Demographic Context of Thai-Western Partnerships in Thailand

Main Article Content

Dusita Phuengsamran
Sureeporn Punpuing
Niphon Darawuttimaprakorn
Aree Prohmmo


Marriages between Thais and Westerners have become more frequent in Thailand, which could have significant social and economic implications for the country. However, we currently lack information on the exact number of Thai-Western couples and their demographic characteristics. To address this, we conducted a study using Thailand’s 2010 Population Census to explore the scale of Thai-Western partnerships and identify some basic demographic traits of these marriages. Our findings revealed that in 2010, Thai-Western couples made up less than 1% of all married couples. Additionally, more male Westerners partnered with Thai individuals than female Westerners with Thai partners. The nationalities that predominantly formed partnerships with Thais were British, American, and German, comprising more than half of all Westerners in such unions. We also observed that approximately one-third of Westerners in these partnerships were 60 or older, indicating a significant age difference between Western men and their Thai counterparts. Furthermore, most Thai-Westerner couples reside in Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand.

Article Details

How to Cite
Phuengsamran, D. ., Punpuing, S. ., Darawuttimaprakorn, N. ., & Prohmmo, A. . (2023). Demographic Context of Thai-Western Partnerships in Thailand. Journal of Population and Social Studies [JPSS], 31, 802–813. Retrieved from
Research Articles
Author Biography

Niphon Darawuttimaprakorn, Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University, Thailand

Corresponding author


• Harkins, B. (Ed.). (2019, August 25). Thailand Migration Report 2019. United Nations Thematic Working Group on Migration in Thailand.

• Howard, R. (2009). The migration of Westerners to Thailand: An unusual flow from developed to developing world. International Migration, 47(2), 193–225.

• Huguet, J. W. (2014). Thailand migration profile. In J. W. Huguet (Ed.), Thailand Migration Report 2014 (pp. 1–12). United Nations Thematic Working Group on Migration in Thailand.

• Huguet, J. W., & Punpuing, S. (2005). International Migration in Thailand. International Organization for Migration, Regional Office Bangkok, Thailand.

• Mattariganond, D., & Thongyou, M. (2011). State policy and cross-cultural marriage in Siamese Social History (1605–1932). In International Conference on Humanities, Society and Culture, IPEDR (Vol. 20, pp. 84–88). IACSIT Press.

• National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB). (2004). A survey of Thai women marrying foreigners in North-Eastern Thailand.

• National Statistical Office. (2014). The 2010 Population and Housing Census: Thailand [Dataset].

• Reid, A. (1999). Southeast Asia in the age of commerce, 1450-1680: Volume 2, Expansion and crisis. Silkworm Books.

• Suksomboon, P. (2009). Thai migrant women in the Netherlands: Cross-cultural marriages and families [PhD dissertation]. Leiden University.

• Wapattanawong, P. (2015). ความหลากหลายทางประชากรและสังคมในประเทศไทย ณ ปี 2558 [Foreigners in Thailand, in Population and Social Diversity in Thailand, Annual Conference 2015]. Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University.

• Weisman, J. R. (1997). Rice outside the paddy: The form and function of hybridity in a Thai Novel. Crossroads: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 11(1), 51–78.