Laos Population 2019

7,209,337

Laos, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia bordered by China, Burma, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. In 2019, the population of Laos is estimated at 7.17 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.

Laos Demographics

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 12 minutes
One net migrant every 36 minutes
Net gain of one person every 5 minutes

Laos Population in 2018Source: By Jean-Pierre Dalb�ra from Paris, France [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Laos Population Pyramid 2019

Laos Population by Age

There are 4,428,640 adults in Laos.

Census Years

Year Date
20157 March 2015
20057 March 2005
19951 March 1995
19851 March 1985

Life expectancy has grown from 54 in 2007 to 60 for men and 65 for women in 2012 as more people gain access to clean water and health care. The population of Laos is currently growing at a rate of 2% per year.

Official NameLao People's Democratic Republic
Languages SpokenLao
Is LandlockedYes
Latitude/Longitude18.00, 105.00
Currencies UsedLaos Kip
DemonymLaotian
BordersMyanmar
Cambodia
China
Thailand
Vietnam
Name Population Location
Vientiane196,731Map
Pakse88,332Map
Thakhek85,000Map
Savannakhet66,553Map
Luang Prabang47,378Map
Xam Nua38,992Map
Muang Phonsavan37,507Map
Vangviang25,000Map
Muang Xay25,000Map
Muang Pakxan21,967Map
Ban Houakhoua15,500Map
Muang Khong15,000Map
Sainyabuli13,500Map
Phongsali13,500Map
Champasak12,994Map
Ban Houayxay12,500Map
Muang Phon-Hong10,112Map
Salavan5,521Map
Lamam4,463Map
Attapeu4,297Map

Laos Population Clock

The population of Laos (as of 11/15/2019)?7,209,337
Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2019)7,169,455
Births Per Day454
Deaths Per Day125
Net Migrations Per Day-40
Net Change Per Day289
Population Change Since January 1st92,191

Laos Population Estimator

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Estimate as of November 15th 2019 is: 7,209,281

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
20197,169,45550.20%49.80%30.281051.53%
20187,061,50750.21%49.79%29.821051.56%
20176,953,03550.22%49.78%29.361061.57%
20166,845,84650.20%49.80%28.911061.55%
20156,741,16450.15%49.85%28.471061.53%
20106,249,16549.60%50.40%26.391061.67%
20055,751,67649.48%50.52%24.291061.56%
20005,323,70049.78%50.22%22.481061.90%
19954,846,48349.86%50.14%20.471082.62%
19904,258,47250.01%49.99%17.981132.92%
19853,687,89849.84%50.16%15.571152.51%
19803,258,14449.67%50.33%13.761161.32%
19753,051,57749.51%50.49%12.891152.57%
19702,688,42849.35%50.65%11.351172.44%
19652,382,59449.22%50.78%10.061172.35%
19602,120,89849.14%50.86%8.961162.32%
19551,890,85449.15%50.85%7.991162.36%
19501,682,91549.27%50.73%7.111160.00%
Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
20207,275,56050.19%49.81%30.721050.00%
20257,774,53350.20%49.80%32.831041.34%
20308,226,27350.19%49.81%34.741041.14%
20358,625,71350.15%49.85%36.431030.95%
20408,971,94650.08%49.91%37.891010.79%
20459,259,15650.01%49.99%39.101010.63%
20509,479,74749.92%50.08%40.03990.47%
20559,628,26849.82%50.18%40.661010.31%
20609,706,26549.73%50.27%40.991020.16%
20659,715,88949.64%50.36%41.031030.02%
20709,660,82049.57%50.43%40.80102-0.11%
20759,547,72749.52%50.48%40.32102-0.24%
20809,386,51449.50%50.50%39.64102-0.34%
20859,187,10249.51%50.49%38.80103-0.43%
20908,956,83649.53%50.47%37.82104-0.51%
20958,700,61349.57%50.43%36.74105-0.58%
  1. Lao Statistics Bureau
  2. World Population Prospects (2019 Revision) - United Nations population estimates and projections.

    Total population: Estimated to be consistent with the 1985, 1995, 2005 and 2015 censuses adjusted for underenumeration, and with estimates of the subsequent trends in fertility, mortality and international migration.

  3. GeoNames Gazetteer