population is increasing at an average of 2.5 percent each year,
with the 2000 population estimates at over 5.2 million, with women
outnumbering men. It is estimated that if Laos continues to grow at
it's current rate, the it's population will almost double in the
next 25 years.
expectancy at birth is 55 years, only a small fraction of the
population is over 60 years old and almost half of the remaining
population (approximately 45 percent) under the age of 15.
population density of Laos is the lowest in Asia, with about 21
people per square kilometer with the overwhelming majority of the
population residing in rural areas.
are about 49 ethnic groups in Laos with 4 main linguistic families
that are found all across Lao with each comprising their own culture
and traditions. These groups
can be classified into three separate groups: approximately 56%
in Lao Lum (Lowlanders),
34% in Lao Theung (uplanders), and 9% Lao Soung (hill
linguistic families are Lao-Tai; Mone-Khmer; Tibeto-Burmese;
and the Hmong-Ioumein. The eight groups within the Lao-Tai
family are - Gnaheune, Gnouane, Lao, Lue, Phouthai, Saek, Tai,
Thai Neua, and Young.
consists of 32 groups, among them are the Bid, Brao, Harak, Idou,
Kabkae, Katang, Katou, Khmer, Khmu, Khom, Kri, Krieng, Lavy, Lamed,
Makong, Meuang, Ngouane, Oi, Pray, Samtao, Singmou, Souai, Ta-oi,
Thene, Toum, Trieng, Try, Yeh and Yrou.
groups are within the Tibeto-Burmese family - Ahka, Hayi, Hor, Lahou,
Lolo, Sila, and Singsali. The Hmong-Ioumen family has two main
ethnic groups comprising it - the Hmong and the Ioumein (Yao).
have been many attempts at establishing a formal school system,
whether for the elite only or for the general population, but they
have for the most part not been successful.
economy depends on several things for it's survival - agriculture,
handicrafts, fishing and on a small scale manufactured clothing.
It is a poor country that depends on outside sources such as Japan,
France, Sweden and Australia to make come to it's aid. The
overwhelming majority of laborers are in the agricultural field,
while laborers in the service industry come in at a distant second.
Laos' major exports is that of timber, with most of them exported as
logs and not processed. The only crop that can be considered a
substantial export is coffee. Since the late 1980's tourism
has been encouraged, although there isn't a boom of tourism, the
numbers were rapidly increasing up through the late 1990's.
the official language of Laos and uses a derivative of a Southern
Indian script for it's alphabet. There are four main
indigenous language groups in Laos: Daie (Tai-Kadai), Hmong-Mien,
Mon-Khmer and Tibeto-Burman. In addition, there are many
subgroups of these languages, some of which are only used by a very
languages used in Laos are English and French, which are primarily
used in business transactions.
landscape is characterized by precipitous mountains; long, fertile
floodplains, and lastly, high plateaus. The mountains are
found all throughout Laos but are mainly in the northern part of the
country as are three main plateaus which are found in the north,
central and southern sections of the country. The floodplains
span from the north, where they are narrow, to the south where they
are much wider.
tropical monsoon climate of Laos has average temperatures ranging
from 28 degrees C to 38 degrees C. The mountainous areas
generally stay much cooler with average temperatures of 15 degrees C
during winter. Laos' rainy season is from May to September,
while the dry season is from October to April.
important river in Laos is the Mekong River with it being navigable
through most of Laos.
is no official religion in Laos, although the largest religion,
Buddhism, has a large impact on the country's culture. Another
religion, animism, is not as popular as Buddhism, but has carried
over some of it's traditions into modern-day Laos. Brahmanism is
another religion that was worshipped (which came from India).
Other religions, such as Christianity (Catholic and Protestant) and
Islam are also found in small numbers.
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