Form of Government: Constitutional monarchy (currently administered by a military junta)
Area: 513 140 sq km
Population: 68 128 000 inhab. (estimate 2020)
Density: 132.77 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 20° - 5° N; long. 97° - 105° E
Capital: Bangkok=Krung Thep (capital) 5 666 264 inhab. (2019); Bangkok=Krung Thep 8 865 600 inhab. (2020), urban agglomeration
Currency: baht (100 satang)
Human development index: 0.777 (rank: 79)
Sovereign: King Vajiralongkorn (Rama X), since 1 December 2016
Prime Minister: Prayut Chan-o-cha, since 25 August 2014
House of Representatives: seats based on the elections of 24 March 2019: PTP (Pheu Thai Party, populist), 136; PPP (Palang Pracharath, People’s State Power Party, conservative nationalist), 116; Future Forward Party (progressive), 81; Democrat Party (liberal), 53; BJT (Bhumjaithai Party, Thai Pride Party, populist), 51; others, 63
Internet: web.nso.go.th (National Statistical Office)
Member of APEC, ASEAN, OAS observer, OIC observer, UN, WTO
International license plate code THA
International dialling code 0066
Travel vaccinations requirement yellow fever (required only if traveling from a country with risk of transmission, including travelers having transited more than 12 hours through the airport of a country with risk of transmission); malaria prophylaxis (recommended for some areas)
Electricity (Voltage) 220
Driving side left
Internet code .th
DST not applied
Annual average temperature (°C) Bangkok 28.3
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Bangkok 26.5/28.5
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Bangkok 5/9
Annual average precipitation (mm) Bangkok 1547
Days of rainfall (annual average) Bangkok 136
Politics and current affairs
A rapid rise in COVID-19 cases since April 2021 has put the military government under pressure, which is accused of not having prepared an effective vaccination campaign.
Thailand is bordered to the NE by Laos, to the SE by Cambodia, to the S by Malaysia and to the W and NW by Myanmar. To the S it has a coast on the Gulf of Siam and to the SW on the Andaman Sea. In the W and the NW there are highlands with peaks of over 2500 m covered by vast forests. Towards the E, the flood plains of the River Chao Phraya are separated from a series of mountain ranges by the large plain of the Mekong delta. To the SW the country is connected by the Isthmus of Kra to the Malay peninsula. The climate is warm and humid, with monsoon rainfall in the summer.
Thailand (which was known as Siam until 1939) has been a parliamentary monarchy since 1932. The armed forces, closely linked to the monarchy, have always exercised control over the democracy in order to maintain it and to intervene frequently in moments of national crisis that have marked the country’s recent political history. The current period of instability dates to the military coup in September 2006, when the populist government of Thaksin Shinawatra’s People’s Power Party (PPP) was toppled. Having won the elections (23 December 2007) again, Thaksin formed a new government, but he was accused of abuse of office and fled overseas (October 2008). After the PPP was dissolved on the orders of the judicial authorities, a government was formed, led by the Democratic Party, which had to deal with a series of demonstrations staged by Thaksin’s supporters. These erupted into violent clashes with police in May 2010, during which dozens of people were killed. In the early elections of 3 July 2011, the Party for Thai, led by Yingluck Shinawatra, the sister of Thaksin, obtained the majority, but in December 2013 the parliament was dissolved after new protests broke out against the government. The elections of 2 February 2014 were boycotted by the opposition, which interrupted the elections in certain regions. On 21 March the Constitutional Court nullified the results and on 7 May it ordered Y. Shinawatra and other members of the government to step down for having illegally transferred the head of national security to another position. On 22 May the army responded with a coup d’état, suspending the Constitution. On 22 July a temporary constitutional law was approved, which allowed for the formation of a legislative assembly. The military junta drafted a new constitution, approved through a referendum on 7 August 2016 and ratified by the King on 6 April 2017, which establishes a House of Representatives with 500 elected members holding a term of 4 years and a Senate with 250 members from military positions holding a term of 5 years. In the southern provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala, where there is a Muslim majority and the Malay language is dominant, numerous Islamic extremist guerrilla groups are present, including the Malayan Revolutionary Front.
|Bangkok=Krung Thep||5 666 264||inhab.||2019|
|Samut Prakan||378 694||inhab.||2000|
|Bangkok=Krung Thep||8 865 600||inhab.||2020|
|Population by age and gender (% - 2020)|
In 2021, the country came out of recession, which was caused by a decline in exports, internal consumption and tourism due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The increase in cases in 2021 has damaged the recovery of the tourism sector. The country is highly reliant on exports from the manufacturing sector. The rapid development in recent years and the low unemployment rate have attracted many foreign workers.
|Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)||118.3||index||2016|
|Agricultural prod. index (2014-16=100)||101.09||index||2019|
|Active population||38 483 132||units||2020|
|Active population, Females||45.6||%||2019|
|Unemployment rate, Females||44.9||%||2019|
|Expenses||3 126 330||M LCU||2019|
|Revenues||3 531 300||M LCU||2019|
|Currency in circulation||2 094.45||BN LCU||2020|
|International reserves||258 104.43||M US$||2020|
The country is among the largest exporters of rice, which is the national staple and is mostly grown in the floodplains of the Menam and Mekong.
Maize and cassava are also important crops. There are also plantations for sugar cane, pineapples, bananas and other tropical fruits, as well as oil palm (in the Malay peninsula).
The forests provide rubber, of which the country is the largest exporter, and various valuable timbers, such as teak, yang na (Dipterocarpus alatus), sandalwood, sappan (Caesalpinia sappan) and ebony. In the north-western part of the country and near the border with Laos, there are opium poppy plantations.
There are many different animal species in Thailand and livestock includes buffaloes, cattle and pigs.
Elephants are also widely used for transporting timber.
Sea fishing is quite well developed (herring, anchovy and mackerel), even if fishing reserves in the Gulf of Siam are depleting. Freshwater fish is fundamental for meeting food demand in the country. Contribution from aquaculture is also relevant: Thailand is one of the world’s largest producers of prawns.
|cereals, total||33 162.862||1000 t||2019|
|cassava||31 079.966||1000 t||2019|
|beans, dry||71.985||1000 t||2019|
|beans, green||290.307||1000 t||2019|
|castor oil seed||1.588||1000 t||2019|
|oil palm fruits||16 772.43||1000 t||2019|
|sugar cane||131 002.173||1000 t||2019|
|seed cotton||6.927||1000 t||2019|
|fruits, total||9 609.732||1000 t||2019|
|cashew nuts||18.087||1000 t||2019|
|citrus fruits||1 156.37||1000 t||2019|
|citrus fruits, nes||33.069||1000 t||2019|
|bananas||1 297.59||1000 t||2019|
|mangoes||1 628.192||1000 t||2019|
|cassava||1 386.655||1000 ha||2019|
|beans, dry||94.489||1000 ha||2019|
|beans, green||152.604||1000 ha||2019|
|castor oil seed||1.605||1000 ha||2019|
|oil palm fruit||896.322||1000 ha||2019|
|sugar cane||1 835.085||1000 ha||2019|
|seed cotton||23.594||1000 ha||2019|
|cashew nuts||12.136||1000 ha||2019|
|citrus fruits||78.678||1000 ha||2019|
|citrus fruits, nes||6.791||1000 ha||2019|
|natural rubber||4 839 952||t||2019|
|timber||33 032 846||m³||2019|
|cattle||4 600||1000 heads||2019|
|cattle and buffaloes||5 497.368||1000 heads||2019|
|pigs||7 869.597||1000 heads||2019|
|asses and mules||0.078||1000 heads||2019|
|birds||293 334||1000 heads||2019|
|silk, raw||1.6||1000 t||2018|
|crustaceans and molluscs||780 690||t||2019|
|freshwater fishes||512 609||t||2019|
For several decades tin has been the main mineral resource. The country is still one of the world’s main tin producers of foundry tin. Other important minerals include tungsten, lead and zinc, gypsum and feldspar. The country also has deposits of salt, manganese, lignite, fluorspar, phosphates, gold, silver, iron ore and rare earths. Amongst the precious stones worthy of note are yellow and green sapphires (Chanthaburi) and blue sapphires (Kanchanaburi). There are also natural gas deposits (Gulf of Thailand) and crude oil (Mae Sot, Nang Nuan and Sirikit) which supply the refineries at Bangkok and Ban Si Racha.
Energy and industry.
The electricity requirement is met mainly by gas-fired plants. The most developed industries are textiles (at Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chonnabot, Nakhon Ratchasima, Ubon and Lampang), food-processing (sugar refineries at Lampang and Chon Buri; distilleries at Ayutthaya and tobacco manufacturing plants), cement works (especially near Saraburi), tin works and the petrochemical industry (refineries in Bangkok, Rayong, Si Racha and Laem Chabang). A regasification terminal is active in Rayong. Other relevant industries include iron and steel, rubber manufacture, car assembly, the production of integrated circuits, and electronic appliances.
|coal, total||13 250.6||1000 t||2020|
|lignite||13 250.6||1000 t||2020|
|iron ore||30$||1000 t||2019|
|feldspar||1 200||1000 t||2020|
|basalt||12 112.2||1000 t||2018|
|precious stones||30$||1000 ct||2011|
|- thermal||143 091.5||M kWh||2018|
|- other renew.||27 525||M kWh||2019|
|- thermal||35 935||1000 kW||2018|
|- other renew.||8 752.3||1000 kW||2019|
|total net generation||173 087.85||M kWh||2018|
|total installed capacity||48 742.56||1000 kW||2018|
|commercial vehicles||889 441||no.||2020|
|air conditioners||23 007 500||no.||2019|
|fridges||7 211 600||no.||2019|
|bitumen||1 377||1000 t||2018|
|petrol||15 636.3||1000 t||2015|
|nitrogen fertilizers||138.6||1000 t||2019|
|synth. rubber||185||1000 t||2008|
|cotton fabrics - m||84.2||M m||2015|
|cotton yarn||0.002||1000 t||2008|
|beer of barley||1 927.9||1000 t||2018|
|coconut oil||28.7||1000 t||2018|
|cigarettes||27 867||M units||2009|
|cigars and cigarettes||27 867||M units||2009|
|chemical pulp||953||1000 t||2019|
|chemi-mechanical pulp||1 051||1000 t||2019|
|cement||40 845||1000 t||2019|
|chemicals production||10 390.648||M US$||2018|
|food, beverages and tobacco production||27 057.661||M US$||2018|
The country mainly imports fuel and raw materials, semi-finished products and consumer goods.
Main exports (M US$ - 2017) electric and electronic equipment 21 584, machinery and home appliances 20 639, vehicles and parts thereof 17 624, computers and accessories 14 769, plastics 12 710, cars 10 874
Finance & banking.
The central bank is the Bank of Thailand. There is a stock exchange in Bangkok.
|manufactures||72.978||% of goods exports||2019|
|food products||14.543||% of goods exports||2019|
|United States||34 401||M US$||2020|
|China||29 756||M US$||2020|
|China||49 848||M US$||2020|
|Japan||27 711||M US$||2020|
Tourism. It is an important source of revenue, the main destinations being the coasts of the Malay peninsula, some areas in the centre-north (Chiang Mai) and the capital, Bangkok.
|Expenditures||16 852||M US$||2019|
|Number of arrivals||39 797 000||units||2019|
|Civil aviation, km flown||223 100 000||km flown||2004|
|Civil aviation, passengers carried||78 227.3||1000 units||2019|
|Broadband subscribers||145.188||per 1000 pop.||2019|
|Computers||66.8||per 1000 pop.||2005|
Social and welfare
Education and health.
Primary education (6 years) is compulsory as well as at least three years of secondary education (6 years).
|Expected years of schooling||15.425||years||2016|
|Students, primary level||4 900 785||units||2018|
|Students, secondary level||6 265 551||units||2018|
|Social protection spending||15.009||% of total expenses||2019|
|Hospital beds||2.2||per 1000 pop.||2017|
|Physicians||0.81||per 1000 pop.||2018|
|HIV||1$||% of adults||2019|
|Research and development spending||1.002||% of GDP||2017|
|Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking||79.5||%||2019|
|Access to electricity||99.9||%||2019|