Shocking poverty report exposes Thailand’s hidden crisis: Top 10 struggling provinces revealed

Photo courtesy of The Nation via Asia News Network

In a groundbreaking summit titled Bridging the Gap: Thailand’s Path to Inclusive Prosperity, the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), in collaboration with the World Bank, has unravelled an alarming reality about poverty persisting in certain provinces despite an overall reduction in inequality.

According to the latest assessment of Thailand’s situation last year, the nation has witnessed a commendable improvement in the fight against poverty. The poverty rate, which stood at 6.32% in 2021, has dropped to 5.43%. However, challenges loom large in specific regions, notably the South, the Northeast, and the North, in that sequential order.

Disturbingly, while poverty has generally diminished across the country compared to 2021, Bangkok and the North have experienced slight increases, possibly attributed to higher inflation rates. The poverty rate in Bangkok rose from 0.57% to 1.37%, and in the North, it inched up from 6.77% to 6.8%.

More alarmingly, a staggering 9.3% of people in the South are grappling with poverty, followed by 7.81% in the Northeast and 6.8% in the North. The report unveils the top 10 provinces wrestling with the highest poverty rates last year, including Mae Hong Son, Pattani, Tak, Narathiwat, Kalasin, Nong Bua Lamphu, Yala, Si Sa Ket, Chai Nat, and Ranong.

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Digging deeper into the distressing findings, the report highlights that six provinces, namely Mae Hong Son, Narathiwat, Kalasin, Pattani, Tak, and Si Sa Ket, are stuck in the quagmire of persistent poverty. Shockingly, over the past 23 years, 36 provinces have consistently ranked in the top 10 for poverty rates, with Mae Hong Son enduring a harrowing 19-year streak in the top five, reported Asia News Network.

However, amidst the disheartening revelations, glimmers of hope emerge from provinces like Buriram and Saraburi. These areas, once fixtures in the top 10 poorest list for more than a decade, have managed to break free in the past three years.

In related news, The Chief of the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) unveiled Thailand‘s ambitious proposal to host the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank in 2026. To find out more, click HERE!

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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