Thailand People - 2023


SOURCE: 2023 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

Population

69,794,997 (2023 est.)

Nationality

noun: Thai (singular and plural)

adjective: Thai

Ethnic groups

Thai 97.5%, Burmese 1.3%, other 1.1%, unspecified <0.1% (2015 est.)

note: data represent population by nationality

Languages

Thai (official) only 90.7%, Thai and other languages 6.4%, only other languages 2.9% (includes Malay, Burmese); note - data represent population by language(s) spoken at home; English is a secondary language of the elite (2010 est.)

major-language sample(s):
สารานุกรมโลก - แหล่งข้อมูลพื้นฐานที่สำคัญ (Thai)

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Thai audio sample:

Religions

Buddhist 94.6%, Muslim 4.3%, Christian 1%, other <0.1%, none <0.1% (2015 est.)

Demographic profile

Thailand has experienced a substantial fertility decline since the 1960s largely due to the nationwide success of its voluntary family planning program.  In just one generation, the total fertility rate (TFR) shrank from 6.5 children per woman in the 1960s to below the replacement level of 2.1 in the late 1980s.  Reduced fertility occurred among all segments of the Thai population, despite disparities between urban and rural areas in terms of income, education, and access to public services.  The country’s “reproductive revolution” gained momentum in the 1970s as a result of the government’s launch of an official population policy to reduce population growth, the introduction of new forms of birth control, and the assistance of foreign non-government organizations.  Contraceptive use rapidly increased as new ways were developed to deliver family planning services to Thailand’s then overwhelmingly rural population.  The contraceptive prevalence rate increased from just 14% in 1970 to 58% in 1981 and has remained about 80% since 2000. 

Thailand’s receptiveness to family planning reflects the predominant faith, Theravada Buddhism, which emphasizes individualism, personal responsibility, and independent decision-making.  Thai women have more independence and a higher status than women in many other developing countries and are not usually pressured by their husbands or other family members about family planning decisions.  Thailand’s relatively egalitarian society also does not have the son preference found in a number of other Asian countries; most Thai ideally want one child of each sex.

Because of its low fertility rate, increasing life expectancy, and growing elderly population, Thailand has become an aging society that will face growing labor shortages.  The proportion of the population under 15 years of age has shrunk dramatically, the proportion of working-age individuals has peaked and is starting to decrease, and the proportion of elderly is growing rapidly.  In the short-term, Thailand will have to improve educational quality to increase the productivity of its workforce and to compete globally in skills-based industries.  An increasing reliance on migrant workers will be necessary to mitigate labor shortfalls.

Thailand is a destination, transit, and source country for migrants. It has 3-4 million migrant workers as of 2017, mainly providing low-skilled labor in the construction, agriculture, manufacturing, services, and fishing and seafood processing sectors.  Migrant workers from other Southeast Asian countries with lower wages – primarily Burma and, to a lesser extent, Laos and Cambodia – have been coming to Thailand for decades to work in labor-intensive industries.  Many are undocumented and are vulnerable to human trafficking for forced labor, especially in the fisheries industry, or sexual exploitation.  A July 2017 migrant worker law stiffening fines on undocumented workers and their employers, prompted tens of thousands of migrants to go home.  Fearing a labor shortage, the Thai Government has postponed implementation of the law until January 2018 and is rapidly registering workers.  Thailand has also hosted ethnic minority refugees from Burma for more than 30 years; as of 2016, approximately 105,000 mainly Karen refugees from Burma were living in nine camps along the Thailand-Burma border.

Thailand has a significant amount of internal migration, most often from rural areas to urban centers, where there are more job opportunities.  Low- and semi-skilled Thais also go abroad to work, mainly in Asia and a smaller number in the Middle East and Africa, primarily to more economically developed countries where they can earn higher wages.

Age structure

0-14 years: 16% (male 5,720,842/female 5,443,981)

15-64 years: 69.53% (male 23,797,302/female 24,734,505)

65 years and over: 14.47% (2023 est.) (male 4,500,808/female 5,597,559)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 43.5

youth dependency ratio: 22.7

elderly dependency ratio: 18.4

potential support ratio: 4.8 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 39 years

male: 37.8 years

female: 40.1 years (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

0.2% (2023 est.)

Birth rate

10.04 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Death rate

7.86 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Net migration rate

-0.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Population distribution

highest population density is found in and around Bangkok; significant population clusters found througout large parts of the country, particularly north and northeast of Bangkok and in the extreme southern region of the country

Urbanization

urban population: 53.6% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 1.43% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

11.070 million BANGKOK (capital), 1.454 Chon Buri, 1.359 million Samut Prakan, 1.213 million Chiang Mai, 1.005 million Songkla, 1.001 million Nothaburi (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

23.3 years (2009 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

29 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 6.36 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 6.99 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 5.71 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 77.91 years

male: 74.92 years

female: 81.05 years (2023 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.54 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Gross reproduction rate

0.75 (2023 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

73% (2019)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

4.4% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

0.95 physicians/1,000 population (2020)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 99.9% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.1% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: high (2023)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, and malaria

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

10% (2016)

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 6.86 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 1.85 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.23 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 4.78 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

Tobacco use

total: 22.1% (2020 est.)

male: 41.3% (2020 est.)

female: 2.9% (2020 est.)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

7.7% (2019)

Currently married women (ages 15-49)

60.8% (2023 est.)

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 3%

women married by age 18: 20.2%

men married by age 18: 9.8% (2019 est.)

Education expenditures

3.2% of GDP (2020 est.)

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 94.1%

male: 95.5%

female: 92.8% (2021)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 15 years

male: 15 years

female: 16 years (2016)

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 7%

male: 6.2%

female: 8.1% (2021 est.)

NOTE: The information regarding Thailand on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Thailand 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Thailand 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.