Bhutan Demography

The census is a controversial issue. According to what is currently declared by the government, it did not exceed 800,000 people, on the other hand, it was estimated more than 2,000,000 people with other censuses. The reason given is the fear that a country with a small population would not be admitted to the UN. On the other hand, there are complaints from the population of Nepalese origin, since they say that the decrease in the census is due to the fact that it does not take into account a large part of the population of this origin. The population is concentrated mainly in the cultivable valleys, in the southern areas, and in the towns and cities.

The peoples of the country called entirely Bhutanese belong to the Tibetan culture, especially the people of the west are even more related, who are the hegemonic ones called Buthia. The peoples of the east are called Sharchops (orientals) the western group is called Ngalop. Both peoples practice Tibetan Buddhism but in the west the Drukpa Kagyu Buddhist school is followed, which is the official one and in the east the Nygmapa.The rest of the population is originally from Nepal, who are mainly Hindu (with a small Muslim minority) that inhabit the lower regions of the South, the Lhotschampa.


According to andyeducation, the national language is Dzongkha. The government classifies the 19 related Tibetan languages as Dzongkha dialects. Tshangla, closely related to Dzongkha, is spoken in eastern areas. Nepali is spoken in the Southwest. English also has the rank of official language.


Bhutan is one of the most isolated countries in the world, there are many regions of the country where tourism is restricted to keep the local culture intact. In contrast, Bhutan is a destination only for package tours, the government tries to limit entry only to tourists who are willing to spend more than $ 100 a day. Bhutan has its own typical architecture that is represented by its fortresses called Dzong. The literacy rate is 42.4%. In 1999 television arrived and since 2004 the sale of tobacco has been prohibited. Almost all the holidays, being of Buddhist or Hindu tradition, are fixed by the lunar or solar calendar, so they do not have an exact correspondence with the western calendar.


The country’s economy is primarily agricultural. The main crops are rice, wheat, corn, fruits and vegetables. In mountainous areas, farmers raise herds of cattle and yaks. The government has established development plans to promote the sustainable exploitation of the country’s resources, including all forests and mining. The industry is limited to food processing, handicrafts and textiles, all for internal consumption. The hydroelectric energy that is exported to India is important. The main source of foreign exchange comes from tourism, although it is very limited.

The issuance of postage stamps, mainly intended for collectors, is also an important source of income for its economy. Bhutan’s economy is one of the smallest in the world, based on subsistence agriculture and livestock for more than 90% of the population. Its currency is the ngultrum, divided into 100 chetrum and convertible in official banks. There are two banks with branches throughout the country but there are no ATMs. The economy is closely aligned with India and its main commercial link is established with this country, with which strong links of economic and financial dependency have been established.

Bhutan’s hydroelectric potential and its appeal to tourists are its dominant resources. Model education and socialization programs are under development with the help of international development organizations. But every economic program is based on the government’s desire to protect the environment and the country’s cultural traditions. Television arrived in the year 2000 in this country. The mountainous orography dominates the terrain, making any road or building infrastructure difficult and expensive, the roads are not very good.

There is no railway line in the whole country, so the means to move quickly to the most important cities is by using the services of domestic flights in small planes. The entry of foreign visitors to the country was not authorized until the 70s. However, tourism is still very restricted since it must be within the framework of organized trips and there is a daily rate for tourists of 200 dollars. The country’s currency is the ngultrum, which has the same value as the Indian rupee.


The winter monsoon from the southwest brings heavy blizzards, snowfalls are common up to 3,000 m and heavy storms occur. Average annual rainfall is generally high, ranging from 1,520 mm in the mountain valleys to 5,080 mm in the southern plain. The temperature varies according to the height. In Thimbu, at 2,200 m, it varies between 15 ° C to 26 ° C during the summer monsoon but drops in January to -4 ° C to 16 ° C. Centuries of economic isolation, scarce population and an inaccessible geography have led to the country having one of the most intact ecosystems in the world. About 550 types of plants can be found, including 300 medicinal ones. 65% of the surface is covered with forests.

Bhutan Demography