Picture Languages

Lao speaking countries

Lao is the official language in Laos and is spoken in Thailand as monther tongue by a part of the population. The Lao language (native name: ພາສາລາວ) has its roots in the Tai–Kadai language family.

With 16.75 million native speakers, Lao has the highest prevalence in Thailand. As a percentage of the total population, the largest share of around 67 percent is in Laos. A total of about 21.7 million people worldwide speak Lao as their mother tongue.
Distribution Lao

CountryRegionOfficial languageDistributionTotal
ThailandSoutheast Asiano23.4 %16,755,000
LaosSoutheast Asiayes67.2 %4,990,000

Unless otherwise described in the text, this page is about native speakers — not the total number of speakers. How many people understand or speak Lao as a subsequently learned language is not the subject of this page. Countries where native speakers make up only a few thousand, or even a few hundred people, or countries with a percentage well below 1% are unlikely to be listed here.