Burma

Country Summary

2023 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

Burma was a province of British India until 1937 and then a self-governing colony until independence in 1948.  The military traditionally has been heavily involved in domestic politics and the national economy and ran the country for five decades after a military coup in 1962.  A brief period of economic and political reform saw the election of a civilian government in 2015, but the military overthrew it in 2021 and largely reversed the nascent reforms. The country has been mired in an insurgency against the military regime since 2021.

Geography

Area

total: 676,578 sq km
land: 653,508 sq km
water: 23,070 sq km

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)

Natural resources

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

People and Society

Population

total: 57,527,139
male: 28,387,831
female: 29,139,308 (2024 est.)

Ethnic groups

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

Languages

Burmese (official)

Religions

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

Population growth rate

0.71% (2024 est.)

Government

Government type

military regime

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

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)

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

Economy

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

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$230.255 billion (2022 est.)
$221.32 billion (2021 est.)
$251.546 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$4,200 (2022 est.)
$4,100 (2021 est.)
$4,700 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

rice, sugarcane, vegetables, beans, maize, groundnuts, fruits, plantains, coconuts, onions (2022)

Industries

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

Exports

$20.4 billion (2021 est.)
$17.523 billion (2019 est.)
$15.728 billion (2018 est.)

Exports - partners

China 36%, Thailand 13%, Germany 6%, Japan 6%, US 4% (2022)

Exports - commodities

garments, precious stones, natural gas, dried legumes, rice (2022)

Imports

$23.1 billion (2021 est.)
$17.356 billion (2019 est.)
$18.664 billion (2018 est.)

Imports - partners

China 45%, Thailand 16%, Singapore 14%, Malaysia 4%, Indonesia 4% (2022)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, fabric, synthetic fabric, crude petroleum, fertilizers (2022)

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.)


Page last updated: Tuesday, June 18, 2024