Demographics of Bhutan
This article is about the demographic features of the population of Bhutan, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.
Bhutan's bimodal population estimates
One explanation for this discrepancy is that the higher CIA numbers ultimately trace back to an inflated population number the Bhutanese government supplied to the United Nations in the early 1970s in order to gain entry into that body (the UN reportedly had a cutoff population of one million at that time). According to this theory the CIA population experts have retained this original inflated number year after year while adjusting it each year for normal population growth.
An alternative theory is that the western and central districts of the country wish to underestimate the populations of the southern and eastern districts in order to maintain their historical dominance over those districts. This is the claim made by some Bhutanese refugee groups. Certainly the government numbers do not include people, that were living in the refugee camps in Nepal and other persons forced out of Bhutan, which total approximately 125,000, majority of whom have now resettled in the USA.
The Bhutanese numbers can be reconstructed from their 9th Five Year Plan documents, which lists the exact number of households in each gewog. If the Bhutanese refugee advocate groups are correct, a spot check of a southern gewog should show a massive under-reporting of population.
The CIA World Fact book number has since been adjusted with a note of former inconstencies, and attributes the difference to the government not including the "first modern census of Bhutan, conducted in 2005". It should also be noted that in the 1970s Bhutan was one of the most isolated countries in the world and nobody knew how many people lived there since no census had ever been taken.
The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.
- Noun: Bhutanese (singular and plural)
- Adjective: Bhutanese
- Ngalop (Northern Bhutanese ethnically tibetan) 50%, Lhotshampa (southern & eastern Bhutanese ethnically Nepalese) 35%, indigenous or migrant tribes 15%
Approximately two-thirds to three-quarters of the population practice Drukpa Kagyupa or Ningmapa Buddhism, both of which are disciplines of Mahayana Buddhism. Approximately one-quarter of the population is ethnic Nepalese and practice Hinduism. They live mainly in the south and follow the Shaivite, Vaishnavite, Shakta, Ghanapathi, Puranic, and Vedic schools. Christians both Roman Catholic and Protestant and nonreligious groups comprised less than 1 percent of the population. Bön, the country's animist and shamanistic belief system, revolves around the worship of nature and predates Buddhism. Very few citizens adhere exclusively to this religious group.
- Dzongkha (official), Bhotes speak various Tibetan dialects, Nepalese speak various Nepalese dialects. Ethnologue lists 25 languages for Bhutan. Up to 109,000 immigrants speak Assamese.
- Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
- Total population: 47%
- Male: 60%
- Female: 34% (2003 est.)
- 708,427 (July 2011 est.)
- 716,896 (July 2012 est.)
- 0-14 years: 28.9% (male 104,622/female 100,383)
- 15-64 years: 65.3% (male 245,054/female 217,864)
- 65 years and over: 5.7% (male 21,347/female 19,157) (2011 est.)
- Total: 24.8 years
- Male: 25.4 years
- Female: 24.2 years (2011 est.)
Population growth rate
- 1.201% (2011 est.)
- 18.75 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)
- 6.99 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)
Net migration rate
- 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)
Total fertility rate
- 2.13 children born/woman (2012 est.)
- urban population: 35% of total population (2010)
- rate of urbanization: 3.7% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
- 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 (2011 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
- Total population: 67.3 years
- Male: 66.46 years
- Female: 68.19 years (2011 est.)
|Period||Live births per year||Deaths per year||Natural change per year||CBR1||CDR1||NC1||TFR1||IMR1|
|1950-1955||9 000||5 000||4 000||47.9||27.1||20.8||6.67||184.8|
|1955-1960||10 000||6 000||5 000||49.0||26.8||22.3||6.67||181.4|
|1960-1965||12 000||6 000||6 000||48.5||25.7||22.8||6.67||174.1|
|1965-1970||13 000||7 000||7 000||47.8||24.1||23.8||6.67||163.1|
|1970-1975||16 000||7 000||8 000||47.0||22.0||25.1||6.67||149.3|
|1975-1980||18 000||8 000||10 000||45.8||19.6||26.2||6.67||133.2|
|1980-1985||20 000||8 000||12 000||42.7||17.1||25.6||6.39||117.1|
|1985-1990||21 000||8 000||13 000||40.4||15.0||25.3||6.11||104.0|
|1990-1995||19 000||7 000||12 000||35.2||12.5||22.7||5.27||87.5|
|1995-2000||16 000||5 000||11 000||29.2||9.9||19.3||4.13||69.7|
|2000-2005||15 000||5 000||11 000||25.2||7.9||17.2||3.30||52.8|
|2005-2010||15 000||5 000||10 000||21.5||7.2||14.4||2.61||44.4|
|1 CBR = crude birth rate (per 1000); CDR = crude death rate (per 1000); NC = natural change (per 1000); TFR = total fertility rate (number of children per woman); IMR = infant mortality rate per 1000 births|
In 2011, there were 246 reported cases of HIV in Bhutan, representing just over 0.3% of the population. In July 2010, there were a total of 217 cases detected, however Health Ministry sources indicated actual numbers were estimated at more than 500 by UNAIDS.
Through July 2010, there had been a total of 40 deaths due to HIV/AIDS-related causes, and one suicide.
- "Fact File". National Portal of Bhutan. Retrieved 2008-01-06.
- Bhutan entry at The World Factbook
- Bhutan entry at The World Factbook July 2009 est. - retrieved Apr 2009
- Ethnologue Report on Bhutan. Accessed 2010-04-02.
- "Bhutan: Demographic Profile, Medium Variant 1950–2100". World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, Population Projections and Estimates Section. Retrieved 2011-10-30. (entry: Bhutan)
- "The Ministry of Health has Detected…". Bhutan Observer online. 2011-08-01. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
- "An Update on Human Immuno Deficiency Virus/Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS)" (PDF). Bhutan Ministry of Health. 2010-07-01. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
- This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook document "2007 edition".