Laos Population 2020
Laos, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia bordered by China, Burma, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. In 2020, the population of Laos is estimated at 7.28 million, which ranks 105th in the world.
Laos Area and Population Density
Laos is a landlocked nation in Southeast Asia close to the South China Sea and bordered by Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and China. The land itself is largely mountainous, but not in the developed part of the country. 40% of the remaining land is wildlife reserve or park, and the rest is either grassland, woodland, shrubland, or farmland. The surface area of Laos covers 91,429 square miles (236,800 square kilometers), which ranks 81st in terms of area. alone. Using the 2017 population of 6.858 million people, the population density of the country of Laos is 75 people per square mile (29 people per square kilometer), which ranks 151st in the world in terms of population density. The population is spread very unevenly in Laos, with most people living in the valleys of the Mekong River and tributaries.
Largest Cities in Laos
Just under half of the population of Laos live in or around urban areas and as a very dry country, most of the cities lay along rivers. The capital city of Vientiane is the largest in the country with a population of 562,244 located along the Mekong River. Vientiane is by far the largest city in Laos, as the second-largest city of Savannakhet has just 93,277 people living there. Other notable cities with populations between 50,000 and 100,000 include Pakxe, Thakhek, Muang Xai, and Luang Prabang.
The people of Laos are usually considered by their location as this relates to ethnicity. The lowland people (Lao Loum) account for about 60% of the country's population and are ethnic Lao. This group is descended from migrants who came south from China during the first millennium. 10% belong to other lowland groups.
The Mon-Khmer tribes, known as Lao Theung, inhabit the central and southern mountain areas. These are the indigenous inhabitants of northern Laos, although there are some Vietnamese, Chinese and Thai minorities. Lao Theung account for 30% of the population.
The Lao Soung, or highland people, include minority cultures such as the Hmong, Yao, Dao, Shan and other peoples who have lived in this isolated region for some time. The mountain tribes of mixed heritage include the Lua and Khmu people, who are indigenous to the region, The Lua people are endangered. The Lao Soung account for 10% of the population.
Laos also has the youngest population of any Asian country with a median age of 21.6 years.
Laos Religion, Economy and Politics
Laos is a very religious nation, but the practices happening within its borders aren't very diverse. Nearly all of the indigenous or 'lowland' people practice Theravada Buddhism. Native people making up roughly half of the population. An additional 16% of non-native people give Buddhism a majority of 66% of the Laos population. The second most practiced religion is Laotian folk religion, a religion whose specifics vary significantly depending on who is practicing it and in what region of the country. Only 3% of the population are Christian or follow another religion.
The economy of Laos is one of the world's fastest-growing in the world, which is largely attributed to their decentralized government and encouragement of private enterprise. Although the economy is doing well as a whole, Laos is still one of the poorest countries in the region, largely because of its disproportionately large and uneducated workforce. One of the country's top priorities is to decrease poverty through an increase in education funding to bring education to every child in the country. A large portion of their economy is maintained by foreign investment.
The government of Laos is a one-party socialist republic, meaning that the only legal political party is the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, which is led by the president who doesn't have too much power politically. The prime minister who is the real leader of the government is picked by the president and decides on any laws with the powerful 9-member Politburo, and the 49-member Central Committee. There are also 4 Deputy Prime Ministers that have slightly less influence.
Laos Population History
The country of Laos was a protectorate of France between the years 1893- 1945, after which the Japanese briefly occupied the area post World War II. Laos gained full independence in 1954, and civil war broke out near instantly between royalists and a communist group called Pathet Lao.
The United States dropped more bombs on Laos during the 1960s than were dropped in all of World War II in an attempt to eliminate sanctuaries the North Vietnamese had set up and to destroy the supply lines of the Ho Chi Minh trail. Communists took over the country in 1975, which led to extreme food shortages and the flight of hundreds of thousands of refugees to Thailand. Under President Obama, the US committed 90 million USD to clear the unexploded bombs the United States dropped decades earlier.
Laos Population Growth
The population spiked during the late 1980s and 1990s after the food shortages of the years prior had subsided, but the rate of growth has been declining fairly steadily in the years since. The median age in Laos is a fairly young 23 years, but the birth rate is very close to the worldwide average of 2.5 at 2.7 births per average woman. At present, the population is increasing roughly 100,000 per year with an annual growth rate of around 1.5%.
Laos Population History
The stable growth rate in Laos has been slowly decreasing for decades and this trend is expected to continue in the coming years. In fact, by the year 2060, the rate of growth is supposed to come to a near, slowing down to 0% before eventually beginning to decline. Predictions believe that the population in Laos will be 7,164,822 in 2020, 8,048,698 in 2030, 8,727,905 in 2040, and 9,162,892 by 2050.
Components of Population Change
|One birth every 3 minutes|
|One death every 11 minutes|
|One net migrant every 36 minutes|
|Net gain of one person every 5 minutes|