East Asia/Southeast Asia :: Thailand
  • Introduction :: Thailand
  • Background:

    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 Shinawatra, 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. The interim military government 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. 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:
    Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, southeast of Burma
    Geographic coordinates:
    15 00 N, 100 00 E
    Map references:
    Southeast Asia
    Area:
    total: 513,120 sq km
    land: 510,890 sq km
    water: 2,230 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 52
    Area - comparative:
    about three times the size of Florida; slightly more than twice the size of Wyoming
    Land boundaries:
    total: 5,673 km
    border countries (4): Burma 2416 km, Cambodia 817 km, Laos 1845 km, Malaysia 595 km
    Coastline:
    3,219 km
    Maritime claims:
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
    Climate:
    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:
    central plain; Khorat Plateau in the east; mountains elsewhere
    Elevation:
    mean elevation: 287 m
    elevation extremes: 0 m lowest point: Gulf of Thailand
    2565 highest point: Doi Inthanon
    Natural resources:
    tin, rubber, natural gas, tungsten, tantalum, timber, lead, fish, gypsum, lignite, fluorite, arable land
    Land use:
    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:
    64,150 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution:
    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:
    land subsidence in Bangkok area resulting from the depletion of the water table; droughts
    Environment - current issues:
    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:
    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:
    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:
    68,615,858 (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    Nationality:
    noun: Thai (singular and plural)
    adjective: Thai
    Ethnic groups:
    Thai 97.5%, Burmese 1.3%, other 1.1%, unspecified (2015 est.)
    Languages:
    Thai (official) 90.7%, Burmese 1.3%, other 8% (2010 est.)

    note: English is a secondary language of the elite

    Religions:
    Buddhist 94.6%, Muslim 4.3%, Christian 1%, other (2015 est.)
    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 16.73% (male 5,880,026 /female 5,598,611)
    15-24 years: 13.83% (male 4,840,303 /female 4,649,589)
    25-54 years: 46.12% (male 15,670,881 /female 15,972,254)
    55-64 years: 12.35% (male 3,970,979 /female 4,503,647)
    65 years and over: 10.97% (male 3,289,576 /female 4,239,992) (2018 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios:
    total dependency ratio: 40 (2015 est.)
    youth dependency ratio: 25.2 (2015 est.)
    elderly dependency ratio: 14.8 (2015 est.)
    potential support ratio: 6.8 (2015 est.)
    Median age:
    total: 38.1 years
    male: 37 years
    female: 39.2 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    Population growth rate:
    0.29% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 173
    Birth rate:
    11 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 177
    Death rate:
    8.1 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    Net migration rate:
    0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    Population distribution:
    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:
    urban population: 49.9% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 1.73% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population:
    10.156 million BANGKOK (capital), 1.272 million Samut Prakan, 1.135 million Chiang Mai, 940,000 Songkla, 937,000 Nothaburi, 889,000 Pathum Thani (2018)
    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    55-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth:
    23.3 years (2009 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate:
    20 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    Infant mortality rate:
    total: 9 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    male: 9.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    female: 8 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 75.1 years (2018 est.)
    male: 71.9 years (2018 est.)
    female: 78.5 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    Total fertility rate:
    1.52 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 194
    Contraceptive prevalence rate:
    78.4% (2015/16)
    Health expenditures:
    6.5% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    Physicians density:
    0.47 physicians/1,000 population (2015)
    Hospital bed density:
    2.1 beds/1,000 population (2010)
    Drinking water source:
    improved: urban: 97.6% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 98% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 97.8% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 2.4% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 2% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 2.2% of population (2015 est.)
    Sanitation facility access:
    improved: urban: 89.9% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 96.1% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 93% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 10.1% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 3.9% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 7% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
    1.1% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
    440,000 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    HIV/AIDS - deaths:
    15,000 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    Major infectious diseases:
    degree of risk: very high (2016)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea (2016)
    vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, and malaria (2016)
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
    10% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
    6.7% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    Education expenditures:
    4.1% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    Literacy:
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
    total population: 92.9% (2015 est.)
    male: 94.7% (2015 est.)
    female: 91.2% (2015 est.)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
    total: 16 years (2015)
    male: 16 years (2015)
    female: 16 years (2015)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
    total: 3.7% (2016 est.)
    male: 3% (2016 est.)
    female: 4.7% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
  • Government :: Thailand
  • Country name:
    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:
    constitutional monarchy; note - interim military-affiliated government since May 2014
    Capital:
    name: Bangkok
    geographic coordinates: 13 45 N, 100 31 E
    time difference: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    Administrative divisions:
    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:
    1238 (traditional founding date; never colonized)
    National holiday:
    Birthday of King WACHIRALONGKON, 28 July (1952)
    Constitution:
    history: many previous; latest completed 29 March 2016, approved by referendum 7 August 2016, signed into law by the king 6 April 2017 (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 by the prime minister (2017)
    International law organization participation:
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    Citizenship:
    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:
    18 years of age; universal and compulsory
    Executive branch:
    chief of state: King WACHIRALONGKON Bodinthrathepphayawarangkun, also spelled Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, (since 1 December 2016); note - King PHUMIPHON Adunyadet, also spelled BHUMIBOL Adulyadej (since 9 June 1946) died 13 October 2016
    head of government: Interim Prime Minister Gen. PRAYUT Chan-ocha (since 25 August 2014); Deputy Prime Ministers PRAWIT Wongsuwan, Gen. (since 31 August 2014), WISSANU Kruea-ngam (since 31 August 2014), SOMKHIT Chatusiphithak (since 20 August 2015), PRACHIN Chantong, Air Chief Mar. (since 20 August 2015), CHATCHAI Sarikan, Gen. (since 23 November 2017)
    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 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: Gen. 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

    Legislative branch:
    description: in transition; following the May 2014 military coup, a junta-appointed National Legislative Assembly or Sapha Nitibanyat Haeng Chat of no more than 220 members replaced the bicameral National Assembly; expanded to 250 members in September 2016; elections for a permanent legislative body were announced for November 2018; the 2017 constitution calls for a 250-member military-appointed Senate with 5-year terms and a 500-member elected House of Representatives with 4-year terms
    elections: Senate - last held on 30 March 2014 but invalidated by the coup (in future, members will be appointed); House of Representatives - last held on 2 February 2014 but later declared invalid by the Constitutional Court (next to be held no later than February 2019)
    election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA
    Judicial branch:
    highest courts: Supreme Court of Justice (consists of court president, 6 vice-presidents, and 60-70 judges, and organized into 10 divisions); Constitutional Court (consists of 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 to serve single 9-year terms; Supreme Administrative Court judges selected by the Judicial Commission of the Administrative Courts and appointed by the monarch; judges appointed for life
    subordinate courts: courts of first instance and appeals courts within both the judicial and administrative systems; military courts
    Political parties and leaders:
    Chat Thai Phatthana Party (Thai Nation Development Party) or CTP
    Phumchai Thai Party (Thai Pride Party) or PJT [ANUTHIN Charnweerakul]
    Puea Thai Party (For Thais Party) or PTP [WIROT Paoin]
    Prachathipat Party (Democrat Party) or DP [ABHISIT Wechachiwa, also spelled ABHISIT Vejjajiva]

    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:
    ADB, APEC, ARF, ASEAN, BIMSTEC, BIS, CD, CICA, CP, EAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, PIF (partner), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMOGIP, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Virachai PLASAI (since 22 June 2018)
    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:
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Peter HAMMOND (since October 2018)
    embassy: 95 Wireless Road, Bangkok 10330
    mailing address: APO AP 96546
    telephone: [66] 2 205-4000
    FAX: [66] 2-205-4306
    consulate(s) general: Chiang Mai
    Flag description:
    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):
    garuda (mythical half-man, half-bird figure), elephant; national colors: red, white, blue
    National anthem:
    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:

    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):
    $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):
    $455.4 billion (2017 est.) (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate:
    3.9% (2017 est.)
    3.3% (2016 est.)
    3% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $17,900 (2017 est.)
    $17,200 (2016 est.)
    $16,700 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 98
    Gross national saving:
    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:
    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:
    agriculture: 8.2% (2017 est.)
    industry: 36.2% (2017 est.)
    services: 55.6% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products:
    rice, cassava (manioc, tapioca), rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, palm oil, pineapple, livestock, fish products
    Industries:
    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:
    1.6% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    Labor force:
    38.37 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    Labor force - by occupation:
    agriculture: 51.5% (2015 est.)
    industry: 16.7% (2015 est.)
    services: 51.5% (2015 est.)
    Unemployment rate:
    0.7% (2017 est.)
    0.8% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    Population below poverty line:
    7.2% (2015 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 31.5% (2009 est.)
    highest 10%: 31.5% (2009 est.)
    Distribution of family income - Gini index:
    44.5 (2015)
    48.4 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    Budget:
    revenues: 69.23 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 85.12 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues:
    15.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 193
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
    -3.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 148
    Public debt:
    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:
    1 October - 30 September
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):
    0.7% (2017 est.)
    0.2% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    Central bank discount rate:
    1.5% (31 December 2016)
    1.5% (31 December 2015)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    Commercial bank prime lending rate:
    4.42% (31 December 2017 est.)
    4.47% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
    Stock of narrow money:
    $62.39 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $52.03 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    Stock of broad money:
    $62.39 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $52.03 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    Stock of domestic credit:
    $584.9 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $508.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    Market value of publicly traded shares:
    $348.8 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $430.4 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $354.4 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    Current account balance:
    $51.08 billion (2017 est.)
    $48.24 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    Exports:
    $235.1 billion (2017 est.)
    $214.3 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    Exports - commodities:
    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
    Exports - partners:
    China 12.4%, US 11.2%, Japan 9.5%, Hong Kong 5.2%, Vietnam 4.9%, Australia 4.5%, Malaysia 4.4% (2017)
    Imports:
    $269 billion (2017 est.)
    $177.7 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    Imports - commodities:
    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
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
    $202.6 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $171.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    Imports - partners:
    China 20%, Japan 14.5%, US 6.8%, Malaysia 5.4% (2017)
    Debt - external:
    $132 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $130.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
    $227.8 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $193.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
    $117.4 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $96.27 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    Exchange rates:
    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:
    population without electricity: 700,000 (2013)
    electrification - total population: 99% (2013)
    electrification - urban areas: 99.7% (2013)
    electrification - rural areas: 98.3% (2013)
    Electricity - production:
    167.9 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    Electricity - consumption:
    168.3 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    Electricity - exports:
    2.267 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    Electricity - imports:
    14.41 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    Electricity - installed generating capacity:
    40.97 million kW (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    Electricity - from fossil fuels:
    76.7% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
    0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 193
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
    8.9% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    Electricity - from other renewable sources:
    14.2% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    Crude oil - production:
    257,500 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    Crude oil - exports:
    12,200 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    Crude oil - imports:
    830,500 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    Crude oil - proved reserves:
    396.4 million bbl (1 January 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    Refined petroleum products - production:
    1.213 million bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    Refined petroleum products - consumption:
    1.272 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    Refined petroleum products - exports:
    238,800 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    Refined petroleum products - imports:
    162,800 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    Natural gas - production:
    39.82 billion cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    Natural gas - consumption:
    53.15 billion cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    Natural gas - exports:
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 199
    Natural gas - imports:
    13.33 billion cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    Natural gas - proved reserves:
    206.8 billion cu m (1 January 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
    301 million Mt (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
  • Communications :: Thailand
  • Telephones - fixed lines:
    total subscriptions: 2.91 million (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 4 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    Telephones - mobile cellular:
    total subscriptions: 121.53 million (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 178 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    Telephone system:
    general assessment: high quality system, especially in urban areas like Bangkok (2016)
    domestic: fixed-line system provided by both a government-owned and commercial provider; wireless service expanding rapidly (2016)
    international: country code - 66; connected to major submarine cable systems providing links throughout Asia, Australia, Middle East, Europe, and US; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean, 1 Pacific Ocean) (2016)
    Broadcast media:
    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:
    .th
    Internet users:
    total: 32,398,778 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 47.5% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions:
    total: 8.208 million (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 12 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
  • Transportation :: Thailand
  • National air transport system:
    number of registered air carriers: 19 (2015)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 276 (2015)
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 54,259,629 (2015)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 2,134,149,001 mt-km (2015)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
    HS (2016)
    Airports:
    101 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    Airports - with paved runways:
    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:
    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:
    7 (2013)
    Pipelines:
    2 km condensate, 5900 km gas, 85 km liquid petroleum gas, 1 km oil, 1097 km refined products (2013)
    Railways:
    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: 46
    Roadways:
    total: 180,053 km (includes 450 km of expressways) (2006)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    Waterways:
    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:
    total: 781 (2017)
    by type: bulk carrier 25, container ship 23, general cargo 94, oil tanker 240, other 399 (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    Ports and terminals:
    major seaport(s): Bangkok, Laem Chabang, Map Ta Phut, Prachuap Port, Si Racha
    container port(s) (TEUs): Bangkok (1,498,009), Laem Chabang (7,227,431) (2016)
    LNG terminal(s) (import): Map Ta Phut
  • Military and Security :: Thailand
  • Military expenditures:
    1.5% of GDP (2017)
    1.45% of GDP (2016)
    1.44% of GDP (2015)

    country comparison to the world: 77
    Military branches:
    Royal Thai Armed Forces (Kongthap Thai, RTARF): Royal Thai Army (Kongthap Bok Thai, RTA), Royal Thai Navy (Kongthap Ruea Thai, RTN, includes Royal Thai Marine Corps), Royal Thai Air Force (Kongthap Agard Thai, RTAF) (2017)
    Military service age and obligation:
    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 (2012)
  • Transnational Issues :: Thailand
  • Disputes - international:
    separatist violence in Thailand's predominantly Malay-Muslim southern provinces prompt border closures and controls with Malaysia to stem insurgent activitiesSoutheast Asian states have enhanced border surveillance to check the spread of avian flutalks continue on completion of demarcation with Laos but disputes remain over several islands in the Mekong Riverdespite continuing border committee talks, Thailand must deal with Karen and other ethnic rebels, refugees, and illegal cross-border activitiesCambodia and Thailand dispute sections of boundaryin 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 siteThailand is studying the feasibility of jointly constructing the Hatgyi Dam on the Salween river near the border with Burmain 2004, international environmentalist pressure prompted China to halt construction of 13 dams on the Salween River that flows through China, Burma, and Thailandapproximately 105,000 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:
    refugees (country of origin): 102,633 (Burma) (2016)
    IDPs: 41,000 (resurgence in ethno-nationalist violence in south of country since 2004) (2017)
    stateless persons: 486,440 (2017) (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:
    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:
    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