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.
Mobile phone subscription numbers grow unabated
The number of mobile phone subscriptions in Thailand has sky rocketed, and continues to grow even though many thought that saturation would occur some years back.
In 1998 Cellular subscriptions, prepaid and post paid combined, totaled only 3.8 per 100 persons of the population, but by 2009 that had reached 96.7 per 100 people.
That is not to say that almost everyone was connected since many people had multiple contracts. Yet it was thought that numbers would flatten out after hitting the 100 mark.
Not so. In 2010 the number of subscriptions surpassed 100 and hit 106.7. A year later then grew to 114.7 and by 2012 hit 125.3. Fast-forward to 2018 and the number hit 180.2 subscribers per 100 people. The number continued to grow at an average rate of 26.84 per cent per year and shows no sign of slowing down. The number of people with two or more phones also continues to grow. It is speculated that as people upgrade they are loath to dispose of their previous handset and keep it going as a spare, along with a another
mobile subscription to boot.
Thailand’s GDP per capita resilient in the region
GDP per capita is a method for evaluating the wealth of citizens in a country. It is not exactly the same as average income, but it is a good measure that takes a country’s Gross Domestic Product and divides it by the population.
Thailand has seen strong growth in GDP per capita in recent years. In 1980 it stood at only US$719 USD but rose to US$3,017 by 1996. The advent of the Asian Financial crisis saw this growth stop and GDP per capita decreased to between US$1,867 and US$2,057 for the next 5 years. Yet it soon picked up steam rising to US$4,471 by 2008 and US$5,175 by 2010.
The last full year data of 2019 shows GDP per capita in Thailand standing at US$7,762. This compares well with the Philippines at US$3,294, Indonesia at US$4,163 and Vietnam at US$2,739, but some way behind China, Malaysia and Singapore at US$10,098, US$11,136 and US$63,987 respectively.