|Official script||Burmese script|
Theravāda Buddhism 87.9%
Unitary parliamentaryconstitutional republic
|Legislature||Assembly of the Union|
GDP (PPP)2017 estimate
GDP (nominal)2017 estimate
|Currency||Kyat (K) (MMK)|
|Time zone||MMT (UTC+06:30)|
|Drives on the||right|
|ISO 3166 code||MM|
Myanmar officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, also known as Burma, is a sovereign state in the region of Southeast Asia. Myanmar is bordered by India and Bangladesh to its west, Thailand and Laos to its east, and China to its north and northeast. To its south, about one third of Myanmar's total perimeter of 5,876 km (3,651 miles) forms an uninterrupted coastline of 1,930 km (1,200 mi) along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. The country's 2014 census counted a much lower population than expected, with 51 million people recorded. Myanmar is 676,578 square kilometres (261,227 sq mi) in size. Its capital city is Naypyidaw and its largest city and former capital city is Yangon (Rangoon). Myanmar has been a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) since 1997.
A diverse range of indigenous cultures exist in Myanmar, the majority culture is primarily Buddhist and Bamar. Bamar culture has been influenced by the cultures of neighbouring countries. This is manifested in its language, cuisine, music, dance and theatre. The arts, particularly literature, have historically been influenced by the local form of Theravada Buddhism. Considered the national epic of Myanmar, the Yama Zatdaw, an adaptation of India's Ramayana, has been influenced greatly by Thai, Mon, and Indian versions of the play. Buddhism is practised along with nat worship, which involves elaborate rituals to propitiate one from a pantheon of 37 nats.
Myanmar is one of the poorest nations in Southeast Asia, suffering from decades of stagnation, mismanagement and isolation. The lack of an educated workforce skilled in modern technology hinders Myanmar's economy, although recent reforms and developments carried out by the new government, in collaboration with foreign countries and organisations aim to make this a thing of the past.
The major agricultural product is rice, which covers about 60% of the country's total cultivated land area. Rice accounts for 97% of total food grain production by weight. Through collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute 52 modern rice varieties were released in the country between 1966 and 1997, helping increase national rice production to 14 million tons in 1987 and to 19 million tons in 1996. By 1988, modern varieties were planted on half of the country's ricelands, including 98 percent of the irrigated areas. In 2008 rice production was estimated at 50 million tons.