The name, Bhotiya (also spelt "Bhotia"), derives from the word Bod (བོད་), which is the Classical Tibetan name for Tibet. It was the term used by the British to refer to the borderland people, due to a presumed resemblance to the Tibetans. The Government of India continues to use the term.
Bhotiyas themselves self-describe themselves as Rung. Possible etymologies of the term include the Byangko word for mountain and the Tibetan term for valley (Rang-skad = valley language).
The Kumaonis refer to them as Shauka which means 'money' or 'rich'.
The Bhotiyas of Uttarakhand are scattered over the seven main river valleys in the three border districts of Pithoragarh, Chamoli and Uttarkashi. The seven major Bhotiya groups in Uttarakhand are the Johari, Darmiya, Chaudansi, Byansi, Marchha (Mana Valley), Tolchha (Niti Valley) and Jadh.
The isolated Rangkas (Rang, Rung) tribe has a population of 600 and is found in the outskirts of the Mahakali valley. According to Ethnologue, the Rangkas are ethnically related or are of the Johar tribe.
As per the 2011 Census, there were a total of 39,106 Bhotia in Uttarakhand with ST status. Of them, 37,873 were Hindu and 1,100 were Buddhist. The most popular languages among the Bhotia are Kumauni (13,150 speakers), Garhwali (5,765), Hindi (5,809), Bhotia (7,592), Halam (5,300) and Rongpa (481).
There were a total of 510 births in 2010, corresponding to a birth rate of 13.04 per 1,000.
^Heiko Schrader (1988). Trading Patterns in the Nepal Himalayas. Breitenbach. p. 108. ISBN 3-88156-405-5.
^"List of Scheduled Tribes". Census of India: Government of India. 7 March 2007. Archived from the original on 5 June 2010. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
Bergmann, Christoph (2016). "Confluent territories and overlapping sovereignties: Britain's nineteenth-century Indian empire in the Kumaon Himalaya". Journal of Historical Geography. 51: 88–98. doi:10.1016/j.jhg.2015.06.015. ISSN 0305-7488.
Chatterjee, Bishwa B. (January 1976), "The Bhotias of Uttarakhand", India International Centre Quarterly, 3 (1): 3–16, JSTOR 23001864
Dash, Chittaranjan (2006), Social Ecology and Demographic Structure of Bhotias: Narratives & Discourses, Concept Publishing Company, ISBN 978-81-8069-227-7
Farooquee, Nehal A. (December 1998), "Changes in Pastoralism in the Indian Himalaya", Cultural Survival, 22 (4)
Jha, Makhan (1996), The Himalayas: An Anthropological Perspective, M.D. Publications Pvt. Ltd., ISBN 978-81-7533-020-7
Hoon, Vineeta (1996), Living on the Move: Bhotiyas of the Kumaon Himalaya, Sage Publications, ISBN 978-0-8039-9325-9
Negi, R. S.; Singh, J.; Das, J. C. (1996), "Trade and Trade-Routes in the Cis and Trans Himalayas: Pattern of Traditional Entrepreneurship Among the Indian Highlanders", in Makhan Jha (ed.), The Himalayas: An Anthropological Perspective, M.D. Publications Pvt. Ltd., pp. 53–66, ISBN 978-81-7533-020-7
Oko, Christina Willis (2019), A Grammar of Darma, BRILL, ISBN 978-90-04-40949-1
Walton, H. G., ed. (1911), Almora: A Gazetteer, District Gazetteers of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, vol. 35, Government Press, United Provinces – via archive.org