Laos Population, Main Cities and Geography

By | January 27, 2023

Laos Population, cities


According to Countryaah website, Laos has around 6.7 million residents.

Ethnic composition

The different official 49 ethnic groups can be divided into three main groups:

  • Approx. 60% Lao Loum – Laotians of the lowlands.
  • Approx. 26% Lao Theung – hill tribes of the Mon-Kmer.
  • Approx. 13% Lao Soung – Sino-Tibetan people of the highlands.
  • 1% others – mostly Chinese and Vietnamese

Religious affiliation

Around 60% Buddhists, approx. 2.5% Christians, 37% followers of natural religions and others.

National language

The official language is Lao, French and English are also spoken, as well as various tribal languages.

Capital, other cities


The capital of Laos is Vientiane together with the suburbs – with a population of around 800,000. According to Abbreviation Finder, LAO stands for Laos in English. Click to see other meanings of this 3-letter acronym.

Other cities are:

  • Vang Vieng with around 25,000 residents
  • Luang Prabang with around 26,000 residents. The city is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List
  • Sam Neua with around 47,000 residents
  • Pakse with around 66,000 residents
  • Phonsavan with around 57,000 residents.

Laos: geography, map

Laos is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia and lies between Vietnam and Thailand without direct access to the sea. It covers an area of 236,800 km². Check topmbadirectory for politics, flags, famous people, animals and plants of Laos. Thereof:


  • ForestAround 54% of the country is forested.
  • Agricultural areasAround 7% of the country is used as arable land or fields, especially for growing
  • WaterAround 2.5% of the country is water.

National borders

Laos has borders with the following five countries:

  • the 235 km long border with Burma
  • the 541 km long border with Cambodia
  • the 423 km long border with China
  • the 1,754 km long border with Thailand and
  • the 2,130 km long border with Vietnam.

Longitude and latitude

Laos extends over the following geographical latitude (abbreviation Δφ) and geographical longitude (abbreviation Δλ):

Δφ = from around 14 ° to 20 ° north latitude Δλ = from around 100 ° to 108 ° east longitude

You can find detailed information on this subject under Longitude and Latitude.

Legal time

For Laos, the following value applies to Central European Time (CET), i.e. the time without summer time. A minus sign means that it is earlier there, a plus sign that it is later than CET:

Δ t (CET) = + 6 h

Further and detailed explanations of the time can be found under Time zones, time.

Highest level of the sun in Vientiane

Vientiane is located at a north latitude of around φ = 18 ° and thus in the tropics.

If the declination δ of the sun has the value of 18 ° north, and thus the image point of the sun is exactly above the city, the sun is perpendicular there. This happens exactly twice a year, roughly three weeks before June 21st and three weeks after June 21st.


If the image point of the sun and thus the declination δ is north of the latitude of Vientiane, the sun is not in the south at noon, as in our latitudes, but in the north. In this case, the sun moves from east to north to west, where, like us, it sets.


Phou Bia

The highest mountain in the country is the Phou Bia with a height of 2,817 m.

Rao Co

Another high mountain is the Rao Co with a height of 2,286 m.

Phou Loi

The Phou Loi is with a height of 2.263 m. only slightly lower than the Rao Co.

Rivers, Mekong


The longest river in the country is the Mekong with a length of around 1,800 km.

The Mekong arises from the confluence of several source rivers in the highlands of Tibet. Depending on the location of the source, the length information varies between 4,350 km and 4,900 km. The catchment area of the Mekong covers around 800,000 km², making it an important lifeline for the country and also of Southeast Asia. On its way to the South China Sea, about half of the river runs through China.

After crossing the Chinese border, the river forms the border between Laos and Myanmar for around 200 km, at the end of which the Ruak River flows into the Mekong. Here is the notorious Golden Triangle – the triangle between Laos, Myanmar and Thailand – which is notorious for the earlier drug cultivation and trade.

Then the river forms a border again – that between Laos and Thailand. It later flows in a loop through canyons and rapids in northwest Laos. A navigable part of the river begins near the Laotian city of Luang Prabang, which in turn forms the border with Thailand further south. On its way it also flows past the capital Vientiane. The navigability of the river is then interrupted one last time before it flows into the Sambor Falls near the town of Kratie in Cambodia. North of Phnom Penh (Cambodia) the Tonle Sap River flows into the Mekong. Immediately after Phnom Penh, the river divides into the Bassac and the “actual” Mekong, which runs parallel to it. If the Mekong floods,

The Mekong then flows from Cambodia to the south of Vietnam, where south of H-Chí-Minh-City (Saigon) the two parallel rivers – also known as the Upper Mekong and Lower Mekong in the region – into the Mekong Delta Delta pass over. They then flow into the South China Sea via the delta, which covers a huge area of around 70,000 km². Since the two rivers in the delta form a total of nine arms, the very flowery language of the Vietnamese also speaks of the “nine dragon river”.

Other rivers in the country are:

  • Tha
  • Ou
  • Ngum
  • Bangfai
  • Banghiang


The country includes numerous smaller and larger lakes.

Ang Nam Ngum

The Ang Nam Ngum is the largest lake in the country, it is an artificial reservoir near Vientiane with an area of around 250 km².

Nong Bua, Nong Tang

Other lakes are the Nong Bua, in this lake live the endangered Siamese crocodiles and the Nong Tang. This lake is located in the province of Xieng Khuang.


In the Mekong, in the Champasak province, there are around 4,000 small islands scattered over a length of around 50 km.

Khong Island

The largest of these is the Khong Island with a length of approx. 18 km and a width of approx. 8 km.

Laos Population