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Coordinates: 20°15′N 94°45′E / 20.25°N 94.75°E / 20.25; 94.75

Magway Division

(MLCTS: magwe: tuing:)

Capital Magwe
Region Central
Area 44,819 km²
Population 4,464,000
Ethnicities Bamar, Chin, Rakhine, Shan, Kayin
Religions Buddhism, animism

Magway Division (Burmese: မကွေးတိုင်း; also Magwe Division) is an administrative division located in central Myanmar between north latitude 18° 50' and 22° 47' and east longitude between 93° 47' and 95° 55'. It is bordered by Sagaing Division to the north, Mandalay Division to the east, Bago Division to the south, and Rakhine State and Chin State to the west. Magway Division is the largest of Myanmar's seven divisions, with an area of 17,306 sq miles.



Fossils of the early primates over 40 million years old were excavated in the Pondaung and Ponnya areas in Magway Division, leading the government to proclaim that Myanmar as "the birthplace of humanity in the world". An ancient city of the Pyu, Peikthano-myo, about 2000 years old, is located in Taungdwingyi Township, Magway Division.

The history of Magway Division mirrors that of the other divisions of central Burma.


Magway Division is made up of the districts of Magwe, Minbu, Thayetmyo, Pakokku and Gangaw comprising 25 townships and 1,696 ward village-tracts. The capital is the city of Magwe (1994 population estimated at 300,000). Other major towns are Pakokku and Minbu.

Four Districts of Magway Division are Magway District, Minbu District, Pakokku District and Thayet District.


The population of Magway Division is 4,200,000. Over 95% the people are Bamar, with very small numbers of minorities such as Chin, Rakhine, Kayin, Shan, and others, including a tiny Anglo-Burmese population. During colonial times, this part of Burma had a large Anglo-Burmese population, descended from Western oil workers and their Burmese partners. Approximately 98% of the population is Buddhist.



The principal product of Magway Division is petroleum. It produces most of the oil and natural gas of Myanmar. In May 2002 Russia agreed to help Myanmar build a 10-megawatt nuclear reactor and two laboratories in the region.[1] Other industries include cement, cotton weaving, and tobacco, iron and bronze. Magway Division produces a large quantity of edible oil as well as petroleum, hence gaining a reputation as the “oil pot of Myanmar.”

Agriculture is also important. The major crops are sesamum and groundnut. Other crops grown are rice, millet, maize, sunflower, beans and pulses, tobacco, toddy, chili, onions, and potatoes. Famous products of Magway Division include: Thanaka (Limonia acidissima) and Phangar (Chebulic myorobalan) fruit.

Magway has almost no tourist industry.


According to official statistics,[2] Magway Division had 3859 schools of which only 70 were high schools. Only about 10% of the division's primary schools reach high school.

AY 2002-2003 Primary Middle High
Schools 3605 184 70
Teachers 14,800 3730 1377
Students 428,000 128,000 44,000

Most of 12 colleges and universities in the division are located in Magway and Pakokku. The University of Medicine, Magway is one of the most selective universities in the country.

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.[3][4] 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. In 2003, Magway Division had less than a quarter of hospital beds than Yangon Division whose population was just slighter greater.[5]

2002-2003 # Hospitals # Beds
Specialist hospitals 0 0
General hospitals with specialist services 3 550
General hospitals 25 750
Health clinics 36 576
Total 64 1916

Notable sites

  • Fort Min Hla and Fort Kway Chaung: Two late Konbaung era forts built to resist a British invasion. One is Fort Minhla, situated inside the town of Min Hla. Fort Kway Chaung is located at opposite bank of Irrawaddy river.



Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel


Magwe Division (also Magway, Magwae) is in central Myanmar.


There are 25 townships in Magwe Division.

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