Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ  (Lao)
  • Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao (Lao romanization)
  • République démocratique populaire lao  (French)
Motto: ສັນຕິພາບ ເອກະລາດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ເອກະພາບ ວັດທະນະຖາວອນ
(English: "Peace, independence, democracy, unity and prosperity")
Anthem: "Pheng Xat Lao"
(English: "Lao National Anthem")
Location Laos ASEAN.svg
Location of  Laos  (green)

in ASEAN  (dark grey)  –  [Legend]

and largest city
17°58′N 102°36′E / 17°58′N 102°36′E / 17.967; 102.600
Official languagesLao
Recognised languagesFrench[1]
Spoken languages
Ethnic groups (2005[2])
Religion Buddhism 64.7%
Laotian folk religion 31.4%
Christianity 1.7%
Islam 0.8%
Other 1.3%
GovernmentUnitary Marxist–Leninist one-party socialist republic
Bounnhang Vorachith
Phankham Viphavanh
Thongloun Sisoulith
Pany Yathotou
LegislatureNational Assembly
• Vassal of Thonburi and Siam
• Declared independence
19 July 1949
• Independence from France
22 October 1953
9 November 1953 – 2 December 1975
• Lao Monarchy abolished
2 December 1975
14 August 1991
23 July 1997
• Total
237,955 km2 (91,875 sq mi) (82nd)
• Water (%)
• 2016 estimate
6,758,353[3] (104th)
• 2015 census
• Density
26.7/km2 (69.2/sq mi) (177th)
GDP (PPP)2018 estimate
• Total
$53.752 billion[5]
• Per capita
GDP (nominal)2018 estimate
• Total
$18.337 billion[5]
• Per capita
Gini (2008)36.7[6]
HDI (2017)Increase 0.601[7]
medium · 139th
CurrencyKip (₭) (LAK)
Time zoneUTC+7 (ICT)
Date formatdd/mm/yyyy
Driving sideright
Calling code+856
ISO 3166 codeLA

Laos (s/ (About this soundlisten),[8] s/;[9][10] Lao: ລາວ, Lāo [láːw]), officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ, translit. Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao; French: République démocratique populaire lao), commonly referred to by its colloquial name of Muang Lao (Lao: ເມືອງລາວ, Muang Lao), is a socialist state and the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia at the heart of the Indochinese peninsula, bordered by Myanmar (Burma) and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the southwest, and Thailand to the west and southwest.[11]

Present-day Laos traces its historic and cultural identity to the kingdom of Lan Xang Hom Khao (Kingdom of a Million Elephants Under the White Parasol), which existed for four centuries as one of the largest kingdoms in Southeast Asia.[12] Due to Lan Xang's central geographical location in Southeast Asia, the kingdom became a popular hub for overland trade, becoming wealthy economically as well as culturally.[12] After a period of internal conflict, Lan Xang broke off into three separate kingdoms—Luang Phrabang, Vientiane and Champasak. In 1893, it became a French protectorate, with the three territories uniting to form what is now known as the country of Laos. It briefly gained freedom in 1945 after Japanese occupation, but was recolonised by France until it won autonomy in 1949. Laos became independent in 1953, with a constitutional monarchy under Sisavang Vong. Shortly after independence, a long civil war ended the monarchy, when the Communist Pathet Lao movement came to power in 1975. During the first years of Communist rule, Laos was dependent on military and economic aid supported by the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991.

According to the anti-corruption non-governmental organisation Transparency International, Laos remains one of the most corrupt countries in the world. This has deterred foreign investment and created major problems with the rule of law, including the nation's ability to enforce contract and business regulation.[13] This has contributed to a third of the population of Laos currently living below the international poverty line (living on less than US$1.25 per day).[14] Laos has a low-income economy, with one of the lowest annual incomes in the world. In 2014, the country ranked 141st on the Human Development Index (HDI), indicating lower medium development.[15] According to the Global Hunger Index (2015), Laos ranks as the 29th hungriest nation in the world out of the list of the 52 nations with the worst hunger situation(s).[16] The country has also had a poor human rights record.

Laos is a member of the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), East Asia Summit and La Francophonie. Laos applied for membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1997; on 2 February 2013, it was granted full membership.[17] It is a one-party socialist republic espousing Marxism–Leninism governed by the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, in which the party leadership is dominated by military figures.[18]

The capital and largest city is Vientiane. Other major cities include Luang Prabang, Savannakhet and Pakse. The official language is Lao. Laos is a multi-ethnic country, with the politically and culturally dominant Lao people making up about 55 percent of the population, mostly in the lowlands. Mon-Khmer groups, the Hmong and other indigenous hill tribes, accounting for 45 percent of the population, live in the foothills and mountains. Laos's ambitious strategies for development are based on generating electricity from its rivers and selling the power to its neighbours, namely Thailand, China and Vietnam, as well as its initiative to become a "land-linked" nation, shown by the planning of four new railways connecting Laos to its neighbours.[19] Laos has been referred to as one of East Asia and Pacific's Fastest Growing Economies by the World Bank, with annual GDP growth averaging 7.8% for the past decade.[20][21]


The English word Laos was coined by the French, who united the three Lao kingdoms in French Indochina in 1893 and named the country as the plural of the dominant and most common ethnic group, which are the Lao people.

In the Lao language, the country's name is "Muang Lao" (ເມືອງລາວ) or "Pathet Lao" (ປະເທດລາວ), both literally mean "Lao Country".[22]

Other Languages
Acèh: Laos
Адыгэбзэ: Лаос
адыгабзэ: Лаос
Afrikaans: Laos
Akan: Laos
Alemannisch: Laos
አማርኛ: ላዎስ
Ænglisc: Laoland
العربية: لاوس
aragonés: Laos
arpetan: Laos
অসমীয়া: লাউচ
asturianu: Laos
Avañe'ẽ: Láo
azərbaycanca: Laos
تۆرکجه: لائوس
বাংলা: লাওস
Bân-lâm-gú: Laos
Basa Banyumasan: Laos
башҡортса: Лаос
беларуская: Лаос
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Лаос
भोजपुरी: लाओस
Bikol Central: Laos
Bislama: Laos
български: Лаос
Boarisch: Laos
བོད་ཡིག: ལའོ་སུ།
bosanski: Laos
brezhoneg: Laos
буряад: Лаос
català: Laos
Чӑвашла: Лаос
Cebuano: Laos
čeština: Laos
Chavacano de Zamboanga: Laos
Chi-Chewa: Laos
chiShona: Laos
chiTumbuka: Laos
Cymraeg: Laos
dansk: Laos
davvisámegiella: Laos
Deutsch: Laos
ދިވެހިބަސް: ލާއޯސް
dolnoserbski: Laos
डोटेली: लाओस
eesti: Laos
Ελληνικά: Λάος
español: Laos
Esperanto: Laoso
estremeñu: Laos
euskara: Laos
eʋegbe: Laos
فارسی: لائوس
Fiji Hindi: Laos
føroyskt: Laos
français: Laos
Frysk: Laos
Fulfulde: Laos
Gaeilge: Laos
Gaelg: Yn Laos
Gagauz: Laos
Gàidhlig: Làthos
galego: Laos
贛語: 老撾
Gĩkũyũ: Laos
ગુજરાતી: લાઓસ
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: लाओस
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Liàu-koet
한국어: 라오스
Hausa: Laos
Hawaiʻi: Laosa
հայերեն: Լաոս
हिन्दी: लाओस
hornjoserbsce: Laos
hrvatski: Laos
Ido: Laos
Ilokano: Laos
বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী: লাওস
Bahasa Indonesia: Laos
Interlingue: Laos
Iñupiak: Laos
Ирон: Лаос
íslenska: Laos
italiano: Laos
עברית: לאוס
Basa Jawa: Laos (nagara)
Kabɩyɛ: Lawɔsɩ
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಲಾವೋಸ್
Kapampangan: Laos
ქართული: ლაოსი
kaszëbsczi: Laòs
қазақша: Лаос
kernowek: Pow Lao
Kinyarwanda: Lawosi
Kiswahili: Laos
коми: Лаос
Kongo: Laos
Kreyòl ayisyen: Laos
kurdî: Laos
Кыргызча: Лаос
Latina: Laotia
latviešu: Laosa
Lëtzebuergesch: Laos
lietuvių: Laosas
Ligure: Laòs
Limburgs: Laos
lingála: Laos
Lingua Franca Nova: Lau
Livvinkarjala: Laos
la .lojban.: laus
lumbaart: Laos
magyar: Laosz
македонски: Лаос
Malagasy: Laôsa
മലയാളം: ലാവോസ്
मराठी: लाओस
მარგალური: ლაოსი
مصرى: لاوس
مازِرونی: لائوس
Bahasa Melayu: Laos
Baso Minangkabau: Laos
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Lō̤-uŏ
Mirandés: Laos
мокшень: Лаос
монгол: Лаос
မြန်မာဘာသာ: လာအိုနိုင်ငံ
Nāhuatl: Lao
Dorerin Naoero: Raot
Na Vosa Vakaviti: Laos
Nederlands: Laos
नेपाली: लाओस
नेपाल भाषा: लाओस
日本語: ラオス
Napulitano: Laos
нохчийн: Лаос
Nordfriisk: Laos
Norfuk / Pitkern: Layos
norsk: Laos
norsk nynorsk: Laos
Novial: Laos
occitan: Laos
олык марий: Лаос
ଓଡ଼ିଆ: ଲାଓସ
Oromoo: Laa'os
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Laos
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਲਾਉਸ
पालि: लाओस
Pangasinan: Laos
پنجابی: لاؤس
Papiamentu: Laos
پښتو: لاووس
Patois: Laus
ភាសាខ្មែរ: ឡាវ
Picard: Laos
Piemontèis: Làos
Tok Pisin: Laos
Plattdüütsch: Laos
polski: Laos
português: Laos
Qaraqalpaqsha: Laos
qırımtatarca: Laos
română: Laos
rumantsch: Laos
Runa Simi: Law suyu
русиньскый: Лаос
русский: Лаос
саха тыла: Лаос
Gagana Samoa: Laos
संस्कृतम्: लाओस
Scots: Laos
shqip: Laosi
sicilianu: Laos
සිංහල: ලාඕසය
Simple English: Laos
SiSwati: ILawoso
slovenčina: Laos
slovenščina: Laos
ślůnski: Laos
Soomaaliga: Laos
کوردی: لاوس
српски / srpski: Лаос
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Laos
Basa Sunda: Laos
suomi: Laos
svenska: Laos
Tagalog: Laos (bansa)
தமிழ்: லாவோஸ்
татарча/tatarça: Лаос
తెలుగు: లావోస్
tetun: Laos
тоҷикӣ: Лаос
Türkçe: Laos
Türkmençe: Laos
удмурт: Лаос
ᨅᨔ ᨕᨘᨁᨗ: Laos
українська: Лаос
اردو: لاؤس
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: لائوس
Vahcuengh: Laujvoh
vepsän kel’: Laos
Tiếng Việt: Lào
Volapük: Laosän
Võro: Laos
文言: 老撾
West-Vlams: Laos
Winaray: Laos
吴语: 老挝
Xitsonga: Laos
ייִדיש: לאאס
Yorùbá: Láọ̀s
粵語: 老撾
Zazaki: Laos
Zeêuws: Laos
žemaitėška: Lauosos
中文: 老挝