Bhutan facts for kids

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Kingdom of Bhutan


'Brug Rgyal-khab (Wylie)
Dru Gäkhap
Anthem: Druk Tsendhen
Bhutan (orthographic projection).svg
Capital Thimphu
Official languages Dzongkha
Demonym(s) Bhutanese
Government Unitary parliamentary democracy and Constitutional monarchy
• King
Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
• Prime Minister
Tshering Tobgay
Early 17th century
• Wangchuk Dynasty
17 December 1907
• Total
38,394 km2 (14,824 sq mi) (135th)
• Water (%)
• 2011 estimate
708,427 (165th)
• 2005 census
• Density
18.0/km2 (46.6/sq mi) (154th)
GDP (PPP) 2010 estimate
• Total
$3.875 billion
• Per capita
GDP (nominal) 2010 estimate
• Total
$1.412 billion
• Per capita
HDI (2007) Increase 0.619
medium · 132nd
Currency Ngultrum2 (BTN)
Time zone UTC+6 (BTT)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+6 (not observed)
Driving side left
Calling code 975
ISO 3166 code BT
Internet TLD .bt
  1. The population of Bhutan had been estimated based on the reported figure of about 1 million in the 1970s when the country had joined the United Nations and precise statistics were lacking. Thus using the annual increase rate of 2–3%, the most population estimates were around 2 million in the year 2000. A national census was carried out in 2005 and it turned out that, 672,425 people lived there. Consequently, United Nations Population Division had down-estimated the country's population in the 2006 revision for the whole period from 1950 to 2050.
  2. The Indian rupee is also legal tender.

Bhutan (officially called Kingdom of Bhutan) is a small country in the Himalaya mountains of South Asia. It is ruled by King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, who has been king since 2006. Bhutan was founded in 1644 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. The Bhutanese people are proud they have always been an independent country. Bhutan's capital city is Thimphu. The official language is Dzongkha.

About 600,000 people live in Bhutan. The people and government of Bhutan are proud of their culture which is based on Tibetan Buddhism. 97% of Bhutan's people are Buddhist.

Until 1974 Bhutan was closed to the outside world. Now people can visit the country, but only in small numbers. The only airport is in Paro district. The country is bordered on the south by the Republic of India and on the north by Tibet, which is part of China since 1949. The Indian state of Sikkim separates Bhutan and Nepal. The main export of Bhutan is hydroelectricity which is sold to India. The economy of Bhutan is very small but is growing quickly. The currency is the Ngultrum, which is pegged at par with the Indian rupee.

National symbols of Bhutan


The Royal Bhutan Army is Bhutan's military service. It includes the Royal Bodyguard and the Royal Bhutan Police. Membership is voluntary, and the minimum age for recruitment is 18. The standing army numbers about 16,000 and is trained by the Indian Army. Being a landlocked country, Bhutan has no navy. It also has no air force or army aviation corps. The Army relies on Eastern Air Command of the Indian Air Force for air assistance.


Takin, Thimphu mini-zoo
The Takin is Bhutan's national animal.

More than 770 species of bird and 5,400 species of plants are known to occur throughout the kingdom. Bhutan has a rich primate life with rare species such as the golden langur.

Cities and towns

The major cities of Bhutan are:

  • Thimphu, the largest city and capital of Bhutan.
  • Damphu, the administrative headquarters of Tsirang District
  • Jakar, the administrative headquarters of Bumthang District and the place where Buddhism entered Bhutan.
  • Mongar, the eastern commercial hub of the country.
  • Paro, site of the international airport.
  • Phuentsholing, Bhutan's commercial hub.
  • Punakha, the old capital.
  • Samdrup Jongkhar The south eastern town on the border with India
  • Trashigang, administrative headquarters of Trashigang District the most populous district in the country.
  • Trongsa, in central Bhutan which has the largest and the most magnificent of all the dzongs in Bhutan.


Bhutan archery
Changlimithang Stadium, during a parade.

Bhutan's national sport is archery. Competitions are held regularly in most villages. Cricket has gained popularity in Bhutan, particularly since the introduction of television channels from India. The Bhutan national cricket team is one of the more successful affiliate nations in the region. Football is also an increasingly popular sport.

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