Thailand

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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. In alliance with Japan during World War II, 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 Chinnawat, 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. A blanket amnesty bill for individuals involved in street protests, altered at the last minute to include all political crimes - including all convictions against THAKSIN - triggered months of large-scale anti-government protests in Bangkok beginning in November 2013. In early May 2014 YINGLAK was removed from office by the Constitutional Court and in late May 2014 the Royal Thai Army staged a coup against the caretaker government. The head of the Royal Thai Army, Gen. PRAYUT Chan-ocha, was appointed prime minister in August 2014. The interim military government created several interim institutions to promote reform and draft a new constitution. Elections are tentatively set for mid-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

Location

Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, southeast of Burma

Geographic coordinates

15.00° N, 100.00° E

Area 51/257

total: 513,120 sq km

land: 510,890 sq km

water: 2,230 sq km

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 2,416 km, Cambodia 817 km, Laos 1,845 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:

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

agricultural land: 41.2%

arable land 30.8%; permanent crops 8.8%; permanent pasture 1.6%

forest: 37.2%

other: 21.6% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

64,150 sq km (2007)

Total renewable water resources

438.6 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 57.31 cu km/yr (5%/5%/90%)

per capita: 845.3 cu m/yr (2007)

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: 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

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Thai (singular and plural)

adjective: Thai

Ethnic groups

Thai 95.9%, Burmese 2%, other 1.3%, unspecified 0.9% (2010 est.)

Languages

Thai (official) 90.7%, Burmese 1.3%, other 8%

note: English is a secondary language of the elite (2010 est.)

Religions

Buddhist (official) 93.6%, Muslim 4.9%, Christian 1.2%, other 0.2%, none 0.1% (2010 est.)

Population 21/238

67,976,405

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 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 17.41% (male 6,062,868/female 5,774,631)

15-24 years: 14.78% (male 5,119,387/female 4,927,250)

25-54 years: 46.69% (male 15,675,425/female 16,061,864)

55-64 years: 11.26% (male 3,600,695/female 4,053,977)

65 years and over: 9.86% (male 2,935,703/female 3,764,605) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 39.2%

youth dependency ratio: 24.7%

elderly dependency ratio: 14.6%

potential support ratio: 6.9% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 36.7 years

male: 35.7 years

female: 37.7 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 168/233

0.34% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 176/224

11.19 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 104/225

7.8 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 81/222

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 50.4% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 2.97% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

BANGKOK (capital) 9.27 million; Samut Prakan 1.814 million (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female

total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

23.3 (2009 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 110/184

20 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 141/224

total: 9.63 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 10.59 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 8.62 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 118/224

total population: 74.43 years

male: 71.24 years

female: 77.78 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 194/224

1.51 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

79.3% (2012)

Health expenditures 163/191

4.6% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

0.39 physicians/1,000 population (2010)

Hospital bed density

2.1 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Drinking water source

improved:

urban: 97.6% of population

rural: 98% of population

total: 97.8% of population

unimproved:

urban: 2.4% of population

rural: 2% of population

total: 2.2% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

improved:

urban: 89.9% of population

rural: 96.1% of population

total: 93% of population

unimproved:

urban: 10.1% of population

rural: 3.9% of population

total: 7% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

1.13% (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

445,600 (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

19,400 (2014 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 135/191

9.2% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight 71/138

9.2% (2012)

Education expenditures 47/173

7.6% of GDP (2012)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 13 years

male: 13 years

female: 14 years (2012)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 132/134

total: 3.4%

male: 2.8%

female: 4.4% (2013 est.)

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

76 provinces (changwat, singular and plural) and 1 municipality* (maha nakhon); 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* (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

many previous; latest enacted 22 May 2014, signed 22 July 2014 (interim); note - a draft constitution completed in April 2015 was rejected by the National Reform Council in September 2015 (2015)

Legal system

civil law system with common law influences

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 PHUMIPHON Adunyadet, also spelled BHUMIBOL Adulyadej (since 9 June 1946)

head of government: Interim Prime Minister Gen. PRAYUT Chan-ocha (since 25 August 2014) Deputy Prime Ministers PRAWIT Wongsuwan, Gen. (since 31 August 2014), THANASAK Patimaprakon, Gen. (since 31 August 2014), WISSANU Kruea-ngam (since 31 August 2014), SOMKHIT Chatusiphitak (since 20 August 2015), PRACHIN Chantong (since 20 August 2015), NARONG Phiphatthanasai (since 20 August 2015)

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; prime minister appointed by the monarch with a resolution of the National Legislative Assembly (as stated in the 2014 interim constitution)

note: Prime Minister YINGLAK Chinnawat, also spelled YINGLUCK Shinawatra, was removed from office on 7 May 2014 after the Constitutional Court ruled she illegally transferred a government official; Thai army declared martial law on 20 May 2014 followed by a coup on 22 May 2014

Legislative branch

description: in transition; following the May 2014 military coup, a National Legislative Assembly or Sapha Nitibanyat of no more than 220 members replaced the bicameral National Assembly; elections for a permanent legislative body are currently unscheduled and may not occur until mid-2017

elections: Senate - last held on 30 March 2014; House of Representatives - last held on 2 February 2014, but later declared invalid by the Constitutional Court

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 court(s): Supreme Court of Justice (consists of court president, 6 vice-presidents, and NA judges, and organized into civil and criminal 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; judges' terms NA; 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; judge tenure NA

subordinate courts: courts of first instance and appeals courts within both the judicial and administrative systems; military courts

Political parties and leaders

Chat Pattana Party or CPN (National Development Party) [WANNARAT Channukun]

Chat Thai Phattana Party or CTP (Thai Nation Development Party) [THEERA Wongsamut]

Mahachon Party or Mass Party [APHIRAT Sirinawin]

Matubhum Party (Motherland Party) [Gen. SONTHI Bunyaratkalin]

Phalang Chon Party (People Chonburi Power Party) [SONTHAYA Khunpluem]

Phumjai (Bhumjai) Thai Party or PJT (Thai Pride) [ANUTHIN Chanvirakun]

Prachathipat Party or DP (Democrat Party) [ABHISIT Wechachiwa, also spelled ABHISIT Vejjajiva]

Prachathipathai Mai Party (New Democracy Party) [SURATIN Phichan]

Puea Thai Party (For Thais Party) or PTP [acting leader VIROT Paoin]

Rak Prathet Thai Party (Love Thailand Party) [CHUWIT Kamonwisit]

Rak Santi Party (Peace Conservation Party) [Pol. Lt. Gen. THAWIN Surachetphong]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Multicolor Group

People's Alliance for Democracy or PAD

People's Democratic Reform Committee or PDRC

Student and People Network for Thailand's Reform or STR

United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship or UDD

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

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; 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 Sansasoen 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

Economy - overview

With a well-developed infrastructure, a free-enterprise economy, and generally pro-investment policies Thailand historically has had a strong economy, but it experienced slow growth in 2013-15 as a result of domestic political turmoil and sluggish global demand, which curbed Thailand’s traditionally strong exports - mostly electronics, agricultural commodities, automobiles and parts, and processed foods. Following the May 2014 coup d'etat, tourism decreased 6-7% but is beginning to recover. Thailand faces labor shortages, and has attracted an estimated 2-4 million migrant workers from neighboring countries. The Thai government in 2013 implemented a nation-wide 300 baht ($10) per day minimum wage policy and deployed new tax reforms designed to lower rates on middle-income earners. The household debt to GDP ratio is over 80%. The Thai baht depreciated more than 8% during 2015.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 22/230

$1.107 trillion (2015 est.)

$1.08 trillion (2014 est.)

$1.071 trillion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$373.5 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 119/225

2.5% (2015 est.)

0.9% (2014 est.)

2.8% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 100/230

$16,100 (2015 est.)

$15,700 (2014 est.)

$15,600 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 18/179

30.9% of GDP (2015 est.)

27.4% of GDP (2014 est.)

26.5% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 52.8%

government consumption: 17.1%

investment in fixed capital: 25.3%

investment in inventories: -0.2%

exports of goods and services: 67.6%

imports of goods and services: -62.6%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 10.4%

industry: 37.7%

services: 51.9% (2015 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, casava, world's second-largest tungsten producer and third-largest tin producer

Industrial production growth rate 60/202

4% (2015 est.)

Labor force 17/233

39.12 million (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 32.2%

industry: 16.7%

services: 51.1% (2014 est.)

Unemployment rate 5/207

1% (2015 est.)

0.8% (2014 est.)

Population below poverty line

12.6% (2012 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.8%

highest 10%: 31.5% (2009 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index 25/144

48.4 (2011)

49 (2009)

Budget

revenues: $71.48 billion

expenditures: $80.54 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 166/219

19.1% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 87/220

-2.4% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 79/176

50.6% of GDP (2015 est.)

46.3% of GDP (2014 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

Fiscal year

1 October - 30 September

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 11/226

-0.8% (2015 est.)

1.9% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 114/156

2% (31 December 2014)

2.25% (31 December 2013)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 125/184

6.6% (31 December 2015 est.)

6.77% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 51/192

$49.13 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$51.04 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 22/193

$517.4 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$524.8 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 25/191

$494 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$509 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares 28/121

$313.8 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$383.2 billion (31 December 2013)

$245 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Current account balance 14/197

$23.21 billion (2015 est.)

$13.41 billion (2014 est.)

Exports 23/224

$214.8 billion (2015 est.)

$224.8 billion (2014 est.)

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 11%, US 10.5%, Japan 9.6%, Malaysia 5.6%, Hong Kong 5.5%, Singapore 4.6%, Indonesia 4.2%, Australia 4.1% (2014)

Imports 24/223

$196.4 billion (2015 est.)

$200.2 billion (2014 est.)

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

Imports - partners

China 16.9%, Japan 15.6%, US 6.4%, Malaysia 5.6%, UAE 5.6% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 16/170

$148.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$157.1 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 45/206

$140.7 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$141.9 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 27/120

$219.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$207.9 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 36/105

$81.46 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$73.46 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Exchange rates

baht per US dollar -

34.1 (2015 est.)

32.48 (2014 est.)

32.48 (2013 est.)

31.08 (2012 est.)

30.49 (2011 est.)

Energy

Electricity - production 25/220

156.4 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 24/219

155.9 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 50/218

1.375 billion kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 15/219

12.57 billion kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 20/214

53.85 million kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 75/214

90.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 187/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 123/214

6.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 69/212

3.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 37/214

232,900 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 48/214

43,140 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 14/214

898,000 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 52/215

461 million bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 19/214

1.197 million bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 20/212

1.171 million bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 31/214

233,800 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 66/213

67,470 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 21/216

41.8 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 15/215

52.27 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 189/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 25/214

10.47 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 42/212

255.9 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 23/212

290.7 million Mt (2012 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 27/219

total subscriptions: 5.69 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 8 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 16/217

total: 97.1 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 143 (2014 est.)

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) (2011)

Broadcast media

6 terrestrial TV stations in Bangkok broadcast nationally via relay stations - 2 of the networks 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 (2008)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 238, FM 351, shortwave 6 (2007)

Television broadcast stations

111 (2006)

Internet country code

.th

Internet hosts 31/232

3.399 million (2012)

Internet users 30/217

total: 19.5 million

percent of population: 28.8% (2014 est.)

Transportation

Airports 56/236

101 (2013)

Airports - with 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: 14

under 914 m: 6 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 38

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 10

under 914 m: 26 (2013)

Heliports

7 (2013)

Pipelines

condensate 2 km; gas 5,900 km; liquid petroleum gas 85 km; oil 1 km; refined products 1,097 km (2013)

Railways 43/136

total: 4,070.8 km

standard gauge: 28.8 km 1.435-m gauge (28.8 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 4,042 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)

Roadways 28/223

total: 180,053 km (includes 450 km of expressways) (2006)

Waterways 26/107

4,000 km (3,701 km navigable by boats with drafts up to 0.9 m) (2011)

Merchant marine 28/156

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

major seaport(s): Bangkok, Laem Chabang, Map Ta Phut, Prachuap Port, Si Racha

container port(s) TEUs): Bangkok (1,305,229), Laem Chabang (5,731,063)

LNG terminal(s) (import): Map Ta Phut

Military and Security

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) (2013)

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)

Military expenditures 63/132

1.5% of GDP (2013)

1.47% of GDP (2012)

1.6% of GDP (2011)

1.47% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

separatist violence in Thailand's predominantly Malay-Muslim southern provinces prompt border closures and controls with Malaysia to stem insurgent activities; Southeast Asian states have enhanced border surveillance to check the spread of avian flu; talks continue on completion of demarcation with Laos but disputes remain over several islands in the Mekong River; despite continuing border committee talks, Thailand must deal with Karen and other ethnic rebels, refugees, and illegal cross-border activities; Cambodia and Thailand dispute sections of boundary; in 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 site; Thailand is studying the feasibility of jointly constructing the Hatgyi Dam on the Salween river near the border with Burma; in 2004, international environmentalist pressure prompted China to halt construction of 13 dams on the Salween River that flows through China, Burma, and Thailand; 140,000 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): 128,863 (Burma) (2014)

IDPs: up to 35,000 (resurgence in ethno-nationalist violence in south of country since 2004) (2015)

stateless persons: 506,197 (2014); 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

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