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Bhutan Country Guide

Explore Bhutan in Asia

Bhutan with the capital city Thimphu is located in Asia (Southern Asia, between China and India). It covers some 47,000 square kilometres (about one-half the size of Indiana) with 2,376,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Bhutan

The topography includes mostly mountainous with some fertile valleys and savanna. The average density of population is approximately 51 per km². The notable climate conditions in Bhutan can be described as varies with tropical in southern plains, cool winters and hot summers in central valleys and severe winters and cool summers in Himalayas. Possible natural disasters include violent storms from the Himalayas are the source of the country's name, which translates as Land of the Thunder Dragon or frequent landslides during the rainy season.

To reach someone in Bhutan dial +975 prior to a number. There are 26,300 installed telephones. And there are 327,100 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900 MHz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".bt". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 230V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Bhutan

Bhutan Flag Icon

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; the dragon, called the Druk (Thunder Dragon), is the emblem of the nation; its white color stands for purity and the jewels in its claws symbolize wealth; the background colors represent spiritual and secular powers within Bhutan: the orange is associated with Buddhism, while the yellow denotes the ruling dynasty.

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 to Bhutan the areas annexed by the British, formalized the annual subsidies the country received, and defined India's responsibilities in defense and foreign relations. In March 2005, King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK unveiled the government''s draft constitution - which introduced major democratic reforms - and pledged to hold a national referendum for its approval. In December 2006, the King abdicated the throne in favor of 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. Elections for seating the country''s first parliament were completed in March 2008; the king ratified the country''s first constitution in July 2008. The disposition of some 43,000 Bhutanese refugees - housed in two UN refugee camps in Nepal - remains unresolved.

Geography Quick-Facts

SummaryContinent: Asia
Neighbours: China, India
Capital: Thimphu
Size47,000 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 18,146 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
about one-half the size of Indiana
CurrencyName Ngultrum, Currency Code:BTN
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD).bt
Telephone Country Prefix+975
Mobile Phone Connections327,100
Landline Phone Connections26,300

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Area38,394 (sq km)137

People and Society

Value nameValueWorld Rank
Population725,296 165
Population growth rate1.15 (%)101
Birth rate18.43 (births/1,000 population)104
Death rate6.88 (deaths/1,000 population)136
Maternal mortality rate180.00 (deaths/100,000 live births)58
Infant mortality rate39.97 (deaths/1,000 live births)57
Life expectancy at birth68.44 (years)159
Total fertility rate2.07 (children born/woman)118
Health expenditures5.20 (% of GDP)134
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.20 (%)96
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS1,000 142
HIV/AIDS - deaths100 125
Obesity - adult prevalence rate5.30 (%)154
Children under the age of 5 years underweight12.70 (%)59
Education expenditures4.70 (% of GDP)83
Unemployment, youth ages 15-249.40 (%)109


Value nameValueWorld Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity)5,036,000,000 171
GDP - real growth rate9.70 (%)12
GDP - per capita (PPP)6,800 142
Labor force299,900 165
Unemployment rate4.00 (%)31
Taxes and other revenues26.50 (% of GDP)110
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-1.30 (% of GDP)67
Public debt64.00 (% of GDP)42
Inflation rate (consumer prices)8.30 (%)185
Commercial bank prime lending rate14.50 (%)50
Stock of narrow money423,300,000 163
Stock of broad money1,018,000,000 169
Stock of domestic credit185,100,000 182
Current account balance-312,100,000 83
Exports725,200,000 166
Imports1,280,000,000 174
Debt - external1,275,000,000 151


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Electricity - production6,826,000,000 (kWh)105
Electricity - consumption1,161,000,000 (kWh)150
Electricity - exports5,500,000,000 (kWh)28
Electricity - imports20,000,000 (kWh)105
Electricity - installed generating capacity1,505,000 (kW)112
Electricity - from fossil fuels1.10 (% of total installed capacity)205
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants98.90 (% of total installed capacity)5
Refined petroleum products - consumption1,719 (bbl/day)194
Refined petroleum products - imports1,590 (bbl/day)185
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy276,300 (Mt)192


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Telephones - main lines in use27,500 181
Telephones - mobile cellular484,200 167
Internet hosts14,590 126
Internet users50,000 174


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Airports2 198
Roadways8,050 (km)140


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Military expenditures1.00 (% of GDP)126

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

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