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Burma    Introduction Top of Page
Background: Despite multiparty elections in 1990 that resulted in the main opposition party winning a decisive victory, the military junta ruling the country refused to hand over power. Key opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient AUNG San Suu Kyi, under house arrest from 1989 to 1995, was again placed under house detention in September 2000; her supporters are routinely harassed or jailed.
Burma    Geography Top of Page
Location: Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Bangladesh and Thailand
Geographic coordinates: 22 00 N, 98 00 E
Map references: Southeast Asia
Area: total:  678,500 sq km

land:  657,740 sq km

water:  20,760 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Texas
Land boundaries: total:  5,876 km

border countries:  Bangladesh 193 km, China 2,185 km, India 1,463 km, Laos 235 km, Thailand 1,800 km
Coastline: 1,930 km
Maritime claims: contiguous zone:  24 NM

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

exclusive economic zone:  200 NM

territorial sea:  12 NM
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)
Terrain: central lowlands ringed by steep, rugged highlands
Elevation extremes: lowest point:  Andaman Sea 0 m

highest point:  Hkakabo Razi 5,881 m
Natural resources: petroleum, timber, tin, antimony, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead, coal, some marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas, hydropower
Land use: arable land:  15%

permanent crops:  1%

permanent pastures:  1%

forests and woodland:  49%

other:  34% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 10,680 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: destructive earthquakes and cyclones; flooding and landslides common during rainy season (June to September); periodic droughts
Environment - current issues: deforestation; industrial pollution of air, soil, and water; inadequate sanitation and water treatment contribute to disease
Environment - international agreements: party to:  Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94

signed, but not ratified:  none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: strategic location near major Indian Ocean shipping lanes
Burma    People Top of Page
Population: 41,994,678

note:  estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2001 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years:  29.14% (male 6,245,798; female 5,992,074)

15-64 years:  66.08% (male 13,779,571; female 13,970,707)

65 years and over:  4.78% (male 895,554; female 1,110,974) (2001 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.6% (2001 est.)
Birth rate: 20.13 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Death rate: 12.3 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.84 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth:  1.06 male(s)/female

under 15 years:  1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years:  0.99 male(s)/female

65 years and over:  0.81 male(s)/female

total population:  0.99 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 73.71 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population:  55.16 years

male:  53.73 years

female:  56.68 years (2001 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.3 children born/woman (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 1.99% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 530,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 48,000 (1999 est.)
Nationality: noun:  Burmese (singular and plural)

adjective:  Burmese
Ethnic groups: Burman 68%, Shan 9%, Karen 7%, Rakhine 4%, Chinese 3%, Mon 2%, Indian 2%, other 5%
Religions: Buddhist 89%, Christian 4% (Baptist 3%, Roman Catholic 1%), Muslim 4%, animist 1%, other 2%
Languages: Burmese, minority ethnic groups have their own languages
Literacy: definition:  age 15 and over can read and write

total population:  83.1%

male:  88.7%

female:  77.7% (1995 est.)

note:  these are official statistics; estimates of functional literacy are likely closer to 30% (1999 est.)
Burma    Government Top of Page
Country name: conventional long form:  Union of Burma

conventional short form:  Burma

local long form:  Pyidaungzu Myanma Naingngandaw (translated by the US Government as Union of Myanma and by the Burmese as Union of Myanmar)

local short form:  Myanma Naingngandaw

former:  Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma
Government type: military regime
Capital: Rangoon (regime refers to the capital as Yangon)
Administrative divisions: 7 divisions* (yin-mya, singular - yin) and 7 states (pyine-mya, singular - pyine); Chin State, Ayeyarwady*, Bago*, Kachin State, Kayin State, Kayah State, Magway*, Mandalay*, Mon State, Rakhine State, Sagaing*, Shan State, Tanintharyi*, Yangon*
Independence: 4 January 1948 (from UK)
National holiday: Independence Day, 4 January (1948)
Constitution: 3 January 1974 (suspended since 18 September 1988); national convention started on 9 January 1993 to draft a new constitution; progress has since been stalled
Legal system: has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state:  Prime Minister and Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council Sr. Gen. THAN SHWE (since 23 April 1992); note - the prime minister is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government:  Prime Minister and Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council Sr. Gen. THAN SHWE (since 23 April 1992); note - the prime minister is both the chief of state and head of government

cabinet:  State Peace and Development Council (SPDC); military junta, so named 15 November 1997, which initially assumed power 18 September 1988 under the name State Law and Order Restoration Council; the SPDC oversees the cabinet

elections:  none; the prime minister assumed power upon resignation of the former prime minister
Legislative branch: unicameral People's Assembly or Pyithu Hluttaw (485 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections:  last held 27 May 1990, but Assembly never convened

election results:  percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NLD 392, SNLD 23, NUP 10, other 60
Judicial branch: remnants of the British-era legal system are in place, but there is no guarantee of a fair public trial; the judiciary is not independent of the executive
Political parties and leaders: National League for Democracy or NLD [AUNG SHWE, chairman, AUNG SAN SUU KYI, general secretary]; National Unity Party or NUP (proregime) [THA KYAW]; Shan Nationalities League for Democracy or SNLD [U KHUN TUN OO]; Union Solidarity and Development Association or USDA (proregime, a social and political organization) [THAN AUNG, general secretary]; and other smaller parties
Political pressure groups and leaders: All Burma Student Democratic Front or ABSDF; Kachin Independence Army or KIA; Karen National Union or KNU; National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma or NCGUB [Dr. SEIN WIN] consists of individuals legitimately elected to the People's Assembly but not recognized by the military regime; the group fled to a border area and joined with insurgents in December 1990 to form a parallel government; several Shan factions; United Wa State Army or UWSA
International organization participation: ARF, AsDB, ASEAN, CCC, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OPCW (signatory), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission:  Ambassador-designate U LINN MYAING

chancery:  2300 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone:  [1] (202) 332-9044

FAX:  [1] (202) 332-9046

consulate(s) general:  New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission:  Permanent Charge d'Affaires Priscilla A. CLAPP

embassy:  581 Merchant Street, Rangoon (GPO 521)

mailing address:  Box B, APO AP 96546

telephone:  [95] (1) 282055, 282182

FAX:  [95] (1) 280409
Flag description: red with a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing, all in white, 14 five-pointed stars encircling a cogwheel containing a stalk of rice; the 14 stars represent the 14 administrative divisions
Burma    Economy Top of Page
Economy - overview: Burma has a mixed economy with private activity dominant in agriculture, light industry, and transport, and with substantial state-controlled activity, mainly in energy, heavy industry, and the rice trade. Government policy in the 1990s has aimed at revitalizing the economy after three decades of tight central planning. Private activity markedly increased in the early to mid-1990s, but began to decline in the past several years due to frustrations with the unfriendly business environment and political pressure from western nations. Published estimates of Burma's foreign trade are greatly understated because of the volume of black-market, illicit, and border trade. A major ongoing problem is the failure to achieve monetary and fiscal stability. Burma remains a poor Asian country and living standards for the majority have not improved over the past decade. Short-term growth will continue to be restrained because of poor government planning and minimal foreign investment.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $63.7 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4.9% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,500 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture:  42%

industry:  17%

services:  41% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line: 23% (1997 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%:  2.8%

highest 10%:  32.4% (1998)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 18% (1999)
Labor force: 19.7 million (FY98/99 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 65%, industry 10%, services 25% (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate: 7.1% (official FY97/98 est.)
Budget: revenues:  $7.9 billion

expenditures:  $12.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $5.7 billion (FY96/97)
Industries: agricultural processing; textiles and footwear; wood and wood products; copper, tin, tungsten, iron; construction materials; pharmaceuticals; fertilizer
Industrial production growth rate: NA%
Electricity - production: 4.813 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel:  68.56%

hydro:  31.44%

nuclear:  0%

other:  0% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 4.476 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: paddy rice, corn, oilseed, sugarcane, pulses; hardwood
Exports: $1.3 billion (f.o.b., 1999)
Exports - commodities: apparel 36%, foodstuffs 22%, wood products 21%, precious stones 5% (1999)
Exports - partners: India 13%, Singapore 11%, China 11%, US 8% (1999 est.)

note:  official trade statistics do not include trade in illicit goods - such as narcotics, teak, and gems - or the largely unrecorded border trade with China and Thailand
Imports: $2.5 billion (f.o.b., 1999)
Imports - commodities: machinery, transport equipment, construction materials, food products
Imports - partners: Singapore 28%, Thailand 12%, China 10%, Japan 10%, South Korea 9% (1999 est.)
Debt - external: $6 billion (FY99/00 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $99 million (FY98/99)
Currency: kyat (MMK)
Currency code: MMK
Exchange rates: kyats per US dollar - official rate - 6.5972 (January 2001), 6.5167 (2000), 6.2858 (1999), 6.3432 (1998), 6.2418 (1997), 5.9176 (1996); kyats per US dollar - black market exchange rate - 435 (yearend 2000)
Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March
Burma    Communications Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use: 250,000 (2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 8,492 (1997)
Telephone system: general assessment:  meets minimum requirements for local and intercity service for business and government; international service is good

domestic:  NA

international:  satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 3, shortwave 3 (1998)
Radios: 4.2 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 2 (1998)
Televisions: 320,000 (2000)
Internet country code: .mm
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1

note:  as of September 2000, Internet connections were legal only for the government, tourist offices, and a few large businesses (2000)
Internet users: 500 (2000)
Burma    Transportation Top of Page
Railways: total:  3,991 km

narrow gauge:  3,991 km 1.000-m gauge
Highways: total:  28,200 km

paved:  3,440 km

unpaved:  24,760 km (1996)
Waterways: 12,800 km

note:  3,200 km navigable by large commercial vessels
Pipelines: crude oil 1,343 km; natural gas 330 km
Ports and harbors: Bassein, Bhamo, Chauk, Mandalay, Moulmein, Myitkyina, Rangoon, Akyab (Sittwe), Tavoy
Merchant marine: total:  37 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 411,181 GRT/632,769 DWT

ships by type:  bulk 11, cargo 20, container 1, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 2

note:  includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Japan 2 (2000 est.)
Airports: 80 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways: total:  9

over 3,047 m:  3

2,438 to 3,047 m:  1

1,524 to 2,437 m:  4

914 to 1,523 m:  1 (2000 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total:  71

over 3,047 m:  2

1,524 to 2,437 m:  15

914 to 1,523 m:  22

under 914 m:  32 (2000 est.)
Heliports: 1 (2000 est.)
Burma    Military Top of Page
Military branches: Army, Navy, Air Force
Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age
Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49:  12,050,964

females age 15-49:  12,070,017

note:  both sexes liable for military service (2001 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49:  6,425,514

females age 15-49:  6,419,677 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually: males:  470,667

females:  479,691 (2001 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $39 million (FY97/98)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 2.1% (FY97/98)
Burma    Transnational Issues Top of Page
Disputes - international: sporadic border hostilities with Thailand over border alignment and ethnic Shan rebels operating in cross-border region
Illicit drugs: world's second largest producer of illicit opium, after Afghanistan (potential production in 1999 - 1,090 metric tons, down 38% due to drought; cultivation in 1999 - 89,500 hectares, a 31% decline from 1998); surrender of drug warlord KHUN SA's Mong Tai Army in January 1996 was hailed by Rangoon as a major counternarcotics success, but lack of government will and ability to take on major narcotrafficking groups and lack of serious commitment against money laundering continues to hinder the overall antidrug effort; becoming a major source of methamphetamine for regional consumption