Ethnic Groups: Burman 68%, Shan 9%, Karen 7%, Rakhine 4%, Chinese 3%, Indian 2%, Mon 2%, other 5%
Unemployment: 4% (2017 est.)
Myanmar shares borders with China, India, Laos, Bangladesh and Thailand.
The United States officially still calls the country Burma.
1824-1886 – Burma becomes part of British India after fighting three wars with Great Britain over 62 years.
January 1947 – After negotiating with the Anti-Fascist People’s Freedom League (AFPFL), Great Britain agrees to give Burma its independence.
July 1947 – AFPFL leader Aung San is assassinated.
January 4, 1948 – Burma gains independence from the United Kingdom.
March 1962 – The military government is established under Ne Win after a bloodless coup.
August-October 1988 – Mass anti-government demonstrations take place throughout Burma. The official Radio Rangoon figure is 450 dead; the actual number is believed to be much higher.
September 1988 – Gen. Saw Maung takes over in another military coup.
1989 – Burma changes its name in English to Myanmar and the name of the capital from Rangoon to Yangon.
April 23, 1992 – Gen. Than Shwe replaces Saw Maung as head of the junta.
July 23, 1997 – Myanmar joins the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
March 2006 – Naypyidaw becomes the new administrative capital.
August 19, 2007 – Protests break out in Yangon after the government raises petroleum and diesel prices by 100%.
September 22, 2007 – In her first public appearance in over four years, Suu Kyi greets monks as they march past her house in Yangon.
September 24, 2007 – Buddhist monks lead about 100,000 in the largest anti-government demonstrations since 1988.
September 26, 2007 – As protests continue, Myanmar security forces crack down — clubbing and gassing protestors and arresting as many as 200 monks.
September 30, 2007 – Special UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari meets with Suu Kyi and with military officials (separately) to attempt to resolve the situation.
June 5-10, 2010 – More than 4,000 ethnic Karen leave Myanmar for Thailand after clashes between the Karen National Union rebel group and the Myanmar army.
June-July 2010 – Floods and landslides kill 68 people and displace thousands.
October 22, 2010 – Cyclone Giri hits Myanmar, leaving at least 27 people dead and close to 75,000 homeless.
November 7, 2010 – Myanmar holds its first elections in 20 years. The Union Solidarity and Development Party, backed by the military, claims victory with 80% of the votes.
November 13, 2010 – Opposition leader Suu Kyi is released from house arrest.
January 31, 2011 – Myanmar convenes its first parliament in more than two decades in the capital, Naypyidaw.
February 4, 2011 – The parliament elects Prime Minister Thein Sein as president. Suu Kyi’s NLD party boycotts the elections, calling it a sham.
March 30, 2011 – A civilian government is sworn in to replace the military junta.
October 12, 2011 – Dozens of political prisoners are released as part of a mass amnesty.
December 13, 2011 – The NLD is granted permission to register for future elections in Myanmar.
April 1, 2012 – Suu Kyi wins a seat in parliament in the first multi-party elections since 1990.
April 29, 2012 – UN Secretary-General Ban arrives in Myanmar to meet with President Thein Sein and Suu Kyi.
May 2, 2012 – Suu Kyi takes the oath of office for Myanmar’s parliament, resolving an impasse that had been preventing her from taking her seat in the legislature. She and 33 other newly elected members of the National League for Democracy had been delaying their swearings-in due to objections to the wording of the oath they would have to take.
June 2012 – Unrest breaks out in the western state of Rakhine. Religious violence leaves more than 200 dead and close to 150,000 homeless — predominantly members of the Rohingya Muslim minority.
March 10, 2013 – Suu Kyi wins reelection as Myanmar’s leader of the NLD.
March 22, 2013 – A state of emergency is declared as ethnic clashes between Muslims and Buddhists lead to killings.
May 2, 2013 – US President Obama extends sanctions against Myanmar for one year while lifting the 1996 visa ban.
April 7, 2014 – The UN’s Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, Tomas Ojea Quintana, reports that the recent persecution of the Rohingya group “could amount to crimes against humanity.”
March 28, 2018 – Myanmar’s parliament elects Win Myint as the new president.
April 16, 2021 – Opponents of the military junta announce a National Unity Government (NUG), a shadow civilian government, with Suu Kyi named as the de facto leader.