Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Statistical yearbook 1923

Google books has scanned many very old reference books, but they are all only visible in the snippit mode, teasing enough to make sure its the resource one would need but still making it impossible to use them. It is quite annoying to have valuable information so near and still so far. When I last week again tried in vain to check the old yearbooks in the online library of the NSO - the scans there stop after a few pages - and then looked Google Books, I noticed that there actually is a form to ask for a book to be fully available. Without much hope I entered it for the 1923 yearbook, stating that by Thai law works from juristic persons have a copyright term of 50 years after publication and it thus should be long freely available. And to my total surprise - just one week later I received an email that the review is done, and the book is now fully readable.

Though they just changed access to this one year edition - after this success I'll do the same request for the other years as well later - it gives access quite a lot of interesting tables. The number of administrative units in 1922 for each of the 18 Monthon - totally there were 80 provinces, 421 districts and 5061 subdistricts. And most useful - and the reason why I chose this edition in my request - are the population numbers for each of the provinces from the 1919 census. The 1952 yearbook strangely had lot of nonsense numbers for this year. Also, especially the 1952 yearbook hide the fact that there were more provinces in 1919, and quietly added them to those provinces into which these were integrated in 1932.

There are some notable data points for some provinces. Phra Nakhon and  Phuket had far more male than female citizen, the ratio was over 130% for these. Though the numbers by nationality are only listed at Monthon level, these two Monthon have far less Siamese than others, and instead lots of Chinese - indicating there were many single male workers who could not bring a Chinese wife. Even more striking are the numbers for Monthon Pattani - only 15% of the population is listed as Siamese, the majority are Malay. The table is titled by "nationality", and not ethnic group, hence it seems that these were not considered full citizens back then. 100 years later the lack of integration of these people is still and unresolved problem...

Apart from the rather unusual way the province names were romanized in this edition of the yearbook, there are two province where a different name is listed than the one I expected - Lampang and Nan both are preceded by the word "Nakhon". While I had read about it for Lampang before, I have to investigate these further - at least there seems to be no official Royal Gazette announcement removing the "Nakhon" from these province names.

Anyway, now the census 1919 XML has been updated with all the data, the numbers of subdivisions are in a Yearbook1923.XML, and I will also soon update my big spreadsheet to show these province population numbers as well. And for those who prefer spreadsheets over XML, there's also a spreadsheet with the 1923 data I picked from the book. Next projects now should be to get the 1909 and the 1929 census data from yearbooks as well.


Abdul-Kareem Abdul-Rahman said...

great work!! Thanks. looking forward to the other years.

Anything on 1909 or earlier?

Andreas Hörstemeier said...

For 1909 I have only the total numbers for each Monthon from the few available pages of the 1917 yearbook in the NSO online library. And even before that was a partial census in 1904, the paper by Professor Grabowsky is freely available