Laos is a landlocked country located in Southeast Asia. It has a total area of approximately 20,000 km² and a population of over 6 million. The official language of Laos is Lao. Laos officially became an independent country in 1975, after being part of the French Indochina Union for more than two centuries. Neighboring countries include Thailand to the south, Cambodia and Vietnam to the west, and China to the north. Laos is a poor country with a high rate of poverty, HIV/AIDS, and malnutrition. The economy is primarily agricultural, with significant fisheries and mining sectors, although there are also significant manufacturing and service sectors.