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Bhutan Main Page

 

The People of Bhutan  

The official estimate of Bhutan's population in 1990 was about 600,000 but other sources estimate the population for 2000 was just under 2 million.  Those living in Bhutan of Nepali origin have been excluded from the official census since 1990 which results in such a large discrepancy in population numbers.

Bhutan has four major ethic groups: Bhutia, Sharchops, Nepali, and other indigenous groups.  The Bhutia, who are descended from Tibetans, live in the central and northern regions of Bhutan.  This ethnic group basically dominates politics in Bhutan particularly with it's contribution of government officials and monks that come from it.

Believed to be Bhutan's earliest settlers, the Sharchops live in the southeastern and eastern region.  They speak both Tibeto-Burman languages as well as Hindi.

The Nepali people are the latest immigrants to Bhutan.  Living in the southwestern and south central section of Bhutan, immigration of Nepali's has been forbidden by the Bhutanese government since 1959.  Fear of Bhutan becoming too heavily populated with Nepalis brought about this and the ban on living in the central Himalayan region.   Bhutan traditions and culture are to be retained and not dilute Bhutanese distinctiveness.

There are small groups of ethnic minorities that live all throughout Bhutan with the largest group living in the Duars.  This group is related to those groups living in India's Assam and Bangla states.

Population:
699,847
country comparison to the world: 164
note: 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 (July 2010 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 30.2% (male 106,410/female 102,164)
15-64 years: 64.3% (male 235,988/female 208,484)
65 years and over: 5.5% (male 20,169/female 17,926) (2010 est.)
Median age:
total: 24.3 years
male: 25 years
female: 23.7 years (2010 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.236% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101
Birth rate:
19.62 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95
Death rate:
7.25 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population
country comparison to the world: 88
Urbanization:
urban population: 35% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 4.9% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.12 male(s)/female
total population: 1.1 male(s)/female (2010 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 46.92 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 55
male: 47.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 45.99 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 66.71 years
country comparison to the world: 158
male: 65.89 years
female: 67.57 years (2010 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.29 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
fewer than 100 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 162
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA
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)
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.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 11 years
male: 12 years
female: 11 years (2008)
Education expenditures:
5.1% of GDP (2008)
country comparison to the world: 63

 

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