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List of ethnic groups in Laos

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Title: List of ethnic groups in Laos  
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Subject: O Du people, Laos, Historical archive/Votes for deletion/Lists, Laos-related lists, Lists of ethnic groups
Collection: Ethnic Groups in Laos, Laos-Related Lists, Lists of Ethnic Groups
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List of ethnic groups in Laos

The following is a list of ethnic groups within Laos.


  • Classification 1
  • Mon-Khmer 2
  • Palaungic 3
  • Khmuic 4
  • Tibeto-Burman 5
  • Hmong-Mien 6
  • Tai and Rau 7
  • Chinese 8
  • Unclassified 9
  • See also 10
  • References 11


Specialists are largely in agreement as to the ethnolinguistic classification of the ethnic groups of Laos.[1] For the purposes of the 1995 census, the government of Laos recognized 149 ethnic groups within 47 main ethnicities.[1] whereas the Lao Front for National Construction (LFNC) recently revised the list to include 49 ethnicities consisting of over 160 ethnic groups.[1]

The term ethnic minorities is used by some to classify the non-Lao ethnic groups, while the term indigenous peoples is not used by the Lao PDR.[1] These 160 ethnic groups speak a total of 82 distinct living languages.[2]



  • Bit (population of 1,530 in Laos, disputed as to whether Palaungic or Khmuic)[2]
  • Con (population of 1,000 in Luang Namtha Province)[2]
  • Samtao (population of 2,359 in Laos)[2]
  • Lamet (population of 16,740 in Laos)[2]


  • Khmu (population of 389,694 in Laos)[2]
  • Khuen (population of approximately 8,000 in Laos)[2]
  • Mal (population of 23,200 in Laos)[2]
  • Mlabri (population of 24 in Laos,[2] also known as the Yumbri)
  • O'du[2]
  • Phai (population of 15,000 in Laos)[2]
  • Xinh Mul (population of 3,164 in Laos, including Phong-Kniang and Puoc, also known as the Sing Mun)[5]



  • Hmong Daw (population of 169,800 in Laos)[2]
  • Hmong Njua (population of 145,600 in Laos)[2]
  • Iu Mien (population of 20,250, also called Yao)[2]
  • Kim Mun (population of 4,500 in Laos)[2]>

Tai and Rau



Below are some ethnic groups of Laos who speak unclassified languages, listed roughly from north to south.[8] District codes are also given (see districts of Laos).

Unclassified languages of Laos
Ethnolinguistic group Population Possible linguistic affiliation Locations
Poumong 1,000 ? Boun-Tai (2-07) and Khoa (2-03) districts, southern Phongsali Province
Pouhoy 200 (1995; 35 families)[6] Oy, Katuic? Kang Village, Namo District (4-03), northern Oudomxai Province
Taket <1000[6] Austro-Asiatic?[6] Nambak District (6-05), Luang Prabang Province
Tamoy 500 (< 15 villages) Palaungic, Khmuic? Viangphoukha District (3-04), Luang Namtha Province
Nguan 30,000 Lametic, Palaungic? Nale (3-05), Viangphoukha (3-04), and Luang Namtha (3-01) districts of Luang Namtha Province, near the Khuen, Lamet, and Khmu Rok peoples; also in Houayxay District (5-01), Bokeo Province
Salao 800 Ethnic Lao[6] Pakxong District (16-04), Champasak Province

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Indigenous Peoples Development Planning Document
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb Ethnologue report for Laos
  3. ^ Ta Ong Trail
  4. ^ a b c Laos Cultural Profile (Ministry of Information and Culture/Visiting Arts)
  5. ^ Ta La, Laos
  6. ^ a b c d e Schliesinger, Jachim. 2003. Ethnic Groups of Laos. vol. 2. Profile of Austro-Asiatic Speaking Peoples. White Lotus. Bangkok.
  7. ^ a b Biodatabase
  8. ^
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