Bhutanese American

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Bhutanese American
Total population
(2010 American Community Survey)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Buddhism and Hindu
Related ethnic groups

Bhutanese American are Americans of Bhutanese descent. According to the 2010 census there are 19,439 Americans of Bhutanese descent.[1] However, many Bhutanese came to the U.S. from Nepal as political refugees from that country and they surpass, according to some estimates, 77,000 people.


According to the 2010 census there are 19,439 Bhutanese-Americans.[1] However, many Bhutanese came to the U.S. from Nepal as political refugees from that country. This political refugees formed, according estimates of June 20, 2010, a population of 27,926 people in United States. Many Bhutanese Americans are of Hindu religion.[2]

Bhutanese Nepali[edit]

Many Bhutanese arrived in the United States as refugees from Nepal. Between the late 1980s and early 90s, thousands of ethnic Nepalese Hindus were driven out of Bhutan, as they were considered by the government of this country as "illegal immigrants" because they did not share the Tibetan origin of the majority of the Bhutanese population. The objective of the government was to maintain the Tibetan ethnic purity of most of the population. Thus, since 1990, more than 105,000 ethnically Nepali Bhutanese refugees temporarily migrated to neighboring Nepal, from where their ancestors came, establishing in refugee camps in the east of the country. However, after 15 years living in exile in the neighboring country, many of them have migrated to the U.S., Europe and Australia.[3] This emigration to the United States is due, at least in large part, to a program coordinated by the U.S. State Department and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.[2] The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimated that as of October, 2013, there were some 71,000 Bhutanese refugees living in the U.S.[4]

According the International Organization for Migration, the Bhutanese refugees are sent to places such as New York City, Chicago, Syracuse (New York); St. Louis (Missouri); and other cities. The refugees also are sent to states such as Texas, Arizona, Maryland[5] and Oregon.[6] The community is being helped by The Hindu Temple of Minnesota and Lutheran and Catholic social organizations, who give them material and moral support in dealing with the community's problems, including a high suicide rate.[2] [4]

In 2014, Connecting Cleveland, a four page paper with stories in English and Nepali was launched to serve Nepali-speaking Bhutanese families in the Cleveland, Ohio area.[7]


Some Bhutanese American organizations are the Bhutanese American Association of Houston (BaaH) and the Association of Bhutanese in America (ABA). The Bhutanese American Association of Houston has an ESL program, which provides older people in the community to fend for themselves and learn English. In addition, ESL students are taken to various places of recreation and parks to facilitate adaptation at the city.[8] The Association of Bhutanese in America aims to establish relationships between U.S. Bhutanese and Bhutanese in Bhutan and elsewhere, as well as establish a platform that favors their relationship with the community and their country of origin.[9]


  1. ^ a b c Asian Population: 2010 Census, 2010 Census Briefs, United States Bureau of the Census, May 2012
  2. ^ a b c The Washington post: Bhutanese refugees' American dream. Retrieved June 02, 2013, to 16:20pm.
  3. ^ Bhutanese Refugees[dead link]
  4. ^ a b Bhutanese refugees in the US still committing suicide at high rate…. Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 10, 2014.
  5. ^ name="cnn"
  6. ^ Bhutanese refugees in Oregon find frustrating path to American dream. Posted by Anna Griffin.
  7. ^ Smith, Robert L (2014-07-24). "Nepali teen launches newspaper to guide his community in the Cleveland tradition". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2014-07-24. 
  8. ^ BaaH. Consulted in June 02, 2013, to 17:38pm.
  9. ^ Association of Bhutanese in America. Consulted in June 02, 2013, to 17:45pm.