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Bhutan : economy statistics and industry reports

  • Updated on : 27 August 2012  Source : The World Factbook


$843.3 million (2010 est.)
$620.8 million (2009 est.)


$544.5 million (2010 est.)
$509.4 million (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

7.7% (2011 est.)
7.1% (2010 est.)

Unemployment rate

4% (2009)
2.5% (2004)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$6,200 (2011 est.)
$5,900 (2010 est.)
$5,300 (2009 est.)
note: data are in 2011 US dollars

National product real growth rate

6.8% (2010 est.)
5.7% (2009 est.)
2.7% (2008 est.)

Internet users

50,000 (2009)

Telephones - mobile cellular

394,300 (2009)

Population growth rate

1.175% (2012 est.)


716,896 (July 2012 est.)
note: the Factbook population estimate is consistent with the first modern census of Bhutan, conducted in 2005; previous Factbook population estimates for this country, which were on the order of three times the total population reported here, were based on Bhutanese government publications that did not include the census

Historical background

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.

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Economic overview

The economy, one of the world's smallest and least developed, is based on agriculture and forestry, which provide the main livelihood for more than 60% of the population.

Agriculture consists largely of subsistence farming and animal husbandry.

Rugged mountains dominate the terrain and make the building of roads and other infrastructure difficult and expensive.

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