While bar charts, line graphs and simple numbers are hardly capable of providing the defining answer to many economic, social and political questions, they are certainly a good way of obtaining a general overview of any particular subject.
Each month the Business Supplement will look into a brace of statistical information and provide readers with what we consider to be the central elements of these figures. Readers are encouraged to dig deeper for greater perspective.
According to the history book Thailand Timeline 1500-2015 the average life expectancy for males in 1990 was 66 years and females 71. By 2000, that had reached 69.9 years for males and 74.9 for females.
Notably, according to data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Bank, life expectancy at birth in 2015 is now 71.9 years for males and 78 years for females. This ranks Thailand in ninth place in Asia and only fifth among its Southeast Asian neighbours.
In Asia, Japan heads the table with males expected to live 80.5 years and females 86.8 years while Singapore ranks second with 80 and 86.1 years respectively.
In Southeast Asia, Brunei is second with life expectancies of 76.3 and 79.2 respectively, then Vietnam (sixth in Asia overall) with 71.3 and 80.7 and Malaysia (seventh overall) with 72.7 and 77.3 years of age for males and females.
Interestingly, healthy life expectancy, ‘a measure of the number of years of good health that a newborn in 2015 can expect, stands at 63.1 years globally…’
On the ‘net’
Thailand has a population of around 68.2 million people and data compiled from a variety of sources suggests 46 million of these are considered ‘active internet users’. That’s 67.4 percent of the entire population.
By comparison, that only ranks fourth behind Brunei (86 percent of the population are rated as active internet users), Singapore (82 percent) and Malaysia (71 percent) but well ahead of the Philippines (58 percent), Vietnam (53 percent) and Indonesia (51 percent). Laos lags badly behind all its neighbours with just 26 percent of its population as active internet users.
International schools (English-language instruction)
Thailand consistently fails in tests of English-language proficiency and yet, according to International School Consultancy (ISC) data, as of May 2017, the country ranked second, behind Indonesia, for the number of K-12 international schools, with 181 compared to Indonesia’s 192.
Malaysia was third with 176 schools followed by Vietnam (116) and Cambodia and Singapore, both with 115.
Yet, when it comes to enrolments, Malaysia comes out on top with 74,700 students ahead of Singapore and Thailand, tied with around 64,400 apiece. Indonesia has 58,300 enrolled students and Vietnam 52,600.
Of course these figures take no account of the quality, or otherwise, of the curriculums.