Thailand

POPULATION

67.96 million (2015)

PEOPLE LIVING BELOW THE POVERTY LINE

10.5% of the population (2014)

GDP PER CAPITA (PPP)

USD 5,815 (2015)

Life expectancy at birth: 74.4 years (2014)

Thailand is a South-East Asian country very familiar to Australians, with Bangkok, Chiang Mai and the coastal areas of the country hosting large numbers of Australian tourists every year. Ruled by a King, the country is a constitutional monarchy.  In October 2016 the long-reigning and much-beloved monarch, King Bhumibol died.  The country is currently in a year of mourning.

On August 22 2014 the Chief of the Armed Forces, General Prayuth Chanocha, received a royal command appointing him Prime Minister after many months of political turmoil.

Economically Thailand has been a success story, reducing poverty from a high of 42.6% in 2000 to the current level of 10.5%. Rural areas tend to have higher levels of poverty than the urban centres. Health care and education are now near universal.

Development challenges remain though, including reducing inequality across society, including for minority ethnic groups, women and rural workers. Sex work, including underage sex work, still remains highly prevalent in the major urban centres.

All information sourced from World Bank and UNDP data accessed January 2016