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East Asia/Southeast Asia :: Thailand Print
Page last updated on November 24, 2020
  • Introduction :: Thailand
  • Background field listing

    A unified Thai kingdom was established in the mid-14th century. Known as Siam until 1939, Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country never to have been colonized by a European power. A bloodless revolution in 1932 led to the establishment of a constitutional monarchy. After the Japanese invaded Thailand in 1941, the government split into a pro-Japan faction and a pro-Ally faction backed by the King. Following the war, Thailand became a US treaty ally in 1954 after sending troops to Korea and later fighting alongside the US in Vietnam. Thailand since 2005 has experienced several rounds of political turmoil including a military coup in 2006 that ousted then Prime Minister THAKSIN Chinnawat, followed by large-scale street protests by competing political factions in 2008, 2009, and 2010. THAKSIN's youngest sister, YINGLAK Chinnawat, in 2011 led the Puea Thai Party to an electoral win and assumed control of the government.

    In early May 2014, after months of large-scale anti-government protests in Bangkok beginning in November 2013, YINGLAK was removed from office by the Constitutional Court and in late May 2014 the Royal Thai Army, led by Royal Thai Army Gen. PRAYUT Chan-ocha, staged a coup against the caretaker government. PRAYUT was appointed prime minister in August 2014. PRAYUT also serves as the head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), a military-affiliated body that oversees the interim government. This body created several interim institutions to promote reform and draft a new constitution, which was passed in a national referendum in August 2016. In late 2017, PRAYUT announced elections would be held by November 2018; he has subsequently suggested they might occur in February 2019. As of mid-December 2018, a previoulsy held ban on campaigning and political activity has been lifted and per parliamentary laws, an election must be held within 150 days. King PHUMIPHON Adunyadet passed away in October 2016 after 70 years on the throne; his only son, WACHIRALONGKON Bodinthrathepphayawarangkun, ascended the throne in December 2016. He signed the new constitution in April 2017. Thailand has also experienced violence associated with the ethno-nationalist insurgency in its southern Malay-Muslim majority provinces. Since January 2004, thousands have been killed and wounded in the insurgency.

  • Geography :: Thailand
  • Location field listing
    Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, southeast of Burma
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    15 00 N, 100 00 E
    Map references field listing
    Southeast Asia
    Area field listing
    total: 513,120 sq km
    land: 510,890 sq km
    water: 2,230 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 52
    Area - comparative field listing
    about three times the size of Florida; slightly more than twice the size of Wyoming
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 5,673 km
    border countries (4): Burma 2416 km, Cambodia 817 km, Laos 1845 km, Malaysia 595 km
    Coastline field listing
    3,219 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
    Climate field listing
    tropical; rainy, warm, cloudy southwest monsoon (mid-May to September); dry, cool northeast monsoon (November to mid-March); southern isthmus always hot and humid
    Terrain field listing
    central plain; Khorat Plateau in the east; mountains elsewhere
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 287 m
    lowest point: Gulf of Thailand 0 m
    highest point: Doi Inthanon 2,565 m
    Natural resources field listing
    tin, rubber, natural gas, tungsten, tantalum, timber, lead, fish, gypsum, lignite, fluorite, arable land
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 41.2% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 30.8% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 8.8% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 1.6% (2011 est.)
    forest: 37.2% (2011 est.)
    other: 21.6% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    64,150 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    highest population density is found in and around Bangkok; significant population clusters found througout large parts of the country, particularly north and northeast of Bangkok and in the extreme southern region of the country
    Natural hazards field listing
    land subsidence in Bangkok area resulting from the depletion of the water table; droughts
    Environment - current issues field listing
    air pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from organic and factory wastes; water scarcity; deforestation; soil erosion; wildlife populations threatened by illegal hunting; hazardous waste disposal
    Environment - international agreements field listing
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
    Geography - note field listing
    controls only land route from Asia to Malaysia and Singapore; ideas for the construction of a canal across the Kra Isthmus that would create a bypass to the Strait of Malacca and shorten shipping times around Asia continue to be discussed
  • People and Society :: Thailand
  • Population field listing
    68,977,400 (July 2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Thai (singular and plural)
    adjective: Thai
    Ethnic groups field listing
    Thai 97.5%, Burmese 1.3%, other 1.1%, unspecified <.1% (2015 est.)
    note: data represent population by nationality
    Languages field listing
    Thai (official) only 90.7%, Thai and other languages 6.4%, only other languages 2.9% (includes Malay, Burmese) (2010 est.)

    note: data represent population by language(s) spoken at home; English is a secondary language of the elite

    Religions field listing
    Buddhist 94.6%, Muslim 4.3%, Christian 1%, other (2015 est.)
    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 16.45% (male 5,812,803/female 5,533,772)
    15-24 years: 13.02% (male 4,581,622/female 4,400,997)
    25-54 years: 45.69% (male 15,643,583/female 15,875,353)
    55-64 years: 13.01% (male 4,200,077/female 4,774,801)
    65 years and over: 11.82% (male 3,553,273/female 4,601,119) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 41.9
    youth dependency ratio: 23.5
    elderly dependency ratio: 18.4
    potential support ratio: 5.4 (2020 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 39 years
    male: 37.8 years
    female: 40.1 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    Population growth rate field listing
    0.25% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    Birth rate field listing
    10.7 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    Death rate field listing
    8.3 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    Net migration rate field listing
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    Population distribution field listing
    highest population density is found in and around Bangkok; significant population clusters found througout large parts of the country, particularly north and northeast of Bangkok and in the extreme southern region of the country
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 51.4% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 1.73% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030: PDF
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    10.539 million BANGKOK (capital), 1.399 Chon Buri, 1.307 million Samut Prakan, 1.167 million Chiang Mai, 967,000 Songkla, 963,000 Nothaburi (2020)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth field listing
    23.3 years (2009 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    37 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 8.6 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 9.5 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 7.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 75.6 years
    male: 72.4 years
    female: 78.9 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    Total fertility rate field listing
    1.54 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
    78.4% (2015/16)
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: urban: 100% of population
    rural: 100% of population
    total: 100% of population
    unimproved: urban: 0% of population
    rural: 0% of population
    total: 0% of population (2017 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure field listing
    3.7% (2017)
    Physicians density field listing
    0.81 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    2.1 beds/1,000 population (2010)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: urban: 100% of population
    rural: 100% of population
    total: 99.9% of population
    unimproved: urban: 0% of population
    rural: 0% of population
    total: 0.1% of population (2017 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    0.8% (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    480,000 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    14,000 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    Major infectious diseases field listing
    degree of risk: very high (2020)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
    vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, and malaria
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    10% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight field listing
    6.7% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    Education expenditures field listing
    4.1% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    Literacy field listing
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 92.9%
    male: 94.7%
    female: 91.2% (2015)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) field listing
    total: 15 years
    male: 15 years
    female: 16 years (2016)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 field listing
    total: 3.7%
    male: 3%
    female: 4.7% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
  • Government :: Thailand
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: Kingdom of Thailand
    conventional short form: Thailand
    local long form: Ratcha Anachak Thai
    local short form: Prathet Thai
    former: Siam
    etymology: Land of the Tai [People]"; the meaning of "tai" is uncertain, but may originally have meant "human beings," "people," or "free people
    Government type field listing
    constitutional monarchy
    Capital field listing
    name: Bangkok
    geographic coordinates: 13 45 N, 100 31 E
    time difference: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    etymology: Bangkok was likely originally a colloquial name, but one that was widely adopted by foreign visitors; the name may derive from "bang ko," where "bang" is the Thai word for "village on a stream" and "ko" means "island," both referencing the area's landscape, which was carved by rivers and canals; alternatively, the name may come from "bang makok," where "makok" is the name of the Java plum, a plant bearing olive-like fruit; this possibility is supported by the former name of Wat Arun, a historic temple in the area, that used to be called Wat Makok;

    Krung Thep, the city's Thai name, means "City of the Deity" and is a shortening of the full ceremonial name: Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit; translated the meaning is: City of angels, great city of immortals, magnificent city of the nine gems, seat of the king, city of royal palaces, home of gods incarnate, erected by Vishvakarman at Indra's behest; it holds the world's record as the longest place name (169 letters)
    Administrative divisions field listing
    76 provinces (changwat, singular and plural) and 1 municipality* (maha nakhon); Amnat Charoen, Ang Thong, Bueng Kan, Buri Ram, Chachoengsao, Chai Nat, Chaiyaphum, Chanthaburi, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Chon Buri, Chumphon, Kalasin, Kamphaeng Phet, Kanchanaburi, Khon Kaen, Krabi, Krung Thep* (Bangkok), Lampang, Lamphun, Loei, Lop Buri, Mae Hong Son, Maha Sarakham, Mukdahan, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Pathom, Nakhon Phanom, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Sawan, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nan, Narathiwat, Nong Bua Lamphu, Nong Khai, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Pattani, Phangnga, Phatthalung, Phayao, Phetchabun, Phetchaburi, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Phrae, Phuket, Prachin Buri, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Ranong, Ratchaburi, Rayong, Roi Et, Sa Kaeo, Sakon Nakhon, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram, Saraburi, Satun, Sing Buri, Si Sa Ket, Songkhla, Sukhothai, Suphan Buri, Surat Thani, Surin, Tak, Trang, Trat, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Uthai Thani, Uttaradit, Yala, Yasothon
    Independence field listing
    1238 (traditional founding date; never colonized)
    National holiday field listing
    Birthday of King WACHIRALONGKON, 28 July (1952)
    Constitution field listing
    history: many previous; latest drafted and presented 29 March 2016, approved by referendum 7 August 2016, signed into law by the king 6 April 2017
    amendments: proposed as a joint resolution by the Council of Ministers and the National Council for Peace and Order (the junta that has ruled Thailand since the 2014 coup) and submitted as a draft to the National Legislative Assembly; passage requires majority vote of the existing Assembly members and presentation to the monarch for assent and countersignature of the prime minister
    International law organization participation field listing
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Thailand
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
    Suffrage field listing
    18 years of age; universal and compulsory
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: King WACHIRALONGKON, also spelled Vajiralongkorn, (since 1 December 2016); note - King PHUMIPHON Adunyadet, also spelled BHUMIBOL Adulyadej (since 9 June 1946) died 13 October 2016
    head of government: Prime Minister PRAYUT Chan-ocha (since 25 August 2014); Deputy Prime Ministers PRAWIT Wongsuwan (since 31 August 2014), WITSANU Kruea-ngam (since 31 August 2014), SUPHATTHANAPHONG Phanmichao (since August 2020), CHURIN Laksanawisit (since November 2019), ANUTHIN Chanwirakun (since November 2019), DON Pramudwinai (since August 2020)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister, appointed by the king; a Privy Council advises the king
    elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; the House of Representatives and Senate approves a person for Prime Minister who must then be appointed by the King (as stated in the transitory provision of the 2017 constitution); the office of prime minister can be held for up to a total of 8 years

    note:  PRAYUT Chan-ocha was appointed interim prime minister in August 2014, three months after he staged the coup that removed the previously elected government of Prime Minister YINGLAK Chinnawat; on 5 June 2019 PRAYUT (independent) was approved as prime minister by the parliament - 498 votes to 244 for THANATHON Chuengrungrueangkit (FFP)

    Legislative branch field listing
    description: bicameral National Assembly or Rathhasapha consists of:
    Senate or Wuthissapha (250 seats; members appointed by the Royal Thai Army to serve 5-year terms)
    House of Representatives or Saphaphuthan Ratsadon (500 seats; 375 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 150 members elected in a single nationwide constituency by party-list proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
    elections: Senate - last held on 14 May 2019 (next to be held in 2024)

    House of Representatives - last held on 24 March 2019 (next to be held in 2023)
    election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; composition - men 224, women 26, percent of women 10.4%
    House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - PPRP 23.7%, PTP 22.2%, FFP 17.8%, DP 11.1%, PJT 10.5%, TLP 2.3%, CTP 2.2%, NEP 1.4%, PCC 1.4%, ACT 1.2%, PCP 1.2%,  other 5.1%; seats by party - PTP 136, PPRP 116, FFP 81, DP 53, PJT 51, CTP 10, TLP 10, PCC 7, PCP 5, NEP 6, ACT 5, other 20; composition - men 421, women 79, percent of women 15.8%; note - total National Assembly percent of women 14%
    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Supreme Court of Justice (consists of the court president, 6 vice presidents, 60-70 judges, and organized into 10 divisions); Constitutional Court (consists of the court president and 8 judges); Supreme Administrative Court (number of judges determined by Judicial Commission of the Administrative Courts)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges selected by the Judicial Commission of the Courts of Justice and approved by the monarch; judge term determined by the monarch; Constitutional Court justices - 3 judges drawn from the Supreme Court, 2 judges drawn from the Administrative Court, and 4 judge candidates selected by the Selective Committee for Judges of the Constitutional Court, and confirmed by the Senate; judges appointed by the monarch serve single 9-year terms; Supreme Administrative Court judges selected by the Judicial Commission of the Administrative Courts and appointed by the monarch; judges serve for life
    subordinate courts: courts of first instance and appeals courts within both the judicial and administrative systems; military courts
    Political parties and leaders field listing
    Action Coalition of Thailand Party or ACT [TAWEESAK Na Takuathung (acting); CHATUMONGKHON Sonakun resigned June 2020]
    Anakhot Mai Party (Future Forward Party) or FFP [THANATHON Chuengrungrueangkit] (dissolved, February 2020)
    Chat Phatthana Party (National Development Party) [THEWAN Liptaphanlop]
    Chat Thai Phatthana Party (Thai Nation Development Party) or CTP [KANCHANA Sinlapa-acha]
    New Economics Party or NEP [MINGKHWAN Sangsuwan]
    Phalang Pracharat Party or PPP [UTTAMA Sawanayon]
    Phumchai Thai Party (Thai Pride Party) or PJT [ANUTHIN Chanwirakun]
    Prachachat Party of PCC [WAN Muhamad NOOR Matha]
    Prachathipat Party (Democrat Party) or DP [CHURIN Laksanawisit]
    Puea Chat Party (For Nation Party) or PCP [SONGKHRAM Kitletpairot]
    Puea Thai Party (For Thais Party) or PTP [WIROT Paoin]
    Puea Tham Party (For Dharma Party) [NALINI Thawisin]
    Seri Ruam Thai Party (Thai Liberal Party) or TLP [SERIPHISUT Temiyawet]
    Thai Forest Conservation Party or TFCP [DAMRONG Phidet]
    Thai Local Power Party or TLP [collective leadership]
    Thai Raksa Chat Party (Thai National Preservation Party) [PRICHAPHON Phongpanit]

    note: as of 5 April 2018, 98 new parties applied to be registered with the Election Commission in accordance with the provisions of the new organic law on political parties

    International organization participation field listing
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador THANI Thongphakdi (since 6 January 2020)
    chancery: 1024 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 401, Washington, DC 20007
    telephone: [1] (202) 944-3600
    FAX: [1] (202) 944-3611
    consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Michael HEATH (since August 2019)
    telephone: [66] 2-205-4000
    embassy: 95 Wireless Road, Bangkok 10330
    mailing address: APO AP 96546
    FAX: [66] 2-205-4306
    consulate(s) general: Chiang Mai
    Flag description field listing
    five horizontal bands of red (top), white, blue (double width), white, and red; the red color symbolizes the nation and the blood of life, white represents religion and the purity of Buddhism, and blue stands for the monarchy

    note: similar to the flag of Costa Rica but with the blue and red colors reversed

    National symbol(s) field listing
    garuda (mythical half-man, half-bird figure), elephant; national colors: red, white, blue
    National anthem field listing
    name: "Phleng Chat Thai" (National Anthem of Thailand)
    lyrics/music: Luang SARANUPRAPAN/Phra JENDURIYANG

    note: music adopted 1932, lyrics adopted 1939; by law, people are required to stand for the national anthem at 0800 and 1800 every day; the anthem is played in schools, offices, theaters, and on television and radio during this time; "Phleng Sanlasoen Phra Barami" (A Salute to the Monarch) serves as the royal anthem and is played in the presence of the royal family and during certain state ceremonies

  • Economy :: Thailand
  • Economy - overview field listing

    With a relatively well-developed infrastructure, a free-enterprise economy, and generally pro-investment policies, Thailand is highly dependent on international trade, with exports accounting for about two thirds of GDP. Thailand’s exports include electronics, agricultural commodities, automobiles and parts, and processed foods. The industry and service sectors produce about 90% of GDP. The agricultural sector, comprised mostly of small-scale farms, contributes only 10% of GDP but employs about one third of the labor force. Thailand has attracted an estimated 3.0-4.5 million migrant workers, mostly from neighboring countries.

    Over the last few decades, Thailand has reduced poverty substantially. In 2013, the Thai Government implemented a nationwide 300 baht (roughly $10) per day minimum wage policy and deployed new tax reforms designed to lower rates on middle-income earners.

    Thailand’s economy is recovering from slow growth during the years since the 2014 coup. Thailand’s economic fundamentals are sound, with low inflation, low unemployment, and reasonable public and external debt levels. Tourism and government spending - mostly on infrastructure and short-term stimulus measures – have helped to boost the economy, and The Bank of Thailand has been supportive, with several interest rate reductions.

    Over the longer-term, household debt levels, political uncertainty, and an aging population pose risks to growth.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $1.236 trillion (2017 est.)
    $1.19 trillion (2016 est.)
    $1.152 trillion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 20
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $455.4 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    2.62% (2019 est.)
    4.31% (2018 est.)
    4.26% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $17,900 (2017 est.)
    $17,200 (2016 est.)
    $16,700 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 99
    Gross national saving field listing
    34.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
    32.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
    30.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 48.8% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 16.4% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 23.2% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: -0.4% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 68.2% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -54.6% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 8.2% (2017 est.)
    industry: 36.2% (2017 est.)
    services: 55.6% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    rice, cassava (manioc, tapioca), rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, palm oil, pineapple, livestock, fish products
    Industries field listing
    tourism, textiles and garments, agricultural processing, beverages, tobacco, cement, light manufacturing such as jewelry and electric appliances, computers and parts, integrated circuits, furniture, plastics, automobiles and automotive parts, agricultural machinery, air conditioning and refrigeration, ceramics, aluminum, chemical, environmental management, glass, granite and marble, leather, machinery and metal work, petrochemical, petroleum refining, pharmaceuticals, printing, pulp and paper, rubber, sugar, rice, fishing, cassava, world's second-largest tungsten producer and third-largest tin producer
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    1.6% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    Labor force field listing
    37.546 million (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 31.8%
    industry: 16.7%
    services: 51.5% (2015 est.)
    Unemployment rate field listing
    0.99% (2019 est.)
    1.06% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    Population below poverty line field listing
    7.2% (2015 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: 2.8%
    highest 10%: 31.5% (2009 est.)
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 69.23 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 85.12 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    15.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 193
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -3.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    Public debt field listing
    41.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
    41.8% of GDP (2016 est.)

    note: data cover general government debt and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are sold at public auctions

    country comparison to the world: 118
    Fiscal year field listing
    1 October - 30 September
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    0.7% (2017 est.)
    0.2% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    Current account balance field listing
    $37.033 billion (2019 est.)
    $28.423 billion (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    Exports field listing
    $235.1 billion (2017 est.)
    $214.3 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    Exports - partners field listing
    China 12.4%, US 11.2%, Japan 9.5%, Hong Kong 5.2%, Vietnam 4.9%, Australia 4.5%, Malaysia 4.4% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    automobiles and parts, computer and parts, jewelry and precious stones, polymers of ethylene in primary forms, refine fuels, electronic integrated circuits, chemical products, rice, fish products, rubber products, sugar, cassava, poultry, machinery and parts, iron and steel and their products
    Imports field listing
    $203.2 billion (2017 est.)
    $177.7 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    Imports - commodities field listing
    machinery and parts, crude oil, electrical machinery and parts, chemicals, iron & steel and product, electronic integrated circuit, automobile’s parts, jewelry including silver bars and gold, computers and parts, electrical household appliances, soybean, soybean meal, wheat, cotton, dairy products
    Imports - partners field listing
    China 20%, Japan 14.5%, US 6.8%, Malaysia 5.4% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $202.6 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $171.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    Debt - external field listing
    $132 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $130.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    Exchange rates field listing
    baht per US dollar -
    34.34 (2017 est.)
    35.296 (2016 est.)
    35.296 (2015 est.)
    34.248 (2014 est.)
    32.48 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Thailand
  • Electricity access field listing
    electrification - total population: 100% (2020)
    Electricity - production field listing
    181.5 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    187.7 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    Electricity - exports field listing
    2.267 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    Electricity - imports field listing
    19.83 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    44.89 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    76% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 193
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    8% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    16% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    Crude oil - production field listing
    228,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    790 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    875,400 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    349.4 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    1.328 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    1.326 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    278,300 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    134,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    Natural gas - production field listing
    38.59 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    52.64 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 199
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    14.41 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    193.4 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    355 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
  • Communications :: Thailand
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 2,580,166
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 3.75 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 128,086,321
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 186.16 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    Telecommunication systems field listing
    general assessment: high quality system, especially in urban areas like Bangkok; mobile and mobile broadband penetration are on the increase; Fiber-to-the-home (FttH) has seen strong growth in the major cities; 4G TD-LTE available and moving to 5G services; seven smart cities with the hope of 100 smart cities within its borders in the next two decades; one of the biggest e-commerce markets in Southeast Asia; fixed broadband remains relative compared to other developed Asian telecom markets and with the dominance of the mobile platform (2020)
    domestic: fixed-line system provided by both a government-owned and commercial provider; wireless service expanding rapidly; fixed-line 4 per 100 and mobile-cellular 186 per 100 (2019)
    international: country code - 66; landing points for the AAE-1, FEA, SeaMeWe-3,-4, APG, SJC2, TIS, MCT and AAG submarine cable systems providing links throughout Asia, Australia, Africa, Middle East, Europe, and US; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean, 1 Pacific Ocean) (2019)
    note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media field listing
    26 digital TV stations in Bangkok broadcast nationally, 6 terrestrial TV stations in Bangkok broadcast nationally via relay stations - 2 of the stations are owned by the military, the other 4 are government-owned or controlled, leased to private enterprise, and all are required to broadcast government-produced news programs twice a day; multi-channel satellite and cable TV subscription services are available; radio frequencies have been allotted for more than 500 government and commercial radio stations; many small community radio stations operate with low-power transmitters (2017)
    Internet country code field listing
    Internet users field listing
    total: 38,987,531
    percent of population: 56.82% (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 9.189 million
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 13 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
  • Transportation :: Thailand
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 15 (2020)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 283
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 76,053,042 (2018)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 2,666,260,000 mt-km (2018)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    HS (2016)
    Airports field listing
    101 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 63 (2013)
    over 3,047 m: 8 (2013)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 12 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 23 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 14 (2013)
    under 914 m: 6 (2013)
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 38 (2013)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 10 (2013)
    under 914 m: 26 (2013)
    Heliports field listing
    7 (2013)
    Pipelines field listing
    2 km condensate, 5900 km gas, 85 km liquid petroleum gas, 1 km oil, 1097 km refined products (2013)
    Railways field listing
    total: 4,127 km (2017)
    standard gauge: 84 km 1.435-m gauge (84 km electrified) (2017)
    narrow gauge: 4,043 km 1.000-m gauge (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    Roadways field listing
    total: 180,053 km (includes 450 km of expressways) (2006)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    Waterways field listing
    4,000 km (3,701 km navigable by boats with drafts up to 0.9 m) (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 825
    by type: bulk carrier 27, container ship 27, general cargo 89, oil tanker 243, other 439 (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Bangkok, Laem Chabang, Map Ta Phut, Prachuap Port, Si Racha
    container port(s) (TEUs): Laem Chabang (7,227,431) (2017)
    LNG terminal(s) (import): Map Ta Phut
  • Military and Security :: Thailand
  • Military and security forces field listing
    Royal Thai Armed Forces (Kongthap Thai, RTARF): Royal Thai Army (Kongthap Bok Thai, RTA; includes Thai Rangers (Thahan Phrahan)), Royal Thai Navy (Kongthap Ruea Thai, RTN; includes Royal Thai Marine Corps), Royal Thai Air Force (Kongthap Akaat Thai, RTAF); Interior Ministry paramilitary forces: Volunteer Defense Corps (2019)
    note: the Thai Rangers (aka Thahan Phrahan or 'Hunter Soldiers’) is a paramilitary force formed in 1978 to clear Communist Party of Thailand guerrillas from mountain strongholds in the country's northeast; it is a light infantry force led by regular officers and non-commissioned officers and comprised of both full‐ and part‐time personnel; it conducts counterinsurgency operations in the southern, predominantly Muslim, region; on the eastern border with Laos and Cambodia, the Rangers have primary responsibility for border surveillance and protection
    Military expenditures field listing
    1.3% of GDP (2019)
    1.4% of GDP (2018)
    1.6% of GDP (2017)
    1.6% of GDP (2016)
    1.4% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    Military and security service personnel strengths field listing
    estimates for the size of the Royal Thai Armed Forces (RTARF) vary; approximately 360,000 active duty personnel (245,000 Army; 70,000 Navy; 45,000 Air Force); est. 20,000 Thai Rangers (2019)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions field listing
    the RTARF has a diverse array of foreign-supplied weapons systems, including a large amount of obsolescent or second-hand US equipment; since 2015, the top suppliers are China, South Korea, Ukraine, and the US (2019 est.)
    Military deployments field listing
    270 South Sudan (UNMISS) (2020)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    21 years of age for compulsory military service; 18 years of age for voluntary military service; males register at 18 years of age; 2-year conscript service obligation based on lottery (2018)
    Military - note field listing
    including the most recent in 2014, the military has conducted 12 successful coups and attempted an additional seven since the fall of absolute monarchy in 1932; since 2004, the military has fought against separatist insurgents in the southern provinces of Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat, as well as parts of Songkhla; as of 2019, approximately 60,000 security forces, including large numbers of paramilitary troops such as the Thai Rangers, were stationed in the south (2019)
  • Transnational Issues :: Thailand
  • Disputes - international field listing

    separatist violence in Thailand's predominantly Malay-Muslim southern provinces prompt border closures and controls with Malaysia to stem insurgent activities; Southeast Asian states have enhanced border surveillance to check the spread of avian flu; talks continue on completion of demarcation with Laos but disputes remain over several islands in the Mekong River; despite continuing border committee talks, Thailand must deal with Karen and other ethnic rebels, refugees, and illegal cross-border activities; Cambodia and Thailand dispute sections of boundary; in 2011, Thailand and Cambodia resorted to arms in the dispute over the location of the boundary on the precipice surmounted by Preah Vihear temple ruins, awarded to Cambodia by ICJ decision in 1962 and part of a planned UN World Heritage site; Thailand is studying the feasibility of jointly constructing the Hatgyi Dam on the Salween river near the border with Burma; in 2004, international environmentalist pressure prompted China to halt construction of 13 dams on the Salween River that flows through China, Burma, and Thailand; approximately 100,000 mostly Karen refugees fleeing civil strife, political upheaval and economic stagnation in Burma live in remote camps in Thailand near the border

    Refugees and internally displaced persons field listing
    refugees (country of origin): 91,806 (Burma) (2020)
    stateless persons: 475,009 (2019) (estimate represents stateless persons registered with the Thai Government; actual number may be as high as 3.5 million); note - about half of Thailand's northern hill tribe people do not have citizenship and make up the bulk of Thailand's stateless population; most lack documentation showing they or one of their parents were born in Thailand; children born to Burmese refugees are not eligible for Burmese or Thai citizenship and are stateless; most Chao Lay, maritime nomadic peoples, who travel from island to island in the Andaman Sea west of Thailand are also stateless; stateless Rohingya refugees from Burma are considered illegal migrants by Thai authorities and are detained in inhumane conditions or expelled; stateless persons are denied access to voting, property, education, employment, healthcare, and driving

    note: Thai nationality was granted to more than 23,000 stateless persons between 2012 and 2016; in 2016, the Government of Thailand approved changes to its citizenship laws that could make 80,000 stateless persons eligible for citizenship, as part of its effort to achieve zero statelessness by 2024 (2018)

    Trafficking in persons field listing
    current situation: Thailand is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; victims from Burma, Cambodia, Laos, China, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, and India, migrate to Thailand in search of jobs but are forced, coerced, or defrauded into labor in commercial fishing, fishing-related industries, factories, domestic work, street begging, or the sex trade; some Thai, Burmese, Cambodian, and Indonesian men forced to work on fishing boats are kept at sea for years; sex trafficking of adults and children from Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Burma remains a significant problem; Thailand is a transit country for victims from China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Burma subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Russia, South Korea, the US, and countries in Western Europe; Thai victims are also trafficked in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Thailand does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and is not making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, authorities investigated, prosecuted, and convicted fewer traffickers and identified fewer victims; some cases of official complicity were investigated and prosecuted, but trafficking-related corruption continues to hinder progress in combatting trafficking; authorities’ efforts to screen for victims among vulnerable populations remained inadequate due to a poor understanding of trafficking indicators, a failure to recognize non-physical forms of coercion, and a shortage of language interpreters; the government passed new labor laws increasing the minimum age in the fishing industry to 18 years old, guaranteeing the minimum wage, and requiring work contracts, but weak law enforcement and poor coordination among regulatory agencies enabled exploitive labor practices to continue; the government increased efforts to raise public awareness to the dangers of human trafficking and to deny entry to foreign sex tourists (2015)
    Illicit drugs field listing
    a minor producer of opium, heroin, and marijuana; transit point for illicit heroin en route to the international drug market from Burma and Laos; eradication efforts have reduced the area of cannabis cultivation and shifted some production to neighboring countries; opium poppy cultivation has been reduced by eradication efforts; also a drug money-laundering center; minor role in methamphetamine production for regional consumption; major consumer of methamphetamine since the 1990s despite a series of government crackdowns