Country Summary



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.



total: 38,394 sq km
land: 38,394 sq km
water: 0 sq km


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


876,181 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

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


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


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

Population growth rate

0.96% (2023 est.)


Government type

constitutional monarchy


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 system; in the primary round, contesting political parties are directly selected by simple majority vote; in the main round, the two top parties in the primary round field candidates who are directly elected by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)


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)

$8.481 billion (2021 est.)
$8.148 billion (2020 est.)
$9.054 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$10,900 (2021 est.)
$10,500 (2020 est.)
$11,800 (2019 est.)

Agricultural products

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


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


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

Exports - partners

India 94% (2019)

Exports - commodities

iron alloys, dolomite, aircraft, cement, gypsum (2021)


$1.027 billion (2021 est.)
$1.188 billion (2020 est.)
$1.23 billion (2019 est.)

Imports - partners

India 85%, Thailand 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

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

Exchange rates

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

Page last updated: Wednesday, February 21, 2024