Laos (Lao People's Democratic Republic)

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Laos
Lao People's Democratic Republic
StatusIndependent State
Social and Moral Index143rd best
CapitalVientiane
Land Area1 230 800 km2
LocationAsia
Population26.374 million
Life Expectancy367.826yrs (2012)
GNI3$2 435
ISO3166-1 Codes4LA, LAO, 418
Internet Domain5.la
Currency6Kip (LAK)
Telephone7+856

1. Overview

Modern-day Laos has its roots in the ancient Lao kingdom of Lan Xang, established in the 14th century under King FA NGUM. For 300 years Lan Xang had influence reaching into present-day Cambodia and Thailand, as well as over all of what is now Laos. After centuries of gradual decline, Laos came under the domination of Siam (Thailand) from the late 18th century until the late 19th century when it became part of French Indochina. The Franco-Siamese Treaty of 1907 defined the current Lao border with Thailand. In 1975, the Communist Pathet Lao took control of the government ending a six-century-old monarchy and instituting a strict socialist regime closely aligned to Vietnam. A gradual, limited return to private enterprise and the liberalization of foreign investment laws began in 1988. Laos became a member of ASEAN in 1997 and the WTO in 2013.

CIA's The World Factbook (2013)8

2. Laos National and Social Development

UN's Human Development Index
Country2012
score
Average
1980-2010
1Norway95.587.3
2Australia93.888.9
3USA93.787.8
...
135Ghana55.844.7
136India55.443.9
137Equatorial Guinea55.451.1
138Laos54.344.8
139Cambodia54.347.8
140Bhutan53.851.8
141Swaziland53.651.3
142Congo, (Brazzaville)53.449.3
143Solomon Islands53.049.3
144Sao Tome & Principe52.550.6
145Kenya51.945.6
146Bangladesh51.539.3
147Pakistan51.542.4
Data Source
Social and Moral Development
CountryScore
1Sweden89.1
2Iceland87.6
3Denmark87.2
...
140Kenya47.4
141Gabon46.7
142Papua New Guinea46.3
143Laos45.8
144Syria45.5
145Sierra Leone45.3
146Haiti45.2
147Liberia45.1
148Comoros44.9
149Angola44.8
150Bangladesh44.7
151Solomon Islands44.4
152Burkina Faso44.2
153Nepal44.1
Data Source

The United Nations produces an annual Human Development Report which includes the Human Development Index. The factors taken into account include life expectancy, education and schooling and Gross National Income (GNI) amongst many others. The values in the chart are factored by 100.

The Social and Moral Development Index is a formulaic aggregation of many factors. It concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2013).

3. Population and Life Expectancy

Life Expectancy (at birth)
1Japan83.6
2Hong Kong83
3Switzerland82.5
...
132Solomon Islands68.2
133Kyrgyzstan68
134Tajikistan67.8
135Laos67.8
136Bhutan67.6
137Tuvalu67.5
138Kazakhstan67.4
139Madagascar66.9
Data Source
Fertility Rate
1Korea, N.2.0
2Brunei2.0
3St Vincent & Grenadines2.0
...
92Cuba1.4
93India2.6
94Germany1.4
95Laos2.6
96Malaysia2.6
97Hungary1.4
98Romania1.4
99Japan1.4
Data Source
Population (m=millions)
CountryPeoplePer km2
1China1 353.6m145
2India1 258.35m423
3USA 315.79m35
...
102Paraguay6.683m17
103Libya6.469m4
104Jordan6.457m73
105Laos6.374m28
106Togo6.283m116
107El Salvador6.264m302
108Sierra Leone6.126m86
Data Source

Laos's population is predicted to rise to 7.754 million by 2030. This country has a fertility rate of 2.58. The fertility rate is, in simple terms, the average amount of children that each woman has. The higher the figure, the quicker the population is growing, although, to calculate the rate you also need to take into account morbidity, i.e., the rate at which people die. If people live healthy and long lives and morbidity is low, then, 2.0 approximates to the replacement rate, which would keep the population stable. If all countries had such a fertility rate, population growth would end. The actual replacement rate in most developed countries is around 2.1.

4. Gender Equality

Female Vote and Stand
1New Zealand1893
2Australia1902
3Finland1906
...
118Nigeria1958
119Chad1958
120Hungary1958
121Laos1958
122Madagascar1959
123Tunisia1959
124Tanzania1959
125Tonga1960
Gender Equality
1Netherlands0.04
2Sweden0.05
3Denmark0.06
...
98Burundi0.48
99Jordan0.48
100Honduras0.48
101Laos0.48
102Botswana0.49
103Nepal0.49
104Guyana0.49
105Gabon0.49
Data Source

Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.

The 1950s saw a late rush of 43 countries, including Laos and many developing nations, move to cease preventing women from voting. Laos is an unequal country, with male rights dominating those of women.

See:

5. Religion and Beliefs

#Buddhism #Christianity #Hinduism #Islam #Judaism

Disbelief In God
1Vietnam81%
2Japan65%
3Sweden64%
...
47Dominican Rep.7%
48Italy6%
49Moldova6%
50Laos5%
51Mozambique5%
52Ireland5%
53Zimbabwe4%
54Namibia4%
Data Source

Data from the Pew Forum, a professional polling outfit, states that in 2010 the religious makeup of this country was as follows in the table below9:

Christian1.5%
Muslim0.1%
Hindu0.1%
Buddhist66%
Folk Religion30.7%
Jew0.1%
Unaffiliated0.9%

The CIA World Factbook has slightly different data, and states: Buddhist 67%, Christian 1.5%, other and unspecified 31.5% (2005 census)10.

The International Humanist and Ethical Union produced a report in 2012 entitled "Freedom of Thought" (2012), in which they document bias and prejudice at the national level that is based on religion, belief and/or lack of belief. Their entry for Laos states:

The constitution provides for freedom of religion or belief. However, other laws and policies restrict this right. The prime minister's Decree on Religious Practice (Decree 92) is the principal legal instrument defining rules for religious practice; it institutionalizes the government's role as the final arbiter of permissible religious activities. Although the government does not recognize an official state religion, the government's exemption of Buddhism from many of the Decree 92 restrictions, sponsorship of Buddhist facilities, incorporation of Buddhist ritual and ceremony in state functions, and promotion of Buddhism as an element of the country's cultural and spiritual identity give Theravada Buddhism an elevated status11.

"Freedom of Thought" by IHEU (2012)12

Links:

6. The Internet

IT Security Risks
271USA3.68
270Russia2.42
269India2.10
...
231Saudi Arabia0.94
230Kuwait0.93
229Spain0.88
228Laos0.86
227Iran0.85
226Ethiopia0.84
225Ivory Coast0.82
224Burkina Faso0.79
Data Source
Internet Users in Population
1Iceland95.64
2Norway93.28
3Netherlands90.70
...
145India7.50
146Gabon7.23
147Liberia7.00
148Laos7.00
149Samoa6.97
150Namibia6.50
151Djibouti6.50
152Equatorial Guinea6.00
Data Source

Internet access has become an essential research tool. It facilitates an endless list of life improvements, from the ability to network and socialize without constraint, to access to a seemingly infinite repository of technical and procedural information on pretty much any task. The universal availability of data has sped up industrial development and personal learning at the national and personal level. Individuals can read any topic they wish regardless of the locality of expert teachers, and, entire nations can develop their technology and understanding of the world simply because they are now exposed to advanced societies and moral discourses online. Like every communications medium, the Internet has issues and causes a small range of problems, but these are insignificant compared to the advantages of having an online populace.

Links:

7. More Charts and Comparisons to Other Countries

Global Peace Index
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
...
34Vietnam1.64
35Croatia1.65
36Costa Rica1.66
37Laos1.66
38Italy1.69
39Bulgaria1.70
40France1.71
41Estonia1.72
Data Source
Average IQ
1Singapore108
2Korea, S.106
3Taiwan105
...
54Croatia90
55Kyrgyzstan90
56Albania90
57Laos89
58Costa Rica89
59Ecuador88
60Mexico88
61Azerbaijan87
Data Source
Human Rights Treaties
1Argentina24
2Ecuador23
3Germany23
...
160India10
161Fiji10
162Qatar10
163Laos10
164Oman9
165Cook Islands9
166Papua New Guinea9
167Iran9
Data Source
Press Freedom Index
1Finland99.0
2Netherlands99.0
3Norway99.0
...
164Bahrain99.7
165Equatorial Guinea99.8
166Djibouti99.8
167Laos99.8
168Yemen99.8
169Sudan99.8
170Cuba99.8
171Vietnam99.8
Data Source
Gross National Income
1Qatar$87 478
2Liechtenstein$84 880
3Kuwait$52 793
...
137Congo, (Brazzaville)$2 934
138Pakistan$2 566
139Nicaragua$2 551
140Laos$2 435
141Papua New Guinea$2 386
142Djibouti$2 350
143Mauritania$2 174
144Solomon Islands$2 172
Data Source
Happiness
1Denmark7.8
2Netherlands7.6
3Norway7.6
...
89Philippines5
90Zambia5
91Bangladesh5
92Laos5
93Latvia5
94Iraq5
95Libya4.9
96Hungary4.9
Data Source
Environmental Performance
1Iceland93.5
2Switzerland89.1
3Costa Rica86.4
...
76Turkey60.4
77Iran60.0
78Kyrgyzstan59.7
79Laos59.6
80Namibia59.3
81Guyana59.2
82Uruguay59.1
83Azerbaijan59.1
Data Source
Gay Equality
1Netherlands405
2Belgium350
3Canada280
...
98Rwanda15
99Gibraltar15
100Kyrgyzstan10
101Laos10
102Equatorial Guinea10
103Belarus10
104Hong Kong10
105Macau10
Data Source

By Vexen Crabtree 2013 May 01
http://www.humantruth.info/laos.html
Parent page: Vexing International Issues

Social Media

References: (What's this?)

CIA
(2013) World Factbook. The USA Government's Central Intelligence Agency (USA CIA) publishes The World Factbook, and the online version is frequently updated.

Crabtree, Vexen
(2013) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2013). Accessed 2016 Nov 01.

IHEU. International Humanist and Ethical Union.
(2012) Freedom of Thought. A copy can be found on iheu.org/...Freedom of Thought 2012.pdf, accessed 2013 Oct 28.

Lynn, Harvey & Nyborg
(2009) Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations. Richard Lynn, John Harvey and Helmuth Nyborg article "Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations" in Intelligence (2009 Jan/Feb) vol. 37 issue 1 pages 11-15. Online at www.sciencedirect.com, accessed 2009 Sep 15.

United Nations
(2011) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Published on the United Nation's website at hdr.undp.org/.../HDR_2011_EN_Complete.pdf (accessed throughout 2013, Jan-Mar). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2013) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. Published on the United Nation's HDR website at hdr.undp.org/.../hdr2013/ (accessed throughout 2013). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.

Footnotes

  1. World Bank data on data.worldbank.org accessed 2013 Nov 04.^
  2. UN (2011).^
  3. UN (2013).^
  4. International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard ISO3166-1, on www.iso.org, accessed 2013 May 01.^
  5. Top level domains (TLDs) are managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) on www.iana.org.^
  6. According to ISO4217.^
  7. According to ITU-T.^
  8. CIA (2013) https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/la.html accessed 2014 Apr 27.^
  9. Pew Forum (2012) publication "The Global Religious Landscape: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World´s Major Religious Groups as of 2010" (2012 Dec 18) accessed 2013 May 01.^
  10. CIA (2013) https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ar.html accessed 2014 Apr 27.^
  11. uscirf.gov/...laos-chapter-summary-2012.html in IHEU 2012.^
  12. IHEU (2012) Added to this page on 2013 Oct 28.^

© 2016 Vexen Crabtree. All rights reserved.