Administrative divisions of burma

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Burma (also known as Myanmar) is divided into twenty-one administrative subdivisions, which include

Type Burmese name No. of div.
State IPA: [pjìnɛ̀] 7
Region IPA: [táɪɴ dèθa̰ dʑí] 7
Union Territory IPA: [pjìdàʊɴzṵnɛ̀mjè] 1
Self-Administered Zone IPA: [kòbàɪɴ ʔoʊʔtɕʰoʊʔ kʰwɪ̰ɴja̰ dèθa̰] 5
Self-Administered Division IPA: [kòbàɪɴ ʔoʊʔtɕʰoʊʔ kʰwɪ̰ɴja̰ táɪɴ] 1

The regions were called divisions prior to August 2010,[1] and five of them are named after their capital city, the exceptions being Ayeyarwady Region and Tanintharyi Region. The regions can be described as ethnically predominantly Burman (Bamar), while the states, the zones and Wa Division are ethnic minority-dominant.

Mandalay Region has the largest population and Yangon Region is the most densely populated. The smallest population is Kayah State. In terms of land area, Shan State is the largest and Yangon Region is the smallest.

States and divisions are divided into districts (; kha yaing or khayai, IPA: [kʰəjàɪɴ]). These districts consist of townships (; myo ne, IPA: [mjo̰nɛ̀]) that include towns (; myo, IPA: [mjo̰]), wards (; yat kwet, IPA: [jaʔ kwɛʔ])) and village-tracts (; kyay ywa ok su, IPA: [tɕé jwà ʔoʊʔ sṵ]). Village-tracts are groups of adjacent villages (; kyay ywa, IPA: [tɕé jwà]).

Administrative regions

States, Regions and Union Territories

Name Burmese Capital Flag ISO[2] Region Population Area (km²) Type
Ayeyarwady Region Pathein MM-07 Lower 6,663,000 35,138 Region
Bago Region Bago MM-02 Lower 5,099,000 39,404 Region
Chin State Hakha MM-14 Western 480,000 36,019 State
Kachin State Myitkyina MM-11 Northern 1,270,000 89,041 State
Kayah State Loikaw MM-12 Southeast 259,000 11,670 State
Kayin State Pa-an MM-13 South 1,431,377 30,383 State
Magway Region Magwe MM-03 Central 4,464,000 44,819 Region
Mandalay Region Mandalay MM-04 Central 7,627,000 37,021.29 Region
Mon State Mawlamyaing MM-15 South 2,466,000 12,155 State
Rakhine State Sittwe MM-16 West 2,744,000 36,780 State
Shan State Taunggyi MM-17 East 4,851,000 155,801 State
Sagaing Region Sagaing MM-01 Northern 5,300,000 93,527 Region
Tanintharyi Region Dawei MM-05 South 1,356,000 43,328 Region
Yangon Region Yangon MM-06 Lower 5,560,000 10,170 Region
Naypyidaw Union Territory Naypyidaw Central 925,000 2,724 Union Territory

Self-Administered Zones and Self-Administered Divisions

Name Burmese Capital Region Population Area (km²) Type
Danu Self-Administered Zone Pindaya East Self-Administered Zone
Kokang Self-Administered Zone Laukkai East Self-Administered Zone
Naga Self-Administered Zone Lahe Northern Self-Administered Zone
Pa-O Self-Administered Zone Hopong East Self-Administered Zone
Pa Laung Self-Administered Zone Namhsan East Self-Administered Zone
Wa Self-Administered Division Hopang East Self-Administered Division

System of administration

The administrative structure of the states, regions and self administering bodies is outlined in the new constitution adopted in 2008.[3]

States and regions

Each state or region has a Regional Government or a State Government consisting of a Chief Minister, other Ministers and an Adovocate General. Legislative authority would reside with the State Hluttaw or Regional Hluttaw made up of elected civilian members and representatives of the Armed Forces.

Naypyidaw Union Territory

The constitution states that Naypyidaw shall be a Union Territory under the direct administration of the President. Day-to-day functions would be carried out on the President's behalf by the Naypyidaw Council led by a Chairperson. The Chairperson and members of the Naypyidaw Council are appointed by the President and shall include civilians and representatives of the Armed Forces.

Self-Administered Zones and Self-Administered Divisions

Self-Administered Zones and Self-Administered Divisions are administered by a Leading Body. The Leading Body consists of at least ten members and includes State or Regional Hlutttaw members elected from the Zones or Divisions and other members nominated by the Armed Forces. The Leading Body has both executive and legislative powers. A Chairperson is head of each Leading Body.

Within the Sagain Region[4]

  • Naga (Leshi, Lahe and Namyun townships)

Within the Shan State

  • Palaung (Namshan and Manton townships)
  • Kokang (Konkyan and Laukkai townships)
  • Pao (Hopong, Hshihseng and Pinlaung townships),
  • Danu (Ywangan and Pindaya townships),
  • Wa Self-administered division (Hopang, Mongmao, Panwai, Pangsang, Naphan and Metman townships)


British colonisation

In 1900, Burma was a province of British India, and was divided into two subdivisions: Lower Burma, whose capital was Rangoon with four divisions (Arakan, Irrawaddy, Pegu, Tenasserim), and Upper Burma, whose capital was Mandalay with six divisions (Meiktila, Minbu, Sagaing, North Federated Shan States and South Federated Shan States).

In 10 October 1922, the Karenni States of Bawlake, Kantarawaddy, and Kyebogyi became a part of the Federated Shan States. In 1940, Minbu division's name was changed to Magwe, and Meiktila Divisions became part of Mandalay District.


Upon independence, in 4 January 1948, the Chin Hills area was split from Arakan Division to form Chin State (Zogam), and Kachin State was formed by carving out the Myitkyina and Bhamo districts of Mandalay Division. Karen State was also created from Amherst, Thaton, and Toungoo Districts of Tenasserim Division. Karenni State was separated from the Federated Shan States, and Shan State was formed by merging the Federated Shan States and the Wa States.

In 1952, Karenni State was renamed Kayah State. In 1964, Rangoon Division was separated from Pegu Division, whose capital shifted to Pegu. In addition, Karen State was renamed Kawthule State.

In 1972, the Hanthawaddy and Hmawbi districts were moved under Rangoon Division's juridstiction.

In 1974, after Ne Win introduced a constitution, Chin Division became a state, and its capital moved from Falam to Hakha. Kawthule State's name was reverted to Karen State, and Mon State was separated from Tenasserim Division. Mon State's capital became Moulmein, and Tenasserim Division's became Tavoy. In addition, Rakhine Division was granted statehood.

In 1989, after the coup d'état by the military junta, the names of many divisions in Burma were altered in English to reflect Burmese pronunciations.[5]

After 1995, in Kachin State Mohnyin District was created out of Myitkyina District as part of the peace agreement with the Kachin Independence Army.

2008 Constitution

The 2008 Constitution stipulates the renaming of the 7 "divisions" ( in Burmese) as "regions" ([6] in Burmese). It also stipulates the creation of Union territories, which include the capital of Naypyidaw and ethnic self-administered zones ([6] in Burmese) and self-administered divisions ([6] in Burmese).[7] These self-administered regions include the following:

On 20 August 2010, the renaming of the 7 divisions and the naming of the 6 self-administered zones was announced by Burmese state media.[1]

See also


External links

  • Statoids
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