Lao People's Democratic Republic
The Lao People’s Democratic Republic was projected to have a population of 6.1 million in 2009, based on the 1995-2005 population growth rate of 2.1%. It has a sparse population density (26 per square kilometre) with large interprovincial variations, and an average household size of 5.9 persons. The topography breaks into lowland areas along the Mekong River that depend predominantly on paddy rice, and highland areas that depend on upland rice and the gathering of non-timber forest products for a livelihood. The population is young, but there are signs of changes in the demographic structure: the percentage of the population under 15 years of age decreased from 43.6% to 37.9% between 1995 and 2009. The nation is rural, with the beginnings of a rural-to-urban shift, as indicated by the increase in urban areas: the estimated percentage of the population living in rural areas decreased from 72.9% to 66.8% between 2005 and 2010.
Country health information profile
- You may find the 2012 and/or latest available data in the Data and Analytics section of the Health Information and Intelligence Platform.
Health information and intelligence platform (HIIP)
News and press releases
WHO urges the use and promotion of plain packaging to reduce tobacco-related harms
The Royal Government of Cambodia launches the first dedicated, nationally representative study on the prevalence of intimate partner violence
Update on the cluster of HIV cases, Roka Commune, Sang Ker District, Battambang Province
The Lao People’s Democratic Republic joined WHO on 17 May 1950, when it was one of the Associate States of the French Union. The Republic became independent when French Indochina was dissolved in 1954.
The Lao People's Democratic Republic was covered by the WHO Area Representative Office in Saigon, Viet Nam from 1956 to 1 January 1968, when the WHO Representative Office in Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic was established. Before the establishment, the WHO Country Liaison Office was administered by the WHO Representative Office in Saigon.
WHO Country Office
125 Saphanthong Road, Unit 5 Ban Saphangthongtai, Sisattanak District Vientiane Capital Lao People's Democratic Republic
P.O. Box 343 Vientiane, Lao P.D.R.
(856) 21 353-902
(856) 21 353-903
(856) 21 353-904
(856) 21 353-905
07.30 - 12.00 13.00 - 16.30 (Monday to Friday) 08.00 - 12.00 (Saturday) with skeleton staff
Ministry of Health
Simuang Road, Vientiane Lao People's Democratic Republic
856 (0)21 217607
856 (0)21 214003
|Population (in thousands) ( 2009 )||6128|
|Population aged 5-14 years (%) ( 2009 )||23.7|
|Life expectancy at birth (years) ( 2009 )||63.9|
|Under-five mortality rate (per 1000 live births) ( 2009 )||80.4|
|Total health expenditure as % of GDP ( 2009 )||4.1|
|General government health expenditure as % of total government expenditure ( 2009 )||3.8|
|Human development index ( 2010 )||0.497|
|Per capita GDP at current market prices (US$) ( 2009 )||914|
|Population below national poverty line (%) ( 2006 )||33|
|Literacy rate among adults aged >= 15 years (%) ( 2003 )||74|
|Maternal mortality ratio (per 100 000 live births) ( 2000 )||530|
|Proportion of the population using improved drinking water source ( 2008 )||57|
|Population using improved sanitation facilities (%) ( 2008 )||53|