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In the early years of the 21st Century

Description: Description: Description: Thailand

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Thailand in the early years of the 21st Century.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of poverty are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the relationship between distribution of labor and per-capita GDP, for example.  Perhaps your paper could focus on life expectancy or infant mortality.  Other factors of interest might be unemployment, literacy, access to basic services, etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include some of the possible outgrowths of poverty such as Human Trafficking, Street Children, or even Prostitution.  There is a lot to the subject of Poverty.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

*** ARCHIVES ***

The World Factbook - Thailand

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency CIA

[accessed 17 November 2020]

World Factbook website has moved to --->

[accessed 6 January 2021]

With a relatively well-developed infrastructure, a free-enterprise economy, and generally pro-investment policies, Thailand is highly dependent on international trade, with exports accounting for about two thirds of GDP. Thailand’s exports include electronics, agricultural commodities, automobiles and parts, and processed foods. The industry and service sectors produce about 90% of GDP. The agricultural sector, comprised mostly of small-scale farms, contributes only 10% of GDP but employs about one third of the labor force. Thailand has attracted an estimated 3.0-4.5 million migrant workers, mostly from neighboring countries.   Over the last few decades, Thailand has reduced poverty substantially.

GDP - per capita (PPP): $17,900 (2017 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 31.8%

industry: 16.7%

services: 51.5% (2017 est.)

Unemployment rate: 0.7% (2017 est.)

Population below poverty line: 7.2% (2015 est.)

Maternal mortality rate: 37 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

Infant mortality rate: total: 8.6 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 75.6 years

Drinking water source: improved: total: 100% of population

Physicians density: 0.81 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access: improved: total: 99.9% of population

Electricity access: electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

The Borgen Project - Thailand

[accessed 15 March 2021]

The Borgen Project works with U.S. leaders to utilize the United States’ platform behind efforts toward improving living conditions for the world’s poor.  It is an innovative, national campaign that is working to make poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy.  It believes that leaders of the most powerful nation on earth should be doing more to address global poverty. From ending segregation to providing women with the right to vote, nearly every wrong ever righted in history was achieved through advocacy. The Borgen Project addresses the big picture, operating at the political level advancing policies and programs that improve living conditions for those living on less than $1 per day.

~ The Program Tackling Poverty Eradication In Thailand

~ Treating Mental Health In Thailand

~ Disability And Poverty In Thailand

~ Harmless Harvest: Sustainable Coconut Farming

~ Pledge For Women’s Empowerment In Thailand

~ Healthcare In Thailand: Bridging The Gap

~ How Ricult Is Fighting Rural Poverty In Thailand

Tackling poverty from the top

Chatrudee Theparat, Bangkok Post, 28 December 2020

accessed 28 December 2020]

Q: How has the government tried to drive Thailand to meet the UN's SDGs?

A: Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, chairman of the Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, signed an order on Sept 14 to establish the subcommittee to drive Thailand to meet the target SDGs.

Among 17 SDGs, the most challenging issues are poverty and hunger. If the government succeeds in handling these dual issues, we can step up to other targets such as education, good health and well-being.

The 17 SDGs are zero poverty; zero hunger; good health and well-being; quality education; gender equality; clean water and sanitation; affordable and clean energy; decent work and economic growth; industry, innovation and infrastructure; reduce inequality; sustainable cities and communities; responsible consumption and production; climate action; life below water; life on land; peace, justice and strong institutions; and partnerships to achieve the goals.

In Thailand, poverty is mostly found in the farm sector, which covers 30 million people. The pandemic has resulted in massive unemployment, with many jobless people heading to their hometowns in the farm sector.

We're proposing the SDG Committee implement a number of measures to increase income in the sector.

Pandemic wipes out years of progress on Asian poverty, from Indonesia to the Philippines and Thailand

Resty Woro Yuniar, South China Morning Post SCMP, 13 December 2020

[Long URL]

[accessed 13 December 2020]

The 4.2 million rupiah (US$298) Lasmi earns working at the factory each month is not enough to cover the family’s expenses, and a cash handout of 2.4 million rupiah from the government went straight to buying baby milk formula, nappies and other essentials for her one-year-old daughter, she said.

So she borrowed 10 million rupiah from a bank and another four million from a loan shark, who charges so much interest that Lasmi fears she might never pay the money back.

Official government figures will not be announced until January, but according to the World Bank 115 million Indonesians have been left vulnerable to poverty by the pandemic.

The World Bank in Thailand

[accessed 21 April 2021]

Thailand is one of the great development success stories. Due to smart economic policies it has become an upper middle income economy and is making progress towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.

Looking back a few years …

Advameg, Inc., Encyclopedia of the Nations

[accessed 8 December 2020]

Structurally the economy has continued to mature. From 1986 to 1996, agriculture employed about 57% of the labor force while agriculture's contribution to the GDP dropped from 16.7% to about 10%. In 2001, agriculture employed a reported 38% of the labor force while accounting for 11% of the GDP. Thailand has evolved a mobile labor market in which many workers migrate between agricultural jobs in the country and self-employment and/or light industry jobs in the cities and industrialized zones. Official unemployment was at a low of1.5% in the last boom years, 1996 and 1997, and then peaked at4.4% in 1998. Post-crisis, unemployment rates have slowly declined to 4.2% in 1999, 3.6% in 2000, 3.3% in 2001 and a projected 3.2% in 2002. The government's decision not to forcibly repatriate a large number of foreign workers, implementing instead its first "amnesty" program in September 2001 (which gave work permits to about 360,000 foreign migrants employed mostly in semi-skilled jobs in the fisheries and construction}, has helped slow the decline of the unemployment rate. Official figures, moreover, do not adequately reflect the seasonal unemployment of about 2 million agricultural workers during one third of the year.

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