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Officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Laos is a communist country, ruled by the Lao People's Revolutionary Party.
Laos's history dates back to the Lan Xang empire which ruled from the 14th to the 18th century. France took control of Laos in the nineteenth century, combining the three empires of the Kingdom of Vientiane, the Kingdom of Luang Phrabang, and the Kingdom of Champasak to create what is now known called Laos. Laos achieved freedom from France for a short term in 1945 following Japanese control. However, the country went back to being a French dominion until it was granted autonomy in 1949. Laos achieved independence from France in 1953.
The official language is Lao. English and French are also frequently spoken in the country. Most of the people are Buddhists, however there are Christians, Muslims, and followers of Baha'i Faith as well.
The economy of Laos is dependent on its international relations with Vietnam, Thailand, and China. The economy is largely focused on agriculture, which makes up about 50 percent of the GDP. Tourism and mining are other important industries.
Last Updated On : March 08, 2013
Area91,428.991 sq mi
Prime MinisterThongsing Thammavong