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Laos Geography Profile 2017

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LocationSoutheastern Asia, northeast of Thailand, west of Vietnam
Geographic coordinates18 00 N, 105 00 E
Map referencesSoutheast Asia
Areatotal: 236,800 sq km
land: 230,800 sq km
water: 6,000 sq km
Area - comparativeabout twice the size of Pennsylvania; slightly larger than Utah
Land boundariestotal: 5,274 km
border countries (5): Burma 238 km, Cambodia 555 km, China 475 km, Thailand 1,845 km, Vietnam 2,161 km
Coastline0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claimsnone (landlocked)
Climatetropical monsoon; rainy season (May to November); dry season (December to April)
Terrainmostly rugged mountains; some plains and plateaus
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 710 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Mekong River 70 m
highest point: Phu Bia 2,817 m
Natural resourcestimber, hydropower, gypsum, tin, gold, gemstones
Land useagricultural land: 10.6%
arable land 6.2%; permanent crops 0.7%; permanent pasture 3.7%
forest: 67.9%
other: 21.5% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land3,100 sq km (2012)
Population distributionmost densely populated area is in and around the capital city of Vientiane; large communities are primarily found along the Mekong River along the southwestern border; overall density is considered one of the lowest in Southeast Asia
Natural hazardsfloods, droughts
Environment - current issuesunexploded ordnance; deforestation; soil erosion; most of the population does not have access to potable water
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notelandlocked; most of the country is mountainous and thickly forested; the Mekong River forms a large part of the western boundary with Thailand

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

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