Demographics of Burma
- 1 Population
- 2 Fertility statistics
- 3 Ethnic groups
- 4 Language
- 5 Religious affiliation
- 6 CIA World Factbook demographic statistics
- 7 Education expenditures
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
At the time of the 1983 census in Burma, as of 31 March 1983, the population was 35,442,972. As of July 2012[update], this was estimated by the CIA World Factbook to have increased to 60,584,650. Other estimates put place the total population at around 60 million. China's People's Daily reported that Burma had a census in 2007, and at the end of 2009 has 59.2 million people, and growing at 2% annually. with exception for Cyclone Nargis in 2008. Most of these estimates have indeed overlooked the demographic changes that were at work since the 1970s in the country.
Britain-based human rights agencies place the population as high as 70 million. Estimates for the country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS. This can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected.
No trustworthy census has occurred since the 1930s. In the 1940s, the detailed census results were destroyed during the Japanese invasion of 1942. Census results after that time have been flawed by civil wars and a series of military governments. The census in 1983 occurred at a time when parts of the country were controlled by insurgent groups and inaccessible to the government.
The Provisional results of the 2014 census show that the total population of Myanmar is 51,419,420—a population well below the official estimates of more than 60 million. This total population includes 50,213,067 persons counted during the census and an estimated 1,206,353 persons in parts of northern Rakhine State, Kachin State and Kayin State who were not counted. More females (51.8%) were counted than males (48.2%). People who were out of the country at the time of the census are not included in these figures.
The provisional census results indicated that there were 10,889,348 households in Myanmar. On average, 4.4 people lived in each household in the country. The average household size was highest in Kachin State and Chin State at 5.1. The lowest household sizes were observed in Ayeyawady Region, Bago Region, Magway Region and Naypyidaw Union Territory, each at 4.1.
Burma has a low fertility rate (2.23 in 2011), slightly above replacement level, especially as compared to other Southeast Asian countries of similar economic standing, like Cambodia (3.18) and Laos (4.41), representing a significant decline from 4.7 in 1983 to 2.4 in 2001, despite the absence of any national population policy.
The fertility rate is much pronouncedly lower in urban areas. This is attributed to extreme delays in marriage (almost unparalleled in the region, with the exception of developed countries), the prevalence of illegal abortions, and the high proportion of single, unmarried women of reproductive age (with 25.9% of women aged 30–34 and 33.1% of men and women aged 25–34 single).
These patterns stem from several cultural and economic dynamics. The first is economic hardship, which results in the delay of marriage and family-building (the average age of marriage in Burma is 27.5 for men, 26.4 for women). The second is the social acceptability of celibacy among the Burmese, who are predominantly Buddhist and value celibacy as a means of spiritual development.
|Period||Live births per year||Deaths per year||Natural change per year||CBR1||CDR1||NC1||TFR1||IMR1|
|1950–1955||856 000||515 000||341 000||47.5||28.6||18.9||6.00||212.8|
|1955–1960||885 000||466 000||419 000||44.4||23.4||21.0||6.00||175.2|
|1960–1965||928 000||454 000||475 000||41.9||20.5||21.4||6.10||155.7|
|1965–1970||993 000||426 000||567 000||40.1||17.2||22.9||6.10||131.1|
|1970–1975||1 092 000||418 000||674 000||39.2||15.0||24.2||5.90||112.7|
|1975–1980||1 068 000||402 000||666 000||34.2||12.9||21.4||4.90||97.5|
|1980–1985||1 085 000||421 000||664 000||31.5||12.2||19.2||4.30||93.0|
|1985–1990||1 100 000||445 000||656 000||29.2||11.8||17.4||3.80||89.7|
|1990–1995||1 017 000||418 000||598 000||25.0||10.3||14.7||3.10||76.1|
|1995–2000||969 000||405 000||564 000||22.3||9.3||13.0||2.65||65.4|
|2000–2005||881 000||408 000||473 000||19.3||8.9||10.4||2.25||59.8|
|2005–2010||846 000||417 000||428 000||17.9||8.9||9.1||2.08||55.0|
|1 CBR = crude birth rate (per 1000); CDR = crude death rate (per 1000); NC = natural change (per 1000); TFR = total fertility rate (number of children per woman); IMR = infant mortality rate per 1000 births|
Births and deaths 
|Year||Population (x1000)||Live births||Deaths||Natural increase||Crude birth rate||Crude death rate||Rate of natural increase||TFR|
|2009||948 106||325 343||622 763||2,040|
|2010||965 937||346 205||619 732||2,030|
|2011||1 007 039||342 420||664 619||2,010|
The Burmese government identifies eight major national ethnic races (which comprise 135 "distinct" ethnic groups), which include the Bamar (68%), Shan (9%), Kayin (7%), Rakhine (4%), Mon (2%), Kayah, and Kachin. However, the government classification system is flawed, because it groups ethnic groups under ethnic races by geography, rather than by linguistic or genetic similarity (e.g. the Kokang are under the Shan ethnic race, although they are ethnic Chinese).
Unrecognised ethnic groups include Burmese Indians and Burmese Chinese, who form 2% and 3% of the population respectively. The remaining 5% of the population belong to small ethnic groups such as the remnants of the Anglo-Burmese and Anglo-Indian communities, as well as the Lisu, Rawang, Naga, Padaung, Moken, and many minorities across Shan State.
The official language and primary medium of instruction of Burma is Burmese (65%). Multiple languages are spoken in Burma, and include Shan (6.4%), Karen (5.2%), Kachin (1.8%), Chin (1.6%), Mon (1.5%), and Rakhine (1.5%). English is also spoken, particularly by the educated urban elite, and is the secondary language learnt in government schools.
|Total other religions||<1%|
|Other (inc. Hinduism)||2%|
CIA World Factbook demographic statistics
The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.
- 0–14 years: 27.5% (male 7,560,859; female 7,278,652)
- 15–64 years: 67.5% (male 18,099,707; female 18,342,696)
- 65 years and over: 5% (male 1,184,29; female 1,533,599) (2011 est.)
- total: 29.9 years (2011 est.)
Population growth rate
1.07% (2011 est.)
- urban population: 29.6% of total population (2014 census)
- rate of urbanization: 2.9% of annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Human sex ratios
- at birth: 1.06 males/female
- under 15 years: 1.03 males/female
- 15–64 years: 0.98 male/female
- 65 years and over: 0.75 male/female (2009 est.)
- total population: 0.93 male/female (2014 census)
- total population: 65.24 years
- male: 62.91 years
- female: 67.71 years
(age 15 and over can read and write, official statistics)
- total population: 89.9%
- male: 93.9%
- female: 86.4% (2008 est.)
1.2% of total GDP (2001)
- "Myanmar population hits over 59 mln in 2009". People's Daily (Xinhua). 1 July 2010. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
- Spoorenberg, Thomas (2013). "Demographic changes in Myanmar since 1983: An examination of official data". Population and Development Review (Population Council) 39 (2): 309–324. doi:10.1111/j.1728-4457.2013.00593.x.
- Spoorenberg, Thomas (2015). "Provisional results of the 2014 census of Myanmar: The surprise that wasn't". Asian Population Studies (Routledge) 11 (1): 4–6. doi:10.1080/17441730.2014.972084.
- Summary of the Provisional Results (PDF). Ministry of Immigration and Population. August 2014.
- Jones, Gavin W. (2007). "Delayed Marriage and Very Low Fertility in Pacific Asia" (PDF). Population and Development Review (The Population Council, Inc.) 33 (33): 453–478. doi:10.1111/j.1728-4457.2007.00180.x.
- Myat Mon (2008). "The Economic Position of Women in Burma". Asian Studies Review (Wiley) 24 (2): 243–255. doi:10.1111/1467-8403.00076.
- Nyi Nyi (2005). "V: Conclusion and Recommendation". The Determinants of Age at First Marriage in Myanmar (PDF) (Master's thesis). Mahidol University. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
- World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision
- Population Projections for Myanmar, 1983-2013 Asia Pacific Population Journal, Vol. 6, No. 2 (PDF document)
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the CIA World Factbook.