Demographics of Myanmar

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An ethnolinguistic map of Burma.

The following is an overview of the demographics of Myanmar (also known as Burma), including statistics such as population, ethnicity, language, education level and religious affiliation.

Population[edit]

1983 census[edit]

At the time of the 1983 census in Burma, as of 31 March 1983, the population was 35,442,972. As of July 2012, 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.[1] 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.[2][3][4]

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.

2014 census[edit]

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.[3][4] 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.[5]

Vital statistics[edit]

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.[2][4][6][7]

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).[7][8]

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).[7][8] The second is the social acceptability of celibacy among the Burmese, who are predominantly Buddhist and value celibacy as a means of spiritual development.[6][9]

Births and deaths [10][edit]

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 [11]

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
2012 856 279 250 874 605 405 2,010
2013 835 595 257 216 578 379
2014 51 419 18.8 2,290

Structure of the population [12][13][13][edit]

Structure of the population (01.10.2012) (Estimates) :

Age Group Male Female Total %
Total 30 139 447 30 836 546 60 975 993 100
0-4 2 892 346 2 843 804 5 736 150 9,41
5-9 3 019 538 2 933 751 5 953 054 9,76
10-14 3 061 725 2 939 751 6 001 476 9,84
15-19 2 939 176 2 830 830 5 770 006 9,46
20-24 2 804 028 2 729 466 5 533 494 9,07
25-29 2 608 652 2 578 175 5 186 827 8,51
30-34 2 378 395 2 414 221 4 792 616 7,86
35-39 2 134 820 2 212 315 4 347 135 7,13
40-44 1 868 709 1 984 907 3 853 616 6,32
45-49 1 604 910 1 737 570 3 342 480 5,48
50-54 1 325 584 1 459 978 2 785 562 4,57
55-59 1 081 479 1 213 529 2 295 008 3,76
60-64 838 871 962 728 1 801 599 2,95
65-69 647 286 766 066 1 413 352 2,32
70-74 477 948 593 666 1 071 614 1,76
75-79 335 405 449 974 785 379 1,29
80+ 120 575 186 050 306 625 0,50
Age group Male Female Total Percent
0-14 8 973 609 8 717 306 17 690 915 29,01
15-64 19 584 624 20 123 484 39 708 108 65,12
65+ 1 581 214 1 995 756 3 576 970 5,87

Structure of the population (2014) (Census) Population - 51 486 253, enumereted - 50 279 900 :

Age Group Male Female Total %
Total 24 228 714 26 051 186 50 279 900 100
0-4 2 262 783 2 209 347 4 472 130 8.89
5-9 2 438 372 2 380 705 4 819 077 9.58
10-14 2 595 759 2 512 613 5 108 362 10.16
15-19 2 290 998 2 334 991 4 625 989 9.20
20-24 2 091 525 2 239 544 4 331 069 8.61
25-29 1 995 465 2 150 669 4 146 134 8.25
30-34 1 884 549 2 014 312 3 898 861 7.75
35-39 1 705 630 1 857 850 3 563 480 7.09
40-44 1 548 942 1 734 131 3 283 073 6.53
45-49 1 375 041 1 571 107 2 946 148 5.86
50-54 1 182 341 1 376 891 2 559 232 5.09
55-59 935 979 1 115 958 2 051 937 4.08
60-64 712 040 864 805 1 576 845 3.14
65-69 466 618 597 875 1 064 493 2.12
70-74 301 679 411 491 713 170 1.42
75-79 228 315 324 983 553 298 1.10
80-84 130 875 204 701 335 576 0.67
85-89 56 979 101 090 158 069 0.31
90+ 24 834 48 123 72 957 0.15
Age group Male Female Total Percent
0-14 7 296 904 7 102 665 14 399 569 28.64
15-64 15 722 510 17 260 258 32 982 768 65.60
65+ 1 209 300 1 688 263 2 897 563 5.76

Ethnic groups[edit]

Ethnic Composition in Burma * Estimates
ethnic group or race percent
Bamar
  
68%
Shan
  
9%
Kayin
  
7%
Other groups
  
2.5%
Rohingya
  
2%
Rakhine
  
3.5%
Chinese
  
2.5%
Mon
  
2%
Kachin
  
1.5%
Indians
  
1.25%
Kayah
  
0.75%

Government classifications[edit]

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.

Language[edit]

Main article: Languages of Burma

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.

Religious affiliation[edit]

Further information: Religion in Myanmar
Religion in Myanmar (2014 Myanmar Census)[14][note 1]
religion percent
Buddhism
  
87.9%
Christianity
  
6.2%
Islam
  
4.3%
Burmese folk religion
  
0.8%
Others
  
0.2%
Hinduism
  
0.5%
No religion
  
0.1%
Religion in Myanmar
Faith  %
(2008 est.)
Total Buddhism 89%
Theravada Buddhism 89%
Mahayana Buddhism <1%
Total Christianity 4%
Baptist 3%
Roman Catholicism 1%
Total Islam 4%
Sunni Islam 2.65%
Shia Islam 1.35%
Total other religions <1%
Animism 1%
Other (inc. Hinduism) 2%

CIA World Factbook demographic statistics[edit]

Demographics of Burma, Data of FAO, year 2009 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands.

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.

Age structure[edit]

  • 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.)

Median age[edit]

  • total: 29.9 years (2011 est.)

Population growth rate[edit]

1.07% (2011 est.)

Urbanisation[edit]

  • urban population: 29.6% of total population (2014 census)
  • rate of urbanisation: 2.9% of annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Human sex ratios[edit]

  • 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)

Life expectancy[edit]

  • total population: 65.24 years
  • male: 62.91 years
  • female: 67.71 years

Literacy[edit]

(age 15 and over can read and write, official statistics)

  • total population: 89.9%
  • male: 93.9%
  • female: 86.4% (2008 est.)

Education expenditures[edit]

1.2% of total GDP (2001)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Based on the estimated overall population, including both the enumerated and non-enumerated population (51,486,253), and on the assumption that the non-enumerated population in Rakhine State affiliate with the Islamic faith.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Myanmar population hits over 59 mln in 2009". People's Daily (Xinhua). 1 July 2010. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  2. ^ a b 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. 
  3. ^ a b 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. 
  4. ^ a b c Spoorenberg, Thomas (2015). "Myanmar’s first census in more than 30 years: A radical revision of the official population count" (PDF). Population & Societies (INED). No. 527 (November): 1–4. 
  5. ^ Summary of the Provisional Results (PDF). Ministry of Immigration and Population. August 2014. 
  6. ^ a b 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. 
  7. ^ a b c Myat Mon (2008). "The Economic Position of Women in Burma". Asian Studies Review (Wiley) 24 (2): 243–255. doi:10.1111/1467-8403.00076. 
  8. ^ a b http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/worldmarriage/worldmarriagepatterns2000.pdf
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision
  11. ^ http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/products/dyb/dyb2014.htm
  12. ^ http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/products/dyb/dyb2.htm
  13. ^ a b http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/sources/census/2010_phc/Myanmar/MMR-2015-05.pdf
  14. ^ Department of Population Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population MYANMAR (July 2016). The 2014 Myanmar Population and Housing Census Census Report Volume 2-C. Department of Population Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population MYANMAR. pp. 12–15.