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.

Friday, September 1, 2017

180 Khwaeng in Bangkok

It seems the number of subdistricts (Khwaeng, แขวง) in Bangkok has just or will very soon be increased from 169 to 180. The Thai Wikipedia Potapt, who is very active in keeping the articles on the subdivisions up-to-date in the Thai Wikipedia, has just updated all the relevant articles both in the Thai and in the English Wikipedia. I haven't yet seen any announcement in the Royal Gazette, but as he is always quite conservative in adding things, I trust he has very good sources that these changes are indeed forthcoming - but will wait till I have the official announcement to update Wikidata and the German Wikipedia then.

The new subdistricts will end the oddity of districts with just a single subdistrict. Its sad that the latest list of the ccaatt codes was just published, so it will be a guessing game which numbers are to be assigned to the new districts.

  • Phra Khanong district: Bang Chak subdistrict split to create Phra Khanong Tai subdistrict (แขวงพระโขนงใต้). District will have 2 subdistricts now, new subdistrict probably receiving the code 100910 as the next free code.
  • Phaya Thai district: Sam Sen Nai subdistrict split to create Phaya Thai subdistrict (แขวงพญาไท). District will have 2 subdistricts now, new subdistrict probably receiving the code 101406. The original subdistricts having the name Phaya Thai in their name were split off to Ratchathewi district in 1989.
  • Din Daeng district: Din Daeng subdistrict split to create Ratchadaphisek subdistrict (แขวงรัชดาภิเษก). District will have 2 subdistricts now, new subdistrict probably receiving the code 102602.
  • Suan Luang district: Suan Luang subdistrict split to create On Nut and Phatthanakan subdistricts (แขวงอ่อนนุช, แขวงพัฒนาการ). District will have 3 subdistricts now.
  • Saphan Sung district: Saphan Sung subdistrict split to create Rat Phatthana and Thap Chang subdistricts (แขวงราษฎร์พัฒนา, แขวงทับช้าง). District will have 3 subdistricts now.
  • Bang Na district: Bang Na subdistrict split into two new subdistrict named Bang Na Nuea (แขวงบางนาเหนือ) and Bang Na Tai (แขวงบางนาใต้). It remains to be seen if this will be done by abolishing the previous subdistrict and creating two new subdistricts, or by renaming it and creating one new ones.
  • Bang Bon district: Bang Bon subdistrict split into four new subdistrict named Bang Bon Nuea (แขวงบางบอนเหนือ), Bang Bon Tai (แขวงบางบอนใต้), Khlong Bang Phran (แขวคลองบางพราน) and Khlong Bang Bon (แขวงคลองบางบอน). It remains to be seen if this will be done by abolishing the previous subdistrict and creating four new ones, or by renaming it and creating three new ones.

Friday, August 25, 2017

ccaatt lists of 2017

Earlier this month, DOPA uploaded a new version of their geocode lists, this time changing the format to XLS files. Whereas the rcode file (containing codes for the municipalities) shows no changes compared to the list from last year, there is only one changes in the ccaatt list - it now only contains the Tambon, all the provinces, districts as well as the subdistricts in Bangkok were removed. I have no idea ifr this was intentionally, or a mistake when changing to the XLS format. When comparing it my list of tambon, only two spelling variants show up:
  • Ba Rue Si (บุฤๅษี) wrongly spelled บุฤาษี
  • Su-ngai Kolok (สุไหงโกลก) spelled with hyphen as สุไหงโก-ลก
and I noticed I myself had two misspellings in my spreadsheet, copied from some old erroneous lists and long corrected in the XML version.

Thus the only thing interesting at these new files is what they don't contain - no numbers yet for the two districts in planning in Yala province. As I haven't found anything official about them for quite some time, it seems it still needs quite some time till those get created.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Census 1937 district data

The 1937 census reports include the male and female population numbers for each district (Amphoe), a table covering 30 pages in the publication. I have now completed to convert these numbers into a spreadsheet, as well as my XML format, of all the 408 districts covered by the report. While I have no idea how much these numbers differed from the real numbers back then due to shortcomings in the way the census was conducted, but the numbers in the report all sum up perfectly except two or three obvious number errors - e.g. for Lang Suan the female population was given as 21893 instead of 12893.

As this table includes a column with the ratio between male and female population, there are some interesting strange cases. While for most district the ratio is between 87% and  130%, there are a few district where the male population is very dominant. Bannang Sata in Yala has more than the double number of men than women (4994 vs. 2427), also Samphanthawong in Bangkok (then Phra Nakhon province) has 42200 men compared to 27760 women. The later case is easy to explain - this district covers Chinatown, which at that time had many unmarried male Chinese workers. This can also be seen in the percentage of Thai vs. non-Thai citizen - Phra Nakhon had 29.7% of non-Thai citizen, Yala 13.4%, also Phuket and Ranong had more than 10%. These two provinces also had quite some Chinese workers, at that time the tin mining was still a big part of the local economy.

Though this table only included the full district and counted the minor districts (King Amphoe) together with the district which supervised it, it also made a good cross-check of whether my district data is complete. From all the districts which exist today, and where I had the dates of when they became full districts, only the district Thung Yai in Nakhon Si Thammarat - then named Tha Yang (กิ่งอำเภอท่ายาง) - was missing, because its upgrade to a full district sometime between 1941 and 1948 apparently wasn't published in the Royal Gazette. The only other special cases are three districts in Bangkok which were abolished later - Bang Sue, Bang Phlat, Bukkhalo and Nang Loeng were abolished in 1938, the first two were created again in 1989. While these districts are included in the data, interestingly the districts already uses the names changed in 1938, which among other changes gave the capital districts the Amphoe Mueang names.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tambon of Krabi in 1940

The Local Directory of 1940 (ทำเนียบท้องที่ พุทธศักราช 2483) - one of the books I was able to scan from the Pridi Library - gives the number of administrative villages for every subdistrict, thus it gives me a complete list of all the Tambon in that year. As I suspect that not all the Tambon creations and dissolvements have been recording in the Royal Gazette, and the creation of more than 1000 Tambon in one year always has been very suspicious, this list should be great to consolidate my Tambon data.

Working through all 300 pages will take me several months,  yet as a proof of concept I have processed the Tambon list of Krabi, simply as that province is listed first as being the first in Thai alphabet. And with 534 Tambon today its a relatively small province.

In 1940, Krabi had 39 Tambon and 283 Muban in four districts, compared with 8 district, 53 Tambon and 389 Muban today. All of the Tambon listed in 1940 could be directly matched to a present-day one with the same name, so none was dissolved in the meantime. Only Na Nuea (ตำบลนาเหนือ) in Ao Luek isn't found directly, as it is listed as Pak Lao (ตำบลปากลาว) in the book - but corrected as Na Nuea in the appendix. Actually, the Tambon was renamed in 1940 while the book was compiled [Gazette].

Checking the other way round, there is only one Tambon not present in the 1940 list which has no Royal Gazette announcement on it being created - Sai Thai (ตำบลไสไทย) in Mueang district. It was mentioned in a Gazette announcement in 1952, so it was apparently created sometime in the 1940s. And since the 1937 census included a book with the population for each Tambon (more on that later), there is one more Tambon which changed in these years - Khao Din was renamed from Yan Sao, while it was reassigned from Surat Thani in 1937 it is already included in Krabi.

Krabi was an easy pick as a first step to work through that list, the XML with the data will slowly grow later. Sadly, there were none of the 1000 Tambon in this province, so it doesn't answer yet what was that announcement all about. Also, there were no difficulties like dissolved or renamed Tambon without any official records I could find so far. When I am running into such problems I'll certainly write about them

Monday, August 7, 2017

Census 1929

The 1937 census report was published in five parts, which I was able to look into at the Pridi library last month. I scanned a lot of pages of those books, though only a small subset of the whole books - all those will keep me occupied for quite some time to work through and type into Excel sheets and my XML files. But one first part I could finish already last weekend. One of the parts lists the population development from the previous census in 1929. The 1952 yearbook I found earlier also included that data, but strangely there the numbers did not add up, only the numbers for the south matched.

Now the new scans allowed me to get all the population numbers for each province, with the exception that the provinces abolished in 1932 are not listed separately but are included with those provinces into which they were merged then - for example Lang Suan province (จังหวัดหลังสวน) which was added to Chumphon in 1932. Thus now my data sheet contains all the censuses since 1929, as well as the corresponding XML file. As far as I know no other online resource has this data so far, even the great statoids start at 1947, and has wrong numbers for the early census. It turned out that some more provinces had valid numbers in the 1952 yearbook, but its of course strange how the sometimes quite different values could come up. What is also strange in the tables from the census - the numbers for 1937 are not those in the other parts of the report, e.g. the male/female numbers for each province. It looks as if this part of the report was prepared on preliminary numbers before the final numbers had been compiled. I hope the other parts won't show any other inconsistencies.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Two Muban renamed

Two administrative villages were renamed yesterday by publishing the announcements in the Royal Gazette.
  • Ban Thung Phatthana (บ้านทุ่งพัฒนา), Mae Yen subdistrict, Phan district, Chiang Rai, renamed to Ban Mae Yen Klang (บ้านแม่เย็นกลาง) [Gazette]
  • Ban Nong Masang (บ้านหนองมะสัง), Suk Ruethai subdistrict, Huai Khot district, Uthai Thani, renamed to Ban Thung Sali (บ้านทุ่งสาลี) [Gazette]
Both name changes were approved in this years first meeting of the board to consider name changes on April 28 - sadly the agenda or transcript of this meeting isn't available online.

As the announcement were signed by the province governors, the second announcement made me notice that the governor of Uthai Thani had changed recently. On March 4, the governors of Uthai Thani and Samut Sakhon were exchanged with each other [Gazette] outside the normal annual reshuffle usually done in October. But since I didn't notice that exchange till now, my XML were still showing the old assignments.