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North America
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Administrative divisions (GPS Maps)


People and Society






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 to British India. 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 over 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. In March 2005, King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK unveiled the government's draft constitution - which would introduce major democratic reforms - and pledged to hold a national referendum for its approval. In December 2006, the King abdicated the throne to his son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel WANGCHUCK, in order to give him experience as head of state before the democratic transition. In early 2007, India and Bhutan renegotiated their treaty to allow Bhutan greater autonomy in conducting its foreign policy, although Thimphu continues to coordinate policy decisions in this area with New Delhi. In July 2007, seven ministers of Bhutan's 10-member cabinet resigned to join the political process, and the cabinet acted as a caretaker regime until democratic elections for seats to the country's first parliament were completed in March 2008. The king ratified the country's first constitution in July 2008.


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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 40% 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. 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. For example, the government, in its cautious expansion of the tourist sector, encourages visits by upscale, environmentally conscientious tourists. Complicated controls and uncertain policies in areas such as industrial licensing, trade, labor, and finance continue to hamper foreign investment. Hydropower exports to India have boosted Bhutan's overall growth. New hydropower projects will be the driving force behind Bhutan's ability to create employment and sustain growth in the coming years.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 170
$4.342 billion (2011 est.)
$4.101 billion (2010 est.)
$3.708 billion (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$1.488 billion (2011 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 49
5.9% (2011 est.)
10.6% (2010 est.)
6.7% (2009 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 138
$6,200 (2011 est.)
$5,900 (2010 est.)
$5,300 (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 16.7%
Industry 45.4%
Services 37.9% (2011 est.)

Labor force World Ranking: 165
Major shortage of skilled labor (2008)

Labor force - by occupation
Agriculture 43.7%
Industry 39.1%
Services 17.2% (2004 est.)

Unemployment rate World Ranking: 34
4% (2009)
2.5% (2004)

Population below poverty line
23.2% (2008)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% 2.3%
Highest 10% 37.6% (2003)

Revenues $644.9 million
Expenditures $730.7 million
The government of India finances nearly three-fifths of Bhutan's budget expenditures (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 34
43.3% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) World Ranking: 171
-5.8% of GDP (2011 est.)

Public debt World Ranking: 26
78.9% of GDP (FY 10/11 est.)
57.8% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 167
7.7% (2011 est.)
7.1% (2010 est.)

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate World Ranking: 47
14.5% (31 December 2011 est.)
14.5% (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of narrow money World Ranking: 156
$623.7 million (31 December 2011 est.)
$418.7 million (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of broad money World Ranking: 167
$1.018 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$723.3 million (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit World Ranking: 179
$235.7 million (31 December 2011 est.)
$218.7 million (31 December 2010 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

Agriculture - products
Rice, corn, root crops, citrus; dairy products, eggs

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

Industrial production growth rate

Electricity - production World Ranking: 140
1.48 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 182
184 million kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - exports
1.296 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - imports
5.693 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 154
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 200
1,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 137
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 184
1,549 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 108
0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 155
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 154
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 64
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 158
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 153
0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current account balance World Ranking: 80
-$175 million (2011 est.)
-$187.8 million (2010 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 168
$544.5 million (2010 est.)
$509.4 million (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities
Electricity (to India), ferrosilicon, cement, calcium carbide, copper wire, manganese, vegetable oil

Imports World Ranking: 181
$843.3 million (2010 est.)
$620.8 million (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities
Fuel and lubricants, passenger cars, machinery and parts, fabrics, rice

Debt - external World Ranking: 148
$1.275 billion (2011)
$836 million (2009)

Exchange rates
Ngultrum (BTN) per US dollar -
46.67 (2011 est.)
45.73 (2010 est.)
41.487 (2007)

Fiscal year
1 July - 30 June


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  Bhutan (Thimphu):

  GPS points from Bhutan (Thimphu)

Yuwak Wangdue Phodrang Dzongkhag

Lobnig Chhukha Dzongkhag

Dewangiri Samdrup Jongkhar

Thumgaon Tsirang Dzongkhag

Sakden Trashigang Dzongkhag

Tashi Chho Dzong Thimphu Dzongkhag

Wagya La Bhutan (general)

Kuru Chu Bhutan (general)
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