The Kingdom of Bhutan (also Bootan) (IPA: [buː'tɑːn] Listen ) is a landlocked South Asian nation situated between India and Tibet, People's Republic of China. The entire country is mountainous except for an 8-10 mile (13-16 km) wide strip of subtropical plains in the extreme south which is intersected by valleys known as the Duars. The elevation gain from the subtropical plains to the glacier-covered Himalayan heights exceeds 23,000 feet (7,000 m). Its traditional economy is based on forestry, animal husbandry and subsistence agriculture however these account for less than 50% of a GDP now that Bhutan has become an exporter of hydroelectricity. Cash crops, tourism, and development aid (the latter mostly from India) are also significant. An extensive census done in April, 2006 resulted in a population figure of 672,425. Thimphu is the capital and largest city.
Bhutan is one of the most isolated nations in the world; foreign influences and tourism are heavily regulated by the government to preserve its traditional Tibetan Buddhist culture. Most Bhutanese follow either the Drukpa Kagyu or the Nyingmapa school of Tibetan Buddhism. The official language is Dzongkha (lit. "the language of the dzong"). Bhutan is often described as the last surviving refuge of traditional Himalayan Buddhist culture. Non-Buddhists complain of human rights violations; approximately 100,000 ethnic Nepali (who are generally Hindu) left the country in the 1980s because they were unhappy with new government policies designed to reduce the growing illegal immigration from Nepal.
Bhutan has been a monarchy since 1907. The different dzongkhags were united under the leadership of the Trongsa Penlop. The current king, Jigme Singye Wangchuk, has made some moves toward constitutional government.