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By *Source: CIA World Factbook 2008; UNICEF
December 16, 2008

Country: BHUTANbhutan

Capital: Thimphu

Geographic Coordinates: 27 30 N, 90 30 E

Population: 691,141

Main Religion: Buddhism (official), Hinduism

Language: Dzongkha

Government Type: Constitutional monarchy

Head of State: King Jigme Khesar Namgyel WANGCHUCK; Prime Minister: Jigme Thinley

Main Industries: cement, wood products, processed fruits, alcoholic beverages, calcium carbide, tourism

GDP in US Dollars (per capita): $5,200 (2007 est.)

Currency Code: Ngultrum (BTN); Indian rupee (INR)

Life Expectancy: 64 years (men), 67 years (women) (UN)

Environment - current issues: soil erosion; limited access to potable water

Issues facing Women and Children:

  • Many rural children have been left behind by migrating parents, or have been sent by themselves into urban areas for education.
  • Most births are not attended by trained medical professionals.
  • A quarter of all children ages ten to fourteen are working. Many toil for long hours as domestic workers, earning minimal wages, and are vulnerable to physical and sexual abuse by their employers.

Land Mine Ban Signatory: Y

Local Media: Press: Bhutan Today, The Bhutan Times; Radio and TV: Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS)

Interesting Fact: Violent storms from the Himalayas are the source of the country's name, which translates as Land of the Thunder Dragon. The Bhutanese monarchy has also promoted the philosophy of ""Gross National Happiness"" (GNH), which strives to achieve a balance between the spiritual and the material.  Television did not arrive in Bhutan until 1999. For years, the country pursued a policy of isolation, fearing that outside influences would undermine its monarchy and culture.     The Bhutanese also are known for their buttons. Zippers are banned all throughout Bhutan. All clothing is required to have at least three buttons.

Famouse for: Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, Punakha Valleys, Bhutanese buttons, gho (long robe), khira (colorful traditional dress)





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