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Thailand    Introduction Top of Page
Background: A unified Thai kingdom was established in the mid-14th century; it was 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    Geography Top of Page
Location: 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
Area: total:  514,000 sq km

land:  511,770 sq km

water:  2,230 sq km
Area - comparative: 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
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 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: 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, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified:  Biodiversity, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Law of the Sea
Geography - note: controls only land route from Asia to Malaysia and Singapore
Thailand    People Top of Page
Population: 61,797,751

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 2001 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years:  23.43% (male 7,380,273; female 7,099,506)

15-64 years:  69.95% (male 21,304,051; female 21,921,383)

65 years and over:  6.62% (male 1,796,325; female 2,296,213) (2001 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.91% (2001 est.)
Birth rate: 16.63 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Death rate: 7.54 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 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:  0.78 male(s)/female

total population:  0.97 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 30.49 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population:  68.86 years

male:  65.64 years

female:  72.24 years (2001 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.87 children born/woman (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 2.15% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 755,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 66,000 (1999 est.)
Nationality: noun:  Thai (singular and plural)

adjective:  Thai
Ethnic groups: Thai 75%, Chinese 14%, other 11%
Religions: Buddhism 95%, Muslim 3.8%, Christianity 0.5%, Hinduism 0.1%, other 0.6% (1991)
Languages: Thai, English (secondary language of the elite), ethnic and regional dialects
Literacy: definition:  age 15 and over can read and write

total population:  93.8%

male:  96%

female:  91.6% (1995 est.)
Thailand    Government Top of Page
Country name: conventional long form:  Kingdom of Thailand

conventional short form:  Thailand

former:  Siam
Government type: constitutional monarchy
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, Pa