The information on this page comes from the CIA factbook entry for Thailand. I have up-dated the information in a few places and added some extra facts. If there is something else you need to know for your homework, you can contact me on ICQ (43117055) or scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on "Do you need help?". If I am online, my private chat room will open. If I am not, you can leave me a message.


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

total: 514,000 sq km
land: 511,770 sq km
water: 2,230 sq km

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:
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Tropical; rainy, warm, cloudy southwest monsoon (mid-May to September); dry, cool northeast monsoon (November to mid-March); southern isthmus always hot and humid

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

Land use:
arable land: 34%
permanent crops: 6%
permanent pastures: 2%
forests and woodland: 26%
other: 32% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 44,000 sq km (1993 est.)

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; deforestation; soil erosion; wildlife populations threatened by illegal hunting

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94
signed, but not ratified: Biodiversity, Law of the Sea

Controls only land route from Asia to Malaysia and Singapore


Population: 60,037,366 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 24% (male 7,440,863; female 7,169,837)
15-64 years: 70% (male 20,605,197; female 21,210,697)
65 years and over: 6% (male 1,596,267; female 2,014,505) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.97% (1998 est.)

Birth rate:
16.76 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate:
7.11 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s) / 1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
30.82 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 69 years
male: 65.35 years
female: 72.83 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.84 children born/woman (1998 est.)

noun: Thai (singular and plural)
adjective: Thai

Ethnic groups:
Thai 75%, Chinese 14%, other 11%

Buddhism 95%, Muslim 3.8%, Christianity 0.5%, Hinduism 0.1%, other 0.6% (1991)

Thai, English (as a foreign language), ethnic and regional dialects

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.8%
male: 96%
female: 91.6% (1995 est.)


Country name:
conventional long form: Kingdom of Thailand
conventional short form: Thailand

Data code: TH

Government type: Constitutional monarchy

National capital: Bangkok

Administrative divisions: 76 provinces (changwat, singular and plural); Amnat Charoen, Ang Thong, 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

1238 (traditional founding date; never colonised)

National holiday:
Birthday of His Majesty the King, 5 December (1927)

New constitution signed by King PHUMIPHON on 11 October 1997

Legal system:
Based on civil law system, with influences of common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: King PHUMIPHON Adunyadet (since 9 June 1946)
head of government: Prime Minister CHUAN Likphai (since 15 November 1997)
cabinet: Council of Ministers
note: there is also a Privy Council
elections: none; the king is a constitutional monarch; prime minister designated from among the members of the House of Representatives; following a national election for the House of Representatives, the leader of the party that can organize a majority coalition usually becomes prime minister

Legislative branch:
Bicameral National Assembly or Rathasapha consists of the Senate or Wuthisapha (a 270-member appointed body; members serve six-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Sapha Phuthaen Ratsadon (393 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

House of Representatives—last held 17 November 1996 (next must be held by 17 November 2000, but may be held earlier)
election results: House of Representatives—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party - NAP 125, DP 123, NDP 52, TNP 39, SAP 20, TCP 18, SP 8, LDP 4, MP 2, other 2

Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (Sandika), judges appointed by the king

Political parties and leaders:
Thai Nation Party (TNP or Chat Thai Party), BANHAN Sinlapa-acha; Democratic Party (DP or Prachathipat Party), CHUAN Likphai; New Aspiration Party (NAP or Khwamwang Mai), Gen. CHAWALIT Yongchaiyut; National Development Party (NDP or Chat Phattana), leader NA; Phalang Dharma Party (PDP or Phalang Tham), SUDARAT Keyuraphan; Social Action Party (SAP or Kitsangkhom Party), MONTRI Phongphanit; Thai Citizen's Party (TCP or Prachakon Thai), SAMAK Sunthonwet; Liberal Democratic Party (LDP or Seri Tham), PHINIT Charusombat; Solidarity Party (SP or Ekkaphap Party), UTHAI Phimchaichon; Mass Party (MP or Muanchon), Pol. Cpt. CHALOEM Yubamrung

International organization participation:

Diplomatic representation in the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador NIT Phibunsongkhram
chancery: 1024 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 944-3600
FAX: [1] (202) 944-3611
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador William H. ITOH
embassy: 120-122 Wireless Road, Bangkok
mailing address: APO AP 96546
telephone: [66] (2) 205-4000
FAX: [66] (2) 254-2990
consulate(s) general: Chiang Mai

Flag description:
Five horizontal bands of red (top), white, blue (double width), white, and red


In 1997/98, the Thai economy is in a deep recession as a result of the severe financial problems facing many Thai firms, particularly banks and finance companies. In the early 1990s, Thailand liberalized financial inflows; banks and other firms borrowed in dollars and did not hedge their positions because there was no perceived exchange rate risk. These funds financed a property boom that began to taper off in the mid-1990s. In addition, export growth - previously a key driver of the Thai economy—collapsed in 1996, resulting in growing doubts that the Bank of Thailand could maintain the baht's peg to the dollar. The Bank mounted an expensive defense of the exchange rate that nearly depleted foreign exchange reserves, then decided to float the exchange rate, triggering a sharp increase in foreign liabilities that cash-strapped Thai firms were already having trouble repaying. In August 1997, the government headed by Prime Minister CHAWALIT signed an agreement with the IMF for access to a $14 billion facility to supplement foreign exchange reserves and restore financial market stability. CHAWALIT resigned in November 1997, however, under pressure for lacking a coherent approach to managing the IMF program and the financial crisis. Democratic Party leader CHUAN Likphai formed a seven-party coalition government and closely adhered to the IMF program, tentatively reestablishing financial stability by February 1998. An economic turnaround requires rescheduling the large short-term foreign liabilities of Thai firms, restoring high rates of export growth to finance foreign liabilities, and extensively recapitalizing the banking system.

Purchasing power parity—$525 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: -0.4% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita:
Purchasing power parity—$8,800 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 10%
industry: 28.7%
services: 61.3% (1997)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 5.6% (199

Labor force:
Total: 32.6 million (1997 est.)
by occupation: agriculture 54%, industry 15%, services (including government) 31% (1996 est.)

Unemployment rate: 3.5%7 est.)

Revenues: $24 billion
expenditures: $25 billion, including capital expenditures of $8 billion (FY96/97)

Tourism; textiles and garments, agricultural processing, beverages, tobacco, cement, light manufacturing, such as jewelry; electric appliances and components, computers and parts, integrated circuits, furniture, plastics; world's second-largest tungsten producer and third-largest tin producer

Industrial production growth rate:
-15% (1997 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 15.838 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 77.5 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita:
1,295 kWh (1995)

Rice, cassava (tapioca), rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, soybeans

Total value: $51.6 billion (f.o.b., 1997)
commodities: manufactures 82%, agricultural products and fisheries 14% (1997)
partners: US 19.6%, Japan 14.9%, Singapore 11%, Hong Kong 5.7%, Malaysia 4.3%, UK 3.7% (1997)

Total value: $73.5 billion (c.i.f., 1996)
commodities: capital goods 50%, consumer goods 10.2%, fuels 8.7% (1997)
partners: Japan 25.6%, US 13.9%, Singapore 5%, Taiwan 4.6%, Germany 4.5%, Malaysia 4.1% (1997)

Debt—external: $90 billion (1997)

Economic aid:
Recipient: ODA, $624 million (1993)

Currency: 1 baht (B) = 100 satang

Exchange rates:
Baht (B) per US$1—53.812 (January 1998), 31.364 (1997), 25.343 (1996), 24.915 (1995), 25.150 (1994), 25.319 (1993)

Fiscal year: 1 October—30 September


Telephones: 1,553,200 (1994 est.)

Telephone system:
Service to general public adequate, but investments in technological upgrades reduced by recession; bulk of service to government activities provided by multichannel cable and microwave radio relay network
domestic: microwave radio relay and multichannel cable; domestic satellite system being developed
international: satellite earth stations—2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 200 (in government-controlled network), FM 100 (in government-controlled network), shortwave 0

Radios: 10.75 million (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations:
11 (in government-controlled network)

Televisions: 3.3 million (1993 est.)


total: 4,623 km
narrow gauge: 4,623 km 1.000-m gauge (99 km double track)

total: 64,600 km
paved: 62,985 km
unpaved: 1,615 km (1996 est.)

Waterways: 3,999 km principal waterways; 3,701 km with navigable depths of 0.9 m or more throughout the year; numerous minor waterways navigable by shallow-draft native craft

Pipelines: petroleum products 67 km; natural gas 350 km

Ports and harbors: Bangkok, Laem Chabang, Pattani, Phuket, Sattahip, Si Racha, Songkhla

Merchant marine:
total: 304 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,997,060 GRT/3,270,988 DWT
ships by type: bulk 48, cargo 145, chemical tanker 7, container 9, liquefied gas tanker 13, multi-function large load carrier 3, oil tanker 62, passenger 1, refrigerated cargo 11, roll-on/roll-off cargo 2, short-sea passenger 1, specialized tanker 2 (1997 est.)

Airports: 106 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 55
over 3,047 m: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 16
914 to 1,523 m: 20
under 914 m: 4 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 51
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 15
under 914 m: 34 (1997 est.)

Heliports: 3 (1997 est.)


Military branches:
Royal Thai Army, Royal Thai Navy (includes Royal Thai Marine Corps), Royal Thai Air Force, Paramilitary Forces

Military manpower—military age:
18 years of age

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 17,296,871 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 10,435,956 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—reaching military age annually:
males: 558,579 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure:
$4 billion (FY95/96)

Military expenditures—percent of GDP:
2.5% (FY94/95)

Parts of the border with Laos are indefinite; maritime boundary with Vietnam resolved, August 1997; parts of border with Cambodia are indefinite; maritime boundary with Cambodia not clearly defined
Illicit drugs:
A minor producer of opium, heroin, and marijuana; major illicit transit point for 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; role in amphetamine production for regional consumption; increasing indigenous abuse of methamphetamines and heroin.

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