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Laos People & Culture
One of the lowest population densities in Asia, at 19 persons per square km, and an estimated population of only 5.4 million people, belies the fact that Laos is home to 68 different ethnic groups. These fall into three groupings, based upon language, culture and traditions.
The fertile Mekong River valley and lowland plains are where 68% of the total population live and this group is classified as the Lao Loam.
The mountainous slopes of Laos are inhabited by the Lao Thing, who make up 22% of the country's population. The Lao Soung (Mountain Lao), including Hmong (or Meo) and Yao (or Mien) tribes peoples make up a further 9% of the Laos population, while the remaining 1% are ethnic Vietnamese and Chinese.