Facts and stats about Laos

6.7 million

Population. Ranked 102nd in 2013.


GDP per capita. Ranked 138th in 2012.


Burma 235 km, Cambodia 541 km, China 423 km, Thailand 1,754 km, Vietnam 2,130 km
Largest city Vientiane - 442,000
Capital city Vientiane - 442,000
Major language Lao, French (for diplomatic purposes)
Major religion Buddhism
Monetary unit kip
Alternative names Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, lao people's dem. rep., Lao People's Democratic Republic, lao people's dem., Lao People's Dem. Rep., lao people's dem rep., lao people’s democratic republic, Lao PDR, Laos, Lao's People Democratic Republic, Lao P.D.R.
Groups Group object, Group object, Group object, Group object, Group object, Group object

Interesting observations about Laos


In response to -
<i>David</i> - Laos is rich in timber, gypsum, tin, gold, gemstones. It has an unusually <a href=http://www.idrc.ca/en/ev-29549-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html>rich biodiversity</a> and <a href=http://countrystudies.us/laos/46.htm>rich forest resources</a>, which are being depleted because of commercial exploitation and hydro-electric projects. With its <a href=http://www.nationmaster.com/country/la/Environment>environment</a> under threat, Laos is seeking to protect its 68 <a href=http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/env_thr_spe&int=-1>threatened species</a>, including 30 <a href=http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/env_thr_spe_mam&int=-1>mammals</a>. Also see: http://www.country-studies.com/laos/natural-resources.html<p><i>WilliamHayman</i> - <a href=http://www.citypopulation.de/Laos.html>Viangchan (Vientaine)</a> is the largest city in Laos in terms of population, followed by <a href=http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Savannakhet>Savvanakhet</a>.<p><i>Mr Chansavang Sihalath</i> - see: http://www.citypopulation.de/Laos.html#Stadt_gross.

Posted on 24 May 2005

Suchita Vemuri, Staff Editor

Suchita Vemuri, Staff Editor

  • The small and mountainous country called Laos in Southeast Asia is one of the last one-party Communist states together with China, North Korea, Vietnam, and Cuba. It has achieved significant economic growth in recent years because of robust commodity exports, massive multi-billion dollar road, high-speed rail infrastructure projects, massive hydroelectric dams, and large investments from countries like China, Thailand and Vietnam. The communist government imposed a dogmatic Soviet-style command economy system, replacing the private sector with state enterprises and cooperatives; centralizing investment, production, trade, and pricing; and creating barriers to internal and foreign trade.

    Laos owns the world’s smallest stock market. Ironically, it has consistently delivered eight percent annual GDP growth during the last 10 years. Projections have it that the economy, which grew by 8.2 percent in 2013, will decrease by 7.5 percent this year. However, it is expected to recover and expand by eight percent every year until 2018. It has a large-scale hydroelectric power sector. The country already has 13 dams which are fully operational but plans to construct another 70 including the enormous but highly controversial Xayaburi dam in the Mekong River. The Laotian government hopes to produce 12,500 megawatts of power yearly by 2020.

    The problem is that prosperity continues to evade ordinary citizens particularly those living in rural communities. These Laotians remain mired in destitution as the select few in urban centers enjoy spoils of economic success. Although there was a substantial reduction in overall poverty rate, Laos still is one of the poorest nations globally with high incidences of child mortality and low rates of formal school enrollment.

    jaacosta47 15 May 2014

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