Statistical information Laos 1990Laos

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 1990
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Background: In 1975 the communist Pathet Lao took control of the government ending a six-century-old monarchy.

Laos - Geography 1990
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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 1990
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Population: 4,023,726 (July 1990), growth rate 2.2% (1990)

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: 37 births/1000 population (1990)

Death rate: 15 deaths/1000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: 0 migrants/1000 population (1990)

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: 126 deaths/1000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 48 years male, 51 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 5.1 children born/woman (1990)

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 1990
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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, Bolikhamsai, Champasak, Houaphan, Khammouan, Louang Namtha, Louangphrabang, Oudomxai, Phongsali, Saravan, Savannakhet, Sekong, 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 at 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 (since 2 December 1975)

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: Central Supreme Court

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 Charles B. SALMON; 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 1990
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Economy overview: One of the world's poorest nations, Laos has had a Communist centrally planned economy with government ownership and control of productive enterprises of any size. Recently, however, the government has been decentralizing control and encouraging private enterprise. Laos is a landlocked country with a primitive infrastructure, that is, it has no railroads, a rudimentary road system, limited external and internal telecommunications, and electricity available in 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 for its survival on foreign aid--from CEMA, IMF, and other international sources.

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: accounts for 60% of GDP and employs most of the work force; subsistence farming predominates; normally self-sufficient; principal crops--rice (80% of cultivated land), potatoes, vegetables, coffee, sugarcane, cotton

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

Industrial production growth rate: 8% (1989 est.)

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

Unemployment rate: 15% (1989 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $71 million; expenditures $198 million, including capital expenditures of $132 million (1988 est.)

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: $57.5 million (f.o.b., 1989 est.)
Commodities: electricity, wood products, coffee, tin
Partners: Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, USSR, US

Imports: $219 million (c.i.f., 1989 est.)
Commodities: food, fuel oil, consumer goods, manufactures
Partners: Thailand, USSR, Japan, France, Vietnam

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $964 million (1989 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: new kips (NK) per US$1--700 (December 1989), 725 (1989), 350 (1988), 200 (1987), 108 (1986), 95 (1985)

Laos - Energy 1990
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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 1990
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Laos - Military 1990
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Military expenditures
Percent of gdp: 3.8% of GDP (1987)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Laos - Transportation 1990
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 64 total, 50 usable; 9 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 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 1990
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Disputes international: boundary dispute with Thailand

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: illicit producer of cannabis and opium poppy for the international drug trade; production of cannabis increased in 1989; marijuana and heroin are shipped to Western countries, including the US


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