Burma

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

Burma was a province of British India until 1937 and then a self-governing colony until independence in 1948.  Military governments have generally led the country since.  Recent years have seen a series of reforms leading to a substantial opening of the long-isolated country.

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

57,526,449 (2022 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

0.78% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

parliamentary republic

Capital

name: Nay Pyi Taw (note - Yangon, aka Rangoon, is the former capital)

Executive branch

chief of state: Prime Minister, State Administration Council (SAC) Chair, Sr. Gen. MIN AUNG HLAING (since 1 August 2021); note - MIN AUNG HLAING self-appointed himself to the role of prime minister of a “caretaker” provisional government that subsumed the SAC on 1 August 2021; the SAC, chaired by MIN AUNG HLAING, served as the executive governing body since 2 February 2021, following the 1 February 2021 military takeover of the government and the declaration of a state of emergency and still exists under the provisional government according to state media

head of government: Prime Minister, State Administration Council (SAC) Chair, Sr. Gen. MIN AUNG HLAING (since 1 August 2021); note - MIN AUNG HLAING self-appointed himself to the role of prime minister of a “caretaker” provisional government that subsumed the SAC on 1 August 2021; the SAC, chaired by MIN AUNG HLAING, served as the executive governing body since 2 February 2021, following the 1 February 2021 military takeover of the government and the declaration of a state of emergency and still exists under the provisional government according to state media

Legislative branch

description: 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; the State Administration Council (SAC) governs in place of the Assembly of the Union

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)

$247.24 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$4,500 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

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

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

$17.52 billion (2019 est.)

Exports - partners

China 24%, Thailand 24%, Japan 7%, Germany 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

natural gas, clothing products, rice, copper, dried legumes (2019)

Imports

$17.36 billion (2019 est.)

Imports - partners

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

Imports - commodities

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


Page last updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2022