Laos is the least populated country is South East Asia, with about 7.17 million inhabitants in 2019 and an annual population growth of 2.3 %. Roughly 80 % of the population lives in rural areas. Although few in absolute numbers, within the population of Laos there is tremendous ethnic diversity with 49 officially recognized main ethnic groups. About 50 % of the population comprises culturally distinct ethnic minority groups, each with their own rich culture and traditions.
The population of Xieng Khouang Province was estimated at 251,334 in 201. Most people live in one of the provinces 570 small rural villages and practice agriculture and raise livestock. The most populous ethnic group in Xieng Khouang is Tai Phuan that comprise 40 % of the population. The Tai Phuan are classified as lowland Lao. They are traditional paddy rice farmers that supplement their livelihoods by fishing, collecting non-timber forest products and producing handicrafts.
The Hmong migrated from China to Laos in the 19th century and usually occupy the high mountains practicing rotating agriculture and raising livestock. In northern Laos, the Hmong are most populous in Xieng Khouang province (38, 4 %). Other ethnic minorities include Tai Dam, Tai Deng and Khmu people. Phonsavanh has a sizeable population of people from Viet Nam and China running small businesses.