Statistical information Laos 1994Laos

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 1994
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Background: In 1975 the communist Pathet Lao took control of the government ending a six-century-old monarchy. Initial closer ties to Vietnam and socialization were replaced with a gradual return to private enterprise an easing of foreign investment laws.

Laos - Geography 1994
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Location: Southeastern Asia, between Vietnam and Thailand

Geographic coordinates

Map referenceSoutheast Asia, Standard Time Zones of the World

Total area total: 236,800 km²
Land: 230,800 km²

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

Coastline: 0 km (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
Arable land: 4%
Permanent crops: 0%
Meadows and pastures: 3%
Forest and woodland: 58%
Other: 35%

Irrigated land: 1,200 km² (1989 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: subject to floods, drought, and blight

Note: landlocked

Laos - People 1994
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Population: 4,701,654 (July 1994 est.)
Growth rate: 2.85% (1994 est.)

Nationality: noun:Lao(s) or Laotian(s)

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

Languages: Lao (official), French, English

Religions: Buddhist 85%, animist and other 15%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 2.85% (1994 est.)

Birth rate: 43.23 births/1000 population (1994 est.)

Death rate: 14.74 deaths/1000 population (1994 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1000 population (1994 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: deforestation; soil erosion

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 101.8 deaths/1000 live births (1994 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 51.68 years
Male: 50.16 years
Female: 53.28 years (1994 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.07 children born/woman (1994 est.)

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: age 15-45 can read and write (1993)
Total population: 64%
Male: NA%
Female: NA%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Laos - Government 1994
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Country name
Conventional long form: Lao People's Democratic Republic
Local long form:
Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao
local short form; none

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, Xekong, Vientiane, Viangchan*, Xaignabouri, Xiangkhoang

Dependent areas

Independence: 19 July 1949 (from France)

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

Constitution: promulgated 14 August 1991

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

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President NOUHAK PHOUMSAVAN (since 25 November 1992)
Head of government: Prime Minister Gen. KHAMTAI SIPHANDON (since 15 August 1991)

Legislative branch: Lao People's Army (LPA; including naval, aviation, and militia elements), Air Force, National Police Department
Third National Assembly: elections last held on 20 December 1992 (next to be held NA); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (85 total) number of seats by party NA

Judicial branch: Supreme People's Court

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ACCT, AsDB, ASEAN (observer), CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, INTELSAT (nonsignatory user), INTERPOL, IOC, ITU, LORCS, NAM, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Victor TOMSETH
From the us chancery: 2,222 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20,008
From the us telephone: [851] 2,220, 2,357, or 3,570, 16-9,581
From the us fax: (202) 332-4,923
From the us embassy: Rue Bartholonie, Vientiane
From the us mailing address: B. P. 114, Vientiane, or American Embassy, Box V, APO AP 96,546
From the us FAX: [851] 4,675

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 1994
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Economy overview: Laos has had a Communist centrally planned economy with government ownership and control of major productive enterprises. Since 1986, however, the government has been decentralizing control and encouraging private enterprise. Laos is a landlocked country with a primitive infrastructure; 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 the IMF and other international sources; aid from the former USSR and Eastern Europe has been cut sharply.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 7% (1992 est.)

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 in nondrought years; principal crops - rice (80% of cultivated land), sweet potatoes, vegetables, corn, coffee, sugarcane, cotton; livestock - buffaloes, hogs, cattle, poultry

Industries: tin and gypsum mining, timber, electric power, agricultural processing, construction

Industrial production growth rate: 12% (1991 est.), accounts for about 18% of GDP (1991 est.)

Labor force: 1-1.5 million
By occupation: agriculture 85-90% (est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 21% (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:$83 million

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: $133 million (f.o.b., 1992 est.)
Commodities: electricity, wood products, coffee, tin
Partners: Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, FSU, US, China

Imports: $266 million (c.i.f., 1992 est.)
Commodities: food, fuel oil, consumer goods, manufactures
Partners: Thailand, FSU, Japan, France, Vietnam, China

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $1.1 billion (1990 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: new kips (NK) per US$1 - 720 (July 1993). 710 (May 1992), 710 (December 1991), 700 (September 1990), 576 (1989)

Laos - Energy 1994
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 990 million kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 220 kWh (1992)

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 1994
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Laos - Military 1994
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $NA, NA% of GDP

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Laos - Transportation 1994
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 53
Usable: 41
With permanentsurface runways: 8
With runways over 3659 m: 0
With runways 2440-3659 m: 1
With runways 1220-2439 m: 15

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways


Pipelines: petroleum products 136 km



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: 1 cargo ship (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 2,370 GRT/3,000 DWT

Ports and terminals

Laos - Transnational issues 1994
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Disputes international: boundary dispute with Thailand

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: illicit producer of cannabis, opium poppy for the international drug trade, third-largest opium producer (180 metric tons in 1993)


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