Location: The Tibetan Plateau is located in central Asia, bordered by India and Nepal in the southeast; Bhutan in the south; and a number of Chinese provinces in the north and the east.

Population: 2.84 million in the Tibet Autonomous Region, 5.5 million in all ethnic Tibetan regions in China

Area: 1.2 million sq km in the Tibet Autonomous Region, 2.5 million sq km in all contiguous ethnic Tibetan areas in China (approximately the size of Western Europe)

Average elevation: 4,900m

Terrain: 70% grassland, with forested areas in the lower elevations and tall mountain ranges at higher elevations

Climate: Warm in the summer (avg. 28C), cold in the winter (-15C), and extremely dry (except during the rainy season in July and August)

Languages: Tibetan and Chinese

Economy: agriculture and animal husbandry

Livelihoods: Most Tibetans are farmers and nomads, though Tibetans who live in larger towns or cities work in a variety of different jobs.

Religions: Tibetan Buddhism, Bon (the indigenous religion of Tibet), and Islam (practiced by a number of different minority groups and only a handful of ethnic Tibetans)

Main crops: barley, wheat, buckwheat, rye, potatoes, and assorted fruits and vegetables

Main livestock: sheep, cattle, goats, yaks, dzo, horses, and camels

Native wildlife: Tibetan antelope, wild yak, wild ass and Tibetan argali, blue sheep, black-necked crane, Tibetan gazelle, giant panda, red panda, golden monkey

Main handicrafts: carpets, hats, jewelry, wooden items, clothing, quilts, fabrics

World Heritage Sites: the Potala Palace (Lhasa) and the Norbulingka Summer Palace (Lhasa)

Traditional cuisine: roasted barley flour (tsampa), steamed dumplings (momo), noodle soup (thukpa), yak meat, goat meat, mutton, jerky, potatoes, yak yogurt (sho), butter and cheese.

Average Temperature

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
°C 0 1 5 9 13 17 17 16 14 3 3 0
°F 32 34 41 48 55 62 61 60 57 38 39 32

Average Rainfall

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
cm 0 1.27 0.76 0.51 2.5 6.4 12 8.9 6.6 1.27 0.51 0
in 0 0.5 0.3 0.2 1 2.5 4.8 3.5 2.6 0.5 0.2 0