Bhutan By The Numbers

Looking at a country’s statistics can be helpful in understanding its people. Bhutan is a small, but vibrant place, as the compartive numbers we have compiled show. We have compared Bhutan’s numbers to those of the U.S. to allow Americans to better understand this incredible place. To normalize the numbers and to enable comparisons, all numbers are shown for Bhutan as a % of the U.S. per capita.

The numbers tell us that Bhutan is a tiny place with lots of yaks, few cars, and a strong focus on education. It also tells us that it is becoming a rapidly connected place with lots of small ventures run by industrious people. Finally, the numbers tell us that happier people spend less time commiting crimes against each other and instead consider conservation of the environment as a core value.

  • Not surprisingly, Bhutan has many more yaks than the U.S. does. As a matter of fact, it has about 1,900 times the number of yaks per person than the U.S. does!
  • Bhutan’s constitution stipulates that the country must “maintain at least sixty percent of the country under forest cover at all times.” Presently that number is at around 70%. We have much to learn from such a magical place…
  • Bhutan doesn’t have a large industrial base with huge companies, as the U.S. does. Therefore, it was not surprising to see that its many mom & pop operations account for a higher number of industrial establishments per person than the U.S. has. That said, the high number seems indicative of the industrious spirit of the Bhutanese.
  • Bhutan has done pretty well in focusing on education of its people. It has almost as many teachers and professors per person as the U.S. does.
  • Mobile phone technology is critical in a place where it can take 5 hours to drive 50 miles. So, it is not surprising that the numbers indicate that Bhutan has as much as half as many mobile phone subscribers per person as the U.S. does.
  • It seems that happier people do indeed spend less time commiting crimes against each other.
  • Americans love their cars! The U.S. has almost 9 times as many cars per person as does Bhutan!
  • As a poorer country, Bhutan has far fewer doctors per person.
  • The Bhutanese are much poorer than Americans are. Who knows though? – When the time comes, if you all buy enough of our Chews…
  • With fewer cars, there is no need for traffic lights in Bhutan! They do have very busy traffic policemen though! Check out a video: Human traffic light in Thimphu, Bhutan

    (Source: Bhutan’s Government Statisical Yearbook 2014, Kuensel newspaper’s analysis of the Yearbook, U.S. Government statistics.)