Over 3 million people in Thailand living below poverty line, census shows

Bangkok slums, Stock photo by Miltiadis Fragkidis for Unsplash

Over 3 million people in Thailand were living below the poverty line as of January this year, according to a government census agency. The Thai People Map and Analytics Platform (TPMAP) surveyed 36.1 million people across Thailand and found that 3.44 million were living without their basic needs being met. This categorised them as poor.

The survey found that 1.02 million people needed urgent help with health, living conditions, education, income, and access to government services.

Some 218,757 people needed urgent help with health, 220,037 people needed urgent help with living conditions, 272,518 people needed urgent help with education, 506,647 people needed urgent help with income, and 3,335 people needed urgent help with access to government services.

The numbers from TPMAP are different from those provided by the National Statistical Office of Thailand (NSOT), Nation Thailand reported. NSOT has reported that the number of people living below the poverty line in Thailand in 2021 was 4.4 million.

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A deputy government spokesperson said the government would use the data from the survey to provide help as soon as possible.

There have been a few different numbers reported on the number of people in Thailand living in poverty. Just last month, Thailand’s Ministry of Interior conducted a survey on poverty on an online platform called ThaiQM. The survey results showed that 3,810,466 families in Thailand live below the national poverty line.

Khaosod reported the latest survey update on October 24. It revealed more than 1.9 million poor families, which was 50.09% of the total, had already been helped and supported by the government. Furthermore, more than 5.1 million reported problems, which was 55.48% of the total number, had been solved.

Last year, the deputy Finance Minister predicted the number of Thais receiving state welfare was expected to increase by over 1 million, to about 15 million people. Based on Worldometer statistics, this means that next year over 21% of the population will be on welfare or around 1 in 5 people in the country.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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