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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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People And Society

Bhutanese (singular and plural)
Adjective Bhutanese

Ethnic groups
Bhote 50%, ethnic Nepalese 35% (includes Lhotsampas - one of several Nepalese ethnic groups), indigenous or migrant tribes 15%

Sharchhopka 28%, Dzongkha (official) 24%, Lhotshamkha 22%, other 26%

Lamaistic Buddhist 75%, Indian- and Nepalese-influenced Hinduism 25%

Population World Ranking: 165
716,896 (July 2012 est.)
The Factbook population estimate is consistent with the first modern census of Bhutan, conducted in 2005; previous Factbook population estimates for this country, which were on the order of three times the total population reported here, were based on Bhutanese government publications that did not include the census

Age structure
0-14 years
28.9% (male 104,622/female 100,383)
15-64 years
65.3% (male 245,054/female 217,864)
65 years and over
5.7% (male 21,347/female 19,157) (2011 est.)

Median age
Total 25.3 years
Male 25.9 years
Female 24.7 years (2012 est.)

Population growth rate World Ranking: 100
1.175% (2012 est.)

Birth rate World Ranking: 103
18.75 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death rate World Ranking: 133
6.99 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Net migration rate World Ranking: 78
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Urban population 35% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization
3.7% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population
THIMPHU (capital) 89,000 (2009)

Sex ratio
At birth 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years 1.12 male(s)/female
65 years and over 1.11 male(s)/female
Total population 1.1 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate World Ranking: 58
180 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate World Ranking: 56
Total 42.17 deaths/1,000 live births
Male 42.82 deaths/1,000 live births
41.49 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth World Ranking: 158
Total population 67.88 years
Male 67.01 years
Female 68.79 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate World Ranking: 109
2.13 children born/woman (2012 est.)

Health expenditures World Ranking: 128
5.5% of GDP (2009)

Physicians density
0.023 physicians/1,000 population (2007)

Hospital bed density
1.7 beds/1,000 population (2006)

Hiv/aids - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 101
0.2% (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - people living with hiv/aids World Ranking: 139
Fewer than 1,000 (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - deaths World Ranking: 146
Fewer than 100 (2009 est.)

Major infectious diseases
Degree of risk Intermediate
Food or waterborne diseases
Bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne diseases Dengue fever and malaria
Water contact disease Leptospirosis (2009)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight World Ranking: 60
12% (2008)

Education expenditures World Ranking: 68
4.8% of GDP (2008)

Age 15 and over can read and write
Total population 47%
Male 60%
Female 34% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
Total 11 years
Male 11 years
Female 11 years (2008)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 World Ranking: 120
Total 6.3%
Male 5.5%
Female 7.2% (2005)


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  Bhutan (Thimphu):

  GPS points from Bhutan (Thimphu)

Pemagatsel Dzongkhag Pemagatshel Dzongkhag

Kula Gangri Bhutan (general)

Donga Pass Bhutan (general)

Shabling Lhuentse Dzongkhag

Daphu Chhukha Dzongkhag

Phunchholing Chhukha

Tungka La Pemagatshel Dzongkhag

Demtsi Mongar Dzongkhag
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