Dialing code +856
ISO 2 code LA
ISO 3 code LAO
Capital Vientiane
Main Language None
Currency Kip (LAK)
GDP $14.0 billion 134th
Population 6,368,162 105th


Continent Asia
Location Southeastern Asia northeast of Thailand west of Vietnam
Land 236,800 km2 82nd
Terrain Mostly rugged mountains; some plains and plateaus
Climate Tropical monsoon; rainy season (May to November); dry season (December to April)
Natural Hazards Mostly rugged mountains; some plains and plateaus
Note: Landlocked; most of the country is mountainous and thickly forested; the Mekong River forms a large part of the western boundary with Thailand

Neighbouring Countries

Cambodia China Myanmar Thailand Vietnam


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 return to private enterprise and the liberalization of foreign investment laws began in 1986. Laos became a member of ASEAN in 1997.
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Life Expectancy 56.68 years 173rd
Median Age 19.3 years 164th
Birth Rate 33.94 births/1,000 population 39th
Death Rate 10.78 births/1,000 population 47th
Sex Ratio 0.76 male(s)/female 115th
Literacy 68.7% 163rd

6.4 million


Roadways 29811 km 96th
Railways None km
Airports 42 100th
Waterways 4600 km 23rd
Heliports None
Airports paved 2 77th


Currency Kip (LAK)
GDP $14.0 billion 134th
GDP per capita (PPP) $2100 167th