Laos Population, Politics and Economy
Population in Laos
An infinite number of ethnic groups (officially 49) live side by side in Laos and are therefore responsible for the country’s cultural wealth. According to directoryaah, the population can be roughly divided into three main ethnic groups, which also describe the geographical settlement areas.
Three main ethnic groups:
- Lao Loum (majority people of the lowland Laotians) approx. 60%
- Lao Theung (Mon Khmer peoples of the mountain slopes) approx. 26%
- Lao Soung (Sino-Tibetan ethnic groups of the highlands, especially Hmong and Yao) approx. 13%
- then there is a minimal proportion of Chinese and Vietnamese (about 1%)
Languages in Laos
Laos is home to a multitude of different languages, many of which are still unexplored, so there are between 70 and 120 languages.
The languages belong to four different language groups:
- Kam Tai languages
- Mon Khmer languages
- Miao Yao languages
- Lolo-Burmese languages
The official language is Lao, which is very similar to Thai. There is a separate Laotian script, the development of which can be traced back to an origin in the Indian Brahmin script, as is the case with most non-Romanized scripts in Southeast Asia.
French is important due to its colonial past and is still learned by the majority in the Lao elite. However, English is increasingly being introduced.
Religions in Laos
The Laotian culture is mainly shaped by Buddhism. In the past, Buddhist temples were the spiritual center of every village. Today you can still find most of the temples in Vientiane and Luang Prabang, so they are also known as: Cities of a Thousand Temples.
Ancestor cult and animism are particularly widespread in the population of the mountain regions, and some of these people have converted to Buddhism without giving up their traditional beliefs. Laos is also home to minorities from religions such as Islam and Christianity, as well as followers of Vietnamese and Chinese religious groups.
Cities in Laos
According to ebizdir, the largest cities in Laos is Vientiane with 196,644 residents, followed by Pakse with 88,463 residents, Savannakhet with 66,552 residents and the last big city Luang Prabang with 47,510 residents.