A unified Thai kingdom was
established in the mid-14th century. The country was known as
Siam until 1939 whereupon it was named the Kingdom of Thailand.
Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country never to have been
colonized by a European power. A bloodless revolution in 1932
led to a constitutional monarchy. Thailand was in alliance with
Japan during World War II but became a US ally following the war.
Thailand is currently facing armed violence in its five
Muslim-majority Southern provinces. There are 76 provinces in
Thailand. The Capitol city is Bangkok.
Thailand is slightly more
than twice the size of the U.S. State of Wyoming with a total area
of 514,000 square kilometers (319,400 square miles).
Thailand is in Southeastern Asia. The
borders of Thailand are defined by the water boundries of the
Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand plus the bordering countries of
Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Laos and Malaysia .The geographic
coordinates are: 15 00 N, 100 00 E. The highest elevation
is Doi (Mount) Inthanon in Northern Thailand at 2,576 meters (8,246 feet), and the
lowest point is sea level at the Gulf of Thailand.
A Thai boy born today has a life expectancy of
The population of Thailand is 64,865,523.
The median age of the male population is 29.7 years while the
female population is 31.2 years, thereby constituting a median
age for the general population of 30.5 years. Life
expectancy at birth is 71.41 years. For males born
today, life expectancy is 69.23 years while for females the
expectancy is 73.71 years.
Seventy-five percent of the populace are ethnic
Thai while Chinese account for 14%, and 11% are from other ethnic
The religions of Thailand are:
Buddhism 95%, Muslim 3.8%, Christianity 0.5%, Hinduism 0.1%, other
The primary language in Thailand
is Thai, although English is a secondary language of the
elite. Other ethnic and regional dialects are widely
Literacy among the population
greater than age 15 is 92.6%,- 94.9% among males and 90.5%
among the females.
The Thai currency is the Baht (THB).
After enjoying the world's highest
economic growth rate from 1985 to 1995 - averaging almost 9%
annually - increased speculative pressure on Thailand's currency in
1997 led to a crisis that uncovered financial sector weaknesses and
forced the government to float the Baht. Long pegged at 25 to the
dollar, the Baht reached its lowest point of 56 to the dollar in
January 1998 and the economy contracted by 10.2% that same year. The
Baht now trades around 33 Baht per U.S. Dollar and 44.75 Baht per
entered a recovery stage in 1999, expanding 4.2% and grew about the
same amount in 2000, largely due to strong exports - which increased
about 20% in 2000. GDP in 2003 is estimated to be $7,400. This page was last updated
on Monday, 06 September 2010