While Thailand historically has been known to have a fairly strong economy, it experienced setbacks in 2013-15 as a result of domestic political turmoil and slow global demand. Since then, the Southeast Asian country has undergone a period of economic growth, advancing as a middle-income country and moving toward achievement of its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), poverty in Thailand has decreased from 21 percent in 2000 to about 12.6 percent in 2012.
While it is important to note the remarkable progress that has been made, certain challenges and conditions still pose a threat to people and society. Discussed below are the leading facts about poverty in Thailand.
Top 5 Facts about Poverty in Thailand
- The reported unemployment rate in Thailand is less than one percent. In addition, 69.4 percent of the population aged 15 and older is employed.
- Just more than 38 percent of the population have at least some secondary education. Advancements in education have been particularly impressive and a large contributor to reducing poverty in Thailand as a whole.
- According to the Asian Development Bank, for every 1,000 babies born in Thailand, 11 die before their first birthday. Similarly, the maternal mortality rate as of 2015 is 20 deaths per 100,000 live births, and the total infant mortality rate is 9.4 deaths per 1,000 live births, emphasizing the close link between the effect of poverty on death rates.
- In the booming 1960s, Thailand’s economy grew at an average annual rate of 7.5 percent, creating millions of jobs that helped pull millions of people out of poverty.
- As of 2014, more than 80 percent of the country’s impoverished population of 7.1 million live in rural areas. Moreover, an additional 6.7 million were living within 20 percent above the national poverty line and remained vulnerable to falling back into poverty in Thailand.
With a massive population of more than 68 million as of 2017, poverty in Thailand affects many individuals. Fortunately, with awareness and assistance, there are opportunities for the nation’s recovery to eliminate poverty and help boost prosperity for all citizens.
– Mikaela Frigillana