaty describing the boundary, Bhutan and China continue negotiations to establish a common boundary alignment to resolve territorial disputes arising from substantial cartographic discrepancies, the most contentious of which lie in Bhutan's west along China’s Chumbi salient

Bhutan-India: none identified

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

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