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Adjacent Words

Bhumi Devi
Bhumibol Adulyadej
Bhutanese monetary unit
Bhutto, Zulfikar Ali
bi-fold door

Bhutan definitions

Flags of the World

Flag of Bhutan

CIA World Factbook, 2008

In 1865, Britain and Bhutan signed the Treaty of Sinchulu, under which Bhutan would receive an annual subsidy in exchange for ceding some border land to British India. Under British influence, a monarchy was set up in 1907; three years later, a treaty was signed whereby the British agreed not to interfere in Bhutanese internal affairs and Bhutan allowed Britain to direct its foreign affairs. This role was assumed by independent India after 1947. Two years later, a formal Indo-Bhutanese accord returned the areas of Bhutan annexed by the British, formalized the annual subsidies the country received, and defined India's responsibilities in defense and foreign relations. A refugee issue of some 100,000 Bhutanese in Nepal remains unresolved; 90% of the refugees are housed in seven United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) camps. In March 2005, King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK unveiled the government's draft constitution - which would introduce major democratic reforms - and pledged to hold a national referendum for its approval. In December 2006, the King abdicated the throne to his son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel WANGCHUCK, in order to give him experience as head of state before the democratic transition. In early 2007, India and Bhutan renegotiated their treaty to allow Bhutan greater autonomy in conducting its foreign policy, although Thimphu continues to coordinate policy decisions in this area with New Delhi. In July 2007, seven ministers of Bhutan's ten-member cabinet resigned to join the political process, leaving the remaining cabinet to act as a caretaker regime until a new government assumes power following parliamentary elections. Bhutan will complete its transition to full democracy in 2008, when its first fully democratic elections to a new parliament - expected to be completed by March 2008 - and a concomitant referendum on the draft constitution will take place.

total: 47,000 sq km land: 47,000 sq km water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative
total: 1,075 km border countries: China 470 km, India 605 km

lowest point: Drangme Chhu 97 m highest point: Kula Kangri 7,553 m

Natural resources
arable land: 2.3% permanent crops: 0.43% other: 97.27% (2005)

Irrigated land
Total: 0.43 cu km/yr (5%/1%/94%) Per capita: 199 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Geography - note
note: the Factbook population estimate is inconsistent with the 2005 Bhutan census results; both data are being reviewed and when completed, the results will be posted on The World Factbook Web site (https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook) later this year (July 2007 est.)

Age structure
0-14 years: 38.6% (male 465,340/female 433,184) 15-64 years: 57.4% (male 688,428/female 647,134) 65 years and over: 4% (male 47,123/female 46,640) (2007 est.)

Median age
total: 20.5 years male: 20.4 years female: 20.7 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.074 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.064 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 1.01 male(s)/female total population: 1.066 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate
total: 96.37 deaths/1,000 live births male: 94.09 deaths/1,000 live births female: 98.77 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
total population: 55.17 years male: 55.38 years female: 54.96 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate
noun: Bhutanese (singular and plural) adjective: Bhutanese

Ethnic groups
definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 47% male: 60% female: 34% (2003 est.)

Country name
conventional long form: Kingdom of Bhutan conventional short form: Bhutan local long form: Druk Gyalkhap local short form: Druk Yul

Government type
name: Thimphu geographic coordinates: 27 29 N, 89 36 E time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions
chief of state: King Jigme Khesar Namgyel WANGCHUCK (since 14 December 2006); note - King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK abdicated the throne on 14 December 2006 and his son immediately succeeded him head of government: Prime Minister Kinzang DORJI (since August 2007) cabinet: Council of Ministers (Lhengye Shungtsog) nominated by the monarch, approved by the National Assembly; members serve fixed, five-year terms; note - there is also a Royal Advisory Council (Lodoi Tsokde), members nominated by the monarch elections: none; the monarch is hereditary, but democratic reforms in July 1998 grant the National Assembly authority to remove the monarch with two-thirds vote; election of a new National Assembly is expected in 2008

Legislative branch
elections: first elections to be held in December 2007 and spring 2008; note - local elections last held August 2005 (next to be held in 2008) election results: NA

Judicial branch
consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US
agriculture: 24.7% industry: 37.2% services: 38.1% (2005)

Labor force
note: major shortage of skilled labor

Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 63% industry: 6% services: 31% (2004 est.)

Unemployment rate
lowest 10%: NA% highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices)
revenues: $272 million expenditures: $350 million note: the government of India finances nearly three-fifths of Bhutan's budget expenditures (2005)

Public debt
note: the ngultrum is pegged to the Indian rupee

Fiscal year
general assessment: telecommunications facilities are poor domestic: very low teledensity; domestic service is very poor especially in rural areas; wireless service available since 2003 international: country code - 975; international telephone and telegraph service via landline and microwave relay through India; satellite earth station - 1 (2005)

Radio broadcast stations
total: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2007)

Airports - with unpaved runways
total: 1 914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2007)

total: 8,050 km paved: 4,991 km unpaved: 3,059 km (2003)

Military branches
males age 18-49: 483,860 females age 18-49: 453,683 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service
males age 18-49: 314,975 females age 18-49: 296,833 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annually
males age 18-49: 23,939 females age 18-49: 21,979 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP
1% (2005 est.)

Disputes - international
over 100,000 Bhutanese Lhotshampas (Hindus) have been confined in seven UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees camps since 1990; Bhutan cooperates with India to expel Indian Nagaland separatists; lacking any treaty describing the boundary, Bhutan and China continue negotiations to establish a boundary alignment to resolve substantial cartographic discrepancies, the largest of which lies in Bhutan's northwest

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: a landlocked principality in the Himalayas to the northeast of India [syn: Bhutan, Kingdom of Bhutan]

Merriam Webster's

geographical name country Asia in Himalayas on NE border of India; a monarchy capital Thimphu area 18,000 square miles (46,800 square kilometers), population 1,546,000 Bhutanese adjective or noun

Britannica Concise

Kingdom, Himalaya Mtns. Area: 16,000 sq mi (41,500 sq km). Population (1997 est.): 860,000 (result of the King's repudiation of the 1980 census; with a large number of Nepalese refuges, the actual population could range from 700,000 to 1,800,000). Capital: Thimphu. There are three main ethnic groups: the Buddhist Sharchops (Assamese) in the east; the Tibetan Buddhist Bhutia, about three-fifths of the population, in the N, central, and W areas; and the Hindu Nepalese in the southwest. Languages: Dzongkha (official), Tibetan dialects. Religion: Mahayana Buddhism (official). Currency: ngultrum. Its N part lies in the Great Himalayas, with peaks surpassing 24,000 ft (7,300 m) and high valleys lying at 12,000-18,000 ft (3,700-5,500 m). Great Himalayan spurs radiate southward, forming the Lesser Himalayan ranges. Several fertile valleys there, at elevations of 5,000-9,000 ft (1,500-2,700 m), are fairly well populated and cultivated. South of these mountains lies the Duars Plain, controlling access to the strategic mountain passes; much of it is hot and steamy and covered with dense forest. The Bhutanese economy is mainly agricultural; nearly all exports go to India. It is a monarchy with one legislative house; its head of state and government is the monarch. Bhutan's mountains and forests long made it inaccessible to the outside world, and its feudal rulers banned foreigners until well into the 20th cent. It nevertheless became the object of foreign invasions; in 1865 it came under British influence, and in 1910 agreed to be guided by Britain in its foreign affairs. It later became oriented toward British-ruled India, though much of its trade continued to be with Tibet. India took over Britain's role in 1949, and Communist China's 1950 occupation of neighboring Tibet further strengthened Bhutan's ties with India. The apparent Chinese threat made its rulers aware of the need to modernize, and it has embarked on a program to build roads and hospitals and to create a system of secular education.


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