Official nameLao People's Democratic Republic
Name in local languageSathalanalat Passathipatai Passasson lao - ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ (lo) ; République démocratique populaire lao (fr)
SubcontinentSoutheast Asia
Population (ranking: 106e)7,230,665 inhabitants (2018)
Population growth4.78 % / year
Area236,800 km²
Density30.53 inhabitants / km²
GDP (ranking: 123e)18.131 billions $USD (2018)
GDP/capita (ranking)2,568 $USD (2018)
GDP growth6.50 % / year (2018)
Life expectancy (ranking)67.60 years (2018)
Birth rate28.00 ‰ (2015)
Fertility rate3.20 children / woman (2015)
Death rate (ranking)8.20 ‰ (2015)
Infant mortality rate (ranking)57.00 ‰ (2015)
Literacy rate84.70 % (2015)
Official languagesLao (French, Vietnamese and Chinese spoken)
CurrencyKip (₭ LAK)
HDI (ranking: 178e)0.604 / 1 (2018)
EPI (ranking)42.94 (2018)
GovernmentUnitary Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist republic
Head of StatePresident Bounnhang Vorachith
National Day2 December (Republic of 1975)
DemonymLaotian, Lao
Tourists (ranking)3,257,000 people (2017)
Laos – petite
Limited but real opening to the outside

Laos is a country without access to the sea of Southeast Asia, surrounded by Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and China.The country, ruled by a single party claiming Communism, lives almost totally inward-looking. Freedom of expression is non-existent, and living conditions, both democratic and material, are particularly difficult. Basic human rights are not respected. But the country is tentatively trying to open up internationally.

Patouxai, Vientiane, Laos
Patouxai, Vientiane, Laos. Monument build to celebrate the independence
Paysage de la rivière Nam Song à Vang Vieng, Laos
River Nam Song landscape in Vang Vieng, Laos
Hutte et canoes, Vang Vieng, Laos
Vang Vieng, Laos. Photo: Todd Adams
Chutes Kouang Si, Laos
Kouang Si Falls, Laos
See all related maps or articles
Urban areas (2014)
Urban areasPopulation
Vientiane820,940 inhabitants
Savannakhet (Kaysone Phomvihane)125,622 inhabitants
Louang Prabang90,313 inhabitants
Paksé77,860 inhabitants
See all urban areas
Administrative divisions
Attapeu139,628 inhabitants10,320 km²
Bokéo179,243 inhabitants6,196 km²
Borikhamxay273,691 inhabitants14,863 km²
Champassak694,023 inhabitants15,415 km²
Houaphan289,393 inhabitants16,500 km²
Khammouane392,052 inhabitants16,315 km²
Louang Namtha175,753 inhabitants9,325 km²
Louang Prabang431,889 inhabitants16,875 km²
Oudom Xai307,622 inhabitants15,370 km²
Phongsali177,989 inhabitants16,270 km²
Saravane396,942 inhabitants10,691 km²
Savannakhet969,697 inhabitants21,774 km²
Sayaboury381,376 inhabitants16,389 km²
Sékong113,048 inhabitants7,665 km²
Vientiane (Préfecture)820,940 inhabitants3,920 km²
Vientiane419,090 inhabitants18,526 km²
Xaysomboun85,168 inhabitants4,506 km²
Xieng Khouang244,684 inhabitants15,880 km²
See all administrative divisions
See also