Friday, January 20, 2017

Statistical yearbook 2016

The latest edition of annual statistical yearbook was published in October 2016, though I just noticed it to be available online. Sadly, not the full PDF file can be downloaded, only a version for online reading (which even wants to use the obsolete flash) is available - even worse most of pages are garbled as the conversion tool handled Thai characters very faulty. At least the table which I use to import from the yearbooks can still be read.

But its not just that the online version is of bad quality, even worse the data itself has problems. According to Table 1.23 (Area and Administration Zone by Region and Province), the number of the administrative subdivisions by type as of May 27 2016 are (in brackets the coresponding numbers from the 2015 yearbook)
  • 928 districts (Amphoe and Khet) [2015: 928]
  • 7425 subdistricts (Tambon and Khwaeng) [2015: 7425]
  • 57081 administrative villages (Muban) [2015: 55387]
  • 2452 municipalities (Thesaban, including Pattaya) [2015: 2442]
  • 5433 subdistrict administrative organizations [2015: 5334]
Comparing with the 2015 numbers shows no change in the central administrative units except the Muban, but oddly changes in the number of the local governments even there have been municipal upgrades in the last year. While looking through the provinces, it seems that for several of them (but by far not all) instead of the current number of TAO the original number of TAO in 2002 was listed. The additional ten municipalities are due to a wrong number in Kamphaeng Phet, inbsteal of 25 the table lists 35. These wrong data however make the whole table totally worthless. Additionally, the number of administrative villages seems to have risen in a strange way by almost 2000, but only 55 Muban were created in 2016 and just 11 in 2015. Thus I can only suspect that here again old numbers were mixed with the current values, counting Muban which were previously excluded as being part of municipalities and thus loosing their function. However 900 of the new Muban are in fact a mistake in the 2015 edition, which lists 1097 Muban for Surin instead of 1907 as in 2014 and 2016. I posted a more detailed discussion of the varying Muban numbers earlier.

Even though at least this table in the yearbook has become useless, I nevertheless translated it into my XML structure, but adding a new schema entries to indicate and correct the bogus values. But what really worries me is that if an amateur like me can already spot such big mistakes in this publication, what is the quality of the other tables then?

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