Bhutan

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

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. In 1907, Bhutan became a unified kingdom under its first hereditary king. In 1949, the Treaty of Friendship with India established Bhutanese independence.

Geography

Area

total: 38,394 sq km

land: 38,394 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Climate

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

Natural resources

timber, hydropower, gypsum, calcium carbonate

People and Society

Population

867,775 (2022 est.)

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.)

Population growth rate

0.97% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

constitutional monarchy

Capital

name: Thimphu

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)

Legislative branch

description: 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)
National Assembly or Tshogdu (47 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies in a two-round majoritarian voting system; members serve 5-year terms)

Economy

Economic 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)

$8.42 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$10,900 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

milk, rice, maize, potatoes, roots/tubers, oranges, areca nuts, chillies/peppers, spices, ginger

Industries

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

Exports

$790 million (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

India 94% (2019)

Exports - commodities

iron alloys, dolomite, refined iron, cement, silicon carbides (2019)

Imports

$1.19 billion (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

India 85%, Thailand 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, iron products, delivery trucks, cars, wood charcoal (2019)


Page last updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2022