Myanmar - Ethnic groups
The Burmans, ethnically related to the Tibetans, constituted about 68% of Myanmar's total population in 1999. In remote times, the Burmans, migrants from the hills east of Tibet, descended the Irrawaddy Valley and intermarried with the previously settled Mon and Pyu peoples. Since then, however, many other migrant peoples from the northeast and northwest have settled in Myanmar: the Shans, Karens, Kachins, Kayahs, and Chins are among the more numerous. Although much ethnic fusion has taken place among these peoples and the Burmans, most of the later migrant groups remain distinct cultural entities, and have sought to preserve their autonomy, sometimes by violent means. As of 1999, the Shan made up about 9% of the population, the Karen 7%, Rakhine 4%, Chinese 3%, Mon 2%, Indian 2%, and other 5%.