Laos Poverty Rate

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Laos Poverty Rate Statistics and Facts

Lao People's Democratic Republic is one of the fastest growing economies in the East Asia and Pacific region. The high growth rate is contributed to the introduction of economic reforms in the 1980s, when the government began decentralizing control and encouraging private enterprise. The proportion of poor individuals was 39% in the 1990s; the country successfully brought it down to 27.6% by 2010. Laos now has a booming tourism industry, more foreign investments in its natural resources, and exposure to global markets. But despite the progress its economy has been making, the nation remains to be one of the least developed and poorest in the world. Here are some facts and statistics reflecting the problem
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Upland ethnic people are marginalized and socially isolated because of their customs, beliefs, and their languages. The geographic location of their villages also makes them more isolated.
Poor, rural communities in remote areas have limited access to facilities and services, such as electricity, roads, markets, schools, health services, and financial aid. During rainy seasons, they become unreachable, isolating them geographically and institutionally.
One-third of the population live below the national poverty line, lacking the resources to lead healthy lives.
Only about 10% of the Lao population live in Vientiane, where most of the wealth is concentrated. In the 1990s, 90% of those who lived outside of Vientiane lived below the poverty level of $1 per day.
There is a very wide gap between the income of the rich and poor in Laos. The top fifth of the population control 44% of the nation's wealth, while the bottom fifth control only
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The most vulnerable are children and ethnic groups in remote places.
Literacy, health, and nutrition indicators of people living in remote areas are greatly lower than national averages, especially for women.
According to the Lao Statistics Bureau, the Toumlan district in Xekong province and the Xepon district in Savannakhet province are the poorest districts in Laos. The people in those areas live in extreme poverty.


Laos lost nine-tenths of their currency's value against the US dollar in 1997 during the Asian currency crisis.
A report from the Asian Development Bank states that even if absolute poverty incidence has halved, the distribution of private household expenditures has become more unequal in Laos.
Because a large portion of the Lao population don't have the required education, skills, and experience for jobs outside the agriculture sector, foreign businesses who invest in the country usually bring their own foreign staff with them. This creates a deeper unemployment problem.


Approximately 44% of children suffer from stunted growth and 27% are severely underweight. In minor ethnic groups, 60% of children are stunted and chronically

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