Form of Government: Republic
Area: 236 800 sq km
Population: 7 231 000 inhab. (estimate 2020)
Density: 30.54 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 23° - 14° N; long. 100° - 108° E
Capital: Vientiane=Viangchan (capital) 886 000 inhab. (2017);
Currency: new kip (100 at)
Human development index: 0.613 (rank: 137)
President: Thongloun Sisoulith (LPRP), since 22 March 2021
Prime Minister: Phankham Viphavanh (LPRP), elected 22 March 2021
Internet: www.lsb.gov.la (Lao Statistics Bureau)
Member of ASEAN, UN, WTO

Laos

Lao, Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxôn Lao
Useful information

International license plate code LAO
International dialling code 00856
Travel vaccinations requirement yellow fever (required only if traveling from a country with risk of transmission); malaria prophylaxis (recommended)
Electricity (Voltage) 230
Driving side rigth
Internet code .la

GMT  +7
DST  not applied
Annual average temperature (°C) Vientiane 25.6
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Vientiane 21/27
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Vientiane 5/8
Annual average precipitation (mm) Vientiane 1686
Days of rainfall (annual average) Vientiane 109

Geography.
Laos is bordered by China to the north, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south, Thailand to the west and Myanmar (Burma) to the north-west. The north and east of the country is very mountainous. The south-west of the country, along the border marked by the River Mekong, is flat. It has a tropical climate with a monsoon season.

Government


Formerly a French protectorate, Laos became independent under the Geneva Accords (20 July 1954), which put an end to the French colonization of Indo-China. After many years of armed struggle between Nationalist Marxist guerrillas and government forces, (supported by the USA), in 1975, the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) seized power, forced the king to abdicate and installed a socialist regime supported by Vietnam. In the north-west the pro-independence movement of the Hmong-mien is active.
According to the Constitution of 1991, Laos is formally a parliamentary republic but is actually a one-party regime. Legislative power lies in the hands of the National Assembly (149 members elected for five years) which elects the President of the Republic.

Defence
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Air force12$%2017
Army88$%2017
Justice
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Homicides7$per 100 000 pop.2015
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Administrative division

Administrative divisions
Cities
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Vientiane=Viangchan886 000inhab.2017
Savannakhét91 684inhab.2015
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Population

Population by age and gender (% - 2020)
75+
60-74
45-59
30-44
15-29
0-14
MALEAGEFEMALE
Demographic statistics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Birth rate21.22020
Death rate7$2020
Ethnic groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Lao53.2%2015
other20.1%2015


Religions
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Buddhist64.7%2015
nonreligious/atheist31.4%2015


Languages
DESCRIPTION
French
Lao (official)
Population by selected age groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
0-14 years31.2%2020
15-29 years29.8%2020


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Economy


Economic growth, fuelled by the export of hydroelectric energy and by the construction and manufacturing sectors, began to recover in 2021 from the effects of natural disasters occurred in 2019 and the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the work-force is still employed in agriculture. Rice, the main crop, is grown on 60% of the farmland. The cultivation of commercial crops (such as coffee, maize, fruit, cotton and sesame) is relevant. The forests are widely exploited for various kinds of prized timber, especially teak. The country’s underground resources (especially iron, gold, copper and tin, as well as gypsum, coal, silver and zinc) are being exploited thanks to foreign capital. Electricity production (exported to Thailand) is on the increase and comes from numerous hydroelectric power plants in the Mekong basin.
Key industrial sectors include engineering (vehicle and motorcycle assembly), electronic components and the processing of timber, tobacco and cement. Craft-making activities are also practised on a wide scale (ceramics and earthenware). Tourism is increasing. The public accounts deficit is high and the trade budget is in the red: the country imports consumer goods, machinery and fuels; it exports electricity, coffee, timber, copper and gold. Its main trading partners are Thailand and China. The Banque d’État de la RDP Lao acts as the central bank. Several foreign commercial banks operate in the country. There is a stock exchange in Vientiane (since 2011).

Economy - General data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)219.25index2016
Agricultural prod. index (2014-16=100)102.06index2019
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population3 828 608units2020
Active population, Females49$%2019
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate1$%2020
Unemployment rate, Females44.5%2019
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses17 173 000M LCU2018
Revenues22 888 000M LCU2018
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture62.4%2019
industry11.9%2019
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture17.207%2019
industry34.789%2019
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation3 715.3BN LCU2008
International reserves1 392.601M US$2020
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Agriculture

Land use
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
arable land7.448%2018
forests72.203%2018
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cereals, total4 1551000 t2019
maize7171000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cassava2 258.7021000 t2019
potatoes16.0491000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chillies and peppers16.8281000 t2019
muskmelons22.0241000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry4.4441000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts53.1851000 t2019
sesame seed16.6551000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Aromatics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coffee165.8881000 t2019
nutmeg3.0421000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar cane1 970.5661000 t2019
tobacco56.7061000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton5.8081000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
fruits, total1 513.6271000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits103.5491000 t2019
grapefruits6.3321000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bananas1 056.4651000 t2019
mangoes5.2581000 t2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
maize1481000 ha2019
rice783.7661000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cassava67.7261000 ha2019
potatoes0.6341000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chillies and peppers12.8591000 ha2019
muskmelons1.6511000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry2.7011000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts20.0961000 ha2019
sesame seed13.1151000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Aromatics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coffee87.8171000 ha2019
nutmeg8.6691000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar cane31.8261000 ha2019
tobacco5.5151000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cotton
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
seed cotton1.8821000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits12.9721000 ha2019
grapefruits1.7121000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bananas24.5031000 ha2019
mangoes0.6261000 ha2019
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
timber7 164 1712019
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle2 092.3441000 heads2019
cattle and buffaloes3 302.0561000 heads2019
Livestock - Buffaloes
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
buffaloes1 209.7121000 heads2019
Livestock - Pigs
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
pigs3 795.561000 heads2019
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats639.7151000 heads2019
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
equines, total23.721000 heads2019
horses23.721000 heads2019
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds45 1051000 heads2019
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
eggs16.6761000 t2019
hides and skins8.941000 t2019
Fishing
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
freshwater fishes183 820t2019
total catch183 900t2019
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Minerals

Mineral resources - Energy minerals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coal320.21000 t2020
coal, total14 686.81000 t2020
Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
antimony0.11000 t2020
copper39.71000 t2020
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barite3301000 t2020
clay60.81000 t2018
Mineral resources - Rocks
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
limestone2 614.11000 t2020
Mineral resources - Precious metals and stones
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
gold5 579kg2018
sapphire - ct1 2001000 ct2011
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- hydro19 330M kWh2019
- thermal11 297.86M kWh2018
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- hydro5 3001000 kW2019
- thermal1 9181000 kW2018
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation33 464.58M kWh2018
total installed capacity7 235.221000 kW2018
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Industry

Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bismuth1$1000 t2020
copper68.21000 t2018
Industry - Chemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
paints7.81000 t2014
plastics13.51000 t2014
Industry - Textiles
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
fabrics - m2 8561000 metres2014
Industry - Clothing and footwear
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
footwear2 259 758pairs2020
Industry - Food and beverages
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beer of barley39.391000 t2018
cottonseed oil0.6881000 t2018
Industry - Tobacco
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cigarettes, packs2 880.9M units2020
tobacco455 300t2020
Industry - Paper and wood products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemical pulp1561000 t2019
wood pulp, total3701000 t2019
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement6 1621000 t2020
Industry - Various
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemicals production28.589M US$2017
food, beverages and tobacco production420.689M US$2017
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Trade

Composition of goods exports
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
fuels27.05% of goods exports2019
ores and metals22.478% of goods exports2019
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Thailand470M US$2007
Vietnam167M US$2006
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Thailand1 314M US$2007
China178M US$2007
Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
20206 050M US$ -
20195 806M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
20205 240M US$ -
20196 272M US$ -
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Tourism

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenditures1 029M US$2019
Number of arrivals4 384 000units2019
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Communications


A train line between Kunming (China) and Vientiane is under construction, as well as another one connecting with Vietnam. The River Mekong and its tributaries are used extensively as a vital means of communication.

Communication - Transport
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Civil aviation, km flown3 100 000km flown2004
Civil aviation, passengers carried979.31000 units2019
Communication - Media and telecommunication
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Broadband subscribers10.64per 1000 pop.2019
Computers17$per 1000 pop.2005
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Social and welfare

Social statistics - Education
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expected years of schooling10.479years2019
Graduates31 896units2018
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Students, primary level770 659units2019
Students, secondary level666 155units2019
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds1.3per 1000 pop.2020
Physicians0.67per 1000 pop.2020
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
HIV0.3% of adults2019
HIV, total0.02%2001
Museums
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Museums27$units2020
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking7.9%2019
Access to electricity100%2019
Household consumption expenditure
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
clothing, footwear1.9%2008
food, non-alcoholic beverages50.1%2008
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