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Bhutan Population and religion percentage

Bhutan, officially known as the Thunder Dragon Empire or “The Kingdom of Bhutan, ” is landlocked in the Eastern Himalayas. Bhutan’s northern and western boundary with Tibet, to the south of the Himalayan range, lies Bhutan’s boundary with the Indian states of West Bengal and Assam and  Arunachal Pradesh to the east and Sikkim to the southwest.

As per the UN World Population Prospects reports,  the population of  Bhutan in 2023 is 792,382 (7.92 lakh)

Bhutan location on Map

Table of Contents

Bhutan Demographics
 Bhutan 2024 Population
Total Population792,382 (7.92 lakhs)
Global Rank165
Share of World Pop.0.01%
Land Area 38,394 sq. km (14,824 sq. mi)
Area Rank133
Pop. Density20 people/sq. km
Capital CityThimphu
Fertility Rate* 2
Infant mortality rate ** 19.6
Median Age  28.1 Years
Life Expectancy 72.77 years
Urban Population 45.8%

Source: UN World Population Prospects

*Fertility rate, average number of children born to women during their reproductive years.

**Infant mortality rate is the number of deaths per 1,000 live births of children under one year of age.

Religion in Bhutan

Buddhism is the main religion in Bhutan and 2/3 rd of the population follows it. Vajrayana Buddhism is the state religion of Bhutan. About 22.6% of the population practices Hinduism. Other religions account for less than 1% of the population.

Religion percentage in Bhutan

  • Buddhism – 74.8%
  • Hinduism – 22.6%
  • Bon and other indigenous faiths – 1.9%
  • Christianity – 0.4%
  • Islam – 0.1%
  • Other or none -0.1%

Ethnic groups

There are three major ethnic groups in Bhutan: the Bhutia (also called Ngalop), the Nepalese, and the Sharchop. The Bhutia are the largest ethnic group and makeup about half of the population. They are the descendants of Tibetan immigrants who came southward into Bhutan beginning about the 9th century. The Bhutia are dominant in northern, central, and western Bhutan. 

The Nepalese (including members of the Gurung ethnic group) constitute roughly one-third of the country’s total population; they are the most recent arrivals in Bhutan. Most speak Nepali.  Most of the people in eastern Bhutan are ethnically related to the hill tribes living in adjacent areas of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The Sharchop, as these people are called, are believed to have been the earliest inhabitants of Bhutan and they make 15% of the population.

Ethnic Percentage

  • Bhutia – 50%
  • Nepalese – 35%
  • Sharchop – 15%

source: estimates

Top Cities in Bhutan by Population

Largest cities or towns in Bhutan

1. Thimphu – 114,551 
2. Phuntsholing – 27,658
3. Paro – 11,448
4. Gelephu – 9,858
5. Samdrup Jongkhar – 9,325
6. Wangdue Phodrang – 8,954
7. Punakha – 6,626
8. Jakar – 6,243
9. Nganglam  – 5,418
10. Samtse  – 5,396

Population of Bhutan 2024 | Religion in Bhutan