Administrative divisions    

This map describes the administrative divisions of the Lao PDR in 2007. At national level, the map indicates the locations of provincial and district capitals, the network of main roads, as well as the provincial and district boundaries. In each province the locations of provincial and district capitals are represented by big and small red markers with corresponding name labels. The districts are labelled with their respective code, which refers to the list of district names in the adjacent box.

In 2007 Lao PDR is divided into sixteen provinces and one municipality, and each province is further subdivided into districts amounting to a total number of 139. It should be recalled that Lao PDR additionally had a so-called special zone, “Ketphiset Xaisomboun” that was established in 1994 with 5 districts and located between Vientiane and Xiengkhuang provinces. At the end of 2005, however, this zone was abolished and the five districts were joined to their original provinces again. Longsan, Xaysomboun, Phun, and Hom districts were added to Vientiane province while Thathon district was attributed to Xiengkhuang province.

Prior to the current status shown on the map, there have been considerable changes in the number of districts since 1995. While the Population and Housing Census of 1995 reported 133 districts, this number increased to 141 in 2005 as a result of the addition of 8 new districts. Two new districts (Et and Sopbao) were created in Huaphanh in the north and one new district (Thomgmixai) in Xayabuly. In Vientiane province three districts (Met, Hinherb and Keo-Oudom) were created. Finally, in Savannaket two districts (Xaiphouthong and Phalanxai) were added. It was only in 2006 that the number of districts was again reduced to 139, when Phun district was merged with Xaysomboun district and Longsan district was merged with Hom district. It should also be noted that in 2008 one district was added and that new district boundaries have been released by the National Geographic Department (NGD). However this atlas still shows the administrative divisions of 2007.

In addition, the map of Vientiane municipality is highlighted by separating it on the right hand-side. Although the municipality is small in terms of its size, it is very important since it is the capital city of the Lao PDR. Almost all governmental administration offices at national level, foreign embassies, large businesses and main communication companies, are located in the municipality. It consists of nine districts, out of which the suburban areas of the northern, eastern and western districts are still dominantly used for farming. The landscape is dominated by commercial agriculture, and paddy fields. Increasingly, the land is also used by small industries, such as garment and furniture factories.



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