Thailand HITS 1000 unique view – Population: 67,091,089


 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 taken over by a European power. A bloodless revolution in 1932 led to a constitutional monarchy. In alliance with Japan during World War II, Thailand became a US treaty ally in 1954 after sending troops to Korea and fighting alongside the US in Vietnam. A military coup in September 2006 ousted then Prime Minister THAKSIN Chinnawat. December 2007 elections saw the pro-THAKSIN People’s Power Party (PPP) emerge at the head of a coalition government that took office in February 2008. The anti-THAKSIN People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD, aka yellow-shirts) in May 2008 began street demonstrations against the new government, eventually occupying the prime minister’s office in August and Bangkok’s two international airports in November. After an early December 2008 court ruling that dissolved the ruling PPP and two other coalition parties for election violations, the Democrat Party formed a new coalition government and ABHISIT Wetchachiwa became prime minister. In October 2008 THAKSIN fled abroad in advance of an abuse of power conviction and has agitated his followers from abroad since then. THAKSIN supporters under the banner of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD, aka red-shirts) rioted in April 2009, shutting down an ASEAN meeting in Pattaya. Following a February 2010 court verdict confiscating half of THAKSIN’s frozen assets, the UDD staged large protests between March and May 2010, and occupied several blocks of downtown Bangkok. Clashes between security forces and protesters, elements of which were armed, resulted in at least 92 deaths and an estimated $1.5 billion in arson-related property losses. These protests exposed major cleavages in the Thai body politic that hampered the government and led to a general election in July 2011. THAKSIN’s youngest sister, YINGLAK, led the Puea Thai party to an electoral win and assumed control of the government in August. YINGLAK’s leadership was almost immediately challenged by historic flooding in late 2011 that had large swathes of the country underwater and threatened to inundate Bangkok itself. At the beginning of 2012 the Puea Thai-led government began fulfilling one of its main election promises, the pursuit of constitutional reform, which could lead to the nation’s 19th Constitution since 1932. Since January 2004, thousands have been killed and wounded as separatists in Thailand’s southern ethnic Malay-Muslim provinces continued the campaign of violence associated with their cause.
 Geography
Controls only land route from Asia to Malaysia and Singapore
Location: Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, southeast of Burma
Geographic coordinates: 15 00 N, 100 00 E
Area: total: 513,120 sq km land: 510,890 sq km water: 2,230 sq kmSize comparison: slightly more than twice the size of Wyoming
Land Boundaries: total: 4,863 km border countries: Burma 1,800 km, Cambodia 803 km, Laos 1,754 km, Malaysia 506 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 extremes: lowest point: Gulf of Thailand 0 m highest point: Doi Inthanon 2,576 m
Natural resources: tin, rubber, natural gas, tungsten, tantalum, timber, lead, fish, gypsum, lignite, fluorite, arable land
Land use: arable land: 27.54% permanent crops: 6.93% other: 65.53% (2005)
Irrigated land: 64,150 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards: land subsidence in Bangkok area resulting from the depletion of the water table; droughts
Current Environment Issues: air pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from organic and factory wastes; deforestation; soil erosion; wildlife populations threatened by illegal hunting
International Environment 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
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 People
Population: 67,091,089 (July 2012 est.) note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
Age structure: 0-14 years: 19.9% (male 6,779,723/female 6,466,625) 15-64 years: 70.9% (male 23,410,091/female 23,913,499) 65 years and over: 9.2% (male 2,778,012/female 3,372,203) (2011 est.)
Median age: total: 34.7 years male: 33.7 years female: 35.6 years (2012 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.543% (2012 est.)
Birth rate: 12.81 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)
Death rate: 7.38 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 15.9 deaths/1,000 live births male: 16.88 deaths/1,000 live births female: 14.86 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 73.83 years male: 71.45 years female: 76.33 years (2012 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.66 children born/woman (2012 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: 1.3% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 530,000 (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS – deaths: 28,000 (2009 est.)
Nationality: noun: Thai (singular and plural) adjective: Thai
Ethnic groups: Thai 75%, Chinese 14%, other 11%
Religions: Buddhist (official) 94.6%, Muslim 4.6%, Christian 0.7%, other 0.1% (2000 census)
Languages: Thai, English (secondary language of the elite), ethnic and regional dialects
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 92.6% male: 94.9% female: 90.5% (2000 census)
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 Government
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
Government type: constitutional monarchy
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: 77 provinces (changwat, singular and plural); Amnat Charoen, Ang Thong, Bueng Kan, Buriram, Chachoengsao, Chai Nat, Chaiyaphum, Chanthaburi, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Chon Buri, Chumphon, Kalasin, Kamphaeng Phet, Kanchanaburi, Khon Kaen, Krabi, Krung Thep Mahanakhon (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, Sara Buri, Satun, Sing Buri, Sisaket, 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 PHUMIPHON (BHUMIBOL), 5 December (1927)
Constitution: 24 August 2007
Legal system: civil law system with common law influences
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch: chief of state: King PHUMIPHON Adunyadet, also spelled BHUMIBOL Adulyadej (since 9 June 1946) head of government: Prime Minister YINGLAK Chinnawat, also spelled YINGLUCK Shinawatra (since 8 August 2011); Deputy Prime Minister CHALOEM Yubamrung, also spelled CHALERM Yubamrung (since 10 August 2011); Deputy Prime Minister CHUMPHON Sinlapa-acha, also spelled CHUMPOL SILPA-archa (since 10 August 2011); Deputy Prime Minister KITTIRAT Na Ranong (since 10 August 2011); Deputy Prime Minister YONGYUT Wichaidit (10 August 2011); Deputy Prime Minister YUTHASAK Sasiprapha (since 18 January 2012) cabinet: Council of Ministers (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) note: there is also a Privy Council advising the king elections: the monarchy is hereditary; according to 2007 constitution, the prime minister is elected from among members of House of Representatives; following national elections for House of Representatives, the leader of the party positioned to organize a majority coalition usually becomes prime minister by appointment by the king; the prime minister is limited to two four-year terms
Legislative branch: bicameral National Assembly or Rathasapha consisted of the Senate or Wuthisapha (150 seats; 77 members elected by popular vote representing 77 provinces, 73 appointed by judges and independent government bodies; members serve six-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Sapha Phuthaen Ratsadon (500 seats; 375 members elected from 375 single-seat constituencies and 125 elected on proportional party-list basis; members serve four-year terms) elections: Senate – last held on 2 March 2008 (next to be held in March 2014); House of Representatives – last election held on 3 July 2011 (next to be held by July 2015) 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 – PTP 265, DP 159, PJT 34, CTP 19, others 15 note: 74 senators were appointed on 19 February 2008 by a seven-member committee headed by the chief of the Constitutional Court; 76 senators were elected on 2 March 2008; elections to the Senate are non-partisan; registered political party members are disqualified from being senators
Judicial branch: Constitutional Court, Supreme Court of Justice, and Supreme Administrative Court; all judges are appointed by the king; the king’s appointments to the Constitutional Court are made upon the advice of the Senate; the nine Constitutional Court judges are drawn from the Supreme Court of Justice and Supreme Administrative Court as well as from among substantive experts in law and social sciences outside the judiciary
Political parties and leaders: Chat Pattana Party or CPN (Nation Development Party [WANNARAT Channukun]; Chat Thai Phattana Party or CTP (Thai Nation Development Party) [CHUMPON Silpa-archa]; Phalang Chon Party (People [Chonburi] Power Party) [CHAO Manivong]; Phumjai (Bhumjai) Thai Party or PJT (Thai Pride) [CHAWARAT Chanvirakun]; Prachathipat Party or DP (Democrat Party) [ABHISIT Wechachiwa, also spelled ABHISIT Vejjajiva]; Puea Thai Party (For Thais Party) or PTP [YONGYUT Wichaidit]; Rak Prathet Thai Party (Love Thailand Party) [CHUWIT Kamonwisit]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Multicolor Group; People’s Alliance for Democracy or PAD; United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship or UDD
International organization participation: ADB, APEC, ARF, ASEAN, BIMSTEC, BIS, CICA, CP, EAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, PIF (partner), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador CHAIYONG Satchiphanon (also spelled CHAIYONG Satjipanon) 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 Kristie A. KENNEY embassy: 120-122 Wireless Road, Bangkok 10330 mailing address: APO AP 96546 telephone: [66] (2) 205-4000 FAX: [66] (2) 254-2990, 205-4131 consulate(s) general: Chiang Mai
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 Economy
With a well-developed infrastructure, a free-enterprise economy, generally pro-investment policies, and strong export industries, Thailand enjoyed solid growth from 2000 to 2007 – averaging more than 4% per year – as it recovered from the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98. Thai exports – mostly machinery and electronic components, agricultural commodities, and jewelry – continue to drive the economy, accounting for more than half of GDP. The global financial crisis of 2008-09 severely cut Thailand’s exports, with most sectors experiencing double-digit drops. In 2009, the economy contracted 2.3%. In 2010, Thailand’s economy expanded 7.8%, its fastest pace since 1995, as exports rebounded from their depressed 2009 level. Steady economic growth at just below 4% during the first three quarters of 2011 was interrupted by historic flooding in October and November in the industrial areas north of Bangkok, crippling the manufacturing sector and leading to a revised growth rate of only 0.1% for the year. The industrial sector is poised to recover from the second quarter of 2012 onward, however, and the government anticipates the economy will probably grow between 5.5 and 6.5% for 2012, while private sector forecasts range between 3.8% and 5.7%.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $609.8 billion (2011 est.) $609.4 billion (2010 est.) $565.4 billion (2009 est.) note: data are in 2011 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $345.6 billion (2011 est.)
GDP – real growth rate: 0.1% (2011 est.) 7.8% (2010 est.) -2.3% (2009 est.)
GDP – per capita (PPP): GDP – per capita (PPP): $9,500 (2011 est.) $9,500 (2010 est.) $8,900 (2009 est.) note: data are in 2011 US dollars
GDP – composition by sector: agriculture: 13.3% industry: 34% services: 52.7% (2011 est.)
Labor force: 39.62 million (2011 est.)
Labor force – by occupation: agriculture: 40.7% industry: 13.2% services: 46.1% (2011 est.)
Unemployment rate: 0.7% (2011 est.) 0.5% (2010 est.)
Population below poverty line: 8.1% (2009 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1.6% highest 10%: 42.6% (2009)
Distribution of family income – Gini index: 53.6 (2009) 42 (2002)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.8% (2011 est.) 3.3% (2010 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): Investment (gross fixed): 26.2% of GDP (2011 est.)
Budget: revenues: $66.21 billion expenditures: $70.3 billion (2011 est.)
Public debt: 40.5% of GDP (2011 est.) 43.1% of GDP (2010 est.) note: data cover general government debt, and includes 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 intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental 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.
Agriculture – products: rice, cassava (manioc), rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, soybeans
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; world’s second-largest tungsten producer and third-largest tin producer
Industrial production growth rate: -9.3% (2011 est.)
Electricity – production: 139 billion kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity – consumption: 131.6 billion kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity – exports: 1.979 billion kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity – imports: 2.313 billion kWh (2009 est.)
Oil – production: 406,800 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Oil – consumption: 988,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Oil – exports: 269,100 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Oil – imports: 807,100 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Oil – proved reserves: 435 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)
Natural gas – production: 30.88 billion cu m (2009 est.)
Natural gas – consumption: 39.17 billion cu m (2009 est.)
Natural gas – exports: 0 cu m (2009 est.)
Natural gas – imports: 8.29 billion cu m (2009 est.)
Natural gas – proved reserves: 312.2 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
Current account balance: $11.9 billion (2011 est.) $13.1 billion (2010 est.)
Exports: $221.6 billion (2011 est.) $193.6 billion (2010 est.)
Exports – commodities: textiles and footwear, fishery products, rice, rubber, jewelry, automobiles, computers and electrical appliances
Exports – partners: China 12%, Japan 10.5%, US 9.6%, Hong Kong 7.2%, Malaysia 5.4%, Singapore 5%, Indonesia 4.4% (2009 est.)
Imports: $196.3 billion (2011 est.) $161.9 billion (2010 est.)
Imports – commodities: capital goods, intermediate goods and raw materials, consumer goods, fuels
Imports – partners: Japan 18.5%, China 13.4%, UAE 6.3%, US 5.9%, Malaysia 5.4%, South Korea 4% (2009 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $175.1 billion (31 December 2011 est.) $172.1 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Debt – external: $115.6 billion (30 September 2011 est.) $100.6 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment – at home: $140.7 billion (31 December 2011 est.) $137.2 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment – abroad: $30.51 billion (31 December 2011 est.) $24.17 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $268.5 billion (31 December 2011) $277.7 billion (31 December 2010) $138.2 billion (31 December 2009)
Exchange rates: baht per US dollar – 30.18 (2011 est.) 31.686 (2010 est.) 34.286 (2009) 33.37 (2008) 34.52 (2007)
Fiscal year: 1 October – 30 September
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 Communications
Telephones in use: 7.009 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 27
Cellular Phones in use: 69.683 million (2009)
Telephone system: general assessment: high quality system, especially in urban areas like Bangkok domestic: fixed line system provided by both a government owned and commercial provider; wireless service expanding rapidly 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)
Radio broadcast stations:
Television broadcast stations:
Internet country code: .th
Internet hosts: 3.278 million (2010)
Internet users: 17.483 million (2009)
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 Transportation
Airports: 103 (2012) country comparison to the world: 55
Airports (paved runways): total: 63 over 3,047 m: 8 2,438 to 3,047 m: 12 1,524 to 2,437 m: 23 914 to 1,523 m: 15 under 914 m: 5 (2012)
Airports (unpaved runways): total: 40 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 914 to 1,523 m: 12 under 914 m: 27 (2012)
Heliports: 6 (2012)
Pipelines: gas 1,889 km; liquid petroleum gas 85 km; refined products 1,099 km (2010)
Railways: total: 4,071 km standard gauge: 29 km 1.435-m gauge (29 km electrified) narrow gauge: 4,042 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)
Roadways: total: 180,053 km (includes 450 km of expressways) (2006)
Waterways: 4,000 km (3,701 km navigable by boats with drafts up to 0.9 m) (2011)
Merchant marine: total: 363 by type: bulk carrier 31, cargo 99, chemical tanker 28, container 18, liquefied gas 36, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 10, petroleum tanker 114, refrigerated cargo 24, roll on/roll off 1, vehicle carrier 1 foreign-owned: 13 (China 1, Hong Kong 1, Malaysia 3, Singapore 1, Taiwan 1, UK 6) registered in other countries: 46 (Bahamas 4, Belize 1, Honduras 2, Panama 6, Singapore 33) (2010)
Ports and terminals: Bangkok, Laem Chabang, Map Ta Phut, Prachuap Port, Si Racha
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 Military
Military branches: 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) (2010)
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 (2009)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 17,689,921 females age 16-49: 17,754,795 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 13,308,372 females age 16-49: 14,182,567 (2010 est.)

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