Population: Estimates vary widely: 1,598,216 in
but possibly only 700,000. Two percent annual growth rate.
Fortyfive percent under age fifteen in late 1980s. Ninety-seven
in rural areas; low population density--thirty-one persons
square kilometer for total area, higher average for
Ethnic Groups: Officially 72 percent of
Tibetan (Ngalop), Indo-Mongoloid (Sharchop), and
(Drokpa, Lepcha, and Doya) origin; 28 percent, Nepalese
Nepalese may constitute as much as 40 percent.
Language: Dzongkha official national language
chhokey (Tibetan script) used for written
Ngalopkha (on which Dzongkha is based) spoken in west;
in east; Nepali in south; English widely understood
school system and, with Dzongkha, an official language.
Religion: 70 percent Mahayana Buddhists
Drupka subsect), 25 percent Hindus, 5 percent Muslims.
Indeterminate but small number of Bon adherents.
Education: Non-compulsory, free eleven-year
(primary--grades one through five; lower-secondary--grades
through eight; upper-secondary schools--grades nine
eleven). Primary level attended by about 23 percent of
population; lower-secondary and uper-secondary schools
around 8 percent and 3 percent, respectively. In 1991 one
college and two technical schools. Entire system
Department of Education. Literacy rate 12 percent in late
Health: In early 1980s, life expectancy 45.9 for
and men. Infant mortality rate 137 per 1,000 in 1990.
system in late 1980s included twenty-nine general
hospitals, fortysix dispensaries, and sixty-seven basic-health units, four
indigenous dispensaries, and fifteen malaria education
total capacity 915 beds. Severe shortage of health-care
134 physicians and 541 paramedics in 1988.
infections most common illness.
Data as of September 1991