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Laos, See : Flags, Maps

Laos Folk-Lore of Farther India, Katherine Neville Fleeson

Laos Stamps 1951 - 1975

Laos (East & Southeast Asia)


Introduction :: Laos

Background: This entry usually highlights major historic events and current issues and may include a statement about one or two key future trends. Background field listing
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

Location: This entry identifies the country's regional location, neighboring countries, and adjacent bodies of water. Location field listing
Southeastern Asia, northeast of Thailand, west of Vietnam
Geographic coordinates: This entry includes rounded latitude and longitude figures for the centroid or center point of a country expressed in degrees and minutes; it is based on the locations provided in the Geographic Names Server (GNS), maintained by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency on behalf of the US Board on Geographic Names. Geographic coordinates field listing
18 00 N, 105 00 E
Map references: This entry includes the name of the Factbook reference map on which a country may be found. Note that boundary representations on these maps are not necessarily authoritative. The entry on Geographic coordinates may be helpful in finding some smaller countries. Map references field listing
Southeast Asia
Area: This entry includes three subfields. Total area is the sum of all land and water areas delimited by international boundaries and/or coastlines. Land area is the aggregate of all surfaces delimited by international boundaries and/or coastlines, excluding inland water bodies (lakes, reservoirs, rivers). Water area is the sum of the surfaces of all inland water bodies, such as lakes, reservoirs, or rivers, as delimited by international boundaries and/or coastlines. Area field listing
total: 236,800 sq km
land: 230,800 sq km
water: 6,000 sq km
country comparison to the world: 85
Area - comparative: This entry provides an area comparison based on total area equivalents. Most entities are compared with the entire US or one of the 50 states based on area measurements (1990 revised) provided by the US Bureau of the Census. The smaller entities are compared with Washington, DC (178 sq km, 69 sq mi) or The Mall in Washington, DC (0.59 sq km, 0.23 sq mi, 146 acres). Area - comparative field listing
about twice the size of Pennsylvania; slightly larger than Utah
Area comparison map: Area comparison map
Land boundaries: This entry contains the total length of all land boundaries and the individual lengths for each of the contiguous border countries. When available, official lengths published by national statistical agencies are used. Because surveying methods may differ, country border lengths reported by contiguous countries may differ. Land boundaries field listing
total: 5,274 km
border countries (5): Burma 238 km, Cambodia 555 km, China 475 km, Thailand 1845 km, Vietnam 2161 km
Coastline: This entry gives the total length of the boundary between the land area (including islands) and the sea. Coastline field listing
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: This entry includes the following claims, the definitions of which are excerpted from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which alone contains the full and definitive descriptions: territorial sea - the sovereignty of a coastal state extends beyond its land territory and internal waters to an adjacent belt of sea, described as the territorial sea in the UNCLOS (Part II); this sovereignty extends to the air space over the territorial sea as well as its underlying s . . . more Maritime claims field listing
none (landlocked)
Climate: This entry includes a brief description of typical weather regimes throughout the year; in the Word entry only, it includes four subfields that describe climate extremes:ten driest places on earth (average annual precipitation) describes the annual average precipitation measured in both millimeters and inches for selected countries with climate extremes. ten wettest places on earth (average annual precipitation) describes the annual average precipitation measured in both millimeters and i . . . more Climate field listing
tropical monsoon; rainy season (May to November); dry season (December to April)
Terrain: This entry contains a brief description of the topography. Terrain field listing
mostly rugged mountains; some plains and plateaus
Elevation: This entry includes the mean elevation and elevation extremes, lowest point and highest point. Elevation field listing
mean elevation: 710 m
lowest point: Mekong River 70 m
highest point: Phu Bia 2,817 m
Natural resources: This entry lists a country's mineral, petroleum, hydropower, and other resources of commercial importance, such as rare earth elements (REEs). In general, products appear only if they make a significant contribution to the economy, or are likely to do so in the future. Natural resources field listing
timber, hydropower, gypsum, tin, gold, gemstones
Land use: This entry contains the percentage shares of total land area for three different types of land use: agricultural land, forest, and other; agricultural land is further divided into arable land - land cultivated for crops like wheat, maize, and rice that are replanted after each harvest, permanent crops - land cultivated for crops like citrus, coffee, and rubber that are not replanted after each harvest, and includes land under flowering shrubs, fruit trees, nut trees, and vines, and permane . . . more Land use field listing
agricultural land: 10.6% (2011 est.)
arable land: 6.2% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0.7% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 3.7% (2011 est.)
forest: 67.9% (2011 est.)
other: 21.5% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: This entry gives the number of square kilometers of land area that is artificially supplied with water. Irrigated land field listing
3,100 sq km (2012)
Population distribution: This entry provides a summary description of the population dispersion within a country. While it may suggest population density, it does not provide density figures. Population distribution field listing
most densely populated area is in and around the capital city of Vientiane; large communities are primarily found along the Mekong River along the southwestern border; overall density is considered one of the lowest in Southeast Asia
Natural hazards: This entry lists potential natural disasters. For countries where volcanic activity is common, a volcanism subfield highlights historically active volcanoes. Natural hazards field listing
floods, droughts
Environment - current issues: This entry lists the most pressing and important environmental problems. The following terms and abbreviations are used throughout the entry: Acidification - the lowering of soil and water pH due to acid precipitation and deposition usually through precipitation; this process disrupts ecosystem nutrient flows and may kill freshwater fish and plants dependent on more neutral or alkaline conditions (see acid rain). Acid rain - characterized as containing harmful levels of sulfur dioxi . . . more Environment - current issues field listing
unexploded ordnance; deforestation; soil erosion; loss of biodiversity; water pollution, most of the population does not have access to potable water
Environment - international agreements: This entry separates country participation in international environmental agreements into two levels - party to and signed, but not ratified. Agreements are listed in alphabetical order by the abbreviated form of the full name. Environment - international agreements field listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: This entry includes miscellaneous geographic information of significance not included elsewhere. Geography - note field listing
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

Population: This entry gives an estimate from the US Bureau of the Census based on statistics from population censuses, vital statistics registration systems, or sample surveys pertaining to the recent past and on assumptions about future trends. The total population presents one overall measure of the potential impact of the country on the world and within its region. Note: Starting with the 1993 Factbook, demographic estimates for some countries (mostly African) have explicitly taken into account t . . . more Population field listing
7,447,396 (July 2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101
Nationality: This entry provides the identifying terms for citizens - noun and adjective. Nationality field listing
noun: Lao(s) or Laotian(s)
adjective: Lao or Laotian
Ethnic groups: This entry provides an ordered listing of ethnic groups starting with the largest and normally includes the percent of total population. Ethnic groups field listing
Lao 53.2%, Khmou 11%, Hmong 9.2%, Phouthay 3.4%, Tai 3.1%, Makong 2.5%, Katong 2.2%, Lue 2%, Akha 1.8%, other 11.6% (2015 est.)

note: the Laos Government officially recognizes 49 ethnic groups, but the total number of ethnic groups is estimated to be well over 200
Languages: This entry provides a listing of languages spoken in each country and specifies any that are official national or regional languages. When data is available, the languages spoken in each country are broken down according to the percent of the total population speaking each language as a first language. For those countries without available data, languages are listed in rank order based on prevalence, starting with the most-spoken language. Languages field listing
Lao (official), French, English, various ethnic languages
Religions: This entry is an ordered listing of religions by adherents starting with the largest group and sometimes includes the percent of total population. The core characteristics and beliefs of the world's major religions are described below. Baha'i - Founded by Mirza Husayn-Ali (known as Baha'u'llah) in Iran in 1852, Baha'i faith emphasizes monotheism and believes in one eternal transcendent God. Its guiding focus is to encourage the unity of all peoples on the earth so that justice and peace m . . . more Religions field listing
Buddhist 64.7%, Christian 1.7%, none 31.4%, other/not stated 2.1% (2015 est.)
Age structure: This entry provides the distribution of the population according to age. Information is included by sex and age group as follows: 0-14 years (children), 15-24 years (early working age), 25-54 years (prime working age), 55-64 years (mature working age), 65 years and over (elderly). The age structure of a population affects a nation's key socioeconomic issues. Countries with young populations (high percentage under age 15) need to invest more in schools, while countries with older population . . . more Age structure field listing
0-14 years: 31.25% (male 1,177,297/female 1,149,727)
15-24 years: 20.6% (male 763,757/female 770,497)
25-54 years: 38.29% (male 1,407,823/female 1,443,774)
55-64 years: 5.73% (male 206,977/female 219,833)
65 years and over: 4.13% (male 139,665/female 168,046) (2020 est.)
population pyramid: population pyramid
Dependency ratios: Dependency ratios are a measure of the age structure of a population. They relate the number of individuals that are likely to be economically "dependent" on the support of others. Dependency ratios contrast the ratio of youths (ages 0-14) and the elderly (ages 65+) to the number of those in the working-age group (ages 15-64). Changes in the dependency ratio provide an indication of potential social support requirements resulting from changes in population age structures. As fertility leve . . . more Dependency ratios field listing
total dependency ratio: 56.8
youth dependency ratio: 50.1
elderly dependency ratio: 6.7
potential support ratio: 15 (2020 est.)
Median age: This entry is the age that divides a population into two numerically equal groups; that is, half the people are younger than this age and half are older. It is a single index that summarizes the age distribution of a population. Currently, the median age ranges from a low of about 15 in Niger and Uganda to 40 or more in several European countries and Japan. See the entry for "Age structure" for the importance of a young versus an older age structure and, by implication, a low versus a high . . . more Median age field listing
total: 24 years
male: 23.7 years
female: 24.4 years (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170
Population growth rate: The average annual percent change in the population, resulting from a surplus (or deficit) of births over deaths and the balance of migrants entering and leaving a country. The rate may be positive or negative. The growth rate is a factor in determining how great a burden would be imposed on a country by the changing needs of its people for infrastructure (e.g., schools, hospitals, housing, roads), resources (e.g., food, water, electricity), and jobs. Rapid population growth can be seen as . . . more Population growth rate field listing
1.44% (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76
Birth rate: This entry gives the average annual number of births during a year per 1,000 persons in the population at midyear; also known as crude birth rate. The birth rate is usually the dominant factor in determining the rate of population growth. It depends on both the level of fertility and the age structure of the population. Birth rate field listing
22.4 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64
Death rate: This entry gives the average annual number of deaths during a year per 1,000 population at midyear; also known as crude death rate. The death rate, while only a rough indicator of the mortality situation in a country, accurately indicates the current mortality impact on population growth. This indicator is significantly affected by age distribution, and most countries will eventually show a rise in the overall death rate, in spite of continued decline in mortality at all ages, as declining . . . more Death rate field listing
7.2 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119
Net migration rate: This entry includes the figure for the difference between the number of persons entering and leaving a country during the year per 1,000 persons (based on midyear population). An excess of persons entering the country is referred to as net immigration (e.g., 3.56 migrants/1,000 population); an excess of persons leaving the country as net emigration (e.g., -9.26 migrants/1,000 population). The net migration rate indicates the contribution of migration to the overall level of population chan . . . more Net migration rate field listing
-1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144
Population distribution: This entry provides a summary description of the population dispersion within a country. While it may suggest population density, it does not provide density figures. Population distribution field listing
most densely populated area is in and around the capital city of Vientiane; large communities are primarily found along the Mekong River along the southwestern border; overall density is considered one of the lowest in Southeast Asia
Urbanization: This entry provides two measures of the degree of urbanization of a population. The first, urban population, describes the percentage of the total population living in urban areas, as defined by the country. The second, rate of urbanization, describes the projected average rate of change of the size of the urban population over the given period of time. It is possible for a country with a 100% urban population to still display a change in the rate of urbanization (up or down). For example . . . more Urbanization field listing
urban population: 36.3% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 3.28% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: This entry provides the population of the capital and up to six major cities defined as urban agglomerations with populations of at least 750,000 people. An urban agglomeration is defined as comprising the city or town proper and also the suburban fringe or thickly settled territory lying outside of, but adjacent to, the boundaries of the city. For smaller countries, lacking urban centers of 750,000 or more, only the population of the capital is presented. Major urban areas - population field listing
683,000 VIENTIANE (capital) (2020)
Sex ratio: This entry includes the number of males for each female in five age groups - at birth, under 15 years, 15-64 years, 65 years and over, and for the total population. Sex ratio at birth has recently emerged as an indicator of certain kinds of sex discrimination in some countries. For instance, high sex ratios at birth in some Asian countries are now attributed to sex-selective abortion and infanticide due to a strong preference for sons. This will affect future marriage patterns and fertilit . . . more Sex ratio field listing
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: 0.94 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: The maternal mortality rate (MMR) is the annual number of female deaths per 100,000 live births from any cause related to or aggravated by pregnancy or its management (excluding accidental or incidental causes). The MMR includes deaths during pregnancy, childbirth, or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, for a specified year. Maternal mortality rate field listing
185 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50
Infant mortality rate: This entry gives the number of deaths of infants under one year old in a given year per 1,000 live births in the same year. This rate is often used as an indicator of the level of health in a country. Infant mortality rate field listing
total: 45.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 50.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 40.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29
Life expectancy at birth: This entry contains the average number of years to be lived by a group of people born in the same year, if mortality at each age remains constant in the future. Life expectancy at birth is also a measure of overall quality of life in a country and summarizes the mortality at all ages. It can also be thought of as indicating the potential return on investment in human capital and is necessary for the calculation of various actuarial measures. Life expectancy at birth field listing
total population: 65.7 years
male: 63.6 years
female: 67.9 years (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 193
Total fertility rate: This entry gives a figure for the average number of children that would be born per woman if all women lived to the end of their childbearing years and bore children according to a given fertility rate at each age. The total fertility rate (TFR) is a more direct measure of the level of fertility than the crude birth rate, since it refers to births per woman. This indicator shows the potential for population change in the country. A rate of two children per woman is considered the replaceme . . . more Total fertility rate field listing
2.53 children born/woman (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 70
Contraceptive prevalence rate: This field gives the percent of women of reproductive age (15-49) who are married or in union and are using, or whose sexual partner is using, a method of contraception according to the date of the most recent available data. The contraceptive prevalence rate is an indicator of health services, development, and women’s empowerment. It is also useful in understanding, past, present, and future fertility trends, especially in developing countries. Contraceptive prevalence rate field listing
54.1% (2017)
Drinking water source: This entry provides information about access to improved or unimproved drinking water sources available to segments of the population of a country. Improved drinking water - use of any of the following sources: piped water into dwelling, yard, or plot; public tap or standpipe; tubewell or borehole; protected dug well; protected spring; or rainwater collection. Unimproved drinking water - use of any of the following sources: unprotected dug well; unprotected spring; cart with small tank or . . . more Drinking water source field listing
improved: urban: 85.6% of population
rural: 69.4% of population
total: 75.7% of population
unimproved: urban: 14.4% of population
rural: 30.6% of population
total: 24.3% of population (2015 est.)
Current Health Expenditure: Current Health Expenditure (CHE) describes the share of spending on health in each country relative to the size of its economy. It includes expenditures corresponding to the final consumption of health care goods and services and excludes investment, exports, and intermediate consumption. CHE shows the importance of the health sector in the economy and indicates the priority given to health in monetary terms. Note: Current Health Expenditure replaces the former Health Expenditures field . . . more Current Health Expenditure field listing
2.5% (2017)
Physicians density: This entry gives the number of medical doctors (physicians), including generalist and specialist medical practitioners, per 1,000 of the population. Medical doctors are defined as doctors that study, diagnose, treat, and prevent illness, disease, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans through the application of modern medicine. They also plan, supervise, and evaluate care and treatment plans by other health care providers. The World Health Organization estimates that f . . . more Physicians density field listing
0.5 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density: This entry provides the number of hospital beds per 1,000 people; it serves as a general measure of inpatient service availability. Hospital beds include inpatient beds available in public, private, general, and specialized hospitals and rehabilitation centers. In most cases, beds for both acute and chronic care are included. Because the level of inpatient services required for individual countries depends on several factors - such as demographic issues and the burden of disease - there is . . . more Hospital bed density field listing
1.5 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Sanitation facility access: This entry provides information about access to improved or unimproved sanitation facilities available to segments of the population of a country. Improved sanitation - use of any of the following facilities: flush or pour-flush to a piped sewer system, septic tank or pit latrine; ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrine; pit latrine with slab; or a composting toilet. Unimproved sanitation - use of any of the following facilities: flush or pour-flush not piped to a sewer system, septic tank . . . more Sanitation facility access field listing
improved: urban: 94.5% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 56% of population (2015 est.)
total: 70.9% of population (2015 est.)
unimproved: urban: 5.5% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 44% of population (2015 est.)
total: 29.1% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: This entry gives an estimate of the percentage of adults (aged 15-49) living with HIV/AIDS. The adult prevalence rate is calculated by dividing the estimated number of adults living with HIV/AIDS at yearend by the total adult population at yearend. HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
0.3% (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 90
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: This entry gives an estimate of all people (adults and children) alive at yearend with HIV infection, whether or not they have developed symptoms of AIDS. HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
12,000 (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 96
HIV/AIDS - deaths: This entry gives an estimate of the number of adults and children who died of AIDS during a given calendar year. HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
<500 (2018 est.)
Major infectious diseases: This entry lists major infectious diseases likely to be encountered in countries where the risk of such diseases is assessed to be very high as compared to the United States. These infectious diseases represent risks to US government personnel traveling to the specified country for a period of less than three years. The degree of risk is assessed by considering the foreign nature of these infectious diseases, their severity, and the probability of being affected by the diseases present. Th . . . more Major infectious diseases field listing
degree of risk: very high (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: This entry gives the percent of a country's population considered to be obese. Obesity is defined as an adult having a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater to or equal to 30.0. BMI is calculated by taking a person's weight in kg and dividing it by the person's squared height in meters. Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
5.3% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 179
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: This entry gives the percent of children under five considered to be underweight. Underweight means weight-for-age is approximately 2 kg below for standard at age one, 3 kg below standard for ages two and three, and 4 kg below standard for ages four and five. This statistic is an indicator of the nutritional status of a community. Children who suffer from growth retardation as a result of poor diets and/or recurrent infections tend to have a greater risk of suffering illness and death. Children under the age of 5 years underweight field listing
26.9% (2011)
country comparison to the world: 16
Education expenditures: This entry provides the public expenditure on education as a percent of GDP. Education expenditures field listing
2.9% of GDP (2014)
country comparison to the world: 141
Literacy: This entry includes a definition of literacy and UNESCO's percentage estimates for populations aged 15 years and over, including total population, males, and females. There are no universal definitions and standards of literacy. Unless otherwise specified, all rates are based on the most common definition - the ability to read and write at a specified age. Detailing the standards that individual countries use to assess the ability to read and write is beyond the scope of the Factbook. Info . . . more Literacy field listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 84.7%
male: 90%
female: 79.4% (2015)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): School life expectancy (SLE) is the total number of years of schooling (primary to tertiary) that a child can expect to receive, assuming that the probability of his or her being enrolled in school at any particular future age is equal to the current enrollment ratio at that age. Caution must be maintained when utilizing this indicator in international comparisons. For example, a year or grade completed in one country is not necessarily the same in terms of educational content or qualit . . . more School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) field listing
total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2017)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: This entry gives the percent of the total labor force ages 15-24 unemployed during a specified year. Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 field listing
total: 18.2%
male: 20.8%
female: 15.5% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 72

Government :: Laos

Country name: This entry includes all forms of the country's name approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (Italy is used as an example): conventional long form (Italian Republic), conventional short form (Italy), local long form (Repubblica Italiana), local short form (Italia), former (Kingdom of Italy), as well as the abbreviation. Also see the Terminology note. Country name field listing
conventional long form: Lao People's Democratic Republic
conventional short form: Laos
local long form: Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao
local short form: Mueang Lao (unofficial)
etymology: name means "Land of the Lao [people]"
Government type: This entry gives the basic form of government. Definitions of the major governmental terms are as follows. (Note that for some countries more than one definition applies.): Absolute monarchy - a form of government where the monarch rules unhindered, i.e., without any laws, constitution, or legally organized opposition. Anarchy - a condition of lawlessness or political disorder brought about by the absence of governmental authority. Authoritarian - a form of government in whic . . . more Government type field listing
communist state
Capital: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones. Capital field listing
name: Vientiane (Viangchan)
geographic coordinates: 17 58 N, 102 36 E
time difference: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: the meaning in Pali, a Buddhist liturgical language, is "city of sandalwood"
Administrative divisions: This entry generally gives the numbers, designatory terms, and first-order administrative divisions as approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Changes that have been reported but not yet acted on by the BGN are noted. Geographic names conform to spellings approved by the BGN with the exception of the omission of diacritical marks and special characters. Administrative divisions field listing
17 provinces (khoueng, singular and plural) and 1 prefecture* (kampheng nakhon); Attapu, Bokeo, Bolikhamxai, Champasak, Houaphan, Khammouan, Louangnamtha, Louangphabang, Oudomxai, Phongsali, Salavan, Savannakhet, Viangchan (Vientiane)*, Viangchan, Xaignabouli, Xaisomboun, Xekong, Xiangkhouang
Independence: For most countries, this entry gives the date that sovereignty was achieved and from which nation, empire, or trusteeship. For the other countries, the date given may not represent "independence" in the strict sense, but rather some significant nationhood event such as the traditional founding date or the date of unification, federation, confederation, establishment, fundamental change in the form of government, or state succession. For a number of countries, the establishment of statehood . . . more Independence field listing
19 July 1949 (from France by the Franco-Lao General Convention); 22 October 1953 (Franco-Lao Treaty recognizes full independence)
National holiday: This entry gives the primary national day of celebration - usually independence day. National holiday field listing
Republic Day (National Day), 2 December (1975)
Constitution: This entry provides information on a country’s constitution and includes two subfields. The history subfield includes the dates of previous constitutions and the main steps and dates in formulating and implementing the latest constitution. For countries with 1-3 previous constitutions, the years are listed; for those with 4-9 previous, the entry is listed as “several previous,” and for those with 10 or more, the entry is “many previous.” The amendments subfield summarizes the process of am . . . more Constitution field listing
history: previous 1947 (preindependence); latest promulgated 13-15 August 1991
amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the Assembly membership and promulgation by the president of the republic; amended 2003, 2015 (2018)
Legal system: This entry provides the description of a country's legal system. A statement on judicial review of legislative acts is also included for a number of countries. The legal systems of nearly all countries are generally modeled upon elements of five main types: civil law (including French law, the Napoleonic Code, Roman law, Roman-Dutch law, and Spanish law); common law (including United State law); customary law; mixed or pluralistic law; and religious law (including Islamic law). An addition . . . more Legal system field listing
civil law system similar in form to the French system
International law organization participation: This entry includes information on a country's acceptance of jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and of the International Criminal Court (ICCt); 59 countries have accepted ICJ jurisdiction with reservations and 11 have accepted ICJ jurisdiction without reservations; 122 countries have accepted ICCt jurisdiction. Appendix B: International Organizations and Groups explains the differing mandates of the ICJ and ICCt. International law organization participation field listing
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Citizenship: This entry provides information related to the acquisition and exercise of citizenship; it includes four subfields: citizenship by birth describes the acquisition of citizenship based on place of birth, known as Jus soli, regardless of the citizenship of parents. citizenship by descent only describes the acquisition of citizenship based on the principle of Jus sanguinis, or by descent, where at least one parent is a citizen of the state and being born within the territorial limits of the s . . . more Citizenship field listing
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Laos
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
Suffrage: This entry gives the age at enfranchisement and whether the right to vote is universal or restricted. Suffrage field listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: This entry includes five subentries: chief of state; head of government; cabinet; elections/appointments; election results. Chief of state includes the name, title, and beginning date in office of the titular leader of the country who represents the state at official and ceremonial functions but may not be involved with the day-to-day activities of the government. Head of government includes the name, title of the top executive designated to manage the executive branch of the government, a . . . more Executive branch field listing
chief of state: President BOUNNYANG Vorachit (since 20 April 2016); Vice President PHANKHAM Viphavan (since 20 April 2016)
head of government: Prime Minister THONGLOUN Sisoulit (since 20 April 2016); Deputy Prime Ministers BOUNTHONG Chitmani, SONXAI Siphandon, SOMDI Douangdi (since 20 April 2016)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president, approved by the National Assembly
elections/appointments: president and vice president indirectly elected by the National Assembly for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 20 April 2016 (next to be held in 2021); prime minister nominated by the president, elected by the National Assembly for 5-year term
election results: BOUNNYANG Vorachit (LPRP) elected president; PHANKHAM Viphavan (LPRP) elected vice president; percent of National Assembly vote - NA; THONGLOUN Sisoulit (LPRP) elected prime minister; percent of National Assembly vote - NA
Legislative branch: This entry has three subfields. The description subfield provides the legislative structure (unicameral – single house; bicameral – an upper and a lower house); formal name(s); number of member seats; types of constituencies or voting districts (single seat, multi-seat, nationwide); electoral voting system(s); and member term of office. The elections subfield includes the dates of the last election and next election. The election results subfield lists percent of vote by party/coalition an . . . more Legislative branch field listing
description: unicameral National Assembly or Sapha Heng Xat (149 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote from candidate lists provided by the Lao People's Revolutionary Party; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 20 March 2016 (next to be held in 2021)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - LPRP 144, independent 5; composition - men 108, women 41, percent of women 27.5%
Judicial branch: This entry includes three subfields. The highest court(s) subfield includes the name(s) of a country's highest level court(s), the number and titles of the judges, and the types of cases heard by the court, which commonly are based on civil, criminal, administrative, and constitutional law. A number of countries have separate constitutional courts. The judge selection and term of office subfield includes the organizations and associated officials responsible for nominating and appointing j . . . more Judicial branch field listing
highest courts: People's Supreme Court (consists of the court president and organized into criminal, civil, administrative, commercial, family, and juvenile chambers, each with a vice president and several judges)
judge selection and term of office: president of People's Supreme Court appointed by the National Assembly upon the recommendation of the president of the republic for a 5-year term; vice presidents of the People's Supreme Court appointed by the president of the republic upon the recommendation of the National Assembly; appointment of chamber judges NA; tenure of court vice presidents and chamber judges NA
subordinate courts: appellate courts; provincial, municipal, district, and military courts
Political parties and leaders: This entry includes a listing of significant political parties, coalitions, and electoral lists as of each country's last legislative election, unless otherwise noted. Political parties and leaders field listing
Lao People's Revolutionary Party or LPRP [BOUNNYANG Vorachit]

note: other parties proscribed
International organization participation: This entry lists in alphabetical order by abbreviation those international organizations in which the subject country is a member or participates in some other way. International organization participation field listing
ADB, ARF, ASEAN, CP, EAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO (subscriber), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: This entry includes the chief of mission, chancery address, telephone, FAX, consulate general locations, and consulate locations. The use of the annotated title Appointed Ambassador refers to a new ambassador who has presented his/her credentials to the secretary of state but not the US president. Such ambassadors fulfill all diplomatic functions except meeting with or appearing at functions attended by the president until such time as they formally present their credentials at a White Hou . . . more Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
Ambassador KHAMPHAN Anlavan (since January 2019)
chancery: 2222 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 332-6416
FAX: [1] (202) 332-4923
consulate(s): New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: This entry includes the chief of mission, embassy address, mailing address, telephone number, FAX number, branch office locations, consulate general locations, and consulate locations. Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Peter HAYMOND (since 7 February 2020)
telephone: [856] 21-48-7000
embassy: Thadeua Road, Kilometer 9, Ban Somvang Tai, Hatsayfong District, Vientiane
mailing address: American Embassy Vientiane, Unit 46222, APO AP 96546-6222
FAX: [856] 21-48-7190
Flag description: This entry provides a written flag description produced from actual flags or the best information available at the time the entry was written. The flags of independent states are used by their dependencies unless there is an officially recognized local flag. Some disputed and other areas do not have flags. Flag description field listing
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
National symbol(s): A national symbol is a faunal, floral, or other abstract representation - or some distinctive object - that over time has come to be closely identified with a country or entity. Not all countries have national symbols; a few countries have more than one. National symbol(s) field listing
elephant; national colors: red, white, blue
National anthem: A generally patriotic musical composition - usually in the form of a song or hymn of praise - that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions, or struggles of a nation or its people. National anthems can be officially recognized as a national song by a country's constitution or by an enacted law, or simply by tradition. Although most anthems contain lyrics, some do not. National anthem field listing
name: "Pheng Xat Lao" (Hymn of the Lao People)
lyrics/music: SISANA Sisane/THONGDY Sounthonevichit

note: music adopted 1945, lyrics adopted 1975; the anthem's lyrics were changed following the 1975 Communist revolution that overthrew the monarchy

Economy :: Laos

Economy - overview: This entry briefly describes the type of economy, including the degree of market orientation, the level of economic development, the most important natural resources, and the unique areas of specialization. It also characterizes major economic events and policy changes in the most recent 12 months and may include a statement about one or two key future macroeconomic trends. Economy - overview field listing

The government of Laos, one of the few remaining one-party communist states, began decentralizing control and encouraging private enterprise in 1986. Economic growth averaged more than 6% per year in the period 1988-2008, and Laos' growth has more recently been amongst the fastest in Asia, averaging more than 7% per year for most of the last decade.

Nevertheless, Laos remains a country with an underdeveloped infrastructure, particularly in rural areas. It has a basic, but improving, road system, and limited external and internal land-line telecommunications. Electricity is available to 83% of the population. Agriculture, dominated by rice cultivation in lowland areas, accounts for about 20% of GDP and 73% of total employment. Recently, the country has faced a persistent current account deficit, falling foreign currency reserves, and growing public debt.

Laos' economy is heavily dependent on capital-intensive natural resource exports. The economy has benefited from high-profile foreign direct investment in hydropower dams along the Mekong River, copper and gold mining, logging, and construction, although some projects in these industries have drawn criticism for their environmental impacts.

Laos gained Normal Trade Relations status with the US in 2004 and applied for Generalized System of Preferences trade benefits in 2013 after being admitted to the World Trade Organization earlier in the year. Laos held the chairmanship of ASEAN in 2016. Laos is in the process of implementing a value-added tax system. The government appears committed to raising the country's profile among foreign investors and has developed special economic zones replete with generous tax incentives, but a limited labor pool, a small domestic market, and corruption remain impediments to investment. Laos also has ongoing problems with the business environment, including onerous registration requirements, a gap between legislation and implementation, and unclear or conflicting regulations.
GDP (purchasing power parity): This entry gives the gross domestic product (GDP) or value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year. A nation's GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rates is the sum value of all goods and services produced in the country valued at prices prevailing in the United States in the year noted. This is the measure most economists prefer when looking at per-capita welfare and when comparing living conditions or use of resources across countries. The measur . . . more GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
$49.34 billion (2017 est.)
$46.16 billion (2016 est.)
$43.13 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 111
GDP (official exchange rate): This entry gives the gross domestic product (GDP) or value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year. A nation's GDP at official exchange rates (OER) is the home-currency-denominated annual GDP figure divided by the bilateral average US exchange rate with that country in that year. The measure is simple to compute and gives a precise measure of the value of output. Many economists prefer this measure when gauging the economic power an economy maintains vis- . . . more GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
$16.97 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: This entry gives GDP growth on an annual basis adjusted for inflation and expressed as a percent. The growth rates are year-over-year, and not compounded. GDP - real growth rate field listing
6.9% (2017 est.)
7% (2016 est.)
7.3% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 22
GDP - per capita (PPP): This entry shows GDP on a purchasing power parity basis divided by population as of 1 July for the same year. GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
$7,400 (2017 est.)
$7,000 (2016 est.)
$6,600 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 155
Gross national saving: Gross national saving is derived by deducting final consumption expenditure (household plus government) from Gross national disposable income, and consists of personal saving, plus business saving (the sum of the capital consumption allowance and retained business profits), plus government saving (the excess of tax revenues over expenditures), but excludes foreign saving (the excess of imports of goods and services over exports). The figures are presented as a percent of GDP. A negative . . . more Gross national saving field listing
22.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
21.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
15.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 79
GDP - composition, by end use: This entry shows who does the spending in an economy: consumers, businesses, government, and foreigners. The distribution gives the percentage contribution to total GDP of household consumption, government consumption, investment in fixed capital, investment in inventories, exports of goods and services, and imports of goods and services, and will total 100 percent of GDP if the data are complete. household consumption consists of expenditures by resident households, and by nonprofit insti . . . more GDP - composition, by end use field listing
household consumption: 63.7% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 14.1% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 30.9% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 3.1% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 34.6% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -43.2% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: This entry shows where production takes place in an economy. The distribution gives the percentage contribution of agriculture, industry, and services to total GDP, and will total 100 percent of GDP if the data are complete. Agriculture includes farming, fishing, and forestry. Industry includes mining, manufacturing, energy production, and construction. Services cover government activities, communications, transportation, finance, and all other private economic activities that do not prod . . . more GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
agriculture: 20.9% (2017 est.)
industry: 33.2% (2017 est.)
services: 45.9% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products: This entry is an ordered listing of major crops and products starting with the most important. Agriculture - products field listing
sweet potatoes, vegetables, corn, coffee, sugarcane, tobacco, cotton, tea, peanuts, rice; cassava (manioc, tapioca), water buffalo, pigs, cattle, poultry
Industries: This entry provides a rank ordering of industries starting with the largest by value of annual output. Industries field listing
mining (copper, tin, gold, gypsum); timber, electric power, agricultural processing, rubber, construction, garments, cement, tourism
Industrial production growth rate: This entry gives the annual percentage increase in industrial production (includes manufacturing, mining, and construction). Industrial production growth rate field listing
8% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 23
Labor force: This entry contains the total labor force figure. Labor force field listing
3.582 million (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100
Labor force - by occupation: This entry lists the percentage distribution of the labor force by sector of occupation. Agriculture includes farming, fishing, and forestry. Industry includes mining, manufacturing, energy production, and construction. Services cover government activities, communications, transportation, finance, and all other economic activities that do not produce material goods. The distribution will total less than 100 percent if the data are incomplete and may range from 99-101 percent due to rounding. more Labor force - by occupation field listing
agriculture: 73.1%
industry: 6.1%
services: 20.6% (2012 est.)
Unemployment rate: This entry contains the percent of the labor force that is without jobs. Substantial underemployment might be noted. Unemployment rate field listing
0.7% (2017 est.)
0.7% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 4
Population below poverty line: National estimates of the percentage of the population falling below the poverty line are based on surveys of sub-groups, with the results weighted by the number of people in each group. Definitions of poverty vary considerably among nations. For example, rich nations generally employ more generous standards of poverty than poor nations. Population below poverty line field listing
22% (2013 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: Data on household income or consumption come from household surveys, the results adjusted for household size. Nations use different standards and procedures in collecting and adjusting the data. Surveys based on income will normally show a more unequal distribution than surveys based on consumption. The quality of surveys is improving with time, yet caution is still necessary in making inter-country comparisons. Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
lowest 10%: 3.3%
highest 10%: 30.3% (2008)
Budget: This entry includes revenues, expenditures, and capital expenditures. These figures are calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms. Budget field listing
revenues: 3.099 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 4.038 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: This entry records total taxes and other revenues received by the national government during the time period indicated, expressed as a percent of GDP. Taxes include personal and corporate income taxes, value added taxes, excise taxes, and tariffs. Other revenues include social contributions - such as payments for social security and hospital insurance - grants, and net revenues from public enterprises. Normalizing the data, by dividing total revenues by GDP, enables easy comparisons acr . . . more Taxes and other revenues field listing
18.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): This entry records the difference between national government revenues and expenditures, expressed as a percent of GDP. A positive (+) number indicates that revenues exceeded expenditures (a budget surplus), while a negative (-) number indicates the reverse (a budget deficit). Normalizing the data, by dividing the budget balance by GDP, enables easy comparisons across countries and indicates whether a national government saves or borrows money. Countries with high budget deficits (relat . . . more Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
-5.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 172
Public debt: This entry records the cumulative total of all government borrowings less repayments that are denominated in a country's home currency. Public debt should not be confused with external debt, which reflects the foreign currency liabilities of both the private and public sector and must be financed out of foreign exchange earnings. Public debt field listing
63.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
58.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 64
Fiscal year: This entry identifies the beginning and ending months for a country's accounting period of 12 months, which often is the calendar year but which may begin in any month. All yearly references are for the calendar year (CY) unless indicated as a noncalendar fiscal year (FY). Fiscal year field listing
1 October - 30 September
Inflation rate (consumer prices): This entry furnishes the annual percent change in consumer prices compared with the previous year's consumer prices. Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
0.8% (2017 est.)
1.6% (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 42
Current account balance: This entry records a country's net trade in goods and services, plus net earnings from rents, interest, profits, and dividends, and net transfer payments (such as pension funds and worker remittances) to and from the rest of the world during the period specified. These figures are calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms. Current account balance field listing
-$2.057 billion (2017 est.)
-$2.07 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 165
Exports: This entry provides the total US dollar amount of merchandise exports on an f.o.b. (free on board) basis. These figures are calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms. Exports field listing
$3.654 billion (2017 est.)
$2.705 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 120
Exports - partners: This entry provides a rank ordering of trading partners starting with the most important; it sometimes includes the percent of total dollar value. Exports - partners field listing
Thailand 42.6%, China 28.7%, Vietnam 10.4%, India 4.4% (2017)
Exports - commodities: This entry provides a listing of the highest-valued exported products; it sometimes includes the percent of total dollar value. Exports - commodities field listing
wood products, coffee, electricity, tin, copper, gold, cassava
Imports: This entry provides the total US dollar amount of merchandise imports on a c.i.f. (cost, insurance, and freight) or f.o.b. (free on board) basis. These figures are calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms. Imports field listing
$4.976 billion (2017 est.)
$4.739 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131
Imports - commodities: This entry provides a listing of the highest-valued imported products; it sometimes includes the percent of total dollar value. Imports - commodities field listing
machinery and equipment, vehicles, fuel, consumer goods
Imports - partners: This entry provides a rank ordering of trading partners starting with the most important; it sometimes includes the percent of total dollar value. Imports - partners field listing
Thailand 59.1%, China 21.5%, Vietnam 9.8% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: This entry gives the dollar value for the stock of all financial assets that are available to the central monetary authority for use in meeting a country's balance of payments needs as of the end-date of the period specified. This category includes not only foreign currency and gold, but also a country's holdings of Special Drawing Rights in the International Monetary Fund, and its reserve position in the Fund. Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
$1.27 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$940.1 million (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 128
Debt - external: This entry gives the total public and private debt owed to nonresidents repayable in internationally accepted currencies, goods, or services. These figures are calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms. Debt - external field listing
$14.9 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$12.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104
Exchange rates: This entry provides the average annual price of a country's monetary unit for the time period specified, expressed in units of local currency per US dollar, as determined by international market forces or by official fiat. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 4217 alphabetic currency code for the national medium of exchange is presented in parenthesis. Closing daily exchange rates are not presented in The World Factbook, but are used to convert stock values - e.g., the . . . more Exchange rates field listing
kips (LAK) per US dollar -
8,231.1 (2017 est.)
8,129.1 (2016 est.)
8,129.1 (2015 est.)
8,147.9 (2014 est.)
8,049 (2013 est.)

Energy :: Laos

Electricity access: This entry provides information on access to electricity. Electrification data – collected from industry reports, national surveys, and international sources – consists of four subfields. Population without electricity provides an estimate of the number of citizens that do not have access to electricity. Electrification – total population is the percent of a country’s total population with access to electricity, electrification – urban areas is the percent of a country’s urban population w . . . more Electricity access field listing
electrification - total population: 87.1% (2016)
electrification - urban areas: 97.4% (2016)
electrification - rural areas: 80.3% (2016)
Electricity - production: This entry is the annual electricity generated expressed in kilowatt-hours. The discrepancy between the amount of electricity generated and/or imported and the amount consumed and/or exported is accounted for as loss in transmission and distribution. Electricity - production field listing
29.74 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
Electricity - consumption: This entry consists of total electricity generated annually plus imports and minus exports, expressed in kilowatt-hours. The discrepancy between the amount of electricity generated and/or imported and the amount consumed and/or exported is accounted for as loss in transmission and distribution. Electricity - consumption field listing
5.471 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 120
Electricity - exports: This entry is the total exported electricity in kilowatt-hours. Electricity - exports field listing
8.469 billion kWh (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 24
Electricity - imports: This entry is the total imported electricity in kilowatt-hours. Electricity - imports field listing
2.5 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
Electricity - installed generating capacity: This entry is the total capacity of currently installed generators, expressed in kilowatts (kW), to produce electricity. A 10-kilowatt (kW) generator will produce 10 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity, if it runs continuously for one hour. Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
6.94 million kW (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 75
Electricity - from fossil fuels: This entry measures the capacity of plants that generate electricity by burning fossil fuels (such as coal, petroleum products, and natural gas), expressed as a share of the country's total generating capacity. Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
28% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 186
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: This entry measures the capacity of plants that generate electricity through radioactive decay of nuclear fuel, expressed as a share of the country's total generating capacity. Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: This entry measures the capacity of plants that generate electricity by water-driven turbines, expressed as a share of the country's total generating capacity. Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
72% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15
Electricity - from other renewable sources: This entry measures the capacity of plants that generate electricity by using renewable energy sources other than hydroelectric (including, for example, wind, waves, solar, and geothermal), expressed as a share of the country's total generating capacity. Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157
Crude oil - production: This entry is the total amount of crude oil produced, in barrels per day (bbl/day). Crude oil - production field listing
0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 159
Crude oil - exports: This entry is the total amount of crude oil exported, in barrels per day (bbl/day). Crude oil - exports field listing
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 151
Crude oil - imports: This entry is the total amount of crude oil imported, in barrels per day (bbl/day). Crude oil - imports field listing
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 149
Crude oil - proved reserves: This entry is the stock of proved reserves of crude oil, in barrels (bbl). Proved reserves are those quantities of petroleum which, by analysis of geological and engineering data, can be estimated with a high degree of confidence to be commercially recoverable from a given date forward, from known reservoirs and under current economic conditions. Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154
Refined petroleum products - production: This entry is the country's total output of refined petroleum products, in barrels per day (bbl/day). The discrepancy between the amount of refined petroleum products produced and/or imported and the amount consumed and/or exported is due to the omission of stock changes, refinery gains, and other complicating factors. Refined petroleum products - production field listing
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 162
Refined petroleum products - consumption: This entry is the country's total consumption of refined petroleum products, in barrels per day (bbl/day). The discrepancy between the amount of refined petroleum products produced and/or imported and the amount consumed and/or exported is due to the omission of stock changes, refinery gains, and other complicating factors. Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
18,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146
Refined petroleum products - exports: This entry is the country's total exports of refined petroleum products, in barrels per day (bbl/day). Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 169
Refined petroleum products - imports: This entry is the country's total imports of refined petroleum products, in barrels per day (bbl/day). Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
17,460 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132
Natural gas - production: This entry is the total natural gas produced in cubic meters (cu m). The discrepancy between the amount of natural gas produced and/or imported and the amount consumed and/or exported is due to the omission of stock changes and other complicating factors. Natural gas - production field listing
0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154
Natural gas - consumption: This entry is the total natural gas consumed in cubic meters (cu m). The discrepancy between the amount of natural gas produced and/or imported and the amount consumed and/or exported is due to the omission of stock changes and other complicating factors. Natural gas - consumption field listing
0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 165
Natural gas - exports: This entry is the total natural gas exported in cubic meters (cu m). Natural gas - exports field listing
0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135
Natural gas - imports: This entry is the total natural gas imported in cubic meters (cu m). Natural gas - imports field listing
0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 146
Natural gas - proved reserves: This entry is the stock of proved reserves of natural gas in cubic meters (cu m). Proved reserves are those quantities of natural gas, which, by analysis of geological and engineering data, can be estimated with a high degree of confidence to be commercially recoverable from a given date forward, from known reservoirs and under current economic conditions. Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: This entry is the total amount of carbon dioxide, measured in metric tons, released by burning fossil fuels in the process of producing and consuming energy. Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
10.42 million Mt (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105

Communications :: Laos

Telephones - fixed lines: This entry gives the total number of fixed telephone lines in use, as well as the number of subscriptions per 100 inhabitants. Telephones - fixed lines field listing
total subscriptions: 1,482,276
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 20 (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65
Telephones - mobile cellular: This entry gives the total number of mobile cellular telephone subscribers, as well as the number of subscriptions per 100 inhabitants. Note that because of the ubiquity of mobile phone use in developed countries, the number of subscriptions per 100 inhabitants can exceed 100. Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
total subscriptions: 3,662,336
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 51 (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 133
Telecommunication systems: This entry includes a brief general assessment of the telecommunications system with details on the domestic and international components. The following terms and abbreviations are used throughout the entry: Arabsat - Arab Satellite Communications Organization (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia). Autodin - Automatic Digital Network (US Department of Defense). CB - citizen's band mobile radio communications. Cellular telephone system - the telephones in this system are radio transceivers, with each inst . . . more Telecommunication systems field listing
general assessment: the government relies on a radiotelephone network to communicate with remote areas; the regulatory reform is below industry standards but is trying to strengthen its telecommunication infrastructure and subsequently attract foreign investment; low fixed-broadband penetration due to dominance of mobile platforms; strong boost in mobile broadband penetration but still low compared to other Asian markets; mobile sector growth held back by regulators trying to keep hold on pricing and open competition; development of mobile broadband Internet services given the expansion of 4G services (2020)
domestic: fixed-line 20 per 100 and 51 per 100 for mobile-cellular subscriptions (2018)
international: country code - 856; satellite earth station - 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region) and a second to be developed by China
the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
Broadcast media: This entry provides information on the approximate number of public and private TV and radio stations in a country, as well as basic information on the availability of satellite and cable TV services. Broadcast media field listing
6 TV stations operating out of Vientiane - 3 government-operated and the others commercial; 17 provincial stations operating with nearly all programming relayed via satellite from the government-operated stations in Vientiane; Chinese and Vietnamese programming relayed via satellite from Lao National TV; broadcasts available from stations in Thailand and Vietnam in border areas; multi-channel satellite and cable TV systems provide access to a wide range of foreign stations; state-controlled radio with state-operated Lao National Radio (LNR) broadcasting on 5 frequencies - 1 AM, 1 SW, and 3 FM; LNR's AM and FM programs are relayed via satellite constituting a large part of the programming schedules of the provincial radio stations; Thai radio broadcasts available in border areas and transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are also accessible
Internet country code: This entry includes the two-letter codes maintained by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in the ISO 3166 Alpha-2 list and used by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) to establish country-coded top-level domains (ccTLDs). Internet country code field listing
.la
Internet users: This entry gives the total number of individuals within a country who can access the Internet at home, via any device type (computer or mobile) and connection. The percent of population with Internet access (i.e., the penetration rate) helps gauge how widespread Internet use is within a country. Statistics vary from country to country and may include users who access the Internet at least several times a week to those who access it only once within a period of several months. Internet users field listing
total: 1.258 million
percent of population: 18.2% (July 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
Broadband - fixed subscriptions: This entry gives the total number of fixed-broadband subscriptions, as well as the number of subscriptions per 100 inhabitants. Fixed broadband is a physical wired connection to the Internet (e.g., coaxial cable, optical fiber) at speeds equal to or greater than 256 kilobits/second (256 kbit/s). Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
total: 45,379
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 less than 1 (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136

Military and Security :: Laos

Military expenditures: This entry gives spending on defense programs for the most recent year available as a percent of gross domestic product (GDP); the GDP is calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP). For countries with no military forces, this figure can include expenditures on public security and police. Military expenditures field listing
0.19% of GDP (2013)
0.2% of GDP (2012)
0.21% of GDP (2011)
note: no public figures available for 2014-2019
country comparison to the world: 157
Military and security forces: This entry lists the military and security forces subordinate to defense ministries or the equivalent (typically ground, naval, air, and marine forces), as well as those belonging to interior ministries or the equivalent (typically gendarmeries, border/coast guards, paramilitary police, and other internal security forces). Military and security forces field listing
Lao People's Armed Forces (LPAF): Lao People's Army (LPA, includes Riverine Force), Air Force, Self-Defense Militia Forces (2019)
Military service age and obligation: This entry gives the required ages for voluntary or conscript military service and the length of service obligation. Military service age and obligation field listing
18 years of age for compulsory or voluntary military service; conscript service obligation - minimum 18 months (2019)

Transportation :: Laos

National air transport system: This entry includes four subfields describing the air transport system of a given country in terms of both structure and performance. The first subfield, number of registered air carriers, indicates the total number of air carriers registered with the country’s national aviation authority and issued an air operator certificate as required by the Convention on International Civil Aviation. The second subfield, inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers, lists the total number . . . more National air transport system field listing
number of registered air carriers: 1 (2015)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 11 (2015)
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 1,181,187 (2015)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 1,356,497 mt-km (2015)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefix: This entry provides the one- or two-character alphanumeric code indicating the nationality of civil aircraft. Article 20 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention), signed in 1944, requires that all aircraft engaged in international air navigation bear appropriate nationality marks. The aircraft registration number consists of two parts: a prefix consisting of a one- or two-character alphanumeric code indicating nationality and a registration suffix of one to fi . . . more Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
RDPL (2016)
Airports: This entry gives the total number of airports or airfields recognizable from the air. The runway(s) may be paved (concrete or asphalt surfaces) or unpaved (grass, earth, sand, or gravel surfaces) and may include closed or abandoned installations. Airports or airfields that are no longer recognizable (overgrown, no facilities, etc.) are not included. Note that not all airports have accommodations for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control. Airports field listing
41 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 104
Airports - with paved runways: This entry gives the total number of airports with paved runways (concrete or asphalt surfaces) by length. For airports with more than one runway, only the longest runway is included according to the following five groups - (1) over 3,047 m (over 10,000 ft), (2) 2,438 to 3,047 m (8,000 to 10,000 ft), (3) 1,524 to 2,437 m (5,000 to 8,000 ft), (4) 914 to 1,523 m (3,000 to 5,000 ft), and (5) under 914 m (under 3,000 ft). Only airports with usable runways are included in this listing. Not all . . . more Airports - with paved runways field listing
total: 8 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runways: This entry gives the total number of airports with unpaved runways (grass, dirt, sand, or gravel surfaces) by length. For airports with more than one runway, only the longest runway is included according to the following five groups - (1) over 3,047 m (over 10,000 ft), (2) 2,438 to 3,047 m (8,000 to 10,000 ft), (3) 1,524 to 2,437 m (5,000 to 8,000 ft), (4) 914 to 1,523 m (3,000 to 5,000 ft), and (5) under 914 m (under 3,000 ft). Only airports with usable runways are included in this listin . . . more Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
total: 33 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 9 (2013)
under 914 m: 22 (2013)
Pipelines: This entry gives the lengths and types of pipelines for transporting products like natural gas, crude oil, or petroleum products. Pipelines field listing
540 km refined products (2013)
Roadways: This entry gives the total length of the road network and includes the length of the paved and unpaved portions. Roadways field listing
total: 39,586 km (2009)
paved: 5,415 km (2009)
unpaved: 34,171 km (2009)
country comparison to the world: 89
Waterways: This entry gives the total length of navigable rivers, canals, and other inland bodies of water. Waterways field listing
4,600 km (primarily on the Mekong River and its tributaries; 2,900 additional km are intermittently navigable by craft drawing less than 0.5 m) (2012)
country comparison to the world: 23
Merchant marine: This entry provides the total and the number of each type of privately or publicly owned commercial ship for each country; military ships are not included; the five ships by type include: bulk carrier - for cargo such as coal, grain, cement, ores, and gravel; container ship - for loads in truck-size containers, a transportation system called containerization; general cargo - also referred to as break-bulk containers - for a wide variety of packaged merchandise, such as textiles, furniture . . . more Merchant marine field listing
total: 1
by type: general cargo 1 (2019)
country comparison to the world: 176

Transnational Issues :: Laos

Disputes - international: This entry includes a wide variety of situations that range from traditional bilateral boundary disputes to unilateral claims of one sort or another. Information regarding disputes over international terrestrial and maritime boundaries has been reviewed by the US Department of State. References to other situations involving borders or frontiers may also be included, such as resource disputes, geopolitical questions, or irredentist issues; however, inclusion does not necessarily constitute . . . more Disputes - international field listing

southeast Asian states have enhanced border surveillance to check the spread of avian flu; talks continue on completion of demarcation with Thailand but disputes remain over islands in the Mekong River; Cambodia and Laos have a longstanding border demarcation dispute; concern among Mekong River Commission members that China's construction of eight dams on the Upper Mekong River and construction of more dams on its tributaries will affect water levels, sediment flows, and fisheries; Cambodia and Vietnam are concerned about Laos' extensive plans for upstream dam construction for the same reasons
Trafficking in persons: Trafficking in persons is modern-day slavery, involving victims who are forced, defrauded, or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation. The International Labor Organization (ILO), the UN agency charged with addressing labor standards, employment, and social protection issues, estimated in 2011 that 20.9 million people worldwide were victims of forced labor, bonded labor, forced child labor, sexual servitude, and involuntary servitude. Human trafficking is a multi-dimensional threat, depri . . . more Trafficking in persons field listing
current situation: Laos is a source and, to a lesser extent, transit and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; Lao economic migrants may encounter conditions of forced labor or sexual exploitation in destination countries, most often Thailand; Lao women and girls are exploited in Thailand’s commercial sex trade, domestic service, factories, and agriculture; a small, possibly growing, number of Lao women and girls are sold as brides in China and South Korea and subsequently sex trafficked; Lao men and boys are victims of forced labor in the Thai fishing, construction, and agriculture industries; some Lao children, as well as Vietnamese and Chinese women and girls, are subjected to sex trafficking in Laos; other Vietnamese and Chinese, and possibly Burmese, adults and girls transit Laos for sexual and labor exploitation in neighboring countries, particularly Thailand
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Laos does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; authorities sustained moderate efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict trafficking offenders; the government failed to make progress in proactively identifying victims exploited within the country or among those deported from abroad; the government continues to rely almost entirely on local and international organizations to provide and fund services to trafficking victims; although Lao men and boys are trafficked, most protective services are only available to women and girls, and long-term support is lacking; modest prevention efforts include the promotion of anti-trafficking awareness on state-controlled media (2015)
Illicit drugs: This entry gives information on the five categories of illicit drugs - narcotics, stimulants, depressants (sedatives), hallucinogens, and cannabis. These categories include many drugs legally produced and prescribed by doctors as well as those illegally produced and sold outside of medical channels. Cannabis (Cannabis sativa) is the common hemp plant, which provides hallucinogens with some sedative properties, and includes marijuana (pot, Acapulco gold, grass, reefer), tetrahydroca . . . more Illicit drugs field listing
estimated opium poppy cultivation in 2015 was estimated to be 5,700 hectares, compared with 6,200 hectares in 2014; estimated potential production of between 84 and 176 mt of raw opium; unsubstantiated reports of domestic methamphetamine production; growing domestic methamphetamine problem

 

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