135 officially recognised ethnic groups:
There are more than 135 different ethnic groups in Burma, each with its own history, culture and language.
The majority Burman (Bamar) ethnic group makes up about two-thirds of the population and controls the military
and the government. The minority ethnic nationalities, making up the remaining one-third, live mainly in the
resource-rich border areas and hills of Burma, although many have been forcibly removed from their homes by
the military-backed government as it confiscates land for development projects and resource exploitation.
As a result, millions of people from these minority groups have become internally displaced people (IDPs)
within Burma, or refugees in neighbouring countries.
The seven largest minority nationalities are the Chin, the Kachin, the Karenni (sometimes called Kayah),
the Karen (sometimes called Kayin), the Mon, the Rakhine, and the Shan. Burma is divided into seven states,
each named after these seven ethnic nationalities, and seven regions (formerly called divisions), which are
largely inhabited by the Bamar (Burmans).
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Compiled by: Glenn Welker
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