The World Factbook (1982)/Thailand

The World Factbook (1982)
by the Central Intelligence Agency


World Factbook (1982) Thailand.jpg
(See reference map IX)


514,820 km2; 24% in farms, 56% forested, 20% other

Land boundaries: 4,868 km


Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 12 nm (fishing 200 nm; exclusive economic zone 200 nm)

Coastline: 3,219 km


Population: 49,823,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 2.1%

Nationality: noun—Thai (sing. and pl.); adjective—Thai

Ethnic divisions: 75% Thai, 14% Chinese, 11% minorities

Religion: 95.5% Buddhist, 4% Muslim, 0.5% Christian

Language: Thai; English secondary language of elite

Literacy: 82%

Labor force: 78% agriculture, 15% services, 7% industry


Official name: Kingdom of Thailand

Type: constitutional monarchy

Capital: Bangkok

Political subdivisions: 71 centrally controlled provinces

Legal system: based on civil law system, with influences of common law; legal education at Thammasat University; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

National holiday: National Day, 5 December

Branches: King is head of state with nominal powers; semiparliamentary system reestablished 22 April 1979; judiciary relatively independent except in important political subversive cases

Government leaders: King BHUMIBOL ADULYADEJ, Prime Minister Gen. PREM TINSULANONDA

Elections: last held April 1979; next scheduled for April 1983

Political parties: Social Action Party, Thai Nation Party, Thai People's Party, Thai Citizen Party, Democrat Party, Freedom and Justice Party, Nation and People Party, New Force Party, National Democracy Party; other small parties represented in parliament along with numerous independents

Communists: strength of illegal Communist Party is about 1,200; Thai Communist insurgents throughout Thailand total an estimated 9,000

Member of: ADB, ANRPC, ASEAN, ASPAC, Colombo Plan, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IHO, ILO, IMCO, IMF, IPU, ITC, ITU, SEAMES, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WMO, WTO; negotiations underway for membership in GATT


GNP: $32 billion (1980), $680 per capita; 6% real growth in 1980 (8.2% real growth, 1975-79)

Agriculture: main crops—rice, sugar, corn, rubber, tapioca

Fishing: catch 2.1 million metric tons (1979); major fishery export, shrimp, 18,628 metric tons, about $116 million (1979); total marine export, estimated $249 million (1978) ,

Major industries: agricultural processing, textiles, wood and wood products, cement, tin and tungsten ore mining; world's second largest tungsten producer and third largest tin producer

Shortages: fuel sources, including coal, petroleum; scrap iron, and fertilizer

Electric power: 3,830,820 kW capacity (1980); 14.543 million kWh produced (1980), 330 kWh per capita

Exports: $6.5 billion (f.o.b., 1980); rice, sugar, corn, rubber, tin, tapioca, kenaf

Imports: $9.6 billion (c.i.f., 1980); machinery and transport equipment, fuels and lubricants, base metals, chemicals, and fertilizer

Major trade partners: exports—Japan, US, Singapore, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Malaysia; imports—Japan, US, West Germany, UK, Singapore, Saudi Arabia; about 1% or less trade with Communist countries

Budget: (FY82) estimate of expenditures, $7.3 billion; Defense Ministry budget, $1.4 billion

Monetary conversion rate: 20.48 baht=US$1

Fiscal year: 1 October-30 September


Railroads: 3,830 km meter gauge (1.000 m), 97 km double track

Highways: 27,498 km total; 21,742 km paved, 5,756 km crushed stone and soil aggregate

Inland waterways: 3,999 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: 2 major, 16 minor

Civil air: 25 major transport aircraft

Airfields: 162 total, 120 usable; 56 with permanent-surface runways; 13 with runways 2,440-3,659 m, 27 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: service to general public adequate; bulk of service to government activities provided by multi-channel cable and radio-relay network; satellite ground station; domestic satellite system being developed; 451,409 telephones (1.0 per 100 popl.); approx. 150 AM, 15 FM, and 10 TV transmitters in government-controlled networks


Military manpower: males 15-49, 12,323,000; 7,570,000 fit for military service; about 589,000 reach military age (18) annually

Military budget: for fiscal year ending 30 September 1982, $1,427 million; 19.5.% of central government budget