NI Global Issues for Learners of English > Country profiles > Thailand



Country profile

Flag of Thailand

Map of Thailand

world map with Thailand

Area of Thailand: 513,120 square kilometers


Information at a Glance


Population: 58,024,000 million
19% Urban
Religions: 94% Buddhist. Muslims (mostly in the south) 4%.


Currency: Baht
GNP per capita: $2,410
Main Industries: 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
External Debt per capita: $1,051


Life expectancy: 69 years
Infant mortality:31.48 deaths per 1000
Average calories consumed: 94% of calories needed
Safe water: 86% of population has access

The country is facing an AIDS crisis, with an estimated 350,000 people HIV-positive.


Tourism and foreign investment, helped by saleable exports.


IlIiteracy: 6%. High primary school enrollment.
Languages: Thai.

Income Distribution

Growing gap between rich and poor; 25% live at subsistence level. Migration to cities.


Regions: There are mountain areas in the northern and western areas. The central region is a river delta, with fertile land and large rice growing plantations.
Farming: Agriculture is an important part of the national economy. Agricultural products: rice, cassava (tapioca), rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, soybeans
Problems: Air pollution in urban areas. Deforestation.


Thailand is a monarchy. The military has often governed, but there are elements of democracy.

There have been strong ties to the United States since the end of the Second World War.

Freedom & human rights

Self-censorship by press.

Position of women: Kept out of high positions of office; many poor women become prostitutes.

Sources: The World Guide : A View from the South. Editor in Chief: Robert Bissio., Leading Issues in Economic Development 7th edition by Meier and Rauch, The CIA World Factbook. Country profile, the New Internationalist, June 1992 by Richard S. Ehrlich,

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Last modified 10 November 2000