Administrative divisions of Burma

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Kachin State Myitkyina Sagaing Region Sagaing Chin State Hakha Shan State Taunggyi Rakhine State Sittwe Magway Region Magwe Mandalay Region Mandalay Kayah State Loikaw Naypyidaw Union Territory Bago Region Bago Yangon Region Yangon Ayeyarwady Region Pathein Kayin State Pa-an Mawlamyaing Mon State Dawei Tanintharyi RegionA clickable map of Burma/Myanmar exhibiting its first-level administrative divisions.
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Burma (also known as Myanmar) is divided into twenty-one administrative subdivisions, which include

Type Burmese name No. of div.
State ပြည်နယ် IPA: [pjìnɛ̀] 7
Region တိုင်းဒေသကြီး IPA: [táɪɴ dèθa̰ dʑí] 7
Union Territory ပြည်တောင်စုနယ်မြေ IPA: [pjìdàʊɴzṵnɛ̀mjè] 1
Self-Administered Zone ကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရဒေသ IPA: [kòbàɪɴ ʔoʊʔtɕʰoʊʔ kʰwɪ̰ɴja̰ dèθa̰] 5
Self-Administered Division ကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရ တိုင်း IPA: [kòbàɪɴ ʔoʊʔtɕʰoʊʔ kʰwɪ̰ɴja̰ táɪɴ] 1

The regions were called divisions prior to August 2010,[1] and five of them are named after their capital city, the exceptions being Ayeyarwady Region and Tanintharyi Region. The regions can be described as ethnically predominantly Burman (Bamar), while the states, the zones and Wa Division are ethnic minority-dominant.

Mandalay Region has the largest population and Yangon Region is the most densely populated. The smallest population is Kayah State. In terms of land area, Shan State is the largest and Yangon Region is the smallest.

States and divisions are divided into districts (ခရိုင်; kha yaing or khayai, IPA: [kʰəjàɪɴ]). These districts consist of townships (မြို့နယ်; myo ne, IPA: [mjo̰nɛ̀]) that include towns (မြို့; myo, IPA: [mjo̰]), wards (ရပ်ကွက်; yat kwet, IPA: [jaʔ kwɛʔ])) and village-tracts (ကျွေးရွာအုပ်စု; kyay ywa ok su, IPA: [tɕé jwà ʔoʊʔ sṵ]). Village-tracts are groups of adjacent villages (ကျေးရွာ; kyay ywa, IPA: [tɕé jwà]).

Administrative regions[edit]

States, Regions and Union Territories[edit]

Name Burmese Capital Flag ISO[2] Region Population (2014 census) Area (km²) Type
Ayeyarwady Region ဧရာဝတီတိုင်းဒေသကြီး Pathein Flag of Ayeyarwaddy Division.svg MM-07 Lower 6,175,123 35,031.8 Region
Bago Region ပဲခူးတိုင်းဒေသကြီး Bago Flag of Bago Division.svg MM-02 Lower 4,863,455 39,402.3 Region
Chin State ချင်းပြည်နယ် Hakha Flag of Chin State.svg MM-14 West 478,690 36,018.8 State
Kachin State ကချင်ပြည်နယ် Myitkyina Flag of Kachin State.svg MM-11 North 1,689,654 89,041.8 State
Kayah State ကယားပြည်နယ် Loikaw Flag of Kayah State.svg MM-12 East 286,738 11,731.5 State
Kayin State ကရင်ပြည်နယ် Pa-an Flag of Kayin State.svg MM-13 South 1,431,377 30,383 State
Magway Region မကွေးတိုင်းဒေသကြီး Magwe Flag of Magway Division.svg MM-03 Central 3,912,791 44,820.6 Region
Mandalay Region မန္တလေးတိုင်းဒေသကြီး Mandalay Flag of Mandalay Division.svg MM-04 Central 6,145,588 37,945.6 Region
Mon State မွန်ပြည်နယ် Mawlamyaing Flag of Mon State.svg MM-15 South 2,050,282 12,296.6 State
Rakhine State ရခိုင်ပြည်နယ် Sittwe Flag of Rakhine.svg MM-16 West 3,188,963 36,778.0 State
Shan State ရှမ်းပြည်နယ် Taunggyi Flag of the Shan State.svg MM-17 East 5,815,384 155,801.3 State
Sagaing Region စစ်ကိုင်းတိုင်းဒေသကြီး Sagaing Flag of Sagaing Division.svg MM-01 North 5,320,299 93,704.8 Region
Tanintharyi Region တနင်္သာရီတိုင်းဒေသကြီး Dawei Flag of Tanintharyi Division.svg MM-05 South 1,406,434 44,344.9 Region
Yangon Region ရန်ကုန်တိုင်းဒေသကြီး Yangon Flag of Yangon Division.svg MM-06 Lower 7,355,075 10,276.7 Region
Naypyidaw Union Territory နေပြည်တော် ပြည်တောင်စုနယ်မြေ Naypyidaw MM-18 Central 1,158,367 7,054 Union Territory

Self-Administered Zones and Self-Administered Divisions[edit]

Self-Administered Zones and Self-Administered Division
Name Burmese Capital Region Population Area (km²) Type
Danu Self-Administered Zone ဓနုကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရဒေသ Pindaya East Self-Administered Zone
Kokang Self-Administered Zone ကိုးကန့်ကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရဒေသ Laukkai East Self-Administered Zone
Naga Self-Administered Zone နာဂကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရဒေသ Lahe Northern Self-Administered Zone
Pa-O Self-Administered Zone ပအိုဝ့်ကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရဒေသ Hopong East Self-Administered Zone
Pa Laung Self-Administered Zone ပလောင်းကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရဒေသ Namhsan East Self-Administered Zone
Wa Self-Administered Division ဝကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရတိုင်း Hopang East Self-Administered Division

System of administration[edit]

  States of Myanmar
  Regions of Myanmar

The administrative structure of the states, regions and self-administering bodies is outlined in the new constitution adopted in 2008.[3]

States and regions[edit]

Each state or region has a Regional Government or a State Government consisting of a Chief Minister, other Ministers and an Adovocate General. Legislative authority would reside with the State Hluttaw or Regional Hluttaw made up of elected civilian members and representatives of the Armed Forces.

Naypyidaw Union Territory[edit]

The constitution states that Naypyidaw shall be a Union Territory under the direct administration of the President. Day-to-day functions would be carried out on the President's behalf by the Naypyidaw Council led by a Chairperson. The Chairperson and members of the Naypyidaw Council are appointed by the President and shall include civilians and representatives of the Armed Forces.

Self-Administered Zones and Self-Administered Divisions[edit]

Self-Administered Zones and Self-Administered Divisions are administered by a Leading Body. The Leading Body consists of at least ten members and includes State or Regional Hlutttaw members elected from the Zones or Divisions and other members nominated by the Armed Forces. The Leading Body has both executive and legislative powers. A Chairperson is head of each Leading Body.

Within the Sagain Region[4]

  • Naga (Leshi, Lahe and Namyun townships)

Within the Shan State

  • Palaung (Namshan and Manton townships)
  • Kokang (Konkyan and Laukkai townships)
  • Pao (Hopong, Hshihseng and Pinlaung townships),
  • Danu (Ywangan and Pindaya townships),
  • Wa Self-administered division (Hopang, Mongmao, Panwai, Pangsang, Naphan and Metman townships)


British colonisation[edit]

In 1900, Burma was a province of British India, and was divided into two subdivisions: Lower Burma, whose capital was Rangoon with four divisions (Arakan, Irrawaddy, Pegu, Tenasserim), and Upper Burma, whose capital was Mandalay with six divisions (Meiktila, Minbu, Sagaing, North Federated Shan States and South Federated Shan States).

In 10 October 1922, the Karenni States of Bawlake, Kantarawaddy, and Kyebogyi became a part of the Federated Shan States. In 1940, Minbu division's name was changed to Magwe, and Meiktila Divisions became part of Mandalay District.


Upon independence, in 4 January 1948, the Chin Hills area was split from Arakan Division to form Chin State (Zogam), and Kachin State was formed by carving out the Myitkyina and Bhamo districts of Mandalay Division. Karen State was also created from Amherst, Thaton, and Toungoo Districts of Tenasserim Division. Karenni State was separated from the Federated Shan States, and Shan State was formed by merging the Federated Shan States and the Wa States.

In 1952, Karenni State was renamed Kayah State. In 1964, Rangoon Division was separated from Pegu Division, whose capital shifted to Pegu. In addition, Karen State was renamed Kawthule State.

In 1972, the Hanthawaddy and Hmawbi districts were moved under Rangoon Division's juridstiction.

In 1974, after Ne Win introduced a constitution, Chin Division became a state, and its capital moved from Falam to Hakha. Kawthule State's name was reverted to Karen State, and Mon State was separated from Tenasserim Division. Mon State's capital became Moulmein, and Tenasserim Division's became Tavoy. In addition, Rakhine Division was granted statehood.

In 1989, after the coup d'état by the military junta, the names of many divisions in Burma were altered in English to reflect Burmese pronunciations.[5]

After 1995, in Kachin State Mohnyin District was created out of Myitkyina District as part of the peace agreement with the Kachin Independence Army.

2008 Constitution[edit]

The 2008 Constitution stipulates the renaming of the 7 "divisions" (တိုင်း in Burmese) as "regions" (တိုင်းဒေသကြီး[6] in Burmese). It also stipulates the creation of Union territories, which include the capital of Naypyidaw and ethnic self-administered zones (ကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရဒေသ[6] in Burmese) and self-administered divisions (ကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရတိုင်း[6] in Burmese).[7] These self-administered regions include the following:

On 20 August 2010, the renaming of the 7 divisions and the naming of the 6 self-administered zones was announced by Burmese state media.[1]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]