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Vietnam country facts

Socialist Republic of Vietnam East and Southeast Asia Hanoi (Ha Noi) 93,421,835 inhabitants 331,210 sq km 282.06 inhabitants/sq km dong (VND) population evolution



The conquest of Vietnam by France began in 1858 and was completed by 1884. It became part of French Indochina in 1887. Vietnam declared independence after World War II, but France continued to rule until its 1954 defeat by communist forces under Ho Chi MINH. Under the Geneva Accords of 1954, Vietnam was divided into the communist North and anti-communist South. US economic and military aid to South Vietnam grew through the 1960s in an attempt to bolster the government, but US armed forces were withdrawn following a cease-fire agreement in 1973. Two years later, North Vietnamese forces overran the South reuniting the country under communist rule. Despite the return of peace, for over a decade the country experienced little economic growth because of conservative leadership policies, the persecution and mass exodus of individuals - many of them successful South Vietnamese merchants - and growing international isolation. However, since the enactment of Vietnam's "doi moi" (renovation) policy in 1986, Vietnamese authorities have committed to increased economic liberalization and enacted structural reforms needed to modernize the economy and to produce more competitive, export-driven industries. The communist leaders, however, maintain control on political expression and have resisted outside calls to improve human rights. The country continues to experience small-scale protests from various groups - the vast majority connected to land-use issues, calls for increased political space, and the lack of equitable mechanisms for resolving disputes. Various ethnic minorities, such as the Montagnards of the Central Highlands and the Khmer Krom in the southern delta region, have also held protests.



Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, Gulf of Tonkin, and South China Sea, as well as China, Laos, and Cambodia

Geographic coordinates

16 10 N, 107 50 E

Area (sq km)

total: 331,210 sq km
land: 310,070 sq km
water: 21,140 sq km

Area - comparative (sq km)

slightly larger than New Mexico

Land boundaries (km)

total: 4,639 km
border countries: Cambodia 1,228 km, China 1,281 km, Laos 2,130 km

Coastline (km)

3,444 km (excludes islands)

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin


tropical in south; monsoonal in north with hot, rainy season (May to September) and warm, dry season (October to March)


low, flat delta in south and north; central highlands; hilly, mountainous in far north and northwest

Elevation extremes (m)

lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: Fan Si Pan 3,144 m

Natural resources

phosphates, coal, manganese, rare earth elements, bauxite, chromate, offshore oil and gas deposits, timber, hydropower

Land use (%)

arable land: 19.64%
permanent crops: 11.18%
other: 69.18% (2011)

Irrigated land (sq km)

45,850 sq km (2005)

Total renewable water resources (cu km)

884.1 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural) ()

total: 82.03 cu km/yr (1%/4%/95%)
per capita: 965 cu m/yr (2005)

Natural hazards

occasional typhoons (May to January) with extensive flooding, especially in the Mekong River delta

Environment - current issues

logging and slash-and-burn agricultural practices contribute to deforestation and soil degradation; water pollution and overfishing threaten marine life populations; groundwater contamination limits potable water supply; growing urban industrialization and population migration are rapidly degrading environment in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note

extending 1,650 km north to south, the country is only 50 km across at its narrowest point

People and Society


noun: Vietnamese (singular and plural)
adjective: Vietnamese

Ethnic groups (%)

Kinh (Viet) 85.7%, Tay 1.9%, Thai 1.8%, Muong 1.5%, Khmer 1.5%, Mong 1.2%, Nung 1.1%, others 5.3% (1999 census)

Languages (%)

Vietnamese (official), English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer, mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)

Religions (%)

Buddhist 9.3%, Catholic 6.7%, Hoa Hao 1.5%, Cao Dai 1.1%, Protestant 0.5%, Muslim 0.1%, none 80.8% (1999 census)


93,421,835 (July 2014 est.)   evolution and prospects (1950-2100)

Age structure (%)

0-14 years: 24.3% (male 11,946,656/female 10,800,602)
15-24 years: 17.8% (male 8,598,360/female 8,023,377)
25-54 years: 44.8% (male 20,983,638/female 20,861,243)
55-64 years: 7.4% (male 3,149,494/female 3,763,309)
65 years and over: 5.6% (male 2,034,721/female 3,260,435) (2014 est.)

Age structure in Vietnam

Median age (years)

total: 29.2 years
male: 28.1 years
female: 30.2 years (2014 est.)

Population growth rate (%)

1% (2014 est.)

Birth rate (births/1,000 population)

16.26 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Death rate (deaths/1,000 population)

5.93 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Net migration rate (migrant(s)/1,000 population)

-0.32 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Urbanization (%)

urban population: 31% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 3.03% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

Ho Chi Minh City 6.405 million; HANOI (capital) 2.955 million; Haiphong 925,000; Da Nang 834,000 (2011)

Sex ratio (male(s)/female)

at birth: 1.12 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.11 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2014 est.)

Maternal mortality rate (deaths/100,000 live births)

59 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate (deaths/1,000 live births)

total: 18.99 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 19.35 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 18.58 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)

Life expectancy at birth (years)

total population: 72.91 years
male: 70.44 years
female: 75.65 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate (children born/woman)

1.85 children born/woman (2014 est.)

Health expenditures (% of GDP)

6.8% of GDP (2011)

Physicians density (physicians/1,000 population)

1.22 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Hospital bed density (beds/1,000 population)

2.2 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Drinking water source (% of population)

improved: urban: 98.2% of population
rural: 93.6% of population
total: 95% of population
unimproved: urban: 1.8% of population
rural: 6.4% of population
total: 5% of population (2012 est.)

Sanitation facility access (% of population)

improved: urban: 93.1% of population
rural: 66.6% of population
total: 75% of population
unimproved: urban: 6.9% of population
rural: 33.4% of population
total: 25% of population (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate (%)

0.4% (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

259,200 (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

11,700 (2012 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, and Japanese encephalitis
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2013)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate (%)

1.7% (2008)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight (%)

12% (2011)

Education expenditures (% of GDP)

6.3% of GDP (2010)

Literacy (%)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.4%
male: 95.4%
female: 91.4% (2011 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 (%)

total: 5.5%
male: 4.6%
female: 6.5% (2012)


Country name

conventional long form: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
conventional short form: Vietnam
local long form: Cong Hoa Xa Hoi Chu Nghia Viet Nam
local short form: Viet Nam
abbreviation: SRV

Government type

Communist state


name: Hanoi (Ha Noi)
geographic coordinates: 21 02 N, 105 51 E
time difference: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

58 provinces (tinh, singular and plural) and 5 municipalities (thanh pho, singular and plural)
provinces: An Giang, Bac Giang, Bac Kan, Bac Lieu, Bac Ninh, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Ben Tre, Binh Dinh, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Binh Thuan, Ca Mau, Cao Bang, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Dien Bien, Dong Nai, Dong Thap, Gia Lai, Ha Giang, Ha Nam, Ha Tinh, Hai Duong, Hau Giang, Hoa Binh, Hung Yen, Khanh Hoa, Kien Giang, Kon Tum, Lai Chau, Lam Dong, Lang Son, Lao Cai, Long An, Nam Dinh, Nghe An, Ninh Binh, Ninh Thuan, Phu Tho, Phu Yen, Quang Binh, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Quang Ninh, Quang Tri, Soc Trang, Son La, Tay Ninh, Thai Binh, Thai Nguyen, Thanh Hoa, Thua Thien-Hue, Tien Giang, Tra Vinh, Tuyen Quang, Vinh Long, Vinh Phuc, Yen Bai
municipalities: Can Tho, Da Nang, Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)


2 September 1945 (from France)

National holiday

Independence Day, 2 September (1945)


several previous; latest adopted 15 April 1992, effective 1 January 1995; amended 2001, 2013 (2014)

Legal system

civil law system; note - the civil code of 2005 reflects a European-style civil law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Truong Tan SANG (since 25 July 2011); Vice President Nguyen Thi DOAN (since 25 July 2007)
head of government: Prime Minister Nguyen Tan DUNG (since 27 June 2006); Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc DAM (since 13 November 2013), Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung HAI (since 2 August 2007), Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh MINH (since 13 November 2013), Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van NINH (since 3 August 2011), and Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan PHUC (since 3 August 2011)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by president based on proposal of prime minister and confirmed by National Assembly
elections: president elected by the National Assembly from among its members for five-year term; last election held 25 July 2011 (next to be held in July 2016); prime minister appointed by the president from among the members of the National Assembly; deputy prime ministers appointed by the prime minister; appointment of prime minister and deputy prime ministers confirmed by National Assembly
election results: Truong Tan SANG elected president, percent of National Assembly vote - 97%; Nguyen Tan DUNG elected prime minister, percent of National Assembly vote - 94%

Legislative branch

unicameral National Assembly or Quoc Hoi (500 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held on 22 May 2011 (next to be held in May 2016)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CPV 458, non-party CPV-approved 38, self-nominated 4; note - 500 candidates were elected; the 496 CPV and non-party CPV-approved delegates were members of the Vietnamese Fatherland Front and were vetted prior to the election

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme People's Court (consists of the chief justice and 13 judges)
judge selection and term of office: chief justice elected by the National Assembly on the recommendation of the president for a 5-year, renewable term; other judges appointed by the president for 5-year terms
subordinate courts: Court of Appeals; administrative, civil, criminal, economic, and labor courts; Central Military Court; People's Special Courts; note - the National Assembly can establish special tribunals

Political parties and leaders

Communist Party of Vietnam or CPV [Nguyen Phu TRONG]
note: other parties proscribed

Political pressure groups and leaders

8406 Bloc
Democratic Party of Vietnam or DPV
People's Democratic Party Vietnam or PDP-VN
Alliance for Democracy
note: these groups advocate democracy but are not recognized by the government

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Nguyen Quoc CUONG (since 2 May 2011)
chancery: 1233 20th Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 861-0737
FAX: [1] (202) 861-0917
consulate(s) general: Houston, New York, San Francisco
consulate: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador David B. SHEAR (since 4 August 2011)
embassy: Rose Garden Building, 170 Ngoc Khanh St., Hanoi
mailing address: 7 Lang Ha Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi; 4550 Hanoi Place, Washington, DC 20521-4550
telephone: [84] (4) 3850-5000
FAX: [84] (4) 3850-5010
consulate(s) general: Ho Chi Minh City

Flag description

red field with a large yellow five-pointed star in the center; red symbolizes revolution and blood, the five-pointed star represents the five elements of the populace - peasants, workers, intellectuals, traders, and soldiers - that unite to build socialism

National symbol(s)

yellow, five-pointed star on red field; lotus blossom

National anthem

name: "Tien quan ca" (The Song of the Marching Troops)
lyrics/music: Nguyen Van CAO
note: adopted as the national anthem of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945; it became the national anthem of the unified Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1976; although it consists of two verses, only the first is used as the official anthem


Economy - overview

Vietnam is a densely-populated developing country that has been transitioning from the rigidities of a centrally-planned economy since 1986. Vietnamese authorities have reaffirmed their commitment to economic modernization in recent years. Vietnam joined the World Trade Organization in January 2007, which has promoted more competitive, export-driven industries. Vietnam became an official negotiating partner in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement in 2010. Agriculture's share of economic output has continued to shrink from about 25% in 2000 to less than 20% in 2013, while industry's share increased from 36% to more than 42% in the same period. State-owned enterprises account for about 40% of GDP. Poverty has declined significantly, and Vietnam is working to create jobs to meet the challenge of a labor force that is growing by more than one million people every year. The global recession hurt Vietnam's export-oriented economy, with GDP in 2013 growing at 5%, the slowest rate of growth since 1999. In 2013, however, exports increased by more than 12%, year-on-year; several administrative actions brought the trade deficit back into balance. Between 2008 and 2011, Vietnam's managed currency, the dong, was devalued in excess of 20%, but its value remained relatively stable in 2013. Hanoi has oscillated between promoting growth and emphasizing macroeconomic stability in recent years. In February 2011, the government shifted from policies aimed at achieving a high rate of economic growth, which had stoked inflation, to those aimed at stabilizing the economy, through tighter monetary and fiscal control. Although Vietnam unveiled a broad, "three pillar" economic reform program in early 2012, proposing the restructuring of public investment, state-owned enterprises, and the banking sector, little perceptible progress has been made. Vietnam's economy continues to face challenges from an undercapitalized banking sector. Non-performing loans weigh heavily on banks and businesses.

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$358.9 billion (2013 est.)
$340.8 billion (2012 est.)
$323.8 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$170 billion (2013 est.)

GDP - real growth rate (%)

5.3% (2013 est.)
5.2% (2012 est.)
6.2% (2011 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$4,000 (2013 est.)
$3,800 (2012 est.)
$3,700 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP - composition, by sector of origin (%)

agriculture: 19.3%
industry: 38.5%
services: 42.2% (2013 est.)

Labor force

52.93 million (2013 est.)

Labor force - by occupation (%)

agriculture: 48%
industry: 21%
services: 31% (2012)

Unemployment rate (%)

1.3% (2013 est.)
3.2% (2012 est.)

Population below poverty line (%)

11.3% (2012 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share (%)

lowest 10%: 3.2%
highest 10%: 30.2% (2008)

Distribution of family income - Gini index

37.6 (2008)
36.1 (1998)


revenues: $42.82 billion
expenditures: $50 billion (2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues (% of GDP)

25.2% of GDP (2013 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) (% of GDP)

-4.2% of GDP (2013 est.)

Public debt (% of GDP)

48.2% of GDP (2013 est.)
48.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
note: official data; data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions

Inflation rate (consumer prices) (%)

6.8% (2013 est.)
9.1% (2012 est.)

Central bank discount rate (%)

9% (31 December 2012)
15% (31 December 2011)

Commercial bank prime lending rate (%)

10.5% (31 December 2013 est.)
13.47% (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$43.99 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$40.34 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of broad money

$184.9 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$165.9 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$173.8 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$163.5 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$38.2 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$26 billion (31 December 2011)
$37 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Agriculture - products

rice, coffee, rubber, tea, pepper, soybeans, cashews, sugar cane, peanuts, bananas; poultry; fish, seafood


food processing, garments, shoes, machine-building; mining, coal, steel; cement, chemical fertilizer, glass, tires, oil, mobile phones

Industrial production growth rate (%)

5% (2013 est.)

Current account balance

$8.162 billion (2013 est.)
$9.062 billion (2012 est.)


$128.9 billion (2013 est.)
$114.6 billion (2012 est.)

Exports - commodities (%)

clothes, shoes, electronics, seafood, crude oil, rice, coffee, wooden products, machinery

Exports - partners (%)

US 17.8%, Japan 11.8%, China 11.2%, South Korea 5%, Malaysia 4.1% (2012)


$121.4 billion (2013 est.)
$104.7 billion (2012 est.)

Imports - commodities (%)

machinery and equipment, petroleum products, steel products, raw materials for the clothing and shoe industries, electronics, plastics, automobiles

Imports - partners (%)

China 25.8%, South Korea 13.9%, Japan 10.4%, Singapore 6%, Thailand 5.2%, US 4.3% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$32.49 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$26.11 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

External debt ($)

$68.38 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$63.95 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

$84.61 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$73.71 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

$NA (31 December 2009 est.)
$5.3 billion (31 December 2008)

Exchange rates

Currency converter
dong (VND) per US dollar -
21,118 (2013 est.)
20,859 (2012 est.)
18,612.92 (2010 est.)
17,799.6 (2009)
16,548.3 (2008)

Fiscal year

calendar year


Electricity - production (kWh)

117 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption (kWh)

104 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports (kWh)

964 million kWh (2010 est.)

Electricity - imports (kWh)

2.7 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity (kW)

26.3 million kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels (% of total installed capacity)

55% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants (% of total installed capacity)

45% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources (% of total installed capacity)

0.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production (bbl/day)

363,500 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - exports (bbl/day)

188,000 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves (bbl)

4.4 billion bbl (1 January 2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production (bbl/day)

112,000 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption (bbl/day)

259,900 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports (bbl/day)

37,050 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports (bbl/day)

184,900 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production (cu m)

9.3 billion cu m (2012 est.)

Natural gas - consumption (cu m)

10.2 billion cu m (2012 est.)

Natural gas - exports (cu m)

0 cu m (2012 est.)

Natural gas - imports (cu m)

890 million cu m (2012 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves (cu m)

699.4 billion cu m (1 January 2013 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy (Mt)

112.7 million Mt (2011 est.)


Telephones - main lines in use

10.191 million (2012)

Telephones - mobile cellular

134.066 million (2012)

Telephone system

general assessment: Vietnam is putting considerable effort into modernization and expansion of its telecommunication system
domestic: all provincial exchanges are digitalized and connected to Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City by fiber-optic cable or microwave radio relay networks; main lines have been increased, and the use of mobile telephones is growing rapidly
international: country code - 84; a landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3, the C2C, and Thailand-Vietnam-Hong Kong submarine cable systems; the Asia-America Gateway submarine cable system, completed in 2009, provided new access links to Asia and the US; satellite earth stations - 2 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region) (2011)

Broadcast media

government controls all broadcast media exercising oversight through the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC); government-controlled national TV provider, Vietnam Television (VTV), operates a network of 9 channels with several regional broadcasting centers; programming is relayed nationwide via a network of provincial and municipal TV stations; law limits access to satellite TV but many households are able to access foreign programming via home satellite equipment; government-controlled Voice of Vietnam, the national radio broadcaster, broadcasts on 6 channels and is repeated on AM, FM, and shortwave stations throughout Vietnam (2008)

Internet country code


Internet hosts

189,553 (2012)

Internet users

23.382 million (2009)



45 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 38
over 3,047 m: 10
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 9 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 3 (2013)


1 (2013)

Pipelines (km)

condensate 72 km; condensate/gas 398 km; gas 955 km; oil 128 km; oil/gas/water 33 km; refined products 206 km; water 13 km (2013)

Railways (km)

total: 2,632 km
standard gauge: 527 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 2,105 km 1.000-m gauge (2008)

Roadways (km)

total: 206,633 km
paved: 148,338 km
unpaved: 47,130 km (2013)

Waterways (km)

47,130 km (30,831 km weight under 50 tons) (2011)

Merchant marine

total: 579
by type: barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 142, cargo 335, chemical tanker 23, container 19, liquefied gas 7, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 48, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 1, specialized tanker 1
registered in other countries: 86 (Cambodia 1, Kiribati 2, Mongolia 33, Panama 43, Taiwan 1, Tuvalu 6) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Cam Pha Port, Da Nang, Haiphong, Phu My, Quy Nhon
river port(s): Ho Chi Minh (Mekong)
container port(s) (TEUs): Haiphong (1,018,794), Saigon New Port (3,071,777)

Transportation - note

the International Maritime Bureau reports the territorial and offshore waters in the South China Sea as high risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships; numerous commercial vessels have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; hijacked vessels are often disguised and cargo diverted to ports in East Asia; crews have been murdered or cast adrift


Military branches

People's Armed Forces: People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN; includes Vietnam People's Navy (with Naval Infantry), Vietnam People's Air and Air Defense Force, Border Defense Command, Coast Guard) (2013)

Military service age and obligation (years of age)

18-25 years of age for male compulsory and voluntary military service; females may volunteer for active duty military service; conscription typically takes place twice annually and service obligation is 18 months (Army, Air Defense), 2 years (Navy and Air Force); 18-45 years of age (male) or 18-40 years of age (female) for Militia Force or Self Defense Force service; males may enroll in military schools at age 17 (2013)

Manpower available for military service

males age 16-49: 25,649,738
females age 16-49: 24,995,692 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 16-49: 20,405,847
females age 16-49: 21,098,102 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually

male: 847,743
female: 787,341 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures (% of GDP)

2.37% of GDP (2012)
2.17% of GDP (2011)
2.37% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

southeast Asian states have enhanced border surveillance to check the spread of avian flu; Cambodia and Laos protest Vietnamese squatters and armed encroachments along border; Cambodia accuses Vietnam of a wide variety of illicit cross-border activities; progress on a joint development area with Cambodia is hampered by an unresolved dispute over sovereignty of offshore islands; an estimated 300,000 Vietnamese refugees reside in China; establishment of a maritime boundary with Cambodia is hampered by unresolved dispute over the sovereignty of offshore islands; the decade-long demarcation of the China-Vietnam land boundary was completed in 2009; China occupies the Paracel Islands also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; Brunei claims a maritime boundary extending beyond as far as a median with Vietnam, thus asserting an implicit claim to Lousia Reef; the 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" has eased tensions but falls short of a legally binding "code of conduct" desired by several of the disputants; Vietnam continues to expand construction of facilities in the Spratly Islands; in March 2005, the national oil companies of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam signed a joint accord to conduct marine seismic activities in the Spratly Islands; Economic Exclusion Zone negotiations with Indonesia are ongoing, and the two countries in Fall 2011 agreed to work together to reduce illegal fishing along their maritime boundary

Refugees and internally displaced persons

stateless persons: 11,500 (2012); note - Vietnam's stateless ethnic Chinese Cambodian population dates to the 1970s when thousands of Cambodians fled to Vietnam to escape the Khmer Rouge and were no longer recognized as Cambodian citizens; Vietnamese women who gave up their citizenship to marry foreign men have found themselves stateless after divorcing and returning home to Vietnam; the government addressed this problem in 2009, and Vietnamese women are beginning to reclaim their citizenship

Illicit drugs

minor producer of opium poppy; probable minor transit point for Southeast Asian heroin; government continues to face domestic opium/heroin/methamphetamine addiction problems despite longstanding crackdowns

Largest cities of Vietnam

These are the 50 largest cities of Vietnam ordered based on their number of inhabitants.

# City Population
1 Ho Chi Minh City 3,467,426
2 Hanoi 1,431,377
3 Hai Phong 602,718
4 Da Nang 472,255
5 Biên Hòa 407,224
6 Hue 287,228
7 Nha Trang 283,452
8 Can Tho 259,608
9 Rach Gia 228,365
10 Qui Nhon 210,346
11 Vung Tau 209,699
12 Nam Dinh 193,507
13 Phan Thiet 160,665
14 Long Xuyên 158,159
15 Hong Gai 148,072
16 Buon Me Thuot 146,986
17 Cam Ranh 146,771
18 Cam Pha 135,487
19 Thái Nguyên 133,882
20 Da Lat 131,382
21 My Tho 122,315
22 Soc Trang 114,462
23 Plây Cu 114,234
24 Thanh Hóa 112,482
25 Cà Mau 111,903
26 Bac Lieu 107,920
27 Vinh 107,130
28 Hòa Bình 105,268
29 Vinh Long 103,323
30 Yên Bái 96,548
31 Phan Rang 91,520
32 Viet Tri 71,462
33 Tuy Hòa 69,602
34 Tân An 64,806
35 Uông Bí 63,829
36 Ben Tre 59,449
37 Tam Ky 59,000
38 Chau Doc 58,039
39 Hai Duong 58,035
40 Trà Vinh 57,413
41 Bac Giang 53,732
42 Thái Bình 53,095
43 Tây Ninh 47,971
44 Kon Tum 47,414
45 Kon Tum 47,414
46 Bac Ninh 43,564
47 Cao Bang 41,117
48 Son Tay 40,636
49 Dien Bien 40,292
50 Ninh Bình 36,868