Interesting Facts About Myanmar


Where is Burma?

Burma borders Bangladesh, India, Tibet, China

Laos and Thailand.

It is bigger than France in size and has over

50,000,000 people.

It contains almost every habitat except desert.

From frozen alpine mountains in the north to

tropical jungles in the south.

Why is it also called Myanmar?

What is on the peoples faces?

Burmese people paint on a yellow paste that comes from a tree called Thanakha.

It is used as a insect repellant, sunblock and make up. Usually only women and children wear Thanakha.

In 1989 the military junta who rules Burma changed the countries name back to Myanmar, an older usage.

The British had colonised the country and called it Burma after the main ethnic group the Burman people. The political opposition of the present government do not recognise the new name, however the UN and most states now accept the change, except for the USA. This is taken as a great insult.

That is why the country has two names in use.

Myanmar has 7 regions/division and many ethnic groups that have their own language, culture and customs. The Burmese army (comparable in size to the USA) spends much time and resources fighting minority forces against the governments authority. Young boys in particular are often forced to join the armies of both sides, especially in the conflict areas, although kidnapping and abduction of boys anywhere are common. They are taken off to army training camps in the middle of nowhere.

Facts we should know

Challenges for Children

The situation for children in Myanmar is grave and appears to be worsening.  Families in both urban and rural areas have no choice but to resort to coping mechanisms that undermine children's protection, educational standards and health prospects.  Malnutrition is a growing problem that now affects one-third of children under the age of 5.  Myanmar is one of the few countries in the world where many children are likely to have worse education and health outcomes than their parents. -- Save the Children webpage

Numbers at a Glance


    1. The infant mortality rate is 74 per 1,000 live births as compared to 6 per 1,000 live births in Australia

    1. The maternal mortality rate is 380 per 100,000 live births as compared to 0% per thousand in Australia as the figure is too small to measure

    1. The under-5 mortality rate is 104 per 1,000 live births.

    1. More than half of children in Myanmar do not complete five years of school. It is compulsory to attend primary school however over half drop out because it is too expensive.

    1. One quarter of the population live below the subsistence level. One half of the population live below the poverty line(as defined by the World Bank)

    1. Many children mainly under 5, but not restricted to, die from Pneumonia, malaria or diarrhoea. All these diseases are easily treated cheaply and are preventable.