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Country summary


Rangoon (Yangon)


Bangladesh 193 km, China 2,185 km, India 1,463 km, Laos 235 km, Thailand 1,800 km

Government type

military regime



Population growth

0.783% (2010 est.)[1]

Life expectancy

63.39 years[1]


4.9% (2009 est.)[1]

Index of Economic Freedom


Britain conquered Burma over a period of 62 years (1824-1886) and incorporated it into its Indian Empire. Burma was administered as a province of India until 1937 when it became a separate, self-governing colony; independence from the Commonwealth was attained in 1948. Gen. NE WIN dominated the government from 1962 to 1988, first as military ruler, then as self-appointed president, and later as political kingpin. In September 1988, the military deposed NE WIN and established a new ruling junta. Despite multiparty legislative elections in 1990 that resulted in the main opposition party - the National League for Democracy (NLD) - winning a landslide victory, the junta refused to hand over power. NLD leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient AUNG SAN SUU KYI, who was under house arrest from 1989 to 1995 and 2000 to 2002, was imprisoned in May 2003 and subsequently transferred to house arrest. After the ruling junta in August 2007 unexpectedly increased fuel prices, tens of thousands of Burmese marched in protest, led by prodemocracy activists and Buddhist monks. In late September 2007, the government brutally suppressed the protests, killing at least 13 people and arresting thousands for participating in the demonstrations. Since then, the regime has continued to raid homes and monasteries and arrest persons suspected of participating in the pro-democracy protests. The junta appointed Labor Minister AUNG KYI in October 2007 as liaison to AUNG SAN SUU KYI, who remains under house arrest and only recently gained the opportunity for limited communication with NLD leaders. Burma in early May 2008 was struck by Cyclone Nargis which official estimates claimed left over 80,000 dead and 50,000 injured. Despite this tragedy, the junta proceeded with its May constitutional referendum, the first vote in Burma since 1990, setting the stage for the 2010 parliamentary elections. AUNG SAN SUU KYI's house arrest was due to end in May 2009, but was extended for eighteen months after she was convicted for violating the terms of her house arrest.[1]

Economical characteristics[]

  • Currency: kyat (ISO code: mmK)
  • This country does not seem to have a central bank.
  • Central bank discount rate: 12% (31 December 2008)[1]
  • Commercial banks lending rate: 17% (31 December 2008)[1]
  • Stock of money (M1): $622.6 billion (31 December 2008)[1]
  • Quasi money (with M1 makes M2): $289.3 billion (31 December 2008)[1]


Statistic / Year 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
GDP (USD)[3]
Govt. debt (% of GDP)[4]
Govt. revenue (% of GDP)[5] 5.601 5.251 4.572 4.960 4.978 6.469
Govt. expenses (% of GDP)[6] 3.058 3.644
Debt to revenue (years)


Note: statistical data was rounded. Different sources may use different methodologies for their estimates. Debt to revenue is calculated by dividing the two variables from their original ('unrounded') values. It represents how long it would a government take to repay its entire debt if it used its whole revenue for this purpose.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 CIA - The World Facebook. "Burma", from The World Facebook. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  2. Heritage Foundation. "Burma", Economic Freedom Score. A lower ranking is better; but please be careful when comparing between different countries or years. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  3. World Bank. "Burma: GDP", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  4. World Bank. "Burma: government debt", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  5. World Bank. "Burma: government revenue", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-30.
  6. World Bank. "Burma: government expenses", from World Bank Data. Referenced 2010-09-30.

External links[]