The mail function has been disabled by an administrator.

Burma's Vital Statistics

By  Verge June 22, 2009

Full country name: Union of Burma / Union of Myanmar

Population:50 million

Capital: Yangon (formerly Rangoon)

Area: 671,000 square kilometers (about the size of Texas)

Currency: Kyat (Ky is pronounced 'ch' - 'chat')

Terrain: Central lowlands ringed by steep, rugged highlands

Climate: Tropical, with monsoon (June - September in southwest, December - April in northeast)

Ethnic Groups: Burman 68%, Shan 9%, Karen 7%, Rakhine 4%, Chinese 3%, Indian 2%, Mon 2%

Religions: Buddhist 89%, Christian 4%, Muslim 4%

Literacy: 85%


Behind the scenes

from 2005

Internally displaced persons: 1,000,000

Political prisoners: 1,300

Child soldiers: 75,000 (one quarter of the child soldiers in the world)

Burmese refugees in neighbouring countries: Several 100,000

Years under dictatorship: 43

Percentage of government expenditure on the military: Approximately 50%

External enemies: none


Further information

Human Rights Watch

This article was first published in Verge's Summer 2005 issue.

Read more::
Backgrounder: Burma
What's in a Name?: Burma Vs. Myanmar

Add this article to your reading list
Published in Beyond the Guidebook

Join the Verge Community

Verge Magazine Membership

Join our community of savvy travellers and put nearly two decades of inspiring articles, authoritative information and expert advice to work for you.

Show me more > Login >


Travel Intelligence Bulletin


The latest openings overseas—direct to your inbox.

Subscriber Login


Travel with purpose; travel for good. Articles, resources and events for ethical and meaningful travel, volunteering, working and studying abroad.

Verge believes in travel for change. International experience creates global citizens, who can change our planet for the better. This belief is at the core of everything we do.

Like what you see?

Follow us on social media