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Myanmar is the second largest country in Southeast Asia with a total land area of 676,578 square kilometres with fertile tropical deltas in the south and a rugged landscape in the Himalayan foothills of the north. It shares borders with 40 % of the world’s population – to the north and northeast with the China, to the east and southeast with Lao and Thailand and to the west and northwest with Bangladesh and India. The economy is dominated by agriculture and farm-related activities . Despite its abundance of natural resources, the per capita gross national income has been estimated to be USD 1,144 per year (2011).

Myanmar is also one of the world’s most diverse countries, with a rich history and a wealth of cultural and religious traditions, and as many as 135 different ethnic groups. Current population estimates vary widely, from 48 million to over 60 million people. Two-thirds of the population lives in rural areas and the larger urban populations concentrated in Yangon and Mandalay.

Administratively, Myanmar is divided into seven states, seven regions and one union territory (Nay Pyi Taw). The states – Chin, Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Mon, Rakhine, and Shan –cover mainly the upland areas and are largely populated by national races/ethnic communities. The regions – Ayeyarwady, Bago, Magway, Mandalay, Sagaing, Tanintharyi and Yangon – are situated mainly on the plains with a population of predominantly Bamar origin.

Source: MIMU – Myanmar Information Management Unit

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