The first Census of Agriculture (CA) in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) was conducted in 1998/1999. The metadata review and data presented here refer to the second CA, conducted in 2010/2011.
Most people in Lao PDR live in rural areas and make their living from agriculture. The Government needs detailed and up-to-date statistics on agriculture to help develop the agricultural sector and improve the welfare of the people. The Government already has statistics on the area and production of rice and other major crops, as well as livestock numbers. However, there is little information available on such things as: the different types of rice grown, the number of rice farmers, the area planted to minor crops, the use of different inputs, the use of farm machinery, farm size, farm labour, and the age/sex structure of livestock. The Lao Agricultural Census will provide these and many other data. The Lao Agricultural Census is part of a world-wide programme of agricultural censuses, which started in the 1930’s. Over 120 countries are now participating in that programme; many of these undertake agricultural censuses every ten years. The Lao Agricultural Census is the first such census undertaken in Lao PDR. It is being conducted in all 141 districts and is one of the largest and most important statistical collections ever undertaken in the country.
Objectives of Lao Agricultural Census:
1. To provide data on the structure of agriculture, agricultural land (land use for agricultural crops; livestock).
> Land issue: there is strong need for land use and other related data to guide land policy formulation .
2. To obtain community-level data (at the village level) for examining the infrastructure and services available to farm holdings.
3. To provide data to use as benchmarks for current agricultural statistics.
4. To strengthen national capacity and provide frames for future agricultural sample surveys.
Kind of Data
Census/enumeration data [cen]
Unit of Analysis
The scope of the study includes:
Part 1. Farm households
Part 2. Land
Part 3. Crops
Part 4. Irrigation
Part 5. Livestock
Part 6. Farm practices/services
Part 7. Farm population
Part 8. Farm labour
Part 9. Farm management
Part 10. Fisheries
Part 11. Forestry
Agriculture & Rural Development
Food (production, crisis)
Land (policy, resource management)
Forests & Forestry
The statistical unit was the farm household (holding), defined as an economic unit of agricultural production under single management, comprising all livestock raised and all agricultural land operated, regardless of ownership, which engages agricultural operation above certain established thresholds of land, livestock or aquaculture.
Producers and sponsors
National Statistics Centre (NSC)
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF)
Swedish International Development Co-operation Authority
Swedish International Development Co-operation Authority
Sample design and selection
The sample for the sample farm household component was selected using two-stage sampling: a sample of villages was first selected, and then a sample of farm households was selected in each sample village. In most districts, a sample of between 16 and 22 villages was selected, with 16 farm households selected in each sample village; that is, a sample of between 256 and 352 sample farm households in each district. The more villages or farm households in a district, the bigger the sample that was taken. A smaller sample was taken in urban districts and districts containing few villages or households. In each district, the sample of villages was selected using stratified systematic probability proportional to size (PPS) sampling. A list of all villages in Lao PDR was prepared. Villages were divided into urban and rural strata, with rural strata being sampled more heavily than urban strata because of their agricultural importance. The estimated number of households in each village was used as the size measure for PPS sampling. The sample of farm households in each sample village was selected using stratified systematic random sampling based on a list of all farm households in each village prepared following the household component of the census. Altogether, 2,620 villages and 41,660 sample farm households were selected in the sample.
village component- 99 percent
household component - 99. 4 percent
sample farm household componen - 99.9 percent
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Four questionnaires were used in the CA 2010/2011, as follows:
(i) a form for listing the households in the village, Form 1;
(ii) a questionnaire for the household component, Form 4;
(iii) a questionnaire for the farm household (holding) component, Form 5;
(iv) a questionnaire for the village component, Form 3.
The 2010/2011 CA census questionnaires covered all 16 core items recommended for the WCA 2010 roundn namely;
0001 Identification and location of agricultural holding
0002+ Legal status of agricultural holder
0003 Sex of agricultural holder
0004 Age of agricultural holder
0005 Household size
0006 Main purpose of production of the holding
0007 Area of holding according to land use types
0008 Total area of holding
0009 Land tenure types on the holding
0010 Presence of irrigation on the holding
0011 Types of temporary crops on the holding
0012 Types of permanent crops on the holding and whether in compact plantation
0013 Number of animals on the holding for each livestock type
0014 Presence of aquaculture on the holding
0015+ Presence of forest and other wooded land on the holding
0016 Other economic production activities of the holding's enterprise
See questionnnares in external materials tab
Completed questionnaires were returned to ACO in Vientiane for processing. Processing involved:
- checking that the census enumeration was complete;
- manually checking that questionnaires had been correctly filled out; coding of descriptive responses (such as crop types);
- entering data into the computer (using keyboard methods); running computer checks to identify and correct errors; and producing tabulations of census data.
There were nearly 1.2 million questionnaires and therefore it took some for the processing to be completed. Preliminary checking and coding was done from May-September 2011; data entry was done from June-December 2011; and error checking was done from August 2011-February 2012. Tabulations were prepared by April 2012.
Estimates of Sampling Error
The census data presented from the sample farm household component are based on a sample and are therefore subject to sampling errors. Because of the sample design used, sampling errors on provincial
and national estimates are generally quite small.
To ensure census data quality, supervision was done at the central, provincial and district level. The data were confronted with external sources, such as the data from the previous census and current agricultural surveys. For the sampling component, statistical errors were computed.
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses