Burma Travel Information

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Facts About Burma

Background: Despite multiparty elections in 1990 that resulted in the main opposition party winning a decisive victory, the military junta ruling the country refused to hand over power. Key opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient AUNG San Suu Kyi, under house arrest from 1989 to 1995, was again placed under house detention in September 2000; her supporters are routinely harassed or jailed.
Government type: military regime
Capital: Rangoon (regime refers to the capital as Yangon)
Currency: 1 kyat (K) = 100 pyas

Geography of Burma

Location: Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal, between Bangladesh and Thailand
Geographic coordinates: 22 00 N, 98 00 E
Map references: Southeast Asia
Area:
total: 678,500 sq km
land: 657,740 sq km
water: 20,760 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 5,876 km
border countries: Bangladesh 193 km, China 2,185 km, India 1,463 km, Laos 235 km, Thailand 1,800 km
Coastline: 1,930 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
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
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Andaman Sea 0 m
highest point: Hkakabo Razi 5,881 m
Natural resources: petroleum, timber, tin, antimony, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead, coal, some marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 15%
permanent crops: 1%
permanent pastures: 1%
forests and woodland: 49%
other: 34% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 10,680 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: destructive earthquakes and cyclones; flooding and landslides common during rainy season (June to September); periodic droughts
Environment - current issues: deforestation; industrial pollution of air, soil, and water; inadequate sanitation and water treatment contribute to disease.
Environment - international agreements:
party to:  Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: strategic location near major Indian Ocean shipping lanes

People of Burma

Population: 42,909,464 (July 2005 est.).
Age structure:
0-14 years:  29.14%
15-64 years:  66.08%
65 years and over:  4.78%
Population growth rate: 0.6% 
Birth rate: 20.13 births/1,000 population
Death rate: 12.3 deaths/1,000 population
Net migration rate: -1.84 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 73.71 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  55.16 years
male:  53.73 years
female:  56.68 years
Total fertility rate: 2.3 children born/woman 
Nationality:
noun: Burmese (singular and plural)
adjective: Burmese
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 1%, other 2%
Languages: Burmese, minority ethnic groups have their own languages

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 83.1%
male: 88.7%
female: 77.7% (1995 est.)
note: these are official statistics; estimates of functional literacy are likely closer to 30% (1999 est.)

SOURCE: The World Factbook

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