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Bhutan (2003)

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Bhutan 2003 year

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

note: there may be two new districts named Gasa and Yangtse
Age structure 0-14 years: 39.6% (male 438,784; female 407,919)

15-64 years: 56.4% (male 621,666; female 585,550)

65 years and over: 4% (male 43,262; female 42,368) (2003 est.)
Agriculture - products rice, corn, root crops, citrus, foodgrains; dairy products, eggs
Airports 2 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways total: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2002)
Area total: 47,000 sq km

land: 47,000 sq km

water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative about half the size of Indiana
Background In 1865, Britain and Bhutan signed the Treaty of Sinchulu, under which Bhutan would receive an annual subsidy in exchange for ceding some border land. Under British influence, a monarchy was set up 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. This role was assumed by independent India after 1947. Two years later, a formal Indo-Bhutanese accord returned the areas of Bhutan annexed by the British, formalized the annual subsidies the country received, and defined India's responsibilities in defense and foreign relations. A refugee issue of some 100,000 Bhutanese in Nepal remains unresolved; 90% of the refugees 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 34.82 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Budget revenues: $146 million

expenditures: $152 million, including capital expenditures of NA

note: the government of India finances nearly three-fifths of Bhutan's budget expenditures (FY95/96 est.)
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 - the King commissioned a committee to draft a constitution in 2001, but has yet to be approved
Country name conventional long form: Kingdom of Bhutan

conventional short form: Bhutan
Currency ngultrum (BTN); Indian rupee (INR)
Death rate 13.47 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Debt - external $245 million (2000)
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 approximately 100,000 Bhutanese refugees living in Nepal, 90% of whom reside in seven UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees camps, place decades-long strains on Nepal
Economic aid - recipient substantial aid from India and other nations
Economy - overview The economy, one of the world's smallest and least developed, is based on agriculture and forestry, providing 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 and dependence on India's financial assistance. 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 government has made some progress in expanding the nation's productive base and improving social welfare. Model education, social, and environment programs 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 379.5 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports 1.4 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports 16 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - production 1.896 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel: 0.1%

hydro: 99.9%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (2001)
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% (includes Lhotsampas--one of several Nepalese ethnic groups), indigenous or migrant tribes 15%
Exchange rates ngultrum per US dollar - 48.61 (2002), 47.19 (2001), 44.94 (2000), 43.06 (1999), 41.26 (1998)
Executive branch chief of state: King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK (since 24 July 1972)

head of government: Chairman of the Council of Ministers Lyonpo Jigme Y. THINLEY (since 30 August 2003)

cabinet: 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

elections: none; the monarch is hereditary, but democratic reforms in July 1998 grant the National Assembly authority to remove the monarch with two-thirds vote
Exports 1.4 billion kWh (2001)
Exports $154 million f.o.b. (2000 est.)
Exports NA (2001)
Exports - commodities electricity (to India), cardamom, gypsum, timber, handicrafts, cement, fruit, precious stones, spices
Exports - partners US 24.1%, UK 23.9%, Pakistan 23.1%, France 13.9% (2002)
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 - $2.7 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 45%

industry: 10%

services: 45% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $1,300 (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 7.7% (2002 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: 3,690 km

paved: 2,240 km

unpaved: 1,450 km (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%
Imports 16 million kWh (2001)
Imports $196 million c.i.f. (2000 est.)
Imports NA (2001)
Imports - commodities fuel and lubricants, grain, machinery and parts, vehicles, fabrics, rice
Imports - partners Japan 44.5%, Germany 12.2%, UK 8.5%, Singapore 6%, South Korea 5%, US 4.2% (2002)
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 total: 104.68 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 102.49 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 106.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 3% (2002 est.)
International organization participation AsDB, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IMF, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, NAM, OPCW (signatory), SAARC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WTrO (observer)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) NA
Irrigated land 400 sq km (1998 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Court of Appeal (the monarch); High Court (judges appointed by the monarch)
Labor force NA

note: 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: 2.98%

permanent crops: 0.43%

other: 96.59% (1998 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)

elections: local elections last held November 2002 (next to be held NA 2005)

election results: NA
Life expectancy at birth total population: 53.58 years

male: 53.9 years

female: 53.25 years (2003 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 42.2%

male: 56.2%

female: 28.1% (1995 est.)
Location Southern Asia, between China and India
Map references Asia
Maritime claims none (landlocked)
Military branches Royal Bhutan Army, Royal Bodyguard, National Militia, Royal Bhutan Police, Forest Guards
Military expenditures - dollar figure $9.3 million (FY02)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1.9% (FY02)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49: 530,860 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 283,493 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - military age 18 years of age (2003 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males: 22,755 (2003 est.)
National holiday National Day (Ugyen WANGCHUCK became first hereditary king), 17 December (1907)
Nationality noun: Bhutanese (singular and plural)

adjective: Bhutanese
Natural hazards violent storms 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 (2003 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 2,139,549

note: other estimates range as low as 810,000 (July 2003 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 2.14% (2003 est.)
Ports and harbors none
Radio broadcast stations AM 0, FM 1, shortwave 1 (1998)
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: 1.02 male(s)/female

total population: 1.07 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Suffrage each family has one vote in village-level elections
Telephone system general assessment: NA

domestic: domestic telephone service is very poor with few telephones in use

international: 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 4.94 children born/woman (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate NA%
Waterways none
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