Prospects and Contexts of Demographic Transitions in Thailand

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Pramote Prasartkul
Suchada Thaweesit
Sutthida Chuanwan


Thailand is facing an era of the “second demographic transition” in which the falling of fertility and mortality rates occur simultaneously. The country’s birth rates are now below replacement, causing the labor force to shrink gradually, while population aging rates grow faster. These major demographic forces are putting Thai society into the so-called “demographic disruptions” period, which will transform Thai society considerably. The shifting of population configurations today now affect the country’s social, economic, political, and public health landscapes to a certain degree. This article proposes that the emergence of Thailand’s demographic burden today is a result of demographic transitions in both the distant and recent past. The purpose of the article is to review the country’s demographic transitions from the beginning of the Rattanakosin Era in 1782 to the present. It traces historical evidence in the form of demographic statistics and preexisting research. The article emphasizes four different demographic stages related to the differing rises and declines of population including fluctuations in immigration levels while offering scenarios that may elucidate the changes that are contextualized and intimate trends of the future. The article also proposes recommendations that are potentially useful to other developing countries which may experience this stage of demographic disruptions in the future.


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Prasartkul, P., Thaweesit, S., & Chuanwan, S. (2018). Prospects and Contexts of Demographic Transitions in Thailand. Journal of Population and Social Studies [JPSS], 27(1), 1 - 22. Retrieved from
Author Biography

Suchada Thaweesit, Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University, Thailand

Corresponding author


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