Ayeyarwady Region

Ayeyarwady Region
Irrawaddy Division
Myanma transcription(s)
  Burmese ei:rawati tuing: desa. kri:


Location of Ayeyarwady Region in Myanmar
Coordinates: 16°50′N 95°10′E / 16.833°N 95.167°E / 16.833; 95.167Coordinates: 16°50′N 95°10′E / 16.833°N 95.167°E / 16.833; 95.167
Country  Myanmar
Region Lower
Capital Pathein
  Chief Minister Mahn Johnny (NLD)
  Legislature Ayeyarwady Region Hluttaw
  Total 35,140 km2 (13,570 sq mi)
Area rank 10th
Population (2014)[1]
  Total 6,184,829
  Rank 2nd
  Density 180/km2 (460/sq mi)
  Ethnicities Bamar, Rakhine, Indians, Kayin
  Religions Buddhism, Christianity, Islam
Time zone MST (UTC+06:30)
Website www.ayeyarwady.gov.mm

Ayeyarwady Region (Burmese: ဧရာဝတီတိုင်းဒေသကြီး, pronounced: [ʔèjàwədì táiɴ dèθa̰ dʑí]; formerly Ayeyarwady Division and Irrawaddy Division) is a region of Myanmar, occupying the delta region of the Ayeyarwady River (Irrawaddy River). It is bordered by Bago Region to the north, Bago Region and Yangon Region to the east, and the Bay of Bengal to the south and west. It is contiguous with the Rakhine State in the northwest.

The region lies between north latitude 15° 40' and 18° 30' approximately and between cast longitude 94° 15' and 96° 15'. It has an area of 35,140 square kilometres (13,566 sq mi). The population is over 6.5 million, making it the most populous of Burma’s states and regions. According to the National Census 2014 of Myanmar, there are 6175123 population in Ayeyarwady Region

Ayeyarwady Region is flanked by the Rakhine Yoma (Arakan Mountains) range in the west and large areas were cleared for paddy cultivation, leading to its preeminent position as the main rice producer in the country, a position it has retained into the 21st century.

It has also a number of lakes. Of the rivers branching out from the mighty Ayeyarwady, Ngawun, Pathein and Toe are famous.

The capital city of Ayeyarwady division is Pathein.

Chaungtha Beach and Ngwesaung Beach are popular resorts for both foreigners and Burma people. They are located in west side of Ayeyarwady Region, one hours distance from Pathein city and four hours from Yangon city by road transportation.


Historical population
1973 4,156,673    
1983 4,994,061+20.1%
2014 6,184,829+23.8%
Source: 2014 Myanmar Census[1]

Bamar and Karen form the majority of the population, with a small minority of Rakhine in western coastal regions. The majority of the people are Buddhist, with small minorities of Christians and Muslims. Burmese is the lingua franca.


Chaungtha Beach is an important tourist destination in Ayeyarwady Region.

Ayeyarwady Region is heavily forested and wood products are an important component of the economy. The principal crop of Ayeyarwady Region is rice, and the division is called the “granary of Burma.” In addition to rice, other crops include maize, sesame, groundnut, sunflower, beans, pulses, and jute. Fishery is also important; Ayeyarwady Region produces fish, prawn, fish-paste, dry fish, dry prawn, and fish sauce.

Ayeyarwady Region also has considerable tourist potential. The city of Pathein has numerous historic sights and temples. Outside Pathein are the beach resorts of Chaungtha Beach and the lake resort of Inye Lake. Inye lake is located in Kyonpyaw township, 59 miles (95 km) north east of Pathein. Inye lake is also well known for fishery, as the major supplier of fresh water fish. Chaungtha is located in Pathein township. However, hotel and transportation infrastructure is still very poorly developed.


The Ayeyarwady delta region was traditionally part of the Mon kingdom. This area fell under Burmese (and occasional Rakhine) rule from the 11th century AD. Its subsequent history mirrors that of the rest of lower Burma.

Cyclone Nargis

The area was the site of heavy devastation when Cyclone Nargis made landfall in 2008.

Burma's state-controlled news media reported that Nargis left more than 66,000 people dead or missing after it struck the Irrawaddy Delta region May 2, unleashing torrential rains, 120 mph sustained winds and a 12-foot (3.7 m) tidal wave. Foreign relief officials and diplomats said the death toll could exceed 100,000.[2]

Administrative divisions

Ayeyarwady Region consists of six districts:

Labutta District was formed in August 2008, three months after Cyclone Nagis hit the region.

Pathein is the principal city and capital. It consists of 26 townships and 29 cities. In the townships there are 219 wards, 1912 village groups and 11651 villages.




Ayeyarwady Region is served by Pathein Airport.



Educational opportunities in Myanmar are extremely limited outside the main cities of Yangon and Mandalay. According to official statistics, less than 10% of primary school students in the division reach high school.[3]

AY 2002-2003 Primary Middle High
Schools 5623 270 102
Teachers 17,600 5700 1800
Students 708,000 181,000 61,000

Pathein University is the main university in the state, and until recently the only four-year university in the state. In recent years, the military government, which closed down universities and colleges in the 1990s to quell student unrest, has "upgraded" former colleges and two-year institutes. The government now requires that students attend their local universities and colleges, such as Hinthada University and Maubin University.

Health care

The general state of health care in Myanmar is poor. The military government spends anywhere from 0.5% to 3% of the country's GDP on health care, consistently ranking among the lowest in the world.[4][5] Although health care is nominally free, in reality, patients have to pay for medicine and treatment, even in public clinics and hospitals. Public hospitals lack many of the basic facilities and equipment. Moreover, the health care infrastructure outside of Yangon and Mandalay is extremely poor. For example, in 2003, Ayeyarwady Region had less than a quarter of hospital beds than Yangon Region although Ayeyarwady Region had a slightly greater population.[6]

2002–2003 # Hospitals # Beds
Specialist hospitals 0 0
General hospitals with specialist services 2 450
General hospitals 24 910
Health clinics 45 720
Total 71 2080

External links

Media related to Ayeyarwady Region at Wikimedia Commons


  1. 1 2 Census Report. The 2014 Myanmar Population and Housing Census. 2. Naypyitaw: Ministry of Immigration and Population. May 2015. p. 17.
  2. Burma Rejects Large Scale Relief Effort
  3. "Education statistics by level and by State and Division". Myanmar Central Statistical Organization. Retrieved 2009-04-09.
  4. "PPI: Almost Half of All World Health Spending is in the United States". 2007-01-17. Archived from the original on 2011-04-27.
  5. Yasmin Anwar (2007-06-28). 06.28.2007 "Burma junta faulted for rampant diseases" Check |url= value (help). UC Berkeley News.
  6. "Hospitals and Dispensaries by State and Division". Myanmar Central Statistical Organization. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
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