Administrative divisions of Myanmar

Myanmar is divided into twenty-one administrative subdivisions, which include states, regions, union territory, self-administered zones and self-administered division. Following is the table of government subdivisions and its organizational structure based on different states, regions, zones, division and the union territory:

TypeBurmese nameNo. of div.
IPA: [pjìnɛ̀]
IPA: [táɪɰ̃ dèθa̰ dʑí]
taìñ deithác̱ì
Union Territoryပြည်တောင်စုနယ်မြေ
IPA: [pjìdàʊɰ̃zṵnɛ̀mjè]
Self-Administered Zoneကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရဒေသ
IPA: [kòbàɪɰ̃ ʔoʊʔtɕʰoʊʔ kʰwɪ̰ɰ̃ja̰ dèθa̰]
koup̱aiñ ouʔhcouʔ hkwíñyá deithá
Self-Administered Divisionကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရ တိုင်း
IPA: [kòbàɪɰ̃ ʔoʊʔtɕʰoʊʔ kʰwɪ̰ɰ̃ja̰ táɪɰ̃]
koup̱aiñ ouʔhcouʔ hkwíñyá taìñ

Administrative divisions of Myanmar
A clickable map of Burma/Myanmar exhibiting its first-level administrative divisions.
CategoryUnitary state
Number7 regions, 7 states, 1 Union Territory, 6 self-administered zones (as of 2015)
Populations286,627 (Kayah State) - 7,360,703 (Yangon Region)
Areas7,054 km2 (2,724 sq mi) (Naypyidaw Union Territory) - 155,801 km2 (60,155 sq mi) (Shan State)

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 dominated by ethnic minorities.

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

States and regions are divided into districts (ခရိုင်; kha yaing or khayaing, IPA: [kʰəjàɪɴ]). These districts consist of townships (မြို့နယ်; myo-ne, IPA: [mjo̰nɛ̀]) that include towns (မြို့; myo, IPA: [mjo̰]), wards (ရပ်ကွက်; yatkwet, IPA: [jaʔ kwɛʔ])) and village-tracts (ကျေးရွာအုပ်စု; kyayywa oksu, IPA: [tɕé jwà ʔoʊʔ sṵ]). Village-tracts are groups of adjacent villages (ကျေးရွာ; kyayywa, IPA: [tɕé jwà]).

Structural hierarchy

Level 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Union Territory
Village tract
Self-Administered Division
Self-Administered Zone

Administrative divisions

States, Regions, and Union Territories

Flag NameBurmeseCapital ISO[2] Region Population (2014) Area (km2) Type
Ayeyarwady Region ဧရာဝတီတိုင်းဒေသကြီး Pathein MM-07 Lower 6,184,829[3] 35,031.8 Region
Bago Region ပဲခူးတိုင်းဒေသကြီး Bago MM-02 Lower 4,867,373[3] 39,402.3 Region
Chin State ချင်းပြည်နယ် Hakha MM-14 West 478,801[3] 36,018.8 State
Kachin State ကချင်ပြည်နယ် Myitkyina MM-11 North 1,689,441[3] 89,041.8 State
Kayah State ကယားပြည်နယ် Loikaw MM-12 East 286,627[3] 11,731.5 State
Kayin State ကရင်ပြည်နယ် Pa-an MM-13 South 1,574,079[3] 30,383 State
Magway Region မကွေးတိုင်းဒေသကြီး Magwe MM-03 Central 3,917,055[3] 44,820.6 Region
Mandalay Region မန္တလေးတိုင်းဒေသကြီး Mandalay MM-04 Central 6,165,723[3] 37,945.6 Region
Mon State မွန်ပြည်နယ် Mawlamyine MM-15 South 2,054,393[3] 12,296.6 State
Rakhine State ရခိုင်ပြည်နယ် Sittwe MM-16 West 3,188,807[3] 36,778.0 State
Shan State ရှမ်းပြည်နယ် Taunggyi MM-17 East 5,824,432[3] 155,801.3 State
Sagaing Region စစ်ကိုင်းတိုင်းဒေသကြီး Monywa MM-01 North 5,325,347[3] 93,704.8 Region
Tanintharyi Region တနင်္သာရီတိုင်းဒေသကြီး Dawei MM-05 South 1,408,401[3] 44,344.9 Region
Yangon Region ရန်ကုန်တိုင်းဒေသကြီး Yangon MM-06 Lower 7,360,703[3] 10,276.7 Region
Naypyidaw Union Territory နေပြည်တော် ပြည်ထောင်စုနယ်မြေ Naypyidaw MM-18 Central 1,160,242[3] 7,054 Union Territory

Self-Administered Zones and Self-Administered Divisions

Self-Administered Zones and Self-Administered Division
NameBurmeseCapitalRegion Population Area (km2) Type
Danu Self-Administered Zone ဓနုကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရဒေသ Pindaya East Self-Administered Zone
Kokang Self-Administered Zone ကိုးကန့်ကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရဒေသ Laukkai East Self-Administered Zone
Naga Self-Administered Zone နာဂကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရဒေသ Lahe North Self-Administered Zone
Pa'O Self-Administered Zone ပအိုဝ့်ကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရဒေသ Hopong East Self-Administered Zone
Pa Laung Self-Administered Zone ပလောင်းကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရဒေသ Namhsan East Self-Administered Zone
Wa Self-Administered Division ဝကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရတိုင်း Hopang East Self-Administered Division

System of administration

  States of Myanmar
  Regions of Myanmar

The administrative structure of the states, regions and self-administering bodies is outlined in the new constitution adopted in 2008.[4]

States and regions

Executive authority is held in each state or region by a Regional or State Government consisting of a Chief Minister, other ministers and an Advocate General.[5] The President appoints the Chief Minister from a list of qualified candidates in the regional or state legislature; the regional or state legislature must approve the President's choice unless they can prove that he or she does not meet the constitutional qualifications.[5]

Legislative authority resides with the State Hluttaw or Regional Hluttaw made up of elected civilian members and representatives of the Armed Forces. Both divisions are considered equivalent, the only distinction being that states have large ethnic minority populations and regions are mostly populated by the national majority Burmans / Bamar.[6]

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 Hluttaw 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 Sagaing Region:[7]

  • Naga (Leshi, Lahe and Namyun townships)

Within 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).

On 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, on 4 January 1948, the Chin Hills area was split from Arakan Division to form Chin Special Division, 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 Special Division became a state, and its capital moved from Falam to Hakha. Kawthule State's name was reverted to Karen State. Mon State was created out of portions of Tenasserim Division and Pegu 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.[8]

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" (တိုင်း in Burmese) as "regions" (တိုင်းဒေသကြီး[9] in Burmese). It also stipulates the creation of Union territories, which include the capital of Nay Pyi Taw and ethnic self-administered zones (ကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရဒေသ[9] in Burmese) and self-administered divisions (ကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရတိုင်း[9] in Burmese).[10] 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


  1. "တိုင်းခုနစ်တိုင်းကို တိုင်းဒေသကြီးများအဖြစ် လည်းကောင်း၊ ကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရ တိုင်းနှင့် ကိုယ်ပိုင်အုပ်ချုပ်ခွင့်ရ ဒေသများ ရုံးစိုက်ရာ မြို့များကို လည်းကောင်း ပြည်ထောင်စုနယ်မြေတွင် ခရိုင်နှင့်မြို့နယ်များကို လည်းကောင်း သတ်မှတ်ကြေညာ". Weekly Eleven News (in Burmese). 20 August 2010. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
  2. ISO 3166-2:MM (ISO 3166-2 codes for the subdivision of Myanmar)
  3. The Union Report: Census Report Volume 2. The 2014 Myanmar Population and Housing Census. Nay Pyi Taw: Ministry of Immigration and Population. 2015. p. 12.
  4. "Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (2008)" (PDF). Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  5. "Constitution of the Republican of the Union of Myanmar" (PDF). Minister of Information. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  6. "Myanmar's States and Regions – The Asia Foundation" (PDF). Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  7. "Ethnic Politics in Burma: The Time for Solutions". 14 February 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  8. "An Introduction to the Toponymy of Burma" The Permanent Committee of Geographic Names (PCGN), United Kingdom, October 2007, accessed 18 April 2010
  9. ပြည်ထောင်စုသမ္မတမြန်မာနိုင်ငံတော် ဖွဲ့စည်းပုံအခြေခံဥပဒေ (၂၀၀၈ ခုနှစ်) (in Burmese) [0]=1|2008 Constitution PDF Archived 1 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  10. Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (2008)