Burma's Vital Statistics

Written 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

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Published in Beyond the Guidebook

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