Isan), Northern Thai (Khon Mueang); and Southern Thai. Thai Chinese, those of significant Chinese heritage, are 14% of the population, while Thais with partial Chinese ancestry comprise up to 40% of the population. Thai Malays represent 3% of the population, with the remainder consisting of Mons, Khmers and various "hill tribes". The country's official language is Thai and the primary religion is Buddhism, which is practised by around 95% of the population.
Thailand experienced rapid economic growth between 1985 and 1996, becoming a newly industrialized country and a major exporter. Manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism are leading sectors of the economy. Among the ten ASEAN countries, Thailand ranks second in quality of life and the country's HDI had been rated as 'high'. Its large population and growing economic influence have made it a middle power in the region and around the world.