The small Southeast Asia nation of Thailand is reported to be the country with the world’s third largest population of radio amateurs — a total of 101,763 as of last February, or slightly fewer than California’s 106,000 Amateur Radio licensees. The Thai ham radio count represents a drop from a reported high of 247,676 hams in May 2012. Only the US and Japan outrank Thailand in terms of the number of radio amateurs.
Thailand has a population of about 68 million, and the vast majority of the current Thai ham population are Novice operators, which have privileges on 10 and 2 meters. Intermediate and Advanced licensees make up the remainder; both of those classes may operate all bands authorized in Thailand, the only distinction being authorized power. Only in the past 2 years have individuals been able to take the exams for the Intermediate and Advanced licenses. All statistics were included in a report to the International Amateur Radio Union Region 3 conference this September in South Korea.