Numbers and facts about Thailand


Official name:
Kingdom of Thailand
Tropical monsoon.
Densely populated central plain; northeastern plateau; mountain range in the west; southern isthmus joins the land mass with Malaysia.
513,115 sq. km. (198,114 sq. mi.); about the size of Texas.
Bangkok (pop. 10 million est.), Nakhon Ratchasima (2.5 million), Chiangmai (1.6 million), Songkla (1.2 million).
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Thai(s).
Population (1999): 62 million.
Annual growth rate: 1%.
Ethnic groups: Thai 89%, other 11%.
Education: Years compulsory--6. Literacy--96% male, 92% female.
Health (1998): Infant mortality rate--4.5/1,000. Life expectancy--69.97 yrs. male, 74.99 yrs. female.
Thai (official language); English is the second language of the elite; regional dialects.
Buddhist 95%, Muslim 4%, Christian, Hindu, other.
Type: Constitutional monarchy.
Constitution: New constitution promulgated October 11, 1997.
Independence: Never colonized; traditional founding date 1238.
Branches: Executive--king (chief of state), prime minister (head of government).
Legislative: National Assembly (bicameral).
Judicial: three levels of courts; highest is Supreme Court (Sarndika).
Administrative subdivisions: 76 provinces, including Bangkok municipality, subdivided into 794 districts.
Political parties: Multi-party system; Communist Party is prohibited.
Suffrage: Universal at 18.
GDP (1999): $124 billion.
Annual growth rate (1999): 4.2%; (2000, projected): 4.5%. Per capita income (1999): $1,996.
Natural resources: Tin, rubber, natural gas, tungsten, tantalum, timber, lead, fish, gypsum, lignite, fluorite.
Agriculture (11% of GDP): Products: rice, tapioca, rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, soybeans.
Industry: Types--tourism, textiles, garments, agricultural processing, cement, integrated circuits, jewelry.
Trade (1999): Exports: $57 billion: textiles and footwear, fishery products, computers and parts, jewelry, rice, tapioca products, integrated circuits, rubber.
Major markets: U.S., Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, EU.
Imports: $48 billion: machinery and parts, petroleum, iron and steel, chemicals, vehicles and parts, jewelry, fish preparations, electrical appliances, fertilizers and pesticides.
Major suppliers: Japan, U.S., Singapore, Taiwan, Germany, South Korea, EU.