During the first century of its existence, the Bangkok city progressed slowly. The city was spread over just 18sq.kms and had a population of 600,000. In the later half of the 20th century, the city began its astounding expansion. The population also increased tremendously to 1.6million in 1958, 5.4 million in 1986 and 5.6 million in 1999. Now the population is close to 9 million registered citizens. It is estimated that the actual population is double this, taking into consideration illegal residents and daytime population.
Native Thais form the majority of the population, with Chinese, Chinese descendants, Indians, Malays, Arabs and Europeans constituting 25%. The Thai culture of welcoming visitors has earned them the name, ‘the Land of Smile’.