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General information
Common nameLaos
Local nameSathalanalat Paxathipatai
Paxaxon Lao
NameSathalanalat Paxathipatai
Paxaxon Lao
Motto"ສັນຕິພາບ ເອກະລາດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ເອກະພາບ ວັດທະນາຖາວອນ"
"Peace, independence, democracy, unity and prosperity"
AnthemPheng Xat Lao
"Hymn of the Lao People"
Largest citycapital
Official languagesLao
Official scriptsLao script
DemonymLaotian, Lao
GovernmentUnitary communist and single-party-led state
PresidentChoummaly Sayasone
Prime MinisterThongsing Thammavong
President of Lao National AssemblyPany Yathotu
President of LFNCSisavath Keobounphanh
LPRP General SecretaryChoummaly Sayasone
IndependenceIndependence (From France)
Autonomy19 July 1949
Declared9 Nov 1953
Total Area91428.991 sq mi (236801.1 km2) (83rd)
Water %2
Population Est.6800000 (104th)
Population census4574848 (1995)
Density (pop.)26.7/km2 (177th) (69.2/sq mi)
GDP PPP$15.693 billion (2010) (130th)
GDP (PPP) per capita$2,435 (48th)
GDP (nominal)$6.341 billion (2010)
GDP (nominal) per capita$984
Other information
Gini34.6 (2008) (medium)
HDI(+) 0.497 (2010) (medium) (122nd)
CurrencyKip (LAK)
Drives on theright
Calling code856

     Home | Country | Laos

Laos (c-enaudio=En-us-Laos Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west. Its population was estimated to be 6.8 million in 2009.

Laos traces its history to the Kingdom which existed from the 14th to the 18th century when it split into three separate kingdoms. In 1893, it became a French protectorate, with the three kingdoms, Kingdom of Luang Phrabang, Kingdom of Vientiane and Kingdom of Champasak, uniting to form what is now known as Laos. It briefly gained independence in 1945 after Japanese occupation, but returned to French rule until it was granted autonomy in 1949. Laos became independent in 1954, 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.

Laos is a single-party socialist republic. The capital city is Vientiane. Other large cities include Luang Prabang, Savannakhet and Pakse. The official language is Lao. Most people are Lao with a significant proportion of indigenous religion as well. It is a rising power in providing electricity to neighboring countries such as Thailand, China and Vietnam and the economy is accelerating rapidly with the demands for its metals. It 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.

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