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Bhutan Facts
• Introduction
• People
• Government
• Communications
• Transportation
• Military
• Transnational Issues

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Introduction Bhutan
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 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 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. 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. A referendum date has yet to be named, but should occur in 2008. 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.
People Bhutan
Population:
2,327,849
note: other estimates range as low as 810,000 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 38.6% (male 465,340/female 433,184)
15-64 years: 57.4% (male 688,428/female 647,134)
65 years and over: 4% (male 47,123/female 46,640) (2007 est.)
Median age:
total: 20.5 years
male: 20.4 years
female: 20.7 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:
2.082% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:
33.28 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:
12.46 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.074 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.064 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.01 male(s)/female
total population: 1.066 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 96.37 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 94.09 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 98.77 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 55.17 years
male: 55.38 years
female: 54.96 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:
4.67 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
less than 100 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA
Nationality:
noun: 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%
Religions:
Lamaistic Buddhist 75%, Indian- and Nepalese-influenced Hinduism 25%
Languages:
Dzongkha (official), Bhotes speak various Tibetan dialects, Nepalese speak various Nepalese dialects
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 47%
male: 60%
female: 34% (2003 est.)
Government Bhutan
Country name:
conventional long form: Kingdom of Bhutan
conventional short form: Bhutan
local long form: Druk Gyalkhap
local short form: Druk Yul
Government type:
absolute monarchy; special treaty relationship with India; note - transition to a constitutional monarchy is expected in 2008
Capital:
name: Thimphu
geographic coordinates: 27 28 N, 89 39 E
time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
20 districts (dzongkhag, singular and plural); Bumthang, Chhukha, Chirang, Daga, Gasa, Geylegphug, Ha, Lhuntshi, Mongar, Paro, Pemagatsel, Punakha, Samchi, Samdrup Jongkhar, Shemgang, Tashigang, Tashi Yangtse, Thimphu, Tongsa, Wangdi Phodrang
Independence:
8 August 1949 (from India)
National holiday:
National Day (Ugyen WANGCHUCK became first hereditary king), 17 December (1907)
Constitution:
none; note - a draft constitution was unveiled in March 2005 and is expected to be adopted following the election of a new National Assembly in 2008
Legal system:
based on Indian law and English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
each family has one vote in village-level elections
Executive branch:
chief of state: King Jigme Khesar Namgyel WANGCHUCK (since 14 December 2006); note - King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK abdicated the throne on 14 December 2006 and his son immediately succeeded him
head of government: Prime Minister Khandu WANGCHUK (since 7 September 2006)
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; election of a new National Assembly is expected in 2008
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: first election to be held in 2008; note - local elections last held August 2005 (next to be held in 2008); elections results - NA
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court of Appeal (the monarch); High Court (judges appointed by the monarch)
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)
International organization participation:
AsDB, BIMSTEC, CP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OPCW, SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:
none; note - the Permanent Mission to the UN for Bhutan has consular jurisdiction in the US; address: 2 United Nations Plaza, 27th Floor, New York, NY 10017; telephone [1] (212) 826-1919; FAX [1] (212) 826-2998
consulate(s) general: New York
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)
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
Communications Bhutan
Telephones - main lines in use:
32,700 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
37,800 (2005)
Telephone system:
general assessment: telecommunications facilities are poor
domestic: very low teledensity; domestic service is very poor especially in rural areas; wireless service available since 2003
international: country code - 975; international telephone and telegraph service via landline and microwave relay through India; satellite earth station - 1 (2005)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 0, FM 9, shortwave 1 (2006)
Radios:
37,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (2006)
Televisions:
11,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
.bt
Internet hosts:
7,567 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
NA
Internet users:
25,000 (2005)
Transportation Bhutan
Airports:
2 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2006)
Roadways:
total: 8,050 km
paved: 4,991 km
unpaved: 3,059 km (2003)
Military Bhutan
Military branches:
Royal Bhutan Army: Royal Bodyguard, Royal Bhutan Police (2005)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2001)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 483,860
females age 18-49: 453,683 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 314,975
females age 18-49: 296,833 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males age 18-49: 23,939
females age 18-49: 21,979 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$8.29 million (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1% (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues Bhutan
Disputes - international:
over 100,000 Bhutanese Lhotshampas (Hindus) have been confined in seven UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees camps since 1990; Bhutan cooperates with India to expel Indian Nagaland separatists; lacking any treaty describing the boundary, Bhutan and China continue negotiations to establish a boundary alignment to resolve substantial cartographic discrepancies, the largest of which lies in Bhutan's northwest

This page was last updated on 17 April, 2007


 

Source: CIA World Factbook










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