Bhutan Country Overview
Where is Bhutan located? Bhutan (translated: “Land of the Thunder Dragon”) is an independent kingdom found in the middle of South Asia. On the world time zone map, countries are divided into world time zones along the longitude. The allocation to a specific time zone provides information on how much the regional time deviates from the coordinated world time (UTC). The time zone in which Bhutan is found is called “Bhutan Time” (BTT) and is 6 hours ahead of Coordinated World Clock (UTC +6). There is no time shift to daylight saving time in Bhutan in summer.
Bordering Countries of Bhutan
According to abbreviationfinder, Bhutan is a small, landlocked country located in the eastern Himalayas, sandwiched between India and China. It is bordered by five countries: India on the south, Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) of China on the north, Sikkim on the west, and Arunachal Pradesh and Assam states of India on the east.
India has a long history of friendship with Bhutan. The two countries share an open border with free movement of people between them. The southern border of Bhutan runs for 699 km along three Indian states: Assam, West Bengal and Sikkim. This border is relatively peaceful compared to other parts of India-Bhutan relations.
The northern border of Bhutan is shared with Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) of China for a total length of 470 km stretching from the mountainous terrain near Phari Dzong in eastern Bhutan all the way up to Dramana Pass in western Bhutan. This border was established in 1949 when both countries signed a treaty recognizing each other’s sovereignty. This border has remained generally peaceful over the past decades despite some minor territorial disputes between them.
The western border of Bhutan is shared with Sikkim for a total length of 518 km stretching from Chukha District in western Bhutan all the way up to Tashigang District in eastern Bhutan. This border was established in 1972 when both countries signed an agreement recognizing each other’s sovereignty over their respective territories.
The eastern borders are shared with Arunachal Pradesh state and Assam state respectively for a total length each measuring around 400 km stretching from Samdrup Jongkhar District all the way up to Tawang District respectively along their respective borders. These borders were established when both countries signed agreements recognizing each other’s sovereignty over their respective territories back in 2000 & 2003 respectively.
Overall, these five bordering countries provide an important buffer for Bhutan against external threats as well as providing it access to trade & resources that are essential for its economic growth & development – not just within its own borders but also beyond!
As of 2023, the latest population of Bhutan is 782,318, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).
|Population growth rate
|17.30 births per 1,000 people
|Overall life expectancy
|Men life expectancy
|Women life expectancy
|65 years and above
|Gender ratio (Male to Female)
|20.38 residents per km²
|approx. 60% Bhutija, 20% Lhotsampa (Nepalese) and others
|Lamaistic Buddhists 75%, Indian- and Nepalese-influenced Hinduism 25%
|Human Development Index (HDI)
|134th out of 194
People in Bhutan
Around 800,000 people live in Bhutan. Mainly they belong to three population groups. The Ngalongs live in the western highlands. These are the descendants of a group who came to Bhutan from Tibet in the Middle Ages. The royal family also belongs to this group. The Sarchops live in the eastern highlands. They are close to the ethnic groups from North and East India. The third large group does not live in the mountains, but in the lowlands of Bhutan, in the south. They are the Lhotshampa. They are also known as the “Nepalese Bhutanese”. 39 out of 100 Bhutanese live in a city.
What is “assimilation policy”?
Assimilation policy means the compulsory assimilation of one group to another. In the case of Bhutan, one also speaks of Bhutanization. Such a process of approximation was ordered by the Bhutanese royal family. The population is encouraged or even obliged to maintain Bhutanese traditions.
For example, it is encouraged to wear traditional Bhutanese clothing or it is expected that only the language of the Ngalongs is used. Since 1988, this has mainly driven out Nepalese people who had brought their own culture into the country and wanted to live. Many fled to Nepal.
Languages in Bhutan
The official language of Bhutan is Dzongkha, a Tibetan language. Other Tibetan languages can also be heard, for example Dzala or Kheng. The Nepalese in the south of the country speak Nepalese. English and Dzongkha are the languages of instruction in Bhutan.
Religions in Bhutan
In Bhutan, more than 70 out of 100 people are Buddhists. They are mainly attached to Mahayana Buddhism. This is one of the two main directions in Buddhism.
Since many Nepalese and also Indians live in Bhutan, Hinduism also has an influence. About 27 out of 100 people describe themselves as Hindus. Muslims and Christians are only represented in the country to a very limited extent.