Bhutan - Statistics & Facts

Bhutan is one of the least populated countries in the Asia Pacific region, with the population increasing yearly at a rather slow pace. The majority of inhabitants are living in rural areas, but this trend is declining while urbanization continues to grow. A decrease in the average number of children born in the country made Bhutan one of the countries in South Asia with the lowest fertility rate. Moreover, a decline in numbers of the young population caused a significant increase of the Bhutanese population's median age by roughly 5 years between 2005 and 2015, with the average being expected to reach almost 41 years of age by 2050. This could have a severe impact on Bhutan's economy and healthcare.

The Kingdom of Bhutan is among the very few nations that have never been colonized throughout its history. A treaty between Britain and Bhutan was signed in 1865 in which Bhutan was the receiver of an annual subsidy in exchange for handing over some land to British India. Under its first hereditary king, Bhutan became a unified kingdom in 1907, and since then, it has been ruled as a constitutional monarchy. It is regarded as one of the most peaceful countries in the world. Today, the country is divided into 20 administrative divisions, with the capital, Thimphu, being one of them. Bhutan is generally a Buddhist country, with a remarkably high number of Buddhists living there. Hinduism is also practiced, as an important share of the population is ethnic Nepalese.

Relatively speaking a rather small country, Bhutan has one of the fastest growing economies worldwide. Its annual growth rate hovers around the 6-percent mark, which is almost double the global average rate. Bhutan is expected to surpass the 10-percent growth mark in 2022. The state’s economy is largely driven by agriculture, aquaculture, and hydropower. The agrarian sector employs the largest share of the population, but only accounts for a small percentage of Bhutan’s GDP. Major crops production includes cereal , rice, and corn. Bhutan’s infrastructure is quite poor due to a rugged mountainous terrain which makes the building of roads difficult. The lack of access to the sea, as well as the lack of infrastructure makes it harder for Bhutan to fully benefit from trading its goods. Thus, the country’s trade balance constantly results in deficits. India is the most important export partner of the country, with a share of nearly 100 percent in all exports.

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