According to current projections, Thailand’s population will reach its peak in 2028 at 70.4 million people. The current annual population growth rate is 0.25%.
As countries become more developed, it’s common to see a decline in fertility rates and an increase in the aging population. Thailand experienced this transition very quickly between 1970 and 1990 when the fertility rate dropped from 6 births per woman to 2 births per woman.
Fertility rates in Thailand are about 1.5 births per woman, about 30% under the population replacement rate of 2.1 births per woman. The fertility rates have been this low for several years; however, population momentum has still resulted in population growth although the population is expected to decline following 2028.
Until very recently, the population numbers were growing at a far greater rate, but it’s claimed that the government-funded family planning program has raised awareness and led to a dramatic fall in birth figures. In 1960, the population growth was at its height with figures of around 3.1% but this has fallen to around 0.34% today.
The growth of the past has significantly slowed in the recent past and is expected to begin a slight decline by 2030.
The population is projected to remain fairly constant around 69 million until 2035, but will eventually decrease to 65 million by 2050.
|Thailand Population (as of 12/1/2023)||71,841,311|
|Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2023)||71,801,279|
|Births per Day||1,708|
|Deaths per Day||1,500|
|Migrations per Day||52|
|Net Change per Day||260|
|Population Change Since Jan. 1||87,100|
Net increase of 1 person every 5.53 minutes
Population estimates based on interpolation of data from World Population Prospects
|One birth every 51 seconds|
|One death every 58 seconds|
|One immigrant every 27.7 minutes|
|Net gain of one person every 5.53 minutes|
Thailand is the 51st largest country on earth in terms of total area, but 21st in terms of population. Thailand is 88th in terms of population density, with 132.1 people per square kilometer (342/square mile), based on the 2011 population figures.
While the country's population is spread fairly well, a substantial amount of people live in Bangkok and the surrounding Bangkok Metropolitan Region. Bangkok, located in Central Thailand, has a population of more than 9 million, or close to 13% of the country's population. More than 14 million (or 22.2% of the total population) live in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region. This means Bangkok is much larger than any other urban areas in Thailand.
The last official national census was carried out in Thailand back in 2010 and the country’s official population was declared at 65,479,453. Despite the official figures, the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs suggests that with unregistered individuals added to the final total, the Thailand population in 2014 was actually closer to 70 million, an increase that could also affect future estimates as well. It's estimated there are 2.2 million illegal and legal migrants in Thailand, including expatriates from developed countries like the United States. Formal estimates put the expatriate population on the lower side of numbers that fall between 500,000 and one million, but those estimates do not take into account those who stay in the country illegally.
There is a diverse range of ethnic groups within the country but for the purposes of the overall Thailand population, these have only really been separated into three main groups.
Estimates claim that of the total population, 75% were Ethnic Thai, 14% were Thai Chinese, and 3% were ethnically Malay. The remainder of the population falls into small minority groups including hill tribes, Khmers and Mons.
The official language of Thailand is Thai, with over 90% of the population using the language daily in their home and work lives.
The life expectancy for an average Thai citizen is also growing but there are many threats to the population. It’s widely accepted that AIDS has reached epidemic proportions in this country and in the present day, at least 700,000 Thais are HIV positive or have AIDS. This represents 2% of the male population and 1.5% of the female population. By comparison, the global percentage of people living with AIDS is about 0.8% as of 2014.
Death rates in relation to AIDS seem to attract wildly different claims and the figures vary greatly between 30,000 and 50,000 AIDS related fatalities every year.
Overall, however, education in public health is believed to have led to a rise in life expectancy and 2013 WHO estimates suggest that this currently stands at 75.0 years for the total population which can be divided into 71.5 years for males and 78.8 years for females.
Thailand ranks 46th in the World Happiness Report of 2018 with a rating of 6.072. When we examine the health care expenditures versus the numbers of physicians and beds available, we see 6.5% of the GDP being spent on the healthcare sector, with only .47 professional physicians available per 1,000 residents and only 2.1 beds available per 1,000 individuals. Turning to the improved access to clean drinking water and improved sanitation facilities, we see 97.8% of the population with access to clean water, and 93% of the population with improved access to sanitation.
The population of Thailand has maintained fairly steady and significant growth, particularly since the turn of the 20th century. In the century between 1900 and 2000, Thailand went from a country with around 10,000,000 citizens to having over 60 million people living there.