How many rich people live in Thailand

The population in Thailand

Central Thais, Thai Laos

Thailand currently has around 64 million Residents. About 77 percent of them are Thais. About a third of them are Central Thais. They speak high Thai. High Thai is taught in schools and is the official language of the country. Another third is made up of the Thai Laos population. The Thai-Laos come from the northeast of Thailand and speak a dialect of the high-level language. In northern Thailand the Thais speak dialect like the Pak Thais in the south. Despite the different dialects, the Thais form a comparatively homogeneous population group. What they have in common is first and foremost royal loyalty and Buddhism. Around 95 percent of the people profess Buddhist teaching Population in Thailand.

Chinese, Mon and hill tribes

Visit to a mountain village in Northern Thailand

The Chinese are the largest ethnic minority in Thailand. Their share in the total population is around twelve percent. Malay speaking Muslims live mainly in southern Thailand. Their share makes up about three percent of the Population of Thailand out. Other ethnic minorities besides Chinese and Malays are: Khmer, Mon, Vietnamese and hill tribes. The mountain peoples of Thailand include around 15 tribes with around one million people. They live mainly in the mountainous regions of northern and northwestern Thailand (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phayao, Mae Hong Son).

The largest tribe among the hill tribes in Thailand is the Karen. The 450,000 Karen in Thailand live on the Thai-Burmese border and in the central region. Their language belongs to the Sino-Tibetan language family. The Padaung, a subgroup of the Karen, are indigenous to Mae Hong Son. The Padaung women are known beyond Thailand's borders for their long necks. Even in childhood, the girls' necks are stretched with metal rings. Long necks are considered an ideal of beauty by the Padaung.

Other hill tribes are: the Lahu (approx. 85,000), the Lisu (almost 60,000), the Hmong (130,000), the Akha (approx. 50,000) and the Yao (approx. 45,000).

Only a fifth of Thais live in the city

The Population density in Thailand is around 120 inhabitants per square kilometer (in Germany 231 inhabitants per km2). Only a fifth of that Thai population lives in cities, the rest in the country. Year after year, more and more people move from rural regions to cities in the hope of finding work. Most of them come from the poorer areas of northeast Thailand and try their luck in Bangkok. Thailand's capital is in constant growth. The population is currently estimated at twelve to 15 million. More precise figures are not available as there is no reporting system in Thailand.

Rich and poor: country with social contrasts

There are strong social differences between rich and poor in Thai society. Large numbers of people live in slums on the outskirts and suburbs of Bangkok. The huts are made of sheet metal, cardboard and plastic sheeting. What looks like a tiny barrack from the outside is often the home of an extended family. The numerous luxury cars on Bangkok's streets form a contrast to this.

More than a fifth of that Population in Thailand lives below the subsistence level. Poverty is particularly prevalent in northeast Thailand. A farmer there earns barely more than 40 to 50 baht (approx. 1 euro to 1.25 euros) a day. In Bangkok, the average wage of a worker is 200 baht (5 euros). The number of illiterate people in Thailand is comparatively low at seven percent.

Life expectancy and population growth

The average life expectancy of Thai men is around 67 years, compared to 71 years for women. In comparison, life expectancy in Germany is significantly higher. Men live on average 75 years old in this country, women 81.5 years. While the population in Thailand is growing by around 1.5 percent annually, it shrank in Germany by 0.02 percent in 2006.

In Thailand, children are required to attend school for nine years. However, if you want, you can attend school for twelve years. Young people in Thailand are eligible to vote at the age of 18.