Myanmar - MM - MMR - MYA - East and Southeast Asia

Last updated: February 21, 2024
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Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Chargé d’Affaires Susan STEVENSON (since 10 July 2023)

embassy: 110 University Avenue, Kamayut Township, Rangoon

mailing address: 4250 Rangoon Place, Washington DC  20521-4250

telephone: [95] (1) 753-6509

FAX: [95] (1) 751-1069

email address and website:
ACSRangoon@state.gov

https://mm.usembassy.gov/

Age structure

0-14 years: 24.89% (male 7,394,557/female 7,036,651)

15-64 years: 68.3% (male 19,496,581/female 20,097,806)

65 years and over: 6.8% (2023 est.) (male 1,718,677/female 2,226,021)
2023 population pyramid
This is the population pyramid for Burma. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends.

For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Geographic coordinates

22 00 N, 98 00 E

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female

total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Heliports

6 (2024)

Natural hazards

destructive earthquakes and cyclones; flooding and landslides common during rainy season (June to September); periodic droughts

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Texas
Area comparison map

slightly smaller than Texas


Background

Burma, colonized by Britain in the 19th century and granted independence post-World War II, contains ethnic Burman and scores of other ethnic and religious minority groups that have all resisted external efforts to consolidate control of the country throughout its history, extending to the several minority groups today that possess independent fighting forces and control pockets of territory. In 1962, Gen. NE WIN seized power and ruled Burma until 1988 when a new military regime took control. In 1990, the military regime permitted an election but then rejected the results after the main opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) and its leader AUNG SAN SUU KYI (ASSK) won in a landslide. The military regime placed ASSK under house arrest for much of the next 20 years, until November 2010. In 2007, rising fuel prices in Burma led pro-democracy activists and Buddhist monks to launch a "Saffron Revolution" consisting of large protests against the ruling regime, which violently suppressed the movement by killing an unknown number of participants and arresting thousands. The regime prevented new elections until it had drafted a constitution designed to preserve the military's political control; it passed the new constitution in its 2008 referendum, days after Cyclone Nargis killed at least 138,000. The military regime conducted an election in 2010, but the NLD boycotted the vote, and the military’s political proxy, the Union Solidarity and Development Party, easily won; international observers denounced the election as flawed.

With former or current military officers installed in the government's most senior positions, Burma began a halting process of political and economic reforms. Officials freed prisoners, brokered ceasefires with ethnic armed groups (EAGs), amended courts, expanded civil liberties, brought ASSK into government in 2012, and permitted the NLD in 2015 to take power after a sweeping electoral win. However, Burma’s first credibly elected civilian government, with ASSK as the de facto head of state, faced strong headwinds after five decades of military dictatorship. The NLD government drew international criticism for blocking investigations of Burma’s military for operations, which the US Department of State determined constituted genocide, on its ethnic Rohingya population that killed thousands and forced more than 770,000 to flee into neighboring Bangladesh. The military did not support an NLD pledge in 2019 to examine reforming the military’s 2008 constitution. When the 2020 elections resulted in further NLD gains, the military denounced them as fraudulent. Burma military Commander-in-Chief Sr. General MIN AUNG HLAING launched a coup in February 2021 that returned Burma to authoritarian rule with military crackdowns that undid economic and political reforms and resulted in the detention of ASSK and thousands of pro-democracy actors, as well as widespread armed conflict and economic insecurity.

Since the coup and subsequent military crackdown, members of parliament elected in November 2020 and ousted by the military and other political actors have formed pro-democracy organizations, including the National Unity Government (NUG). Members of the NUG include representatives from the NLD, ethnic minority groups, civil society, and other minor parties. In May 2021, the NUG announced the formation of armed militias called the People's Defense Forces (PDF), and in September that same year announced the start of an insurgency against the military junta after the formation of hundreds of PDF armed groups. As of 2024, PDF groups across the country continued to fight the military regime with varying levels of support from and cooperation with the NUG and antiregime EAGs.


Environment - current issues

deforestation; industrial pollution of air, soil, and water; inadequate sanitation and water treatment contribute to disease; rapid depletion of the country's natural resources

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Population below poverty line

24.8% (2017 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.8%

highest 10%: 32.4% (1998)

Exports - commodities

natural gas, clothing products, dried legumes, precious stones, yttrium, scandium, rice, corn (2021)

note: Burmese methamphetamine production and opiate production remain significant illicit trade commodities

Exports - partners

China 34%, Thailand 14%, Germany 6%, Japan 5%, United States 5% (2021)

Administrative divisions

7 regions (taing-myar, singular - taing), 7 states (pyi ne-myar, singular - pyi ne), 1 union territory

regions: Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy), Bago, Magway, Mandalay, Sagaing, Tanintharyi, Yangon (Rangoon)

states: Chin, Kachin, Kayah, Karen, Mon, Rakhine, Shan

union territory: Nay Pyi Taw


Agricultural products

rice, sugar cane, beans, vegetables, milk, maize, poultry, groundnuts, fruit, plantains

Military and security forces

Burmese Defense Service (aka Armed Forces of Burma, Myanmar Army, Royal Armed Forces, the Tatmadaw, or the Sit-Tat): Army (Tatmadaw Kyi), Navy (Tatmadaw Yay), Air Force (Tatmadaw Lay); People’s Militia

Ministry of Home Affairs: Burma (People's) Police Force, Border Guard Forces/Police (2023)

note 1: under the 2008 constitution, the Tatmadaw controls appointments of senior officials to lead the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Border Affairs, and the Ministry of Home Affairs; in March 2022, a new law gave the commander-in-chief of the Tatmadaw the authority to appoint or remove the head of the police force

note 2: the Burma Police Force is primarily responsible for internal security; the Border Guard Police is administratively part of the Burma Police Force but operationally distinct; both are under the Ministry of Home Affairs, which is led by an active-duty military general and itself subordinate to the military command

Budget

revenues: $13.361 billion (2020 est.)

expenditures: $18.035 billion (2020 est.)

Capital

name: Rangoon (aka Yangon, continues to be recognized as the primary Burmese capital by the US Government); Nay Pyi Taw is the administrative capital

geographic coordinates: 16 48 N, 96 10 E

time difference: UTC+6.5 (11.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: Rangoon/Yangon derives from the Burmese words yan and koun, which mean "danger" and "no more" respectively and provide the meaning of "end of strife"; Nay Pyi Taw translates as: "Abode of Royals" or "the capital city of a kingdom"

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, broadcasting equipment, fabrics, motorcycles, packaged medicines (2019)

Climate

tropical monsoon; cloudy, rainy, hot, humid summers (southwest monsoon, June to September); less cloudy, scant rainfall, mild temperatures, lower humidity during winter (northeast monsoon, December to April)

Coastline

1,930 km

Constitution

history: previous 1947, 1974 (suspended until 2008); latest drafted 9 April 2008, approved by referendum 29 May 2008

amendments: proposals require at least 20% approval by the Assembly of the Union membership; passage of amendments to sections of the constitution on basic principles, government structure, branches of government, state emergencies, and amendment procedures requires 75% approval by the Assembly and approval in a referendum by absolute majority of registered voters; passage of amendments to other sections requires only 75% Assembly approval; military granted 25% of parliamentary seats by default; amended 2015

Exchange rates

kyats (MMK) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
1,381.619 (2020 est.)
1,518.255 (2019 est.)
1,429.808 (2018 est.)
1,360.359 (2017 est.)
1,234.87 (2016 est.)

Executive branch

chief of state: Prime Minister, State Administration Council Chair, Sr. Gen. MIN AUNG HLAING (since 1 August 2021); note - the military took over the government on 1 February 2021 and declared a state of emergency

head of government: Prime Minister, State Administration Council Chair, Sr. Gen. MIN AUNG HLAING (since 1 August 2021)

cabinet: Cabinet appointments shared by the president and the commander-in-chief; note - on 2 February 2021, the military leadership replaced the Cabinet with the State Administrative Council (SAC), which is the official name of the military government in Burma

elections/appointments: prior to the military takeover in 2021, president was indirectly elected by simple majority vote by the full Assembly of the Union from among 3 vice-presidential candidates nominated by the Presidential Electoral College (consists of members of the lower and upper houses and military members); the other 2 candidates become vice presidents (president elected for a 5-year term); general election last held on 8 November 2020; the military junta has pledged to hold new general elections but has repeatedly announced delays

election results: 2020:  the National League for Democracy (NLD) won 396 seats across both houses, well above the 322 required for a parliamentary majority, which would have ensured that its preferred candidates would be elected president and second vice president in the Presidential Electoral College; however, on 1 February 2021 the military claimed the results of the election were illegitimate and launched a coup d'état that deposed State Counsellor AUNG SAN SUU KYI and President WIN MYINT of the NLD, causing military-affiliated Vice President MYINT SWE (USDP) to become Acting President; MYINT SWE subsequently handed power to coup leader MIN AUNG HLAING; WIN MYINT and other key leaders of the ruling NLD party were placed under arrest following the military takeover

2018
: WIN MYINT elected president in an indirect by-election held on 28 March 2018 after the resignation of HTIN KYAW; Assembly of the Union vote for president - WIN MYINT (NLD) 403, MYINT SWE (USDP) 211, HENRY VAN THIO (NLD) 18, 4 votes canceled (636 votes cast)

state counsellor: State Counselor AUNG SAN SUU KYI (since 6 April 2016); note - under arrest since 1 February 2021; formerly served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister for the Office of the President

note: a parliamentary bill creating the position of "state counsellor" was signed into law by former President HTIN KYAW on 6 April 2016; a state counsellor serves the equivalent term of the president and is similar to a prime minister in that the holder acts as a link between the parliament and the executive branch

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March

Flag description

design consists of three equal horizontal stripes of yellow (top), green, and red; centered on the green band is a large white five-pointed star that partially overlaps onto the adjacent colored stripes; the design revives the triband colors used by Burma from 1943-45, during the Japanese occupation

Illicit drugs

source of precursor or essential chemicals used in the production of illicit narcotics; narcotics produced in Burma trafficked throughout the region, with routes extending beyond Southeast Asia to Australia, New Zealand, and Japan; largest opium poppy cultivator  globally with an estimated 47,100 hectares grown in 2023; not a major source or transit country for drugs entering the United States; domestic consumption of synthetic drug cocktails such as Yaba, “Happy Water,” and “Wei Tiong” (mixtures of drugs including caffeine, methamphetamine, tramadol, and MDMA) popular among the younger population and domestic drug consumption  substantial and widespread.

 

 

(2021)

Independence

4 January 1948 (from the UK)

Industries

agricultural processing; wood and wood products; copper, tin, tungsten, iron; cement, construction materials; pharmaceuticals; fertilizer; oil and natural gas; garments; jade and gems

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court of the Union (consists of the chief justice and 7-11 judges)

judge selection and term of office: chief justice and judges nominated by the president, with approval of the Lower House, and appointed by the president; judges normally serve until mandatory retirement at age 70

subordinate courts: High Courts of the Region; High Courts of the State; Court of the Self-Administered Division; Court of the Self-Administered Zone; district and township courts; special courts (for juvenile, municipal, and traffic offenses); courts martial

Land boundaries

total: 6,522 km

border countries (5): Bangladesh 271 km; China 2,129 km; India 1,468 km; Laos 238 km; Thailand 2,416 km

Land use

agricultural land: 19.2% (2018 est.)

arable land: 16.5% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 2.2% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 0.5% (2018 est.)

forest: 48.2% (2018 est.)

other: 32.6% (2018 est.)

Legal system

mixed legal system of English common law (as introduced in codifications designed for colonial India) and customary law

Legislative branch

description: dissolved 1 February 2021 by the coup led by Sr. General MIN AUNG HLAING; previously bicameral Assembly of the Union or Pyidaungsu consists of:
House of Nationalities or Amyotha Hluttaw, (224 seats; 168 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote with a second round if needed and 56 appointed by the military; members serve 5-year terms)
House of Representatives or Pyithu Hluttaw, (440 seats, currently 433; 330 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 110 appointed by the military; members serve 5-year terms); note - on 1 February 2021, the military dissolved the Assembly of the Union, which was replaced by the State Administration Council

elections: House of Nationalities - last held on 8 November 2020 
House of Representatives - last held on 8 November 2020; note - the military junta overturned the results of the 8 November legislative elections

election results: 2020: House of Nationalities - percent of vote by party - NLD 61.6%, USDP 3.1%, ANP 1.8%, MUP 1.3%, KySPD 1.3%, other 5.9%, military appointees 25%; seats by party - NLD 138, USDP 7, ANP 4, MUP 3, KySPD 3, SNLD 2, TNP 2, other 2, vacant 7 (canceled due to insurgency), military appointees 56

House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NLD 58.6%, USDP 5.9%, SNLD 3.0%, other 7.5%, military 25%; seats by party - NLD 258, USDP 26, SNLD 13, ANP 4, PNO 3, TNP 3, MUP 2, KySPD 2, other 4, vacant 15 (canceled due to insurgency), military appointees 110

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 89.1%

male: 92.4%

female: 86.3% (2019)

note: most public schools were closed immediately after the coup in 2021, and attendance remained low since schools reopened; literacy is expected to decline from 2019 to 2023

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

International organization participation

ADB, ARF, ASEAN, BIMSTEC, CP, EAS, EITI (candidate country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), NAM, OPCW (signatory), SAARC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

National holiday

Independence Day, 4 January (1948); Union Day, 12 February (1947)

Nationality

noun: Burmese (singular and plural)

adjective: Burmese

Natural resources

petroleum, timber, tin, antimony, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead, coal, marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas, hydropower, arable land

Geography - note

strategic location near major Indian Ocean shipping lanes; the north-south flowing Irrawaddy River is the country's largest and most important commercial waterway

Economic overview

prior to COVID-19 and the February 2021 military coup, massive declines in poverty, rapid economic growth, and improving social welfare; underdevelopment, climate change, and unequal investment threaten progress and sustainability planning; since coup, foreign assistance has ceased from most funding sources

Pipelines

3,739 km gas, 1321 km oil (2017)

Political parties and leaders

Arakan National Party or ANP [THAR TUN HLA]
Democratic Party or DP [U THU WAI]
Kayah State Democratic Party or KySDP
Kayin People's Party or KPP [TUN AUNG MYINT]
Kokang Democracy and Unity Party or KDUP [LUO XINGGUANG]
La Hu National Development Party or LHNDP [KYA HAR SHAL]
Lisu National Development Party or LNDP [U ARKI DAW]
Mon Unity Party (formed in 2019 from the All Mon Region Democracy Party and Mon National Party)
National Democratic Force or NDF [KHIN MAUNG SWE]
National League for Democracy or NLD [AUNG SAN SUU KYI]
National Unity Party or NUP [U HAN SHWE]
Pa-O National Organization or PNO [AUNG KHAM HTI]
People's Party [KO KO GYI]
Shan Nationalities Democratic Party or SNDP [SAI AI PAO]
Shan Nationalities League for Democracy or SNLD 
Ta'ang National Party or TNP [AIK MONE]
Tai-Leng Nationalities Development Party or TNDP [ U SAI HTAY AUNG]
Union Solidarity and Development Party or USDP [THAN HTAY]
Unity and Democracy Party of Kachin State or UDPKS [U KHAT HTEIN NAN]
Wa Democratic Party or WDP [KHUN HTUN LU]
Wa National Unity Party or WNUP [NYI PALOTE]
Zomi Congress for Democracy or ZCD [PU CIN SIAN THANG]
(numerous smaller parties; approximately 90 parties ran in the 2020 election)

note 1: in January 2023, the military junta announced a new law restricting political parties and their ability to participate in elections, including: 1) barring parties and candidates deemed by the junta to have links to individuals or organizations alleged to have committed terrorism or other unlawful acts; 2) stipulating that political parties that wanted to contest the national election would also need to secure at least 100,000 members within 90 days of registration and have funds of 100 million Myanmar kyat ($45,500), 100 times more than previously required, which would need to be deposited with a state-owned bank; 3) requiring that any existing party must apply for registration within 60 days of the legislation being announced or be invalidated; allowing for parties to be suspended for 3 years, and ultimately dissolved, for failing to comply with the provisions of the new law; 4) not allowing parties to lodge an appeal against election commission decisions on registration

note 2: in March 2023, the military junta announced that 40 political parties had been dissolved, including the National League for Democracy, because they did not register under the junta's new party establishment rules


Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Mawlamyine (Moulmein), Sittwe

river port(s): Rangoon (Yangon) (Rangoon River)

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Burma, one of the least developed telecom markets in Asia, saw growth in mobile and broadband services through expanded foreign access and investment in the 2010s and roll outs 4G and limited 5G network infrastructures; infrastructure expansion has been challenged by armed conflict, severe weather events, unreliable electricity, inefficient bureaucracy, and decreased foreign investment since the 2021 military coup; digital divide affects rural areas; fixed broadband remains low due to number of fixed-lines and widespread installation of the mobile network platforms; multiple m-banking platforms; tests for NB-IoT; benefit from launch of regional satellite; government censors online content and restricts Internet and mobile network quality in political crisis (2023)

domestic: fixed-line is just under 1 per 100, while mobile-cellular is roughly 126 per 100 (2021)

international: country code - 95; landing points for the SeaMeWe-3, SeaMeWe-5, AAE-1 and Singapore-Myanmar optical telecommunications submarine cable that provides links to Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia and Europe; satellite earth stations - 2, Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and ShinSat (2019)

Terrain

central lowlands ringed by steep, rugged highlands

Government type

military regime

Country name

conventional long form: Union of Burma

conventional short form: Burma

local long form: Pyidaungzu Thammada Myanma Naingngandaw (translated as the Republic of the Union of Myanmar)

local short form: Myanma Naingngandaw

former: Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma, Union of Myanmar

etymology: both "Burma" and "Myanmar" derive from the name of the majority Burman (Bamar) ethnic group

note: since 1989 the military authorities in Burma and the deposed parliamentary government have promoted the name Myanmar as a conventional name for their state; the US Government has not officially adopted the name

Location

Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Bangladesh and Thailand

Map references

Southeast Asia

Irrigated land

17,140 sq km (2020)

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Chargé d'Affaires THET Win (since 22 June 2022)

chancery: 2300 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 332-3344

FAX: [1] (202) 332-4351

email address and website:
washington-embassy@mofa.gov.mm

https://www.mewashingtondc.org/

consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York

Internet country code

.mm

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2023)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, Japanese encephalitis, and sexually transmitted diseases: hepatitis B (2024)

animal contact diseases: rabies

Refugees and internally displaced persons

IDPs: 1.975 million (government offensives against armed ethnic minority groups near its borders with China and Thailand, natural disasters, forced land evictions) (2023)

stateless persons: 600,000 (2022); note - Rohingya Muslims, living predominantly in Rakhine State, are Burma's main group of stateless people; the Burmese Government does not recognize the Rohingya as a "national race" and stripped them of their citizenship under the 1982 Citizenship Law, categorizing them as "non-nationals" or "foreign residents;" under the Rakhine State Action Plan drafted in October 2014, the Rohingya must demonstrate their family has lived in Burma for at least 60 years to qualify for a lesser naturalized citizenship and the classification of Bengali or be put in detention camps and face deportation; native-born but non-indigenous people, such as Indians, are also stateless; the Burmese Government does not grant citizenship to children born outside of the country to Burmese parents who left the country illegally or fled persecution, such as those born in Thailand; the number of stateless persons has decreased dramatically because hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since 25 August 2017 to escape violence

GDP (official exchange rate)

$76.606 billion (2019 est.)

Trafficking in persons

tier rating: Tier 3 — Burma does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so, therefore, Burma remained on Tier 3; the regime reported investigating and convicting more traffickers, sentencing some to imprisonment, and conducting an awareness-raising event; the 2022 anti-trafficking law was enacted, criminalizing all forms of labor and sex trafficking; however, the regime did not identify or screen for any victims and, as a result, penalized victims for unlawful acts committed as a result of being trafficked; the military continued to use children and adults in forced labor; the regime did not prosecute any military or deposed government officials despite continued reports of complicity in trafficking, and it prevented civil society organizations from assisting victims; displacement resulting from military conflict, exacerbated by the February 2021 military coup that deposed the democratically elected government, made Rohingya and other ethnic groups more vulnerable to human trafficking; efforts to combat trafficking continued to decline dramatically since the coup, as the military regime shifted its focus from serving justice to persecuting pro-democracy opposition (2023)

trafficking profile: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Burma, as well as Burmese victims abroad; Burmese men are forced to work domestically and abroad in fishing, manufacturing, forestry, agriculture, and construction; fishermen are lured into forced labor by recruitment agencies in Burma and Southeast Asia; Burmese women are lured to China for marriage under false pretenses and are subjected to sex trafficking, forced concubinism and childbearing, and forced domestic labor; men, women, and children in ethnic minority areas are at increased risk of sex trafficking and forced labor in farming, manufacturing, and construction; men and boys are recruited locally by traffickers for forced labor in oil palm and rubber plantations, mining, fishing, and bamboo, teak, and rice harvesting; some military personnel, civilian brokers, border guard officials, and ethnic armed groups continue to recruit child soldiers, particularly in conflict areas; men, women, and children are at risk of forced labor and sex trafficking along Burma’s borders with China and Thailand; discriminatory laws and hiring practices put LGBTQI+ individuals at higher risk for trafficking; Burmese women are subjected to forced domestic labor, including in the UAE; foreign traffickers, including Chinese nationals, reportedly are fraudulently recruiting men and women from South and Southeast Asia, as well as Brazil, Kenya, Uganda, and Uzbekistan, for forced labor in cyber scam operations along the border with Thailand (2023)

Total renewable water resources

1.2 trillion cubic meters (2020 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 11 years

male: 10 years

female: 11 years (2018)

Urbanization

urban population: 32.1% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 1.85% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Broadcast media

government controls all domestic broadcast media; 2 state-controlled TV stations with 1 of the stations controlled by the armed forces; 2 pay-TV stations are joint state-private ventures; 1 state-controlled domestic radio station and 9 FM stations that are joint state-private ventures; transmissions of several international broadcasters are available in parts of Burma; the Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Asia (RFA), BBC Burmese service, the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), and Radio Australia use shortwave to broadcast in Burma; VOA, RFA, and DVB produce daily TV news programs that are transmitted by satellite to audiences in Burma; in March 2017, the government granted licenses to 5 private broadcasters, allowing them digital free-to-air TV channels to be operated in partnership with government-owned Myanmar Radio and Television (MRTV) and will rely upon MRTV’s transmission infrastructure; following the February 2021 military coup, the regime revoked the media licenses of most independent outlets, including the free-to-air licenses for DVB and Mizzima (2022)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 95.4% of population

rural: 80.7% of population

total: 85.3% of population

unimproved: urban: 4.6% of population

rural: 19.3% of population

total: 14.7% of population (2020 est.)

National anthem

name: "Kaba Ma Kyei" (Till the End of the World, Myanmar)

lyrics/music: SAYA TIN

note: adopted 1948; Burma is among a handful of non-European nations that have anthems rooted in indigenous traditions; the beginning portion of the anthem is a traditional Burmese anthem before transitioning into a Western-style orchestrated work
This is an audio of the National Anthem for Burma. The national anthem is generally a patriotic musical composition - usually in the form of a song or hymn of praise - that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions, or struggles of a nation or its people. National anthems can be officially recognized as a national song by a country's constitution or by an enacted law, or simply by tradition. Although most anthems contain lyrics, some do not.

Major urban areas - population

5.610 million RANGOON (Yangon) (capital), 1.532 million Mandalay (2023)

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Physicians density

0.74 physicians/1,000 population (2019)

Hospital bed density

1 beds/1,000 population (2017)

National symbol(s)

chinthe (mythical lion); national colors: yellow, green, red, white

Mother's mean age at first birth

24.7 years (2015/16 est.)

note: data represents median age at first birth among women 25-49

Contraceptive prevalence rate

52.2% (2015/16)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 59.2% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 13.8% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 33.5% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 1.5% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 21.4% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -28.6% (2017 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 46

youth dependency ratio: 36.3

elderly dependency ratio: 9.7

potential support ratio: 10.3 (2021 est.)

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: both parents must be citizens of Burma

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: none

note: an applicant for naturalization must be the child or spouse of a citizen

Population distribution

population concentrated along coastal areas and in general proximity to the shores of the Irrawaddy River; the extreme north is relatively underpopulated

Electricity access

population without electricity: 26 million (2020)

electrification - total population: 72.4% (2021)

electrification - urban areas: 93.6% (2021)

electrification - rural areas: 62.7% (2021)

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 8 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 42

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 3,407,788 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 4.74 million (2018) mt-km

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

XY

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 93.9% of population

rural: 81.3% of population

total: 85.2% of population

unimproved: urban: 6.1% of population

rural: 18.7% of population

total: 14.8% of population (2020 est.)

Ethnic groups

Burman (Bamar) 68%, Shan 9%, Karen 7%, Rakhine 4%, Chinese 3%, Indian 2%, Mon 2%, other 5%

note: the largest ethnic group — the Burman (or Bamar) — dominate politics and the military ranks are largely drawn from this ethnic group; the Burman mainly populate the central parts of the country, while various ethnic minorities have traditionally lived in the peripheral regions that surround the plains in a horseshoe shape; the government recognizes 135 indigenous ethnic groups

Religions

Buddhist 87.9%, Christian 6.2%, Muslim 4.3%, Animist 0.8%, Hindu 0.5%, other 0.2%, none 0.1% (2014 est.)

note: religion estimate is based on the 2014 national census, including an estimate for the non-enumerated population of Rakhine State, which is assumed to mainly affiliate with the Islamic faith; as of December 2019, Muslims probably make up less than 3% of Burma's total population due to the large outmigration of the Rohingya population since 2017

Languages

Burmese (official)

major-language sample(s):
ကမ္ဘာ့အချက်အလက်စာအုပ်- အခြေခံအချက်အလက်တွေအတွက် မရှိမဖြစ်တဲ့ အရင်းအမြစ် (Burmese)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

note: minority ethnic groups use their own languages
Burmese audio sample

Imports - partners

China 43%, Thailand 15%, Singapore 12%, Indonesia 5% (2019)

Disputes - international

over half of Burma's population consists of diverse ethnic groups who have substantial numbers of kin in neighboring countries; Bangladesh struggles to accommodate 912,000 Rohingya, Burmese Muslim minority from Rakhine State, living as refugees in Cox's Bazar; Burmese border authorities were constructing a 200 km (124 mi) wire fence designed to deter illegal cross-border transit and tensions from the military build-up along border with Bangladesh in 2010; Bangladesh referred its maritime boundary claims with Burma and India to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea; Burmese forces attempting to dig in to the largely autonomous Shan State to rout local militias tied to the drug trade, prompts local residents to periodically flee into neighboring Yunnan Province in China; fencing along the India-Burma international border at Manipur's Moreh town is in progress to check illegal drug trafficking and movement of militants


Elevation

highest point: Gamlang Razi 5,870 m

lowest point: Andaman Sea/Bay of Bengal 0 m

mean elevation: 702 m

Current health expenditure

3.7% of GDP (2020)

Military - note

since the country’s founding, the Tatmadaw has been heavily involved in domestic politics and the national economy; it ran the country for five decades following a military coup in 1962; prior to the most recent coup in 2021, the military already controlled three key security ministries (Defense, Border, and Home Affairs), one of two vice presidential appointments, 25% of the parliamentary seats, and had a proxy political party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP); it owns and operates two business conglomerates that have over 100 subsidiaries; the business activities of these conglomerates include banking and insurance, hotels, tourism, jade and ruby mining, timber, construction, real estate, and the production of palm oil, sugar, soap, cement, beverages, drinking water, coal, and gas; some of the companies supply goods and services to the military, such as food, clothing, insurance, and cellphone service; the military also manages a film industry, publishing houses, and television stations

the Tatmadaw's primary operational focus is internal security, and it is conducting counterinsurgency operations against anti-regime forces that launched an armed rebellion following the 2021 coup and an array of ethnic armed groups (EAGs), some of which have considerable military capabilities; it has been accused of committing atrocities in the conduct of its campaign against the pro-democracy movement and opposition forces 

the military's primary focus is counterinsurgency; the Army is the dominant service and its principal combat forces are organized into 10 centrally-commanded light infantry/rapid reaction divisions, which have a key role in fighting against insurgents; the light infantry divisions are supported by approximately 20 regionally-based, divisional-sized “military operations commands” and several brigade-sized “regional operations commands”; the Army’s counterinsurgency operations are supported by the National Police, which has dozens of paramilitary combat police battalions; the Air Force also has a large counterinsurgency role with more than 100 combat-capable aircraft and helicopters, mostly ground attack aircraft and helicopter gunships, complemented by some multipurpose fighters; the Navy has traditionally been a coastal defense force, and the majority of the combat fleet consists of fast attack and patrol vessels; however, in recent years the Navy has expanded its blue water capabilities and has a small force of frigates and corvettes, as well as a landing platform docking (LPD) amphibious assault ship and two attack submarines acquired since 2020

the military is supported by hundreds of pro-government militias; some are integrated within the Tatmadaw’s command structure as Border Guard Forces, which are organized as battalions with a mix of militia forces, EAGs, and government soldiers that are armed, supplied, and paid by the Tatmadaw; other pro-military government militias are not integrated within the Tatmadaw command structure but receive direction and some support from the military and are recognized as government militias; a third type of pro-government militias are small community-based units that are armed, coordinated, and trained by local Tatmadaw forces and activated as needed; the military regime has attempted to raise new militia units to help combat the popular uprising

EAGs have been fighting for self-rule against the Burmese Government since 1948; there are approximately 20 such groups operating in Burma with strengths of a few hundred up to more than 25,000 estimated fighters; some are organized along military lines with "brigades" and "divisions" and armed with heavy weaponry, including artillery; they control large tracts of the country’s territory, primarily in the border regions; key groups include the United Wa State Army, Karen National Union, Kachin Independence Army, Arakan Army, Ta’ang National Liberation Army, and the Myanmar Nationalities Democratic Alliance Army

the opposition National Unity Government claims its armed wing, the People's Defense Force (PDF), has more than 60,000 fighters loosely organized into battalions; in addition, several EAGs have cooperated with the NUG and supported local PDF groups (2023)

Military and security service personnel strengths

estimates vary widely, from approximately 150,000 to as many as 400,000 active personnel (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the Burmese military inventory is comprised mostly of older Chinese and Russian/Soviet-era equipment with a smaller mix of more modern acquisitions from a variety of countries; in recent years, China and Russia have been the leading suppliers of military hardware; Burma has a limited defense industry, including a growing shipbuilding capability and some production of ground force equipment that is largely based on Chinese and Russian designs (2023)

Food insecurity

severe localized food insecurity: due to conflict, political instability, and economic constraints - the political crisis, following the military takeover on 1 February 2021, resulted in increased tensions and unrest throughout the country; the current uncertain political situation may further compromise the fragile situation of vulnerable households and the Rohingya IDPs residing in the country; armed conflict between the military and non‑state armed groups led to population displacements, disrupted agricultural activities and limited access for humanitarian support especially in Rakhine, Chin, Kachin, Kayin, Kayah and Shan states; income losses and a decline in remittances, due to the impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic, have affected the food security situation of vulnerable households; domestic prices of Emata rice, the most consumed variety in the country, were at high levels in May 2022, constraining access to a key staple food (2022)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 3.32 billion cubic meters (2019 est.)

industrial: 500 million cubic meters (2019 est.)

agricultural: 29.57 billion cubic meters (2019 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 4,677,307 tons (2000 est.)

Demographic profile

Burma’s 2014 national census – the first in more than 30 years – revealed that the country’s total population is approximately 51.5 million, significantly lower than the Burmese Government’s prior estimate of 61 million.  The Burmese Government assumed that the 2% population growth rate between 1973 and 1983 remained constant and that emigration was zero, ignoring later sample surveys showing declining fertility rates and substantial labor migration abroad in recent decades.  These factors reduced the estimated average annual growth rate between 2003 and 2014 to about .9%.  Among Southeast Asian countries, Burma’s life expectancy is among the lowest and its infant and maternal mortality rates are among the highest.  The large difference in life expectancy between women and men has resulted in older age cohorts consisting of far more women than men.

Burma’s demographic transition began in the 1950s, when mortality rates began to drop.  Fertility did not start to decrease until the 1960s, sustaining high population growth until the decline accelerated in the 1980s.  The birth rate has held fairly steady from 2000 until today.  Since the 1970s, the total fertility rate (TFR) has fallen more than 60%, from almost 6 children per woman to 2.2 in 2016.  The reduced TFR is largely a result of women marrying later and more women never marrying, both being associated with greater educational attainment and labor force participation among women.  TFR, however, varies regionally, between urban and rural areas, by educational attainment, and among ethnic groups, with fertility lowest in urban areas (where it is below replacement level).

The shift in Burma’s age structure has been slow (45% of the population is still under 25 years of age) and uneven among its socioeconomic groups.  Any economic boost from the growth of the working-age population is likely to take longer to develop, to have a smaller impact, and to be distributed unequally.  Rural poverty and unemployment continue to drive high levels of internal and international migration.  The majority of labor migration is internal, mainly from rural to urban areas.  The new government’s growing regional integration, reforms, and improved diplomatic relations are increasing the pace of international migration and destination choices.  As many as 4-5 million Burmese, mostly from rural areas and several ethnic groups, have taken up unskilled jobs abroad in agriculture, fishing, manufacturing, and domestic service.  Thailand is the most common destination, hosting about 70% of Burma’s international migrants, followed by Malaysia, China, and Singapore. 

Burma is a patchwork of more than 130 religious and ethnic groups, distinguishing it as one of the most diverse countries in the region.  Ethnic minorities face substantial discrimination, and the Rohingya, the largest Muslim group, are arguably the most persecuted population in the country.  The Burmese Government and the Buddhist majority see the Rohingya as a threat to identity, competitors for jobs and resources, terrorists, and some still resent them for their alliance with Burma’s British colonizers during its 19th century.  Since at least the 1960s, they have been subjected to systematic human rights abuses, violence, marginalization, and disenfranchisement, which authorities continue to deny.  Despite living in Burma for centuries, many Burmese see the Rohingya as illegal Bengali immigrants and refer to them Bengalis.  As a result, the Rohingya have been classified as foreign residents and stripped of their citizenship, rendering them one of the largest stateless populations in the world.  

Hundreds of thousands of Burmese from various ethnic groups have been internally displaced (an estimated 644,000 as of year-end 2016) or have fled to neighboring countries over the decades because of persecution, armed conflict, rural development projects, drought, and natural disasters.  Bangladesh has absorbed the most refugees from Burma, with an estimated 33,000 officially recognized and 200,000 to 500,000 unrecognized Rohingya refugees, as of 2016.  An escalation in violation has caused a surge in the inflow of Rohingya refugees since late August 2017, raising the number to an estimated 870,000.  As of June 2017, another approximately 132,500 refugees, largely Rohingya and Chin, were living in Malaysia, and more than 100,000, mostly Karen, were housed in camps along the Burma-Thailand border. 


Average household expenditures

on food: 56.1% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

on alcohol and tobacco: 0.5% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 27.16 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 25.28 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 42.2 megatons (2020 est.)

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Indian Ocean drainage: Brahmaputra (651,335 sq km), Ganges (1,016,124 sq km), Irrawaddy (413,710 sq km), Salween (271,914 sq km)
Pacific Ocean drainage: Mekong (805,604 sq km)

Major rivers (by length in km)

Mekong (shared with China [s], Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam [m]) - 4,350 km; Salween river mouth (shared with China [s] and Thailand) - 3,060 km; Irrawaddy river mouth (shared with China [s]) - 2,809 km; Chindwin - 1,158 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 2 (both cultural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Pyu Ancient Cities; Bagan

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 1.9%

women married by age 18: 16%

men married by age 18: 5% (2016 est.)

Coal

production: 1.468 million metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 1.981 million metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 1,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 514,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 6 million metric tons (2019 est.)

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 52.6% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 0.1% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 47.3% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Natural gas

production: 17,710,912,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

consumption: 3,612,431,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

exports: 14,188,161,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

imports: 475.156 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 637.128 billion cubic meters (2021 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 7,800 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 146,200 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 4,700 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 139 million barrels (2021 est.)

Gross reproduction rate

0.97 (2023 est.)

Currently married women (ages 15-49)

57.5% (2023 est.)

Remittances

2.85% of GDP (2020 est.)
3.72% of GDP (2019 est.)
3.98% of GDP (2018 est.)

Labor force

22.122 million (2021 est.)

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 6.4% (2021 est.)

male: 6.5%

female: 6.3%

Net migration rate

-1.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Median age

total: 30.4 years (2023 est.)

male: 29.5 years

female: 31.3 years

Debt - external

$6.594 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$8.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

179 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$7.67 billion (31 December 2020 est.)
$5.824 billion (31 December 2019 est.)
$5.646 billion (31 December 2018 est.)

Waterways

12,800 km (2011)

Refined petroleum products - imports

102,600 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Public debt

33.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
35.7% of GDP (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate

2 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Military expenditures

3.4% of GDP (2023 est.)
3% of GDP (2022 est.)
3.3% of GDP (2021 est.)
3% of GDP (2020 est.)
4.1% of GDP (2019 est.)

Unemployment rate

2.17% (2021 est.)
1.06% (2020 est.)
0.5% (2019 est.)

Population

57,970,293 (2023 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-3.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Internet users

total: 23.76 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 44% (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

31.848 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 3.881 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 20.832 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 7.134 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

Area

total: 676,578 sq km

land: 653,508 sq km

water: 23,070 sq km

Taxes and other revenues

6.44% (of GDP) (2019 est.)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$216.948 billion (2021 est.)
$264.29 billion (2020 est.)
$256.16 billion (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Roadways

total: 157,000 km (2013)

paved: 57,840 km (2017)

unpaved: 99,160 km (2017)

Infant mortality rate

total: 33.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

male: 36.7 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 29.8 deaths/1,000 live births

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 67,930,093 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 126 (2021 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

30.7 (2017 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

8.83% (2019 est.)
6.87% (2018 est.)
4.57% (2017 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Current account balance

$67.72 million (2019 est.)
-$2.561 billion (2018 est.)
-$4.917 billion (2017 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$4,000 (2021 est.)
$4,900 (2020 est.)
$4,800 (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 688,185 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2020 est.)

Tobacco use

total: 44.1% (2020 est.)

male: 68.5% (2020 est.)

female: 19.7% (2020 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

5.8% (2016)

Energy consumption per capita

10.679 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

Death rate

7.4 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Birth rate

16.1 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 7.247 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 20,474,380,000 kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 1.002 billion kWh (2019 est.)

imports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 3.405 billion kWh (2019 est.)

Merchant marine

total: 101 (2023)

by type: bulk carrier 1, general cargo 44, oil tanker 5, other 51

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

19.1% (2017/18)

Imports

$23.1 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$17.356 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$18.664 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

note: import figures are grossly underestimated due to the value of consumer goods, diesel fuel, and other products smuggled in from Thailand, China, Malaysia, and India

Exports

$20.4 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$17.523 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$15.728 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

note: Data are in current year dollars and do not include illicit exports or re-exports.

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 535,463 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

13,330 bbl/day (2017 est.)

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 2.06 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0.5 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.02 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 1.55 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 69.8 years (2023 est.)

male: 68.1 years

female: 71.6 years

Real GDP growth rate

-17.91% (2021 est.)
3.17% (2020 est.)
6.75% (2019 est.)

Industrial production growth rate

-20.65% (2021 est.)

Railways

total: 5,031 km (2008)

narrow gauge: 5,031 km (2008) 1.000-m gauge

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 24.1% (2017 est.)

industry: 35.6% (2017 est.)

services: 40.3% (2017 est.)

Revenue from forest resources

1.69% of GDP (2018 est.)

Revenue from coal

0.01% of GDP (2018 est.)

Education expenditures

2.1% of GDP (2019 est.)

Population growth rate

0.73% (2023 est.)

Military service age and obligation

18-35 years of age (men) and 18-27 years of age (women) for voluntary and conscripted military service; 24-month service obligation; conscripted professional men (ages 18-45) and women (ages 18-35), including doctors, engineers, and mechanics, serve up to 36 months; service terms may be extended to 60 months in an officially declared emergency (2024)

note: in February 2024, the military government announced that the People’s Military Service Law requiring mandatory military service would go into effect; the Service Law was first introduced in 2010 but had not previously been enforced; the military government also said that it intended to call up about 60,000 men and women annually for mandatory service; during the ongoing insurgency, the military has recruited men 18-60 to serve in local militias

Airports

73 (2024)