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Laos is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Cambodia to the south, Vietnam to the east, Burma and the People’s Republic of China to the northwest and Thailand to the west. Its population was estimated to be around 6.8 million in July 2014. Since 1975, Laos has been ruled by a Marxist and communist government. Its population was estimated to be around 6.8 million in July 2014. The government of Laos recognized 149 ethnic groups within 47 main ethnicities.
Rivers are an important means of transport in Laos.
A third of the population of Laos currently living below the international poverty line, living on less than US$1.25 per day. Laos has a low-income economy, with one of the lowest annual incomes in the world. Laos remains one of the poorest and least developed countries in South East Asia. More than three quarters of the population live in rural areas. Extreme poverty is most common in mountainous regions, where the majority of the country’s ethnic minority peoples live.
Typical village house in the mountains of Bokeo province.