Prior to the analysis of what causes poverty in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), the background information of the country is of prime importance to help the readers understand and catch up with what is going to be examined in this essay. .
Basic Data of the Lao PDR .
• Area : 236.800 km2.
• Population : 5.7 million (2003).
• Population density : 24 person/km2 (2003).
• Population growth rate : 2.3% (2002).
• Life expectancy : 54.5 years (2002).
• Infant mortality rate : 100/1.000 (2002).
• Literacy rate : 73% (1998/1999).
• Religion : Buddhism.
• Economy : 1. Per-capital GNP = US$350 (2000).
2. GDP = US$1.7 billion (2002).
3. Real GDP growth rate = 5.0% (2002).
4. CPI growth rate = 9.0% (estimated from 2000-2003).
Source: The World Bank Group.
Generally speaking, the terminology "poverty" is somewhat vague and complex. It has a negative connotation and can be applied to many terms for instance, income poverty, human poverty and the like. According to CPC and JICA (2002:105) poverty in Laos is considered as the lack of basic requirements in daily livelihood, such as lack of food (less than 2,100 kcal/person/day), clothing, permanent shelter, inability to afford necessary medical treatments, inability to afford one's own education and the education of other members of family and the lack of easy access primarily. However, this paper, firstly, the causes of poverty in the Lao PDR. Secondly, it will explain the correlations between variables, how those factors are linked and create poverty. Therefore, the dependent variable is poverty and the independent variables are all the causes of poverty that will be discussed in the following.
According to the model:.
1. The dependent variable is poverty.
2. The independent variables are:.
• Geography disadvantage (negative).
• Long period of war.