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BURMA (Myanmar)
Geography—note: strategic location near major Indian Ocean shipping lanes

total: 678,500 sq km
land: 657,740 sq km
water: 20,760 sq km

Area—comparative: slightly smaller than Texas

Coastline: 1,930 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)

Terrain: central lowlands ringed by steep, rugged highlands

Natural resources: petroleum, timber, tin, antimony, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead, coal, some marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas

Environment—current issues: deforestation; industrial pollution of air, soil, and water; inadequate sanitation and water treatment contribute to disease

Population: 47,305,319 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 36% (male 8,798,474; female 8,461,791)
15-64 years: 59% (male 14,052,386; female 14,019,244)
65 years and over: 5% (male 888,773; female 1,084,651) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.65% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 28.96 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 12.51 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 78.35 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 54.51 years
male: 53.03 years
female: 56.08 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.7 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Ethnic groups: Burman 68%, Shan 9%, Karen 7%, Rakhine 4%, Chinese 3%, Mon 2%, Indian 2%, other 5%

Religions: Buddhist 89%, Christian 4% (Baptist 3%, Roman Catholic 1%), Muslim 4%, animist beliefs 1%, other 2%

Languages: Burmese, minority ethnic groups have their own languages

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 83.1%
male: 88.7%
female: 77.7% (1995 est.) 

National capital: Rangoon (regime refers to the capital as Yangon)

Independence: 4 January 1948 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day, 4 January (1948)

Constitution: 3 January 1974 (suspended since 18 September 1988); national convention started on 9 January 1993 to draft a new constitution; chapter headings and three of 15 sections have been approved

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Political parties and leaders: Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA, proregime), THAN AUNG, general secretary; National Unity Party (NUP, proregime), THA KYAW; National League for Democracy (NLD), AUNG SHWE, chairman, AUNG SAN SUU KYI, general secretary; and eight minor legal parties

Economy—overview: Burma has a mixed economy with private activity dominant in agriculture, light industry, and transport, and with substantial state-controlled activity, mainly in energy, heavy industry, and the rice trade. Government policy in the last nine years, 1989-97, has aimed at revitalizing the economy after three decades of tight central planning. Thus, private activity has markedly increased; foreign investment has been encouraged, so far with moderate success; and efforts continue to increase the efficiency of state enterprises. Published estimates of Burma's foreign trade are greatly understated because of the volume of black-market trade. A major ongoing problem is the failure to achieve monetary and fiscal stability. Although Burma remains a poor Asian country, its rich resources furnish the potential for substantial long-term increases in income, exports, and living standards.

GDP—real growth rate: 6% (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 61%
industry: 10%
services: 29% (1996 est.)

Agriculture—products: paddy rice, corn, oilseed, sugarcane, pulses; hardwood

total value: $693 million (1996)
commodities: pulses and beans, teak, rice, rubber, hardwood
partners: Singapore, China, Indonesia, India, Thailand

total value: $1.4 billion (1996)
commodities: machinery, transport equipment, construction materials, food products, consumer goods
partners: Japan, Singapore, China, Thailand, Malaysia

Debt—external: $5.3 billion (FY94/95 est.)

Currency: 1 kyat (K) = 100 pyas 

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 12,208,916
females age 15-49: 11,983,225 (1998 est.)
note: both sexes liable for military service

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 6,523,797
females: 6,387,291 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: $380 million (FY96/97 est.)

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: NA%

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