Provinces of Thailand

The Provinces of Thailand are part of the government of Thailand that is divided into 76 provinces (Thai: จังหวัด, RTGS: changwat, pronounced [t͡ɕāŋ.wàt]) proper and two special administrative areas (Thai: เขตปกครองส่วนท้องถิ่นรูปแบบพิเศษ), representing the capital Bangkok.[3][4]:15[5][6] They are the primary local government units and are divided into amphoes (districts) and also act as juristic persons. Each province is led by a governor (ผู้ว่าราชการจังหวัด phu wa ratchakan changwat), who is appointed by the central government.

Provinces of Thailand
Changwat khong prathet thai
CategorySubordinate province
LocationKingdom of Thailand
Number76 Provinces
1 Special Administrative Divisions
Populations191,868 Ranong – 2,646,401 Nakhon Ratchasima (2018)[1]
Areas417 km2 (161 sq mi) Samut Songkhram – 20,494 km2 (7,913 sq mi) Nakhon Ratchasima[2]
GovernmentProvincal/Special Administrative Divisional government

The provinces

A clickable map of Thailand exhibiting its provinces.
Seal Name Name (in Thai) Population (2018)[1] Area (km2)[2] Population density Namesake town/city HS[7] ISO[8] FIPS
(special administrative area)
กรุงเทพมหานคร 5,676,648 1,565 3,627.3 Bangkok BKK TH-10 TH40
 Amnat Charoen อำนาจเจริญ 378,621 3,161 119.8 Amnat Charoen ACR TH-37 TH77
 Ang Thong อ่างทอง 280,840 968 290.1 Ang Thong ATG TH-15 TH35
 Bueng Kan บึงกาฬ 423,940 4,306 98.5 Bueng Kan BKN TH-38 TH81
 Buriram บุรีรัมย์ 1,594,850 10,322 154.5 Buriram BRM TH-31 TH28
 Chachoengsao ฉะเชิงเทรา 715,009 5,351 133.6 Chachoengsao CCO TH-24 TH44
 Chai Nat ชัยนาท 328,263 2,470 132.9 Chai Nat CNT TH-18 TH32
 Chaiyaphum ชัยภูมิ 1,138,777 12,778 89.1 Chaiyaphum CPM TH-36 TH26
 Chanthaburi จันทบุรี 536,496 6,338 84.6 Chanthaburi CTI TH-22 TH48
 Chiang Mai เชียงใหม่ 1,763,742 20,107 87.7 Chiang Mai CMI TH-50 TH02
 Chiang Rai เชียงราย 1,292,130 11,678 110.6 Chiang Rai CRI TH-57 TH03
 Chonburi ชลบุรี 1,535,445 4,363 351.9 Chonburi CBI TH-20 TH46
 Chumphon ชุมพร 510,963 6,009 85.0 Chumphon CPN TH-86 TH58
 Kalasin กาฬสินธุ์ 985,346 6,947 141.8 Kalasin KSN TH-46 TH23
 Kamphaeng Phet กำแพงเพชร 727,807 8,607 84.6 Kamphaeng Phet KPT TH-62 TH11
 Kanchanaburi กาญจนบุรี 893,151 19,483 45.8 Kanchanaburi KRI TH-71 TH50
 Khon Kaen ขอนแก่น 1,805,895 10,886 165.9 Khon Kaen KKN TH-40 TH22
 Krabi กระบี่ 473,738 4,709 100.6 Krabi KBI TH-81 TH63
 Lampang ลำปาง 742,883 12,534 59.3 Lampang LPG TH-52 TH06
 Lamphun ลำพูน 405,955 4,506 90.1 Lamphun LPN TH-51 TH05
 Loei เลย 642,773 11,425 56.3 Loei LEI TH-42 TH18
 Lopburi ลพบุรี 758,733 6,200 122.4 Lopburi LRI TH-16 TH34
 Mae Hong Son แม่ฮ่องสอน 282,566 12,681 22.3 Mae Hong Son MSN TH-58 TH01
 Maha Sarakham มหาสารคาม 963,047 5,292 182.0 Maha Sarakham MKM TH-44 TH24
 Mukdahan มุกดาหาร 352,282 4,340 81.2 Mukdahan MDH TH-49 TH78
 Nakhon Nayok นครนายก 260,093 2,122 122.6 Nakhon Nayok NYK TH-26 TH43
 Nakhon Pathom นครปฐม 917,053 2,168 423.0 Nakhon Pathom NPT TH-73 TH53
 Nakhon Phanom นครพนม 718,786 5,513 130.4 Nakhon Phanom NPM TH-48 TH73
 Nakhon Ratchasima นครราชสีมา 2,646,401 20,494 129.1 Nakhon Ratchasima NMA TH-30 TH27
 Nakhon Sawan นครสวรรค์ 1,063,964 9,598 110.9 Nakhon Sawan NSN TH-60 TH16
 Nakhon Si Thammarat นครศรีธรรมราช 1,560,433 9,943 157.0 Nakhon Si Thammarat NRT TH-80 TH64
 Nan น่าน 478,989 11,472 41.8 Nan NAN TH-55 TH04
 Narathiwat นราธิวาส 802,474 4,475 179.3 Narathiwat NWT TH-96 TH31
 Nong Bua Lamphu หนองบัวลำภู 512,117 3,859 132.7 Nong Bua Lam Phu NBP TH-39 TH79
 Nong Khai หนองคาย 522,103 3,027 172.5 Nong Khai NKI TH-43 TH17
 Nonthaburi นนทบุรี 1,246,295 622 2,003.7 Nonthaburi NBI TH-12 TH38
 Pathum Thani ปทุมธานี 1,146,092 1,526 751.0 Pathum Thani PTE TH-13 TH39
 Pattani ปัตตานี 718,077 1,940 370.1 Pattani PTN TH-94 TH69
 Phang Nga พังงา 268,240 4,171 64.3 Phang Nga PNA TH-82 TH61
 Phatthalung พัทลุง 525,044 3,424 153.3 Phatthalung PLG TH-93 TH66
 Phayao พะเยา 475,215 6,335 75.0 Phayao PYO TH-56 TH41
 Phetchabun เพชรบูรณ์ 994,540 12,668 78.5 Phetchabun PNB TH-67 TH14
 Phetchaburi เพชรบุรี 484,294 6,225 77.8 Phetchaburi PBI TH-76 TH56
 Phichit พิจิตร 539,374 4,531 119.0 Phichit PCT TH-66 TH13
 Phitsanulok พิษณุโลก 866,891 10,816 80.1 Phitsanulok PLK TH-65 TH12
 Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya พระนครศรีอยุธยา 817,441 2,557 320.0 Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya AYA TH-14 TH36
 Phrae แพร่ 445,090 6,539 68.1 Phrae PRE TH-54 TH07
 Phuket ภูเก็ต 410,211 543 755.5 Phuket PKT TH-83 TH62
 Prachinburi ปราจีนบุรี 491,640 4,762 103.2 Prachinburi PRI TH-25 TH74
 Prachuap Khiri Khan ประจวบคีรีขันธ์ 548,815 6,368 86.2 Prachuap Khiri Khan PKN TH-77 TH57
 Ranong ระนอง 191,868 3,298 58.2 Ranong RNG TH-85 TH59
 Ratchaburi ราชบุรี 873,518 5,196 168.1 Ratchaburi RBR TH-70 TH52
 Rayong ระยอง 723,316 3,552 203.6 Rayong RYG TH-21 TH47
 Roi Et ร้อยเอ็ด 1,307,208 8,299 157.5 Roi Et RET TH-45 TH25
 Sa Kaeo สระแก้ว 564,092 7,195 78.4 Sa Kaeo SKW TH-27 TH80
 Sakon Nakhon สกลนคร 1,152,282 9,606 120.0 Sakon Nakhon SNK TH-47 TH20
 Samut Prakan สมุทรปราการ 1,326,608 1,004 1,321.3 Samut Prakan SPK TH-11 TH42
 Samut Sakhon สมุทรสาคร 577,964 872 662.8 Samut Sakhon SKN TH-74 TH55
 Samut Songkhram สมุทรสงคราม 193,791 417 464.7 Samut Songkhram SKM TH-75 TH54
 Saraburi สระบุรี 645,024 3,576 180.4 Saraburi SRI TH-19 TH37
 Satun สตูล 321,574 2,479 129.7 Satun STN TH-91 TH67
 Sing Buri สิงห์บุรี 209,377 822 254.7 Sing Buri SBR TH-17 TH33
 Sisaket ศรีสะเกษ 1,473,011 8,840 166.6 Sisaket SSK TH-33 TH30
 Songkhla สงขลา 1,432,628 7,394 193.8 Songkhla SKA TH-90 TH68
 Sukhothai สุโขทัย 597,257 6,596 90.5 Sukhothai (Sukhothai Thani) STI TH-64 TH09
 Suphan Buri สุพรรณบุรี 848,720 5,358 158.4 Suphan Buri SPB TH-72 TH51
 Surat Thani สุราษฎร์ธานี 1,063,501 12,891 82.5 Surat Thani SNI TH-84 TH60
 Surin สุรินทร์ 1,397,857 8,124 172.1 Surin SRN TH-32 TH29
 Tak ตาก 654,676 16,407 39.9 Tak TAK TH-63 TH08
 Trang ตรัง 643,116 4,918 130.8 Trang TRG TH-92 TH65
 Trat ตราด 229,914 2,819 81.6 Trat TRT TH-23 TH49
 Ubon Ratchathani อุบลราชธานี 1,874,548 15,745 119.1 Ubon Ratchathani UBN TH-34 TH75
 Udon Thani อุดรธานี 1,586,666 11,730 135.3 Udon Thani UDN TH-41 TH76
 Uthai Thani อุทัยธานี 329,433 6,730 49.0 Uthai Thani UTI TH-61 TH15
 Uttaradit อุตรดิตถ์ 455,090 7,839 58.1 Uttaradit UTD TH-53 TH10
 Yala ยะลา 532,326 4,521 117.7 Yala YLA TH-95 TH70
 Yasothon ยโสธร 538,729 4,162 129.4 Yasothon YST TH-35 TH72
  • The total population of Thailand is 66,413,979 on 31 December 2018.[1]
  • The total land area of Thailand is 513,114 km2.[2]
  • HS - Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System.
  • FIPS-code is on 31 December 2014 replaced with ISO 3166.


Administrative divisions
of Thailand
Central division
Provincial division
Local division
Special governed cities

Thailand's national government organisation is divided into three types: central government (ministries, bureaus and departments), provincial government (provinces and districts) and local government (Bangkok, Phatthaya City, provincial administrative organisations, etc.).

A province, as part of the provincial government, is administered by a governor (ผู้ว่าราชการจังหวัด) who is appointed by the Minister of Interior. Bangkok, as part of the local government, is administered by a corporation called Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. The corporation is led by the Governor of Bangkok (ผู้ว่าราชการกรุงเทพมหานคร) who is directly elected by the citizens of Bangkok.

The provinces are named by their original main city, which is not necessarily still the most populous city within the province today. Also, in several provinces the administration has been moved into a new building outside the city.


Before 1892

Many provinces date back to semi-independent local chiefdoms or kingdoms, which made up the Ayutthaya Kingdom. The provinces were created around a capital city (mueang), and included surrounding villages or satellite towns. The provinces were administered either by a governor, who was appointed by the king or by a local ruling family, who were descendants of the old kings and princes of that area and had been given this privilege by the central king. De facto the king did not have much choice but to choose someone from the local nobility or an economically strong man, as against these local power groups the administration would have become impossible. The governor was not paid by the king, but instead financed himself and his administration by imposing local taxes himself. Every province was required to send an annual tribute to Bangkok.

The provinces were divided into four different classes. The first-class were the border provinces. The second-class were those that once had their own princely house. Third-class were provinces that were created by splitting them from other provinces. Fourth-class were provinces near the capital. Additionally tributary states like the principalities of Lan Na, the Laotian kingdoms of Vientiane and Luang Prabang, Cambodia, or the Malay sultanate Kedah were also part of the country, but with more autonomy than the provinces. In this Mandala system the semi-independent countries sometimes were tributary to more than one country.

New provinces were created when the population of an area outgrew the administration, but also for political reasons. If a governor became too dominant in a region former satellite cities were elevated to provincial status, as was the case with Maha Sarakham Province.

Reforms of the provincial administration started in the 1870s under increased pressure from the colonial states of the United Kingdom and France. Agents were sent, especially to border areas, to impose more control on the provinces or tributary states.

Administrative reform of 1892

At the end of the 19th century King Chulalongkorn reformed the central government. In 1892 the ministry, which previously had many overlapping responsibilities, was reorganized with clear missions as in Western administrations. Prince Damrong Rajanubhab became minister of the Ministry of the North (Mahatthai), originally responsible for the northern administration. When the Ministry of the South (Kalahom) was dissolved in 1894, Prince Damrong became Minister of the Interior, responsible for the provincial administration of the whole country.

Starting in 1893 the already existing commissionaireships in some parts of the country were renamed "superintendent commissioner" (khaluang Thesaphiban), and their area of responsibility was called a monthon. In strategically important areas the monthon were created first, while in other areas the provinces kept their independence a bit longer. Several smaller provinces were reduced in status to a amphoe (district) or even lower to a tambon (sub-district) and included in a neighboring province, sometimes for administrative reasons, but sometimes to remove an uncooperative governor.

In some regions rebellions broke out against the new administrative system, usually induced by the local nobility fearing their loss of power. The most notable was the Holy Man Rebellion in 1902 in Isan. It was initially a messianic doomsday sect, but it also attacked government representatives in the northeast. The provincial town Khemarat was even burned by the rebels. After a few months the rebellion was beaten back.[9]

After 1916, the word changwat became common to use for the provinces, partly to distinguish them from the provincial capital city (mueang or amphoe mueang), but also to stress the new administrative structure of the provinces.[10]

When Prince Damrong resigned in 1915, the whole country was divided into 19 monthon (including the area around Bangkok, which was under the responsibility of another ministry until 1922), with 72 provinces.

In December 1915 King Vajiravudh announced the creation of regions (phak), each administered by a viceroy (upparat), to cover several monthon. Until 1922 four regions were established, however in 1925 they were dissolved again. At the same time several monthon were merged, in an attempt to streamline administration and reduce costs.

Since 1932

The monthons were dissolved when Thailand transformed from an absolute monarchy into a constitutional monarchy in 1932, making the provinces the top level administrative division again. Several smaller provinces were also abolished at that time. During World War II, several provinces around Bangkok were merged. These changes were undone after the war. Also the occupied area from French Indochina was organized into four provinces: Phra Tabong, Phibunsongkhram, Nakhon Champasak and Lan Chang. The current province of Sukhothai was at first known as Sawankhalok. It was renamed Sukhothai in 1939 (which is why the railway system goes to Sawankhalok city and not Sukhothai city). The province, Kalasin, was reestablished in 1947 after having been dissolved in 1932.

In 1972 Phra Nakhon and Thonburi Provinces were merged to form the special administrative area of Bangkok, which combines the tasks of the provinces with that of a municipality, including having an elected governor.

Starting in the second half of the 20th century some provinces were newly created by splitting them off from bigger provinces. In 1975, Yasothon Province was split off from Ubon Ratchathani. In 1977, Phayao province was created from districts formerly part of Chiang Rai. In 1982, Mukdahan was split off from Nakhon Phanom. In 1993 three provinces were created: Sa Kaeo (split from Prachinburi), Nong Bua Lamphu Province (split from Udon Thani), and Amnat Charoen (split from Ubon Ratchathani). The newest province is Bueng Kan, which was split off from Nong Khai effective 23 March 2011.

See also


  1. รายงานสถิติจำนวนประชากรและบ้านประจำปี พ.ส.2561 [Statistics, population and house statistics for the year 2018]. Registration Office Department of the Interior, Ministry of the Interior. (in Thai). 31 December 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  2. Thailand Human Development Report 2014 by UNDP Table 0, Basic Data
  3. "Administrative information". Department of Provincial Affairs (DOPA). Provincial Affairs Bureau. 21 April 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  4. Thailand Disaster Management Reference Handbook (PDF). Hawaii: Center for Excellence in Disaster Management & Humanitarian Assistance (CFE-DM). May 2018. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  5. "ประกาศสำนักทะเบียนกลาง เรื่อง จำนวนราษฎรทั่วราชอาณาจักร ตามหลักฐานการทะเบียนราษฎร ณ วันที่ 31 ธันวาคม 2558" [Announcement of the Central Registry. The number of people throughout the Kingdom. The evidence of registration as of 31 December 2015]. Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA). Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  6. "The World Factbook: Thailand". U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  7. "What is the Harmonized System (HS)?". World Customs Organization.
  8. "ISO 3166-2:TH".
  9. Tej Bunnag (1969). The Provincial Administration of Siam from 1892 to 1915. p. 273ff.
  10. ประกาศกระทรวงมหาดไทย เรื่อง ทรงพระกรุณาโปรดเกล้า ฯ ให้เปลี่ยนคำว่าเมืองเรียกว่าจังหวัด (PDF). Royal Gazette (in Thai). 33 (0 ก): 51–53. 1916-05-28.

Further reading

  • Tej Bunnag (1977). The Provincial Administration of Siam, 1892–1915: the Ministry of the Interior under Prince Damrong Rajanubhab. Kuala Lumpur; New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-580343-4.

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