A Little Bit About Laos

If you havenít heard much about Laos before, youíll find on this page a little teaser about this small, often-overlooked country.

About its geography

The country of Laos is located in the region of Southeast Asia. It is the only landlocked country, meaning it does not have a coast. It is wedged between Vietnam to the east, Thailand to the west, China to the north, Cambodia to the south, and Burma to the northwest. Its total area is 236,000 sq km, with its total land accounting for 230,000 sq km. Only 4% of the land area is arable (2), most of the terrain being mountainous.

About its people

Laos is highly rural, with only 33% residing with cities, and 12% of the total population residing in the capital city of Vientiane. As of the 2005 Census, a large amount of the population (about 67%) listed themselves as Buddhist, while only 1.5% were Christian. Despite only 4% of the land being arable, agriculture is the main means of employment (for about 75.1% of the population), rice cultivation making up for 75%.

In Canada

There are about 20,110 Lao people in Canada according to the 2006 Census. The highest concentration of Lao people in Canada reside in Montreal with Toronto and the GTA coming in second (3, 4).

Did you know?†

  • Canada, including land and water, is just over 42 times the size of Laos! (1)
  • Ontario is a little over 4.5 times the size of Laos (1)
  • Laos has the lowest population density in Asia with approximately 28 people per square kilometre
  • Laos has a population of 6,477,211 according to the July 2011 estimation


(1) Online Atlas of Canada.http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/auth/english/learningresources/facts/supergeneral.html
Last modified August 12, 2009.

(2) CIA World Fact Book, 2011.Most data taken is from the Laos 2005 census. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/la.html

(3) Canada CENSUS 2006.Ethnic Origins of Canada, provinces and cities.http://www12.statcan.ca/census-recensement/2006/dp-pd/tbt/Rp-eng.cfm?LANG=E&APATH=3&DETAIL=0&DIM=0&FL=A&FREE=0&GC=0&GID=0&GK=0&GRP=1& PID=92333&PRID=0&PTYPE=88971,97154&S=0&SHOWALL=0&SUB=0&Temporal=2006& THEME=80&VID=0&VNAMEE=&VNAMEF=†
Short link http://bit.ly/rqYlwN

(4) Social Atlas of Toronto.People with Lao descent, living in the Greater Toronto Area, based on 2006 CENSUS CMA data.http://www.toronto.ca/demographics/atlas/cma/2006/ct06_cma_laotian.pdf

Further Reading:

More information from Laos, from the Encyclopedia of Canadaís People.

NOTE** All links were last accessed August 19, 2011†