Myanmar, formerly Burma, is located in Southeast Asia between Bangladesh and Thailand. The country is bordered to the south by the Andaman Sea and to the southeast by the Bay of Bengal.
Located at coordinates 22 00 N, 98 00 E, the country has a total area of 676,578 sq km. The terrain is composed of central lowlands ringed by steep and rugged highlands which are subject to occasional earthquakes and cyclones. During the rainy season stretching from June to September, flooding and landslides pose a threat to communities along the rivers. These conditions are offset by occasional periods of drought.
Myanmar consists of 19.2% of land suitable for agriculture of which 16.5% is arable, 2.2% contains permanent crops, and 0.5% holds permanent pastures. The remaining country has 48.2% forest coverage with 32.6% other types of land use. Information about the country here
Myanmar has over eight ethnic groups of which the Burman (Bamar), 68% has the highest population. This is followed by the Shan 9%, Karen 7%, Rakhine 4%, Chinese 3%, Indian 2%,
Mon 2%, and other minor ethnic groups at 5%. Burmese is the official language and each minor ethnic group has its own respective languages.
Buddhism is the majority religion of Myanmar at 68% of the population. Christianity is represented at 6.2%, followed by Islam 4.3%, Animism 0.8%, Hinduism 0.5%, and other beliefs
The country’s urban population stands at 34.1% by 2015 estimates. Major urban centers include Yangon, the capital with a population of 4.8 million people, followed by Mandalay at 1.167 million population and Nay Pyi Taw with a population of 1.03 million people. Literacy in Myanmar is estimated to be at 93.1% with a representation in the male population of 95.2% and 91.2% of the female population.
- 849: Burmans establish Pagan as their capital city. This is followed by periods of expansion and assimilation into the 13th century
- 1044: Anawrahta comes to throne at Pagan, establishes Theravada Buddhism as religion of state
- 1824-26: First Anglo-Burmese War
- 1852: Second Anglo-Burmese War
- 1885: Third Anglo-Burmese War, Burma is annexed as a province of British India
- 1937: Burma separated from India and granted an independent constitution
- 1942-45: Japanese occupation of Burma during World War II
- 1948: Burma becomes sovereign, independent republic
- 1962: Ne Win led a military coup and rules country through Burma Socialist Programme Party
- 1988: Gen. Saw Maung takes power through State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), changes country name to Myanmar
- 1990: National League for Democracy (NLD) wins overwhelming victory in elections, SLORC negates results, imprisons NLD leaders including Aung San Suu Kyi
- 2015: Free elections held after years of economic sanctions, NLD candidate, Htin Kyaw elected president