The Economy of Burma or (Myanmar) is one of the least developed in the world, suffering from decades of stagnation, mismanagement, and isolation. Burma’s GDP grows at an average rate of 2.9% annually – the lowest rate of economic growth in the Greater Mekong Subregion.
The current state of the Burmese economy has also had a significant impact on Burmese demographics, as economic hardship results in extreme delays of marriage and family building. The average age of marriage in Burma is 27.5 for men, 26.4 for women, almost unparalleled in the region, with the exception of developed countries like Singapore. Burma also has a low fertility rate, of 2.07 children per woman (2010), especially as compared to other Southeast Asian countries of similar economic standing, like Cambodia (3.18) and Laos (4.41), representing a significant decline from 4.7 in 1983, despite the absence of a national population policy. This is at least partly attributed to the economic strain that additional children place on the family income, and has resulted in the prevalence of illegal abortions in the country, as well as use of other forms of birth control.[