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Bhutan (2001)

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Bhutan 2001 year

Administrative divisions 18 districts (dzongkhag, singular and plural); Bumthang, Chhukha, Chirang, Daga, Geylegphug, Ha, Lhuntshi, Mongar, Paro, Pemagatsel, Punakha, Samchi, Samdrup Jongkhar, Shemgang, Tashigang, Thimphu, Tongsa, Wangdi Phodrang

there may be two new districts named Gasa and Yangtse
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.)
Agriculture - products rice, corn, root crops, citrus, foodgrains; dairy products, eggs
Airports 2 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total:

1,524 to 2,437 m:
1 (2000 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total:

914 to 1,523 m:
1 (2000 est.)
Area total:
47,000 sq km

47,000 sq km

0 sq km
Area - comparative about half the size of Indiana
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.
Birth rate 35.73 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Budget revenues:
$146 million

$152 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY95/96 est.)

the government of India finances nearly three-fifths of Bhutan's budget expenditures
Capital Thimphu
Climate varies; tropical in southern plains; cool winters and hot summers in central valleys; severe winters and cool summers in Himalayas
Coastline 0 km (landlocked)
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
Country name conventional long form:
Kingdom of Bhutan

conventional short form:
Currency ngultrum (BTN); Indian rupee (INR)
Death rate 14.03 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Debt - external $120 million (1998)
Diplomatic representation 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)
Diplomatic representation in the US none; note - Bhutan has a Permanent Mission to the UN; address: 2 United Nations Plaza, 27th Floor, New York, NY 10017; telephone [1] (212) 826-1919; the Bhutanese mission to the UN has consular jurisdiction in the US

consulate(s) general:
New York
Disputes - international refugee issue over the presence in Nepal of approximately 98,700 Bhutanese refugees, 90% of whom are in seven United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) camps
Economic aid - recipient $73.8 million (1995)
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.
Electricity - consumption 191.1 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports 1.55 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports 15 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - production 1.856 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel:



0% (1999)
Elevation extremes lowest point:
Drangme Chhu 97 m

highest point:
Kula Kangri 7,553 m
Environment - current issues soil erosion; limited access to potable water
Environment - international agreements party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Nuclear Test Ban

signed, but not ratified:
Law of the Sea
Ethnic groups Bhote 50%, ethnic Nepalese 35%, indigenous or migrant tribes 15%
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
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)

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

none; the monarch is hereditary, but democratic reforms in July 1998 give the National Assembly authority to remove the monarch with two-thirds vote
Exports 1.55 billion kWh (1999)
Exports $154 million (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
Exports - commodities cardamom, gypsum, timber, handicrafts, cement, fruit, electricity (to India), precious stones, spices
Exports - partners India 94%, Bangladesh
Fiscal year 1 July - 30 June
Flag description 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
GDP purchasing power parity - $2.3 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture:


25% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $1,100 (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 6% (2000 est.)
Geographic coordinates 27 30 N, 90 30 E
Geography - note landlocked; strategic location between China and India; controls several key Himalayan mountain passes
Highways total:
3,285 km

1,994 km

1,291 km (1996)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%:

highest 10%:
Imports 15 million kWh (1999)
Imports $269 million (c.i.f., 2000 est.)
Imports - commodities fuel and lubricants, grain, machinery and parts, vehicles, fabrics, rice
Imports - partners India 77%, Japan, UK, Germany, US
Independence 8 August 1949 (from India)
Industrial production growth rate 9.3% (1996 est.)
Industries cement, wood products, processed fruits, alcoholic beverages, calcium carbide
Infant mortality rate 108.89 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 7% (2000 est.)
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)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) NA
Irrigated land 340 sq km (1993 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Court of Appeal (the monarch); High Court (judges appointed by the monarch)
Labor force NA

massive lack of skilled labor
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 93%, services 5%, industry and commerce 2%
Land boundaries total:
1,075 km

border countries:
China 470 km, India 605 km
Land use arable land:

permanent crops:

permanent pastures:

forests and woodland:

26% (1993 est.)
Languages Dzongkha (official), Bhotes speak various Tibetan dialects, Nepalese speak various Nepalese dialects
Legal system based on Indian law and English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Legislative branch unicameral National Assembly or Tshogdu (150 seats; 105 elected from village constituencies, 10 represent religious bodies, and 35 are designated by the monarch to represent government and other secular interests; members serve three-year terms)

last held NA (next to be held NA)

election results:
Life expectancy at birth total population:
52.79 years

53.16 years

52.41 years (2001 est.)
Literacy definition:
age 15 and over can read and write

total population:


28.1% (1995 est.)
Location Southern Asia, between China and India
Map references Asia
Maritime claims none (landlocked)
Military branches Royal Bhutan Army, National Militia, Royal Bhutan Police, Royal Body Guards, Forest Guards (paramilitary)
Military expenditures - dollar figure $NA
Military expenditures - percent of GDP NA%
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49:
504,342 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49:
269,251 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - military age 18 years of age
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males:
21,167 (2001 est.)
National holiday National Day (Ugyen WANGCHUCK became first hereditary king), 17 December (1907)
Nationality noun:
Bhutanese (singular and plural)

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
Natural resources timber, hydropower, gypsum, calcium carbide
Net migration rate 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Political parties and leaders no legal parties
Political pressure groups and leaders Buddhist clergy; ethnic Nepalese organizations leading militant antigovernment campaign; Indian merchant community; United Front for Democracy (exiled)
Population 2,049,412 (July 2001 est.)

other estimates range as low as 800,000
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 2.17% (2001 est.)
Ports and harbors none
Radio broadcast stations AM 0, FM 1, shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios 37,000 (1997)
Railways 0 km
Religions Lamaistic Buddhist 75%, Indian- and Nepalese-influenced Hinduism 25%
Sex ratio at birth:
1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years:
1.08 male(s)/female

15-64 years:
1.06 male(s)/female

65 years and over:
1.03 male(s)/female

total population:
1.07 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Suffrage each family has one vote in village-level elections
Telephone system general assessment:

domestic telephone service is very poor with few telephones in use

international telephone and telegraph service is by landline through India; a satellite earth station was planned (1990)
Telephones - main lines in use 6,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular NA
Television broadcast stations 0 (1997)
Terrain mostly mountainous with some fertile valleys and savanna
Total fertility rate 5.07 children born/woman (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate NA%
Waterways none
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