Laos is in South-eastern Asia, northeast of Thailand, west of Vietnam. The climate is tropical monsoon with a rainy season (May to November) and a dry season (December to April). The official language is Lao. Government and business circles commonly use French, while English is growing in popularity. Lao and Thai are quite similar languages and Lao speakers tend to understand a reasonable amount of Thai. The main religion is Buddhism. The economy of Laos is heavily dependent on investment and trade with its neighbours, Thailand, Vietnam, and, especially in the north, China. Much of the country lacks adequate infrastructure. Subsistence agriculture still accounts for half of the GDP and provides 80 percent of employment. In Laos business dress for men typically comprises a lightweight suit with a shirt and tie. Expatriate women are expected to wear a dress or a lightweight suit. The security risk for expatriates in Laos is low to medium. Risks include low levels of crime such as theft and assault, the threat of terrorism, stringent security checks and surveillance by security forces. The currency of Laos is the Lao Kip (LAK). Medical facilities are extremely basic. Medical evacuation is challenging and very expensive. Water borne, food borne and other infectious diseases are common and serious outbreaks have occurred. The population of Laos is 6.8 Million (2018 est.), while the inflation rate (CPI) is 1.75% for Laos as at February 2018. For a single Expat, the personal income tax rate in Laos is progressive up to 24%.
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates / professional migrants in In Laos, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average, is categorized follows (Exact cost of living percentages only available in personalised reports): Laos as at 1 April 2018 is average in comparison to other places in the world. 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Very Low 2) Clothing: Very Low 3) Communication: Very High 4) Education: Average 5) Furniture & Appliances: Low 6) Groceries: Very Low 7) Healthcare: Low 8) Household Accommodation: Average 9) Miscellaneous: High 10) Personal Care: Low 11) Recreation & Culture: High 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Very Low 13) Transport: High Laos is for example -26.3% cheaper than USA for groceries, -10.2% cheaper for household costs than UK, and 107.9% more expensive for transport costs than India. The hardship premium for Laos for an expat from Australia, is for example 30%, i.e. host location (Laos) premium of 40% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%. Laos is ranked as a extreme hardship location. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship (quality of living) or expat salary in Laos? Register subscribe to your home location and Laos and run your personalised reports.