Tibetans in exile

The population of Tibetans outside Tibet according to the Tibetan Demographic Survey of 2009 is 127,935, comprising 70,556 males and 57,379 females. There were 94,203 Tibetans living in India, 13,514 in Nepal, 1,298 in Bhutan, and 18,920 in the rest of the world. Tibetans in exile make up about 3 percent of the total ethnic Tibetan population in the world, with the rest in the Tibetan areas of the People’s Republic of China.

There is a comprehensive breakdown of all Tibetan population data for 2009 at TibetData.org.

Tibetans in India, Nepal, and Bhutan

Dharamshala, India, has the largest Tibetan population (13,701) followed by Doeguling (9,847), Lugsam (9,229), and Ladakh (6,769). In Nepal, the largest number of Tibetans are concentrated in Boudha (4,846), followed by the Phakshing-Swayambhu area (1,867), and Samdupling (984). Among the Tibetans in Bhutan, the largest number are reported to live in Jigmenang (333), followed by Khasakha (257) and Karchesa (211).

More about Tibetans in India

More information about exile Tibetans in India, including status, Indian citizenship, voting rights, and passport, papers and permits, the Settlement Office, and other issues, is on the India page.

Tibetans abroad

According to the Tibetan Demographic Survey (TDS) of 2009, the total headcount of Tibetans living in foreign countries other than India, Nepal, and Bhutan stands at 18,920. The actual population is probably higher, as it is estimated that about 25 per cent of Tibetans living abroad did not or could not participate in the survey for various reasons. North America has the largest number of Tibetans abroad, with 11,112, followed by Europe (5,633) and Australasia (1,120).

There is a comprehensive breakdown of all Tibetan population data for 2009 at TibetData.org.

More about Tibetans abroad

See more population figures and information for all the countries, listed on our countries index page.

Chatrel and the “Green Book” – The CTA tax

Chatrel is a monthly voluntary contribution to the Central Tibetan Administration by all Tibetans. The payment of Chatrel is a responsibility of all Tibetans, and laid out in Article 13 of the Charter of the Tibetans in exile. A Green Book is issued to each Tibetan for recording the payments. This book has over the years in effect become the “passport” of exile Tibetans to claim their rights from the CTA. In future it will become a base to claim Tibetan citizenship. -More information, as well as forms and documents for download, are at Tibet.net

The Tibetan Demographic Survey

cover of the Tibetan Demographic Survey 2009 The Tibetan Demographic Survey (TDS) is carried out every ten years to report on the status of Tibetans in exile. It is carried out by the office of the Planning Commission of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), through the Office of Tibet, Washington DC, US.

The first survey as taken on 12 June 1998. The second was expected to be done on 12 June 2008, but do the the emergency situaton in Tibetan that year, it was postponed to 12 April 2009. A third survey was carried out in 2018.

“Much more than a headcount, this population census endeavors to collect socio-economic and cultural information, which becomes instrumental for long term effective planning and formulating public policy,” according to Dr. Kunchok Tsundue, Chief Planning Officer of CTA.

Some of the contents of the Surveys include population statistics, health, education, the situation in Nepal, and the former Chushi GangDruk fighters in Pokhara.

Results of the second Demographic Survey in 2009 at Phayul.com.

Find more about the Tibetan Demographic Survey on the Web.

More pages in the Tibetans-in-exile section


This page was posted on 27 August 2013; last updated 28 June 2019.


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