General Information about Thailand

The official name is the Kingdom of Thailand (until 1939 and in 1946–48 Siam). Located in the continental part of Southeast Asia, it occupies the middle part of the Indochinese Peninsula and the northern part of the Malay Peninsula. The area is 514 thousand km2, the population is 62.4 million people. (2000). The official language is Thai. The capital is Bangkok (Krungthep) (5.8 million people, 2000). National holiday – Birthday of the reigning King Rama IX on December 5th. The monetary unit is baht (equal to 100 satangs).

Member of the UN (since 1946), ASEAN (since 1967), ASEAN Forum for Security and Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region, etc.

Population of Thailand

According to Countryaah, in 1911, the population of Thailand was 8.3 million people; in 1978 it was already 44.3 million people. The high rate of annual population growth (3.1% in the early 1970s) has declined sharply in recent years, in 1999 they amounted to 0.98%, and in 2000 to 1.01%. The average population density is 118.5 people. per 1 km2. The average life expectancy is 68.5 years. The urban population is 43.3% (2000), mainly concentrated in Bangkok and the Bangkok metropolis (up to 12 million people).

Ethnic composition. According to official figures, 95% of the population are Thais (including ethnic groups – Lao, Thai-Korat, Thai-Klang, Phuthai, etc., hill tribes – Shan, or Thai-Yai). The second largest place is occupied by the Chinese, who live mainly in cities. Estimating their numbers is difficult, as part of the Chinese assimilated, in addition, mixed marriages are common among them. OK. 14% of the country’s population themselves declare their Chinese origin. In fact, the number of Chinese may be approx. 30% (in Bangkok, up to 70% of the population has Chinese roots). Malays live in the extreme south of the country (about 1 million people). Khmers, Mons live in the center, in the east and northeast of the country. The Meo and Yao tribes live in the mountainous regions of the north and northeast. Along the border with Myanmar, the peoples of the Tibeto-Burmese group – the Burmese, the Karens – are settled. The mountain tribes Lahu, Lisu, Akha live in the north. The Vietnamese live in the northeast of the country. In the cities – immigrants from India and Pakistan.

Thailand is a multilingual country, the main place is occupied by the Thai language, other languages of the Thai language group. The Chinese language is represented primarily by southern dialects. Tibeto-Burman languages (Akha, Lisu, Lahu, Kachin); Karen; Malayo-Polynesian; Mon-Khmer; languages of the Miao-Yao group (Hmong-Mien); Vietnamese; New Indian – Urdu, Bengali, etc. – are of limited use. English is spoken in the cities.

Religion – Buddhism (Theravada) – is practiced by the majority of the country’s population. Islam is widespread in the south of the country. Tao and Confucianism among the Chinese. Animism is among the hill tribes. Some court religious ceremonies are performed by Brahmins. According to some reports, the Thais became acquainted with Buddhism in the 7th century. AD, when he was brought into the country by monks-preachers from Ceylon. Buddhism is the state religion. Moreover, Buddhism is the basis of the philosophy, morality and daily behavior of Thais. In addition, Buddhism has inspired architects and sculptors for centuries to create beautiful works of art related to religion. The centers of Buddhist learning are monasteries, shelters for monasticism. Temporary stay in a monastery is considered a religious merit for a layman and is quite common among Thai men, reached adulthood. The monks are united within the sangha, ruled by the supreme patriarch. Along with Buddhism, quite strong elements of animism continue to exist; for a Thai, the whole world is inhabited by spirits. Many folk customs and holidays are associated with the worship of spirits, such as, for example, houses for spirits, the colorful and beloved holiday Loy Krathong, etc.

People of Thailand