Other major ethnic groups include Chinese (about 12 percent of the population), Malay-speaking Muslims (about 3 percent), and Khmer (about 2 percent).

The majority of the Chinese live in central Thailand, especially in urban areas.

The military governments after World War II promoted rapid economic development and attempted to assimilate ethnic minorities.

thai culture dating-61

Most of the Chinese in the country speak dialects of Min Nan Chinese.

There are twenty-four Mon-Khmer-speaking groups, whose languages can be subdivided into four groups: Monic, Aslian, Eastern Mon-Khmer, and Northern Mon-Khmer.

Three Hmong-Mien languages are spoken in the north.

Various migrant communities speak Korean, Japanese, Tamil, and Urdu.

As part of a trend toward devolution of authority, the democratic governments of the 1990s adopted more liberal policies with regard to ethnic minorities.

However, members of ethnic minorities continue to face many problems in regard to political rights and economic security. The Kingdom of Thailand has an area of 198,114 square miles (513,115 square kilometers).

The country is commonly divided into four main regions and borders Burma, Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia.

The northern region is hilly, with much of its population concentrated in upland valleys and the flood plains of rivers; the dominant geographic feature is the Khorat Plateau.

The Malay-speaking Muslims live near to the border with Malaysia. There are communities of Korean- and Urdu-speaking peoples in Bangkok, and there is a small population of Mon in central Thailand.