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General information
Common nameBhutan
Local nameNameAnthemDruk Tsendhen
Official languagesDzongkha
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary democracy and Constitutional monarchy
KingJigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck
Prime MinisterJigme Y. Thinley
FormationFormation (Early 17th century)
Wangchuk Dynasty17 December 1907
Constitutional Monarchy2007
Total Area14824 sq mi (38394.2 km2) (135th)
Water %1.1
Population Est.708,427  (165th)
Population census634982 (2005)
Density (pop.)18/km2 (154th) (46.6/sq mi)
GDP PPP$3.875 billion (2010)
GDP (PPP) per capita$5,429
GDP (nominal)$1.412 billion (2010)
GDP (nominal) per capita$1,978
Other information
HDI(+) 0.619 (2007) (medium) (132nd)
CurrencyNgultrum2 (BTN)
Time zoneBTT (UTC+6)
- Summer (DST)not observed (UTC+6)
Drives on theleft
Calling code975

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Bhutan (Dzongkha: , tr Brug Yul, "Druk Yul"; , Bhutān), officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked state in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalayas and bordered to the south, east and west by the Republic of India and to the north by the People's Republic of China. Bhutan is separated from the nearby country of Nepal to the west by the Indian state of Sikkim, and from Bangladesh to the south by the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal.

Bhutan existed as a patchwork of minor warring fiefdoms until the early 17th century, when the area was unified by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, who fled religious persecution in Tibet and cultivated a separate Bhutanese identity. In the early 20th century, Bhutan came into contact with the British Empire, after which Bhutan continued strong bilateral relations with India upon its independence. In 2006, Business Week magazine rated Bhutan the happiest country in Asia and the eighth-happiest in the world, based on a global survey.

Bhutan’s landscape ranges from subtropical plains in the south to the sub-alpine Himalayan heights in the north, with some peaks exceeding 7000 m (22965.9 ft). The state religion is Vajrayana Buddhism, and the population of 691,141 is predominantly Buddhist, with Hinduism the second-largest religion. The capital and largest city is Thimphu. In 2007, Bhutan made the transition from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy, holding its first general election. Bhutan is a member of the United Nations and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC); it hosted the sixteenth SAARC summit in April 2010. The total area of the country has been reported as 38394 km2 (14824 sqmi) since 2002. The area had previously been reported as approximately 46500 km2 (17953.8 sqmi) in 1997.

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