Thailand Basic Information

By | July 21, 2022
Basic data
Capital Bangkok
Population 66.17 million
Language Thai (+English)
Religion Buddhism (94%), Islam (5%), Christianity (1%)
State system kingdom (constitutional monarchy)
Head of State Maha Vatchiralongkon (Rama X.)
Head of government Prajutch Chan-Ocha
Currency name Thai Baht (THB)

Thailand Basic Information

Travel
Time shift +6 hours (in summer +5 hours)
Economy 2021
Nominal GDP (billion USD) 1,330.0
Economic growth (%) 1.6
Inflation (%) 1.2
Unemployment (%) 1.8

Thailand, the full name of the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia. Its neighbors are Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia. The capital is Bangkok, called Krung Thep in Thai. With an area of ​​513,120 square kilometers, Thailand is the 50th largest and, with a population of just under 67 million, the 22nd most populous country in the world. In the past, the country was also known as Siam.

Thailand is the only country in SE Asia that avoided direct colonial rule by European powers. Thailand is a constitutional monarchy with a prominent parliament, a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and a traditional US ally in the region. It has the second largest economy in SE Asia and the 23rd largest in the world (GDP at purchasing power parity).

The country’s economy is based on exports (automobiles, consumer electronics, food) and largely on tourism.

Basic information about the territory

Subchapters:

  • System of governance and political tendencies in the country
  • Foreign policy of the country
  • Population

The system of governance and political tendencies in the country

Thailand (official name – the Kingdom of Thailand) is a constitutional monarchy headed by King Maha Vatchirálongkon (Rama X).

This is a similar system to the United Kingdom, although in Thailand the monarchy has more influence. It has a far more important supervisory role in the state and presents a number of projects for the development of the country. The King and his family are protected by the law against majesty. The royal power is regulated by the constitution and is also subject to its provisions. The king opens a session of parliament and appoints the prime minister as well as the members of the cabinet. Check equzhou to learn more about Thailand political system.

The monarchy has three administrative articles. These are the Cabinet (Secret) Council, the Office of the Royal Household and the Secretariat of the King. The Cabinet Council acts as an advisor to the King and sometimes represents him, the Office of the Royal Household manages real estate and administration, organizes ceremonies, and the Secretariat performs administrative and secretarial work.

The executive power of the government is subordinate to the prime minister, who is elected by the parliament, which consists of the lower (360 seats) and upper (270 seats) houses. The Constitution establishes a bicameral National Assembly, which is composed of the Senate and the Parliament. Members are elected by popular vote for 4 years.

Judicial power is exercised in the name of the king. Judges are elected and dismissed by the king.

Relatively independent armed services are made up of the land army, air force, navy and police.

Foreign policy of the country

Thai foreign policy can be characterized by a “flexible” approach to the most important partners (China, Japan, USA, ASEAN, EU) at the cost of a number of compromises with the aim of optimizing/maximizing one’s own profit without “losing face”. Check recipesinthebox for Thailand defense and foreign policy.

Pragmatism and opportunism are the main principles of behavior and “cooperation” with foreign partners.

Population

Of the total population, ethnic Thais account for about 75%, ethnic Chinese 14% and others 11% (Lao, Malay, Khmer, Hmong, Karen and others). The Thai government recognizes a total of 62 ethnic groups. 94% of Thais profess Buddhism.

Theravada Buddhism is also at the core of Thai national self-awareness. There are over 300,000 Buddhist monks in Thailand. Thai men, including members of the royal family, are expected to temporarily enter the monastic order at least once in their lives. It is typical for monks to travel around the country and people present them with food, believing that it will bring them good luck.

Muslims make up about 5% of the population (in the southernmost areas).

Christians represent a minority of only about 1% of the population.

As in most Asian cultures, reverence for ancestors is key in Thai spiritual teachings.

More than 14 million people live in the Bangkok metropolitan area, which is 22.2% of the country’s total population.