Project Information

Project Title
Population Dynamics and Livelihood Changes in Traditional Small Communities of Rural Laos
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Kakenhi), Scientific Research(A)
Project Year
From April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2021
Budget Amount
32,200,000yen (Eestimated direct budget for 4 years)

Background of the Project

We have been interested in elucidating the relationship between population dynamics and livelihood changes in Laos. Therefore, our project team has carried out surveys of fertility, mortality, marriage, migration, education, marital relations, economics and farmland holdings at the household level since 2013.

In the previous research project which conducted intensive field research at a small-scale rain-fed paddy village in Savannakhet Province, we clarified that history of residents’ livelihood activities to deal with the population increase. As a result, the residents did not make an effort to increase food production and to raise productivity such as intensification or mechanization of agriculture, but actively engaged in migrant work to Thailand for earning cash income since the 1980s. Residents purchased paddies from neighboring villages with money earned by migrant works, and were trying to balance self-sufficiency and cash income by further reducing the apparent population in the village.

In addition to this, the fertility rate has declined as a result of family planning being implemented by the public authority since 1996, and the population has declined from 2005. Along with the public authority measures, temporary migration to Thailand can be regarded as a factor of family planning penetration, because women migrants were difficult to have a baby while working in Thailand.

However, since temporary migration to Thailand is not so common in northern Laos, we still do not understand how residents cope with population increase there.


The objective of our study is to comprehensively understand the relationship among population dynamics, reproduction and livelihood in northern Laos, besides the small traditional community in southern Laos where cash income by migrant works in Thailand is outstanding.

Counterpart Organizations

National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI), Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Lao P.D.R.

National Institute of Public Health (NIOPH), Ministry of Health, Lao P.D.R.

Project Member

Principal Investigator

Professor, Graduate School of Environmentall Studies, Nagoya University


Ren'ya SATO PhD
Professor, Graduate School of Letters, Osaka University
Professor, Grouduate School of Human Sciences, Osaka University
Professor, Niigata Sangyo University (Professor emeritus at Kobe University)
Professor, Graduate School of Health Sciences, Kobe University
Senior Associate Professor, International Christian University
Shinsuke TOMITA PhD
Associate Professor, Asian Satellite Campuses Institute (ASCI), Nagoya University
Takahiro NIWA PhD
Lecturer, Faculty of Economics, Teikyo University
Assistant Professor, School of Tropical Medicine and Global Health, Nagasaki University
Hongwei JIANG PhD
Researcher, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature

Research Collaborator

Graduate Student, Graduate School of Health Sciences, Kobe Universit
Yusuke MAEDA
Graduate Student, Graduate School of Environmentall Studies, Nagoya University


Department of Geography, Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University
Fro-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan
Prof. Satoshi YOKOYAMA