There are approximately a hundred languages spoken in Burma. Burmese, spoken by two thirds of the population, is the official language. Languages spoken by ethnic minorities represent five language families: Sino-Tibetan, Austro-Asiatic, Tai–Kadai, Indo-European, and Austronesian, as well as an incipient national standard for sign language. Education The educational system of Burma is operated by the government Ministry of Education. Universities and professional institutes from upper Burma and lower Burma are run by two separate entities, the Departments of Higher Education (Lower Burma and Upper Burma), whose office headquarters are based in Yangon and Mandalay respectively. The education system is based on the United Kingdom's system, due to nearly a century of British and Christian presences in Burma. Culture Although influenced by the culinary traditions of neighbouring India and China, Burmese dishes retain a character as distinctive and flamboyant as the country’s Buddhist architecture. Buddhist pagodas and temples are ubiquitous in Burma, but first-time visitors could be forgiven for getting the two confused. Buddha images have been integral to Burmese fine arts for almost 1,500 years, reflecting the creative skill of artisans and their deepest religious beliefs. Population At the time of the 1983 census in Burma, as of 31 March 1983, the population was 35,442,972. As of July 2012, this was estimated by the CIA World Factbook to have increased to 60,584,650. Other estimates put place the total population at around 60 million. China's People's Daily reported that Burma had a census in 2007, and at the end of 2009 has 59.2 million people, and growing at 2% annually with exception for Cyclone Nargis in 2008. The results showed that population density of 76 per square kilometre (200/sq mi). Yangon Region was the most densely populated Region, (723 per square kilometre (1,870/sq mi)), followed by Mandalay (206 per square kilometre (530/sq mi). The least densely populated States were Kachin State (19 per square kilometre (49/sq mi)) and Chin State (13 per square kilometre (34/sq mi)).