Statistical information Laos 1989Laos

Map of Laos | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
Military | Transportation | Transnational Issues | Year:  | More stats

Laos in the World
Laos in the World


Laos - Introduction 1989
top of page

Background: In 1975 the communist Pathet Lao took control of the government ending a six-century-old monarchy.

Laos - Geography 1989
top of page


Geographic coordinates

Map reference


Land boundaries: 5,083 km total; Myanmar 235 km, Cambodia 541 km, China 423 km, Thailand 1,754 km, Vietnam 2,130 km

Coastline: none - landlocked

Maritime claims: none - landlocked

Climate: tropical monsoon; rainy season (May to November; dry season (December to April)

Terrain: mostly rugged mountains; some plains and plateaus


Natural resources: timber, hydropower, gypsum, tin, gold, gemstones
Land use

Land use: 4% arable land; NEGL% permanent crops; 3% meadows and pastures; 58% forest and woodland; 35% other; includes 1% irrigated

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards

Note: landlocked

Laos - People 1989
top of page

Population: 3,935,786 (July 1989), growth rate 2.2% (1989)

Nationality: noun - Lao (sing., Lao or Laotian; adjective - Lao or Laotian

Ethnic groups: 50% Lao, 15% Phoutheung (Kha), 20% tribal Thai, 15% Meo, Hmong, Yao, and other

Languages: Lao (official), French, and English

Religions: 85% Buddhist, 15% animist and other

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: 38 births/1000 population (1989)

Death rate: 16 deaths/1000 population (1989)

Net migration rate: NEGL migrants/1000 population (1989)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: deforestation; soil erosion; subject to floods

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 128 deaths/1000 live births (July 1989)

Life expectancy at birth: 48 years male, 51 years female (July 1989)

Total fertility rate: 5.2 children born/woman (1989)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: 85%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Laos - Government 1989
top of page

Country name: conventional long form: Lao People's Democratic Republic

Government type: Communist state

Capital: Vientiane

Administrative divisions: 16 provinces (khoueng, singular and plural) and 1 municipality* (kampheng nakhon, singular and plural; Attapu, Bokeo, Bolikhamxai, Champasak, Houaphan, Khammouan, Louang Namtha, Louangphrabang, Oudomxai, Phongsali, Saravan, Savannakhet, Xekong, Vientiane, Vientiane*, Xaignabouri, Xiangkhoang

Dependent areas

Independence: 19 July 1949 (from France)

National holiday: National Day (proclamation of the Lao People's Democratic Republic), 2 December (1975)

Constitution: draft constitution under discussion since 1976

Legal system: based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: universal over age 18

Executive branch: Chief of State - Acting President PHOUMI VONGVICHIT (since 29 October 1986; Head of Government - Chairman of the Council of Ministers General KAYSONE PHOMVIHAN (designated Prime Minister on 2 December 1975 and title changed to Chairman in July 1982)

Legislative branch: Lao People's Army (LPA, which consists of an army with naval, aviation, and militia elements), Air Force, National Police Department

Judicial branch

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ADB, Colombo Plan, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, ILO, IMF, INTERPOL, IPU, IRC, ITU, Mekong Committee, NAM, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation
In the us: First Secretary, Charge d'Affaires ad interim DONE SOMVORACHIT; Chancery at 2,222 S Street NW, Washington DC 20,008; telephone (202) 332-6,416 or 6,417; US - Charge d'Affaires Harriet W. ISOM; Embassy at Rue Bartholonie, Vientiane (mailing address is B. P. 114, Vientiane, or Box V, APO San Francisco 96,346; telephone 2,220, 2,357, 2,384

Flag descriptionflag of Laos: three horizontal bands of red (top), blue (double width), and red with a large white disk centered in the blue band

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Laos - Economy 1989
top of page

Economy overview: Laos is one of the world's poorest nations with an estimated per capita GDP of only $140 in 1987. It is a landlocked country with a primitive infrastructure, having no railroads, a rudimentary road system, limited external and internal telecommunications, and electricity available to only a limited area. Subsistence agriculture is the main occupation, accounting for over 60% of GDP and providing about 85-90% of total employment. The predominant crop is rice. For the foreseeable future the economy will continue to depend upon foreign aid for its survival.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: rice (overwhelmingly dominant), corn, vegetables, tobacco, coffee, cotton; formerly self-sufficient; food shortages (due in part to distribution deficiencies) include rice; an illegal producer of opium poppy and cannabis for the international drug trade

Industries: tin mining, timber, electric power, agricultural processing

Industrial production growth rate: 11%, manufacturing (1987)

Labor force: 1-1.5 million; 85-90% in agriculture (est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 17% (1987)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $111 million; expenditures $156 million, including capital expenditures of $67.4 million (1987)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: 1 July-30 June

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $48.7 million (f.o.b., 1987)
Commodities: electricity, wood products, coffee, tin
Partners: Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, USSR, US

Imports: $218.8 million (c.i.f., 1987)
Commodities: food, fuel oil, consumer goods, manufactures
Partners: Thailand, USSR, Japan, France, Vietnam

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $884 million (December 1987)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: new kips (NK) per US$1 - 400 (official fixed rate since July 1988)

Laos - Energy 1989
top of page

Electricity access

Electricity production

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Laos - Communication 1989
top of page

Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Laos - Military 1989
top of page

Military expenditures
Dollar figure: NA

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Laos - Transportation 1989
top of page

National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 64 total, 50 usable; 9 with permanent-surface runways; 2 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 12 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways


Pipelines: 136 km, refined products



Waterways: about 4,587 km, primarily Mekong and tributaries; 2,897 additional kilometers are sectionally navigable by craft drawing less than 0.5 m

Merchant marine

Ports and terminals

Laos - Transnational issues 1989
top of page

Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


You found a piece of the puzzle

Please click here to complete it