Located in Southeast Asia, Thailand is the 20th most-populous country in the world. It shares borders with Cambodia and Laos to the east, Malaysia to the south, and Myanmar to the west. Rolling hills, mountains, and miles of rice fields fill the landscape.

  • Population: 66,785,000
  • Life Expectancy: 74 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 96%
  • School Enrollment: 90%
  • Land Mass: 198,116 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 94%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 13/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 5,210

Facts about Thailand

Economic Development

Unfortunately, Thailand’s recent economic success has not been shared equally with all regions. More than 6 million people in Thailand are still living on less than $1 a day. Many children have also missed out on the benefits of Thailand’s development, particularly those in the poorest regions, as well as ethnic minorities and migrants.

Food & Agriculture

9.5 percent of children are malnourished, and 16.7 percent of children are not fully immunized.

Child Protection

Thailand is ranked seventh out of the top 71 countries in which children and women have been abused in this decade.

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Progress in Thailand

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors. World Vision was able to work alongside communities to accomplish the following in 2014.

  • To increase literacy, we held tutoring sessions for boys and girls who were struggling in school.

  • Parents participated in awareness campaigns and workshops on ways to help strengthen their children's reading, writing, and math skills, and formed parents' networks to share their knowledge with other people in their communities.

  • We helped form youth groups and trained young people in leadership, communication, and how to be good role models.

  • Young people had opportunities to learn about morality and ethics through life-skills programs offered in partnership with local churches, featuring fun activities such as singing and plays.

  • Demonstrating Christ’s love through our actions, we worked among the children and families of the community to promote peace and justice and encourage understanding.

  • We worked to ensure that children are aware of their rights and know how to protect themselves from potentially harmful situations. We also worked to protect children who are vulnerable to human trafficking and exploitation through youth programs, advocacy efforts, parent education, spiritual nurture, and life-skills activities.

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    World Vision in Thailand Today

    World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of Thailand to improve their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. World Vision’s child sponsorship program plays a vital role in this partnership, with donors from the United States sponsoring more than 3,200 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in Thailand. Highlights include:

    • Unlocking the potential of youths and families in need of economic opportunities through various occupational training initiatives.
    • Tackling malnutrition and communicable diseases.
    • Reducing human trafficking through the protection of victims and vulnerable groups, and supporting local, provincial, and national government in enforcing anti-trafficking policies.

    World Vision History in Thailand

    World Vision assistance in Thailand dates back to 1959 with a pastors conference, and in 1971, support to build an orphanage. An office opened in 1973. Since then, some major accomplishments include:

    • Offering relief to refugees fleeing from neighboring Cambodia by improving food supplies and providing vocational training in the 1970s.
    • Helping children go to school by providing tuition, books, and other school supplies during the 1970s.
    • Continuing relief efforts for Cambodian refugees and educating Thai communities in health and nutrition, food production, and vocation skills in the 1980s.
    • Helping children and families affected by a tropical storm and improving education and healthcare for communities during the 1990s and into the 21st century.

    Geography & People

    Geography and people

    Located in Southeast Asia, Thailand is the 20th most-populous country in the world. It shares borders with Cambodia and Laos to the east, Malaysia to the south, and Myanmar to the west. Rolling hills, mountains, and miles of rice fields fill the landscape.

    The country has a warm, tropical climate most of the year, with an annual monsoon. A rainy season runs from June to October, and a dry season runs the rest of the year.

    Agriculture is a large source of income for Thais. Products grown include rice, rubber, corn, and sugarcane. The country’s richest natural resource is rice, and they grow millions of tons of rice annually.

    About 75 percent of the population is ethnic Thai; Chinese and Malays make up the rest. Thai is the official language.

    Known as “the land of smiles,” Thailand is renowned for the warmth of its people and the sophistication of its culture. Thais place a high value on family. Elderly people are honored in the household for their acquired wisdom, and parents actively seek their advice in raising grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


    Once known as Siam, Thailand has always been an independent nation and has never experienced foreign rule. The new name of Thailand means “the land of the free.”

    Coup attempts, war, and ongoing conflicts with neighboring Cambodia and Vietnam have been a mainstay throughout the nation’s history.

    On December 26, 2004, a powerful tsunami hit 12 Asian countries, including Thailand. The country reported nearly 3,900 casualties, with another 2,800 missing and presumed dead. More than 3,300 homes were destroyed and 1,500 were damaged.

    In the fall of 2006, disputes over an election continued to build, leading to a military coup in September. The military rule was removed in early 2007 and the new government set up a permanent constitution. However, recent political conflict has called into question the future of Thailand’s democracy.

    Prayer Requests for Thailand

    • Please pray for peace and stability in Thailand.
    • Pray especially for safety and protection for children who are at risk of trafficking and exploitation.