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Lao People's Democratic Republic
ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ
Sathalanalat Paxathipatai
Paxaxon Lao
Motto: "ສັນຕິພາບ ເອກະລາດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ເອກະພາບ ວັດທະນາຖາວອນ"
"Peace, independence, democracy, unity and prosperity"
Anthem: Pheng Xat Lao
"Hymn of the Lao People"
Location of  Laos  (green)in ASEAN  (dark grey)  —  [Legend]
Location of  Laos  (green)

in ASEAN  (dark grey)  —  [Legend]

and largest city
17°58′N 102°36′E / 17.967°N 102.6°E / 17.967; 102.6
Official languages Lao
Official scripts Lao script
Demonym Laotian, Lao
Government Unitary communist and single-party state
 -  President Choummaly Sayasone
 -  Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong
 -  President of Lao National Assembly Pany Yathotu
 -  President of LFNC Sisavath Keobounphanh
 -  LPRP General Secretary Choummaly Sayasone
Independence From France
 -  Autonomy 19 July 1949 
 -  Declared 9 Nov 1953 
 -  Total 236,800 km2 (83rd)
91,428.991 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 2
 -  2009 estimate 6,800,000 [1] (104th)
 -  1995 census 4,574,848
 -  Density 26.7/km2 (177th)
69.2/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2010 estimate
 -  Total $15.693 billion[2] (130th)
 -  Per capita $2,435[2] (48th)
GDP (nominal) 2010 estimate
 -  Total $6.341 billion[2] (137th)
 -  Per capita $984[2] (147th)
Gini (2008)34.6
HDI (2010)Increase 0.497[3]
low · 122nd
Currency Kip (LAK)
Time zone (UTC+7)
Drives on the right
Calling code 856
Internet TLD .la

Lao People's Democratic Republic, or Laos (ລາວ) for short, is a country in southeast Asia. The capital of Laos is Vientiane.

Laos is landlocked (it does not have a coast on a sea or ocean). It is bordered by Myanmar (used to be known in English as "Burma") and by China to the northwest, by Vietnam to the east, by Cambodia to the south, and by Thailand to the west. The Mekong river forms a large part of the western boundary with Thailand. Boats from Laos cannot get to the ocean using the Mekong because of rapids and waterfalls in the south of the country.[4]

Laos had a long history before becoming a French colony. Fa Ngum created the first unifed Lao Kingdom. In 1949 it became independent from France, as the Kingdom of Laos. Later there was a civil war, and in 1975 it became a republic under control of the communist party.[5]

The official language is Lao, a language belonging to the Tai language group. 98% of Lao people believe in Buddhism. The main crop in Laos is rice.


Laos is divided in 16 provinces and one prefecture.

Number State Capital Area (km2) Population
1 Attapeu Attapeu 10,320 114,300
2 Bokeo Ban Houayxay 6,196 149,700
3 Bolikhamsai Paksan 14,863 214,900
4 Champasak Pakse 15,415 575,600
5 Hua Phan Xam Neua 16,500 322,200
6 Khammouane Thakhek 16,315 358,800
7 Luang Namtha Luang Namtha 9,325 150,100
8 Luang Phrabang Luang Phrabang 16,875 408,800
9 Oudomxay Muang Xay 15,370 275,300
10 Phongsali Phongsali 16,270 199,900
11 Sayabouly Sayabouly 16,389 382,200
12 Salavan Salavan 10,691 336,600
13 Savannakhet Savannakhet 21,774 721,500
14 Sekong Sekong 7,665 83,600
15 Vientiane Vientiane 3,920 726,000
16 Vientiane Muang Phon-Hong 15,927 373,700
17 Xieng Khouang Phonsavan 15,880 37,507
Rivers are an important way to move in Laos.

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