The latest 2012 Statistical Yearbook of the National Statistics Bureau shows that Bhutan’s population finally crossed the 700,000 mark in 2011. As of 2010 the total population of Bhutan was 695,822 which increased to 708,265 in 2011.
By the end of 2012 the population is projected to go up to 720,679.
The population projection also shows that Bhutan may require three more decades to cross the one million population mark. The survey shows that Bhutan’s population in 2030 will be 886,523 people.
In the 1970’s and 1980’s Bhutan’s population had been erroneously projected as being above one million.
A survey in 1996 found that the actual population of Bhutan was 600,000.
A detailed and scientific study of Bhutan’s population was done in 2005 called the Population and Housing Census using the international standards and methods. Bhutan’s population growth rate was found to be 1.8 percent which is neither high nor low.
As per the 2011 figures Bhutan has slightly more men than women. Out of the total population Bhutan had 52.2 percent men and 47.8 percent women.
In recent years there has been an intense debate on Bhutan’s optimum population figures with some arguing that the current population is too low and hence hindering economic development as there are not enough people to take several types of jobs and also do farm labor.
However, this has argument also runs in the face of a detailed satellite survey of Bhutan’s geography which found that Bhutan’s actual agricultural area was only 2.93 percent and not 7.85% as originally thought. This would mean that Bhutan as much less arable land to feed its population than originally thought primarily to improvements in measurement technology.
With the 2013 elections around the corner a sizeable population and also potential voters are mainly in the younger generation. Youth from the age of 20 to 29 formed around 146,743 people or potential voters. Two fifths of the 15-19 age group can vote as they include the 18 and 19 age category. There are 75,834 youth in the 15-19 category.
According to the 2005 survey in terms of national birth rates the highest records are held by Dagana and Gasa with 23.8 and 23.1 percent respectively. The lowest birth rates are in Paro and Chukha with 16.8 percent each followed by Bumthang with 17.7 percent. Gasa in the same survey also had the highest death rate at 11.6 percent.
In 2011 China was the World’s most populated country with 1.341 billion people. The smallest state is the Vatican City with 770 people by the last count followed by the 9 square mile Tuvalu island with 12,000 people.