This chapter provides a brief historical background and a description of major events in Tibet. It also provides basic political, economic, and social data arranged in the following categories: polity, economy, population, purchasing power parities, life expectancy, ethnic groups, capital, political rights, civil liberties, and status. The chapter discusses the progress and decline of political rights and civil liberties in Tibet. Tibetans lack the right of self-determination, cannot change their government through elections, and enjoy few basic rights. The Chinese Communist Party rules the Tibet Autonomous Region and neighboring areas that historically were part of Tibet through compliant government officials whose ranks include some Tibetans in largely ceremonial posts. China's blanket repression denies Tibetans nearly all basic rights. Some of worst abuses are against political dissidents. As one of China's 55 recognized ethnic minority groups, Tibetans receive some preferential treatment in university admissions and government employment. Tibetans need to learn Mandarin Chinese in order to take advantage of these preferences.