At present the Bhutanese population is just over 700,000.
Bhutanese people are generally categorized into three main ethnic groups. The Tshanglas, Ngalops and the Lhotshampas.
The other minority groups are the Bumthaps and the Khengpas of Central Bhutan, the Kurtoeps in Lhuentse, the Brokpas and the Bramis of Merak and Sakteng in eastern Bhutan, the Doyas of Samtse and the Monpas in WangduePhodrang.
Tshanglas: The Tshanglas or the Sharchops are considered the aboriginal inhabitants of eastern Bhutan. Tshanglasare according to historians, the descendants of Lord Brahma and speak Tshanglakha. They are commonly inhabitants of Mongar, Trashigang, Trashiyangtse, Pema Gasthel and Samdrup Jongkhar.
Ngalops: The Ngalops who have settled in western Bhutan are of Tibetan origin. They speak Ngalopkha, a polished version of Dzongkha, the national language of Bhutan.
Lhotshampas: The Lhotshampas have settled in the southern foothills of the country. It is believed that they migrated from Nepal in the beginning of the 19th century. They speak Lhotshamkha (Nepali) and practice Hinduism. Their society can be broken into various lineages such as the Bhawans, Chhetris, Rai’s, Limbus, Tamangs, Gurungs, and the Lepchas.
The Bumthaps, Mangdeps and Khengpas: The people who speak Bumtapkha, Mangdepkha and khengkha respectively inhabit the central areas of Bhutan.
Kurtoeps: Kurtoeps inhabit the eastern part of the country. Specifically the district of Lhuentse and the villages are found spread along the banks of Kurichu.
The Brokpas and the Bramis: The Brokpas and the Bramis are a semi nomadic community. They are settled in the two villages of Merak and Sakteng in eastern Bhutan. They speak a different dialect and have their own unique dress that is made of yak hair and sheep wool.
The Doyas: A tribal community that has settled mostly in southern Bhutan. They are considered the aboriginal inhabitants of western and central Bhutan, who over the years migrated to and settled in the present areas in Dorokha. They have their own unique dialect and style of dress.
The Layaps: To the extreme north are the Layaps who speak layapkha. Like the Brokpas, they are also semi-nomadic.
Monpas: The Monpas are a small community in Rukha under WangduePhodrang. Together with the Doyas they are also considered the original settlers of central Bhutan.