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Lao People’s

Democratic Republic


In the early years of the 21st Century

Description: Description: Laos

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Laos in the early years of the 21st Century.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



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*** Extreme Weather ***

In Laos, the city of Luang Prabang experienced a scorching 43.5°C (110.3°F), surpassing the national record set less than a month ago. The Laotian capital, Vientiane, also broke its all-time high with a temperature of 42.5°C (108.5°F).

These extreme temperatures are a cause for concern in the context of climate change. Scientists believe that such records will be repeated, confirming the accuracy of extreme climate models. The region has endured an unprecedented seven-week tropical record heat event, affecting millions of square kilometers.

Laos, already vulnerable to extreme weather, is projected to experience more heatwaves, increased rainfall variability, and severe floods and droughts. By 2050, the country may face temperature increases of 2–3°C, along with health impacts due to industrialization, environmental degradation, pollution, and urbanization. – adapted from Microsoft BING Copilot

*** ARCHIVES ***

The World Factbook - Laos

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency CIA

[accessed 1 January 2021]

World Factbook website has moved to --->

[accessed 6 January 2021]

Laos remains a country with an underdeveloped infrastructure, particularly in rural areas. It has a basic, but improving, road system, and limited external and internal land-line telecommunications. Electricity is available to 83% of the population. Agriculture, dominated by rice cultivation in lowland areas, accounts for about 20% of GDP and 73% of total employment.

GDP - per capita (PPP): $57,400 (2017 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 73.1%

industry: 6.1%

services: 20.6% (2012 est.)

Unemployment rate: 0.7% (2017 est.)

Population below poverty line: 22% (2013 est.)

Maternal mortality rate: 185 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

Infant mortality rate: total: 45.6 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 65.7 years

Drinking water source: improved: total: 82.1% of population

Physicians density: 0.49 physicians/1,000 population (2014)

Sanitation facility access: improved: total: 77.2% of population

Electricity access: electrification - total population: 87.1% (2016)

The Borgen Project - Laos

[accessed 14 February 14, 2021]

The Borgen Project works with U.S. leaders to utilize the United States’ platform behind efforts toward improving living conditions for the world’s poor.  It is an innovative, national campaign that is working to make poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy.  It believes that leaders of the most powerful nation on earth should be doing more to address global poverty. From ending segregation to providing women with the right to vote, nearly every wrong ever righted in history was achieved through advocacy. The Borgen Project addresses the big picture, operating at the political level advancing policies and programs that improve living conditions for those living on less than $1 per day.

~ Laos’ Healthcare System Improves During Impoverished State

~ 10 Facts About Sanitation In Laos

~ International Efforts To Reduce Poverty In Laos

~ Health Policy Evolution In Laos

~ The Progress Of Laos’ Growing Economy

~ 9 Health Care Facts About Laos

~ 10 Facts About Human Trafficking In Laos

~ Bubzbeauty Helps Build Schools

FAO and Lao People’s Democratic Republic move forward with Hand-in-Hand Initiative to accelerate resource partnerships for sustainable agriculture and rural development

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO, Vientiane, 12 May 2021

[accessed 12 May 2021]

Hand-in-Hand aims to unlock the country’s agricultural potential to eradicate poverty, hunger and malnutrition, as part of a broader effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. As such, it supports the Government’s Agriculture Development Strategy to 2025 and Vision to the year 2030.

“When we talk about building back better and greener, we must focus on rural areas, where food and agricultural systems are concentrated,” said Maximo Torero, FAO’s Chief Economist. “It’s where the majority of the poorest people live and work as smallholder farmers. So rural development is key, and the Hand-in-Hand Initiative is designed to do it and the Lao economic corridor is a clear example of this.”

The World Bank in Lao PDR

[accessed 21 April 2021]

Lao PDR is one of the fastest growing economies in East Asia and the Pacific. It has improved access to electricity, schools, roads, and has become an important energy exporter.

Looking back a few years …

Advameg, Inc., Encyclopedia of the Nations

[accessed 1 January 2021]

One of the world's poorest and least-developed nations, Laos is overwhelmingly agricultural, with 85% of the population still engaged in subsistence farming. Because industrialization is minimal, Laos imports nearly all the manufactured products it requires. Distribution of imports is limited almost entirely to Vientiane and a few other towns, and even there consumption is low. The hostilities of the 1960s and 1970s badly disrupted the economy, forcing the country to depend on imports from Thailand to supplement its daily rice requirements.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Prof. Martin Patt, "Poverty - Laos",, [accessed <date>]