all facts of Laos
10/06/2013 | 09:49

Introduction ::LAOS
Geography ::LAOS
People and Society ::LAOS
Government ::LAOS
Economy ::LAOS
Energy ::LAOS
Communications ::LAOS
Transportation ::LAOS
Military ::LAOS
Transnational Issues ::LAOS


page last updated on June 5, 2013
Flag of Laos
Location of Laos
Map of Laos
Introduction ::Laos
Modern-day Laos has its roots in the ancient Lao kingdom of Lan Xang, established in the 14th century under King FA NGUM. For 300 years Lan Xang had influence reaching into present-day Cambodia and Thailand, as well as over all of what is now Laos. After centuries of gradual decline, Laos came under the domination of Siam (Thailand) from the late 18th century until the late 19th century when it became part of French Indochina. The Franco-Siamese Treaty of 1907 defined the current Lao border with Thailand. In 1975, the Communist Pathet Lao took control of the government ending a six-century-old monarchy and instituting a strict socialist regime closely aligned to Vietnam. A gradual, limited return to private enterprise and the liberalization of foreign investment laws began in 1988. Laos became a member of ASEAN in 1997 and the WTO in 2013.
Geography ::Laos
Southeastern Asia, northeast of Thailand, west of Vietnam
18 00 N, 105 00 E
total: 236,800 sq km
country comparison to the world: 84
land: 230,800 sq km
water: 6,000 sq km
slightly larger than Utah
total: 5,083 km
border countries: Burma 235 km, Cambodia 541 km, China 423 km, Thailand 1,754 km, Vietnam 2,130 km
0 km (landlocked)
none (landlocked)
tropical monsoon; rainy season (May to November); dry season (December to April)
mostly rugged mountains; some plains and plateaus
lowest point: Mekong River 70 m
highest point: Phu Bia 2,817 m
timber, hydropower, gypsum, tin, gold, gemstones
arable land: 5.91%
permanent crops: 0.42%
other: 93.67% (2011)
3,100 sq km (2005)
333.5 cu km (2011)
total: 3.49 cu km/yr (4%/5%/91%)
per capita: 588.9 cu m/yr (2005)
floods, droughts
unexploded ordnance; deforestation; soil erosion; most of the population does not have access to potable water
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
landlocked; most of the country is mountainous and thickly forested; the Mekong River forms a large part of the western boundary with Thailand
People and Society ::Laos
noun: Lao(s) or Laotian(s)
adjective: Lao or Laotian
Lao 55%, Khmou 11%, Hmong 8%, other (over 100 minor ethnic groups) 26% (2005 census)
Lao (official), French, English, various ethnic languages
Buddhist 67%, Christian 1.5%, other and unspecified 31.5% (2005 census)
6,695,166 (July 2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102
0-14 years: 35.5% (male 1,198,288/female 1,178,180)
15-24 years: 21.3% (male 706,679/female 716,368)
25-54 years: 34.6% (male 1,143,265/female 1,174,102)
55-64 years: 4.9% (male 160,650/female 166,605)
65 years and over: 3.7% (male 113,301/female 137,728) (2013 est.)
total: 21.6 years
male: 21.4 years
female: 21.9 years (2013 est.)
1.63% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74
25.23 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57
7.86 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107
-1.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148
urban population: 33% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 4.9% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
VIENTIANE (capital) 799,000 (2009)
at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
470 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
country comparison to the world: 20
total: 56.13 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 34
male: 61.91 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 50.11 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
total population: 63.14 years
country comparison to the world: 182
male: 61.2 years
female: 65.17 years (2013 est.)
2.98 children born/woman (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60
4.5% of GDP (2010)
country comparison to the world: 155
0.27 physicians/1,000 population (2005)
0.7 beds/1,000 population (2010)
urban: 77% of population
rural: 62% of population
total: 67% of population
urban: 23% of population
rural: 38% of population
total: 33% of population (2010 est.)
urban: 89% of population
rural: 50% of population
total: 63% of population
urban: 11% of population
rural: 50% of population
total: 37% of population (2010 est.)
0.2% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102
8,500 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
fewer than 200 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)
2.6% (2008)
country comparison to the world: 179
31.6% (2006)
country comparison to the world: 13
3.3% of GDP (2010)
country comparison to the world: 135
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 73%
male: 83%
female: 63% (2005 Census)
total: 9 years
male: 10 years
female: 9 years (2008)
Government ::Laos
conventional long form: Lao People's Democratic Republic
conventional short form: Laos
local long form: Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao
local short form: Pathet Lao (unofficial)
Communist state
name: Vientiane (Viangchan)
geographic coordinates: 17 58 N, 102 36 E
time difference: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
16 provinces (khoueng, singular and plural) and 1 capital city* (nakhon luang, singular and plural); Attapu, Bokeo, Bolikhamxai, Champasak, Houaphan, Khammouan, Louangnamtha, Louangphabang, Oudomxai, Phongsali, Salavan, Savannakhet, Viangchan (Vientiane)*, Viangchan, Xaignabouli, Xekong, Xiangkhouang
19 July 1949 (from France)
Republic Day, 2 December (1975)
promulgated 14 August 1991; amended in 2003
civil law system similar in form to the French system
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
18 years of age; universal
chief of state: President Lt. Gen. CHOUMMALI Saignason (since 8 June 2006); Vice President BOUN-GNANG Volachit (since 8 June 2006)
head of government: Prime Minister THONGSING Thammavong (since 24 December 2010); First Deputy Prime Minister Maj. Gen. ASANG Laoli (since May 2002), Deputy Prime Ministers Maj. Gen. DOUANGCHAI Phichit (since 8 June 2006), SOMSAVAT Lengsavat (since 26 February 1998), and THONGLOUN Sisoulit (since 27 March 2001)
cabinet: Ministers appointed by president, approved by National Assembly
(For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
elections: president and vice president elected by National Assembly for five-year terms; election last held on 30 April 2011 (next to be held in 2016); prime minister nominated by the president and elected by the National Assembly for five-year term
election results: CHOUMMALI Saignason elected president; BOUN-GNANG Volachit elected vice president; percent of National Assembly vote - NA; THONGSING Thammavong elected prime minister; percent of National Assembly vote - NA
unicameral National Assembly (132 seats; members elected by popular vote from a list of candidates selected by the Lao People's Revolutionary Party to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held on 30 April 2011 (next to be held in 2016)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - LPRP 128, independents 4
People's Supreme Court, People's Provincial and Municipal Courts, People's District Courts, and Military Courts
note: the president of the People's Supreme Court is elected by the National Assembly on the recommendation of the National Assembly Standing Committee; the vice president of the People's Supreme Court and the judges are appointed by the National Assembly Standing Committee
Lao People's Revolutionary Party or LPRP [CHOUMMALI Saignason]; other parties proscribed
chief of mission: Ambassador SENG Soukhathivong
chancery: 2222 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 332-6416
FAX: [1] (202) 332-4923
chief of mission: Ambassador Karen B. STEWART
embassy: 19 Rue Bartholonie, That Dam, Vientiane
mailing address: American Embassy Vientiane, APO AP 96546
telephone: [856] 21-26-7000
FAX: [856] 21-26-7190
three horizontal bands of red (top), blue (double width), and red with a large white disk centered in the blue band; the red bands recall the blood shed for liberation; the blue band represents the Mekong River and prosperity; the white disk symbolizes the full moon against the Mekong River, but also signifies the unity of the people under the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, as well as the country's bright future

Mrs. Roberta Tione from Italy
classic tours
 Hallo Mario
We had a nice flight back home, and now we are redatto to get back to work. Which is the hardest part or been back home :( 
The journey through Vietnam was marvellous and did enjoyed very much! We do appreciate your and all the staff in Vietnamtravelart professional!
Thank you for our discovery of your beautiful country! 
Warmest Regards,
Mrs. Roberta Tione from Italy