Laos. Save the Children published a report in May that said that more than two-thirds (69 percent) of Laotian children did not have access to basic health care.
In particular, in rural areas and among minority people, poverty was more widespread in Laos than in other Southeast Asian countries, and the state of health of the population in general was poorer. Infant mortality was high, as was maternal mortality. Life expectancy was low regionally. Malnutrition was not uncommon in the countryside.
In the 14th century, the feudal Burmese nobleman, Sam Sen Tal, assembled the northeastern part of what is today Thailand with most of what is today Laos, thus forming the thriving kingdom of Lang Xang – the Land of a million Elephants. Towards the end of the 18th century, the kingdom was divided into three: Champassac, Vientiane and Luang Prabang. By the early 19th century, Thailand had brought all three countries under its control. In 1827, Vientiane Prince Tiao Anuvong was at the forefront of a nationalist rebellion that was bloodied. When the French arrived in 1893, they made the kingdom of Luang Prabang a protectorate, and at the same time the rest of the country was made into the colony of Indochina.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Click to see the meanings of 2-letter acronym and abbreviation of LA in general and in geography as Laos in particular.
1945 First independence
The entire region was occupied by the Japanese during World War II. Following the Japanese capitulation, an independence movement was instigated in Vientiane by the Petsarath princes, Suvana Fuma (leader of the National Progressive Party) and their step brother Tiao Sufanuvong (who led Neo Lao Issara, Laos National United Front). In September 1945, they formed a provisional government and proclaimed the country’s independence – across Sisavang Vong who had been king since 1904.
In the spring of 1946, France again occupied the country, and the Provisional Pathet Lao government decided to seek refuge in Bangkok, from which it led the opposition to the troops of the colonial power. This movement took the name Lao Issara (Free Laos).
On 19 July 1949, an agreement was concluded between France and Laos granting the country independence “within the framework of the French Union”. The leaders of Lao Issara – notably the Petsarath and Sufanuvong princes – felt that the agreement provided only a superficial independence, while Suvana Fuma accepted the terms. The opposition coalition therefore threw itself into active opposition to the French. Its military triumphs secured the far better conditions when a new independence agreement was signed in 1953.
The contradictions between Katay Sasorith and the Suvana Fuma government and Pathet Lao were resolved in November 1957. It was agreed that Pathet Lao should enter the country’s political life under the name of Neo Lao Haksat (Laos Patriotic Front) under the leadership of the “Red Prince” Tiao Sufanuvong.
The May 1958 election was won by the Left. Suvana Fuma’s ruling party therefore joined with the Independent Party in the so-called “Association of Laos People” and together they obtained a fragile parliamentary majority.
Also, the supplementary elections together years were won by the left, and a center-left government formed by the «neutral» Suvana Fuma and with Sufanuvong as planning minister.
According to Countryaah reports, the population of Laos in 2008 was 6,249,054, ranking number 106 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.670% yearly, and the population density was 27.0761 people per km2.