how many foreigners live in Thailand and where are they living mainly.

How Many Foreigners Live In Thailand in 2023 and Where?

Thailand is so much more than a tourist destination for vacations for foreigners. Thailand is a place of worship, and it is a country that provides work to Thai citizens and foreigners alike. This country is a monarchy with a king and royal family that also has a government and there are rules to be followed by everyone who visits and lives here. Most importantly, Thailand welcomes ex-pats and foreigners who wish to make this mystical land their new home. 


A Land Of Heritage and A Multi-Cultural Melting Pot

Thailand has some of the most iconic buddha temples in south-east Asia and these range from the Wat Arun temple in Bangkok to the Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai. While Buddhism is the prominent religion in Thailand, the country and its people are tolerant of other beliefs as well. 

As per recent studies and research conducted, as of the year 2023, approximately 90% of the population consists of Theravada Buddhists while the balance of 10% consists of Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Catholics, Sikhs and Taoists. 

One of the main reasons foreigners feel welcome in Thailand is because this country is both non-judgmental and welcoming to people of various descends. Foreigners that wish to retire here often prefer locations like Koh Samui and other islands like Pattaya as well due to the scenic ocean views and affordable properties. Foreigners that prefer working in the central business districts prefer living in Bangkok while students choose Bangkok and Chaing Mai. 

A Country That Attracts Foreign Skilled Workers and Overseas Property Investors


In recent times, Thailand has experienced a serious influx of foreigners, with the majority being skilled migrant workers. It is estimated that as of the year 2023, there are between 3 to 4 Million foreigners living and working in Thailand. The majority of these foreigners are from neighbouring countries such as but not limited to Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar while a few are from Laos as well. As per research and studies conducted from the years 2019 to 2022, a minimum of 112,000 of these foreigners were categorized as highly skilled workers. 

The 2022 study conducted by the UK Institute for Public Policy Research, said that there is an average of 41,000 British people living in Thailand in 2023. While a large chunk of these British is affluent retirees, the fact remains that the country is the 17th most popular choice for British worldwide. 

Compared to many other countries, Thailand is gaining popularity for being a haven for ex-pats and foreigners. While the country has a 6.04 score out of 10 on the scale of democratic rights and political stability, this number is expected to change in the next few years. 

While there have been occasional protests in the years 2021 and 2022 led by students and the underprivileged, these situations are handled swiftly by the Thai authorities. In terms of gender equality, the kingdom ranks 79th in the world but mainly for Thai citizens. 

The new incentives rolled out in the year 2022 for highly skilled professionals, affluent global citizens and wealthy retirees are believed to attract an influx of foreigners in the next few years from 2023 onwards. 

What is the current population of Thailand in 2023?

The current Thailand population is 71,801,279  as of January 2023. The Thai population increased by 0.15% from the previous year and is expected to increase through 2023. 

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Laws of Thailand for Foreigners and Thai Citizen

There are a few local laws of the land that have to be adhered to strictly when in the country. No drugs including natural substances are one of these laws. Chemical substances are contraband of the highest grade in Thailand which means that consuming, possessing and even dealing in these substances can get you a one-way ticket to Thai jails. Respecting the royal family is another important and non-negotiable law. While foreigners are allowed to smoke in Thailand in designated smoking areas, vaporizers and e-cigs are a big no. 

Foreigners are allowed to be comfortable with clothing of their choice, but public decency and code of conduct are unspoken laws. LGTQ rights are prominent in Thailand, with many establishments permitting LGBTQ events, however, the kingdom does not recognize a third gender and the LGBTQ population has fewer rights in Thailand as compared to many other countries.  

A List of Languages Spoken In Thailand

people learning and speaking languages around a board in Thailand

While the official Thai language is widely spoken throughout Thailand, many people in Thailand also speak and understand English, though more so in Bangkok and the major tourist areas.

Thailand is a multi-lingual country with most of the Thai citizens adapting and well-versed in English and a few in Hindi as well. While English isn’t on the list of official languages, schools in the country are slowly and steadily adding this to the curriculum. 

That being said, the national language of Thailand is Siamese which is spoken in many variations, and dialects and is written using an Indic script. Foreigners who are well-versed in the English language may also find job prospects as teachers and tutors in schools, private organizations and on a freelancing basis.

A list of the most popular languages spoken in Thailand: 

  • Burmese
  • Karen
  • English
  • Chinese
  • Japanese
  • Vietnamese
  • Cambodian 
  • Malay

Moving to Thailand as a Foreigner and Purchasing Property

Thailand has disabled the option for Thai passes on entry, which means that all you need is your passport and a visa to enter the kingdom. Vaccinated visitors need to attach the certificate of vaccination with their visa and passport to get entry. However, if you are not vaccinated, you would need a negative COVID test done at a professional centre which should be performed within 14 days from the date of entry into the country. In some cases, a 14 days quarantine may be required but this is usually not the norm. 

There are numerous overseas relocation services to help foreigners move along with their belongings into the country. Many of these relocation services also offer pet relocation along with moving household items. If you plan to relocate to Thailand as a foreigner then you would either need to buy your property or take one for rent. Popular areas to move into as a foreigner include Bangkok which is the centrally located business hub, islands like Pattaya, Phuket and Koh Samui for retirees and Chiang Mai, Silom Ekkamai and Sathorn.

Purchasing property in Thailand as a foreigner may seem like a cumbersome task, but in reality, it is not. You can purchase a condo unit in your name under a Chanote title deed provided the condo complex has a maximum of 49% ownership shares in the name of foreigners and a minimum of 51% ownership shares in the name of Thai citizens. Any property a foreigner invests in should be paid by funds that are not earned in Thailand and should originate from an overseas account. Most importantly, you need an excellent realtor such as Silk Estate on your side to ensure that the property search is easy, and uncomplicated and that you get the perfect condo or villa as per your needs. 

Modern Amenities and Ease of Commute

In a nutshell, it can be said that Thailand is a place to live in the year 2022 for anyone who wishes to make this tropical paradise their new overseas home. Thailand is a warm and welcoming country for those who can adhere to the laws and gel well with people of various descends. The cities in Thailand are developing at an exponential rate with ease of transport due to the BTS Sky Train and MRT Underground systems. 

There is a dime a dozen coffee shops, upscale restaurants, nightclubs and beaches for foreigners to relax with modern amenities like charging points, Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs as well.

Managed Property Services For Overseas Real Estate Investors

Managed property services offered by Silk Estate and Condotels can make your life a lot easier especially when you want to purchase a property and rent it out when you travel or keep it for investment purposes. To know more about Managed Property Services to make your life a lot less stressful, drop us a message by visiting the Silk Estate website

Chris Wyatt
Chris Wyatt

Chris is an knowledgeable real estate professional with many years experience in promoting and helping people find the right property to buy.

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Disclaimer: This article is not to be taken as legal advice in any form. The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. If you require legal advice in Thailand you should contact a professional.

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