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Introduction Thailand
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 ally following the conflict. Thailand is currently facing separatist violence in its southern ethnic Malay-Muslim provinces.
People Thailand
Population:
65,068,149
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 and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 21.6% (male 7,195,750/female 6,870,858)
15-64 years: 70.1% (male 22,547,238/female 23,092,881)
65 years and over: 8.2% (male 2,437,640/female 2,923,782) (2007 est.)
Median age:
total: 32.4 years
male: 31.6 years
female: 33.2 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.663% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:
13.73 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:
7.1 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.047 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.976 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.834 male(s)/female
total population: 0.979 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 18.85 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 20.13 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 17.51 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 72.55 years
male: 70.24 years
female: 74.98 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.64 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
1.5% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
570,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
58,000 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, Japanese encephalitis, and plague are high risks in some locations
animal contact disease: rabies
water contact disease: leptospirosis
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified among birds in this country or surrounding region; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2007)
Nationality:
noun: Thai (singular and plural)
adjective: Thai
Ethnic groups:
Thai 75%, Chinese 14%, other 11%
Religions:
Buddhist 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% (2002)
Government Thailand
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); 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
Independence:
1238 (traditional founding date; never colonized)
National holiday:
Birthday of King PHUMIPHON, 5 December (1927)
Constitution:
constitution signed by King PHUMIPHON on 11 October 1997; abrogated on 19 September 2006 after coup; interim constitution promulgated on 1 October 2006; coup leaders have promised new constitution by end of 2007
Legal system:
based on civil law system, with influences of common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch:
chief of state: King PHUMIPHON Adunyadet (since 9 June 1946)
head of government: Interim Prime Minister SURAYUT Chulanon (since 1 October 2006)
note: Prime Minister THAKSIN Chinnawat was overthrown on 19 September 2006 in a coup led by General SONTHI Boonyaratglin
cabinet: Council of Ministers
note: there is also a Privy Council
elections: none; monarch is hereditary; according to 1997 constitution, prime minister was designated from among members of House of Representatives; following national elections for House of Representatives, leader of party that could organize a majority coalition usually was appointed prime minister by king
Legislative branch:
bicameral National Assembly or Rathasapha consisted of the Senate or Wuthisapha (200 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Sapha Phuthaen Ratsadon (500 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms); after coup in September 2006, coup leaders appointed an interim National Assembly with 250 members to act as Senate and House of Representatives
elections: Senate - last held on 19 April 2006; House of Representatives - last valid election held on 6 February 2005; elections held on 2 April 2006 invalidated by court ruling; coup leaders suggest next general election will be held in December 2007
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; House of Representatives - (2005 election) percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - TRT 376, DP 97, TNP 25, PP 2
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court or Sandika (judges appointed by the monarch)
Political parties and leaders:
Democrat Party or DP (Prachathipat Party) [ABHISIT Wetchachiwa]; People's Party or PP (Mahachon Party) [ANEK Laothamatas]; Thai Nation Party or TNP (Chat Thai Party) [BARNHARN SILPA-ARCHA]; Thai Party (Thai Rak) or TRT [CHATURON Chaisang]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA
International organization participation:
APEC, APT, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN, BIMSTEC, BIS, CP, EAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC (observer), ONUB, OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIS, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador VIRASAK Futrakul
chancery: 1024 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 401, Washington, DC 20007-3681
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 Ralph L. BOYCE
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
Flag description:
five horizontal bands of red (top), white, blue (double width), white, and red
Communications Thailand
Telephones - main lines in use:
7.035 million (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
27.379 million (2005)
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 and outpacing fixed lines
international: country code - 66; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean, 1 Pacific Ocean); landing country for APCN submarine cable
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 204, FM 334, shortwave 6 (1999)
Radios:
13.96 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
111 (2006)
Televisions:
15.19 million (1997)
Internet country code:
.th
Internet hosts:
938,784 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
15 (2000)
Internet users:
8.42 million (2005)
Transportation Thailand
Airports:
108 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 66
over 3,047 m: 8
2,438 to 3,047 m: 11
1,524 to 2,437 m: 22
914 to 1,523 m: 20
under 914 m: 5 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 42
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 15
under 914 m: 26 (2006)
Heliports:
3 (2006)
Pipelines:
gas 3,760 km; refined products 379 km (2006)
Railways:
total: 4,071 km
narrow gauge: 4,071 km 1.000-m gauge (2005)
Roadways:
total: 57,403 km
paved: 56,542 km
unpaved: 861 km (2000)
Waterways:
4,000 km
note: 3,701 km navigable by boats with drafts up to 0.9 m (2005)
Merchant marine:
total: 400 ships (1000 GRT or over) 2,808,509 GRT/4,317,320 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 60, cargo 145, chemical tanker 14, container 21, liquefied gas 29, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 6, petroleum tanker 91, refrigerated cargo 32, specialized tanker 1
foreign-owned: 45 (China 1, Egypt 1, Indonesia 1, Japan 4, Norway 30, Singapore 6, UK 2)
registered in other countries: 34 (Bahamas 1, Mongolia 1, Panama 9, Singapore 22, Tuvalu 1) (2006)
Ports and terminals:
Bangkok, Laem Chabang, Prachuap Port, Si Racha
Military Thailand
Military branches:
Royal Thai Army (RTA), Royal Thai Navy (RTN, includes Royal Thai Marine Corps), Royal Thai Air Force (Knogtap Agard Thai, RTAF) (2006)
Military service age and obligation:
21 years of age for compulsory military service; males are registered at 18 years of age; conscript service obligation - 2 years; 18 years of age for voluntary military service (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 21-49: 14,903,855
females age 21-49: 15,265,854 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 21-49: 10,396,032
females age 21-49: 11,487,690 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males age 18-49: 526,276
females age 21-49: 514,396 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$1.775 billion (FY00)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
1.8% (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues Thailand
Disputes - international:
separatist violence in Thailand's predominantly Muslim southern provinces prompt border closures and controls with Malaysia to stem terrorist 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, and as of 2006, over 116,000 Karen, Hmong, and other refugees and asylum seekers from Burma; Cambodia and Thailand dispute sections of historic boundary with missing boundary markers; Cambodia claims Thai encroachments into Cambodian territory and obstructing access to Preah Vihear temple ruins awarded to Cambodia by ICJ decision in 1962; 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
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 116,499 (Burma) (2006)
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

This page was last updated on 17 April, 2007


 

Source: CIA World Factbook










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