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.
Connectivity and social media usage
According to We Are Social and Hootsuite, of the 7.6 billion people on the planet more than four billion are using the internet while some 66 percent have a mobile phone. Over three billion people engage in social media, nine out of 10 on mobile devices.
For Thailand, it is estimated that 51 million (out of a population of 69 million) are social media users with annual user growth running at around 11 percent. A regular user is somebody who claims they engage on a social media platform such as Facebook or Instagram at least once a day on average.
By comparison with its neighbours in Asean, social media growth in Indonesia is growing at 23 percent per year while Vietnam is growing at 20 percent, the Philippines at 12 percent and Malaysia and Singapore at nine percent each.
Pollution remains a serious challenge in urban centres in Asia
According to statistical evidence collated from a number of sources, air pollution in urban areas, based on the annual output of carbon dioxide, places Thailand in 18th position out of a basket of 20 countries in Asia.
At first this may be pleasing, but in fact all 20 countries have what the World Health Organisation (WHO) considers serious pollution problems. Myanmar topped the table with a pollution reading index of 93.03. Thailand’s index rating was 72.86, marginally worse than the Philippines (72.55) but better than Vietnam (88.10) and Cambodia (79.41).
A reading of 53 or above is considered dangerous to health and it is recommended people refrain from all outdoor exertion. So, pounding the pavements (where they exist) in Bangkok is not considered a very sensible idea.
Locked up in Thailand
Recent statistical information from sources such as World Prison Brief and the Institute for Criminal Policy Research (ICPR), has placed Thailand as the number one country in Asia for incarcerating its citizens.
In what is a sad indictment, Thailand averages 476 people per 100,000 of the population doing time in prison. In real numbers there were over 322,000 people in 144 prisons, which only have an official capacity of 217,000.
Thailand’s numbers far outnumber the next highest country in Asean, that being Singapore with 213 people per 100,000 in the ‘clink’. The Philippines has 172 per 100,000 in jail ahead of Malaysia with 167, Cambodia 159, Myanmar 145, Vietnam 122, Laos 119 and Indonesia 89.