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Ethnic Groups -


Bhutan has a small multi-ethnic population of approximately 600,000 people comprising three main ethnic groups:

Ngalongs migrated from Tibet (China) in 12th century AD, speak Dzongkha and are Buddhist. They constitute less than 20% of the population and are dominant in the northwestern region of the kingdom. This is currently the dominant ruling group but a minority in demographic composition. King belongs to this group.

Sarchops are of Indo-Burmese stock, speak Sharchopkha and are Buddhist and live in eastern Bhutan. Sarchops are believed to be the earliest inhabitants of Bhutan and comprise up to 40% of the population.

Lhotshampas of ethnic Nepali origin, dominantly the Hindu worshipers, migrated from Nepal and India mostly between the late 19th and the beginning of 20th century. They constitute up to 40% of the total population and inhabit the country's southern districts. The present crisis has been originated from the question of nationality and cultural rights to these people.

Others There are other smaller ethnic groups such as Tibetans, Adhivasis, Doyas, Brokpas, Kurteupas etc who together constitute 3% of the population.


Settlement of Southern Bhutanese  |  National Assembly   |  Tsa Wa Sum  |  Human Rights Instruments signed/ratified