The Population

The Population of Bhutan

With only 670.000 inhabitants, Bhutan is a very sparsely populated country. The yearly population growth rate is 2,25 percent.


Although Bhutan is inhabited by a great diversity of ethnicities, the majority of the population considers itself Bhutanese. In addition, there is a Nepalese minority in the south, as well as several indigenous, nomadic populations in the mountain regions. The official national language is the original West Bhutanese Dzongkha. Especially in the south of this country, Nepalese also has plays an important role. Further there also exist various Tibetan dialects.



Only four percent of the population are older than 65. The average life expectancy is about 53 and the infant mortality rate is, at almost 10 percent, still comparatively high.

75 percent of the Bhutanese are followers of Lamaistic Buddhism and almost one quarter of the population follows Indian or Nepalese Hinduism. 58,5 percent of the men and 28,1 percent of the women of Bhutan are literate. The only newspaper of the country, the »Kuensel«, is not only published in Dzongkha, but also in English und Nepalese. The online edition of this newspaper is published in English.

The Political System
The Economy of Bhutan
The Population

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In front of the impressive scenery of Lunana, women carry hay in baskets homeward.
Photograph by Robert Dompnier

A house in East Bhutan made of stones. The bamboo rack serves to dry vegetables, in this case chiles.
Photograph by Jon Warren

Inhabitants of South Bhutan of Nepalese origin performing the traditional folk dances.
Photograph by Guy van Strydonck

A girl and a child from Laya in North Bhutan with the typical cone-shaped bamboo hat.
Photograph by Robert Dompnier