Thailand’s Population, Religion, Education / School System and Thai Language with Data, Figures, Facts and Information. - Virtual Travel and Island all Information for Holidays & Travels to Thailand.
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Population, Religion, Education & Language in Thailand
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(Monks on a taxi boat in Bangkok)
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Thailands Population
The population density of Thailand is slightly over 120 people per square kilometre (310 per square mile). Only little over 20 % of the Thai people live in cities, the rest in the country side. But for years now, due to the difficult economical situation, more and more people from rural areas move into the cities, mainly to Bangkok, which meanwhile belongs to the most populous cities in the world.
The average life expectancy of a Thai is just under 70 years, whereby women become almost 8 years older.
The infant mortality lies roughly at 28 death per 1000 alive born babies, the growth of population is about 1,6 %.
The degree of alphabetisation is in total more than 95 %, whereby men with about 97 % are little in front of women with 94 %.
The ethnic groups are divided in about 75 % Thais. 14 % Chinese and 3 % Malay. Furthermore live Khmer, Laots and Vietnamese mainly in the frontier areas. In the north of Thailand there are also Meo, Karen and further mountain people.

Religion in Thailand

The most (about 95 %) Thais are Buddhists (for the most part Theravada-Buddhists). Apart from this there are circa 4 % Moslems, mainly living in the south of Thailand. Moreover there is a Christ minority, primarily living in Bangkok, as well as few Hindus and Sikhs in former Siam.
The every day live in Thailand is very much coined from Buddhism. Which throughout the centuries has adopted the rites and ideas of the sets of beliefs of other forms of religions, such as Hinduism and the Animism. Young Thai men according to the Buddhist tradition have to live for at least 3 month as a monk in one of the temples (wats), being in almost every Thai village. At the beginning of the religious education of Thai men the ordination ceremony takes place, where in memory of the ancestors food is sacrificed.
The Buddhist "spirit of giving” is despite of the growing materialism also entering Thailand, still alive.
Generosity against others is to make sure that oneself befalls the same and furthermore serves to provide a good long term relation to their fellowmen. The own "karma”, the balance sheet of "debit and credit” of former lives authorises the social and corporate position of the present live of the Thais. The more good you do the higher will the status be in the next live.

Education and School System in Thailand

The attendance at national schools in Thailand is free of charge, from the age of 7 years there is compulsory school attendance which, since 1998 at least takes 6 years.
During the past centuries the degree of alphabetisation in Thailand compared with previous generations is due to the growing amount of pupils and students heavily grown. Meanwhile almost 40 % of all Thai elementary schoolchildren change to higher schools. For studying at a college/university a receiving test is the premise, moreover there is big competition for the college places. The share of male students in Thailand is much higher as the one of women. Main reason is that male students can stay for reasonable money in many Wats (temples), whereas women cannot pay for expensive accommodation while studying.

Thai Language

Instruction and official language is Thai, further more or less common languages in Thailand are Chinese, Malay, Cambodian, Laotian and English. Some minorities domiciled in the north also have their own language. Furthermore there are many regional dialects, differentiating from the official Thai. Thai is a tonal language, including 5 different tones. Depending on the accentuation of a word or a syllable is said it has a different meaning.

Sources: Microsoft Encarta Worldatlas 2001, Data Becker Encyclopedia 2002, Kauderwelsch Band 19 - "Thai Wort für Wort" by Martin Luttherjohann.
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