More Facts & Figures
Languages: Thai, English (secondary language of the elite), ethnic and regional dialects
Ethnicity/race: Thai 75%, Chinese 14%, other 11%
Religions: Buddhist 94.6%, Muslim 4.6%, Christian 0.7%, other 0.1% (2000)
Literacy rate: 96% (2003 est.)
Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2011 est.): $602.2 billion; per capita $9,400. Real growth rate: 0.1%. Inflation: 3.8%. Unemployment: 0.7%. Arable land: 27.54%. Agriculture: rice, cassava (tapioca), rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, soybeans. Labor force: 38.9 million; agriculture 40.7% industry 13.2%, services 46.1% (2011 est.). 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; world's second-largest tungsten producer and third-largest tin producer. Natural resources: tin, rubber, natural gas, tungsten, tantalum, timber, lead, fish, gypsum, lignite, fluorite, arable land. Exports: $219.1 billion (2011 est.): textiles and footwear, fishery products, rice, rubber, jewelry, automobiles, computers and electrical appliances. Imports: $202.1 billion (2011 est.): capital goods, intermediate goods and raw materials, consumer goods, fuels. Major trading partners: U.S., Japan, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Korea, Indonesia, UAE (2011).
Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 6.72 million (2011); mobile cellular: 78.668 million (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 are all 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). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 3.399 million (2012). Internet users: 17.483 million (2009).
Transportation: Railways: total: 4,071 km (2008). Highways: total: 180,053 km (2006 est.). Waterways: 4,000 km principal waterways; 3,701 km with navigable depths of 0.9 m or more throughout the year; numerous minor waterways navigable by shallow-draft native craft. Ports and harbors: Bangkok, Laem Chabang, Pattani, Phuket, Sattahip, Si Racha, Songkhla. Airports: 103 (2012).
International disputes: 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 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.