Vietnam Quick Facts and Figures

Official Name: Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Capital: Hanoi

Time Zone:   GMT/UTC+7

Area: 331,689 sq km (128,066 sq miles)

Population:  87.84 million (2011) World Bank

Population density: 268 per sq km.


85% ethnic Vietnamese, 3% ethnic Chinese, also Khmer, Cham (a remnant of the once great Indianised Champa Kingdom) and members of some 55 ethno-linguistic groups.


Buddhism is the principal religion but there are also sizeable Taoist, Confucian, Hoa Hao, Cao Dai, Muslim and Christian minorities.

Life expectancy:

total population: 72.41 years

male: 69.95 years

female: 75.16 years (2012 est.)

Literacy rate:  

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 94%
male: 96.1%
female: 92%

Form of Government:  

Socialist republic since 1980. Gained independence from France in 1954.

Head of State:

President Nguyen Minh Triet since 2006.

Head of Government:

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung since 2006.

National Day: 2 September 1945

National Flag:

The National Flag of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam has the shape of a rectangular with its width being equal to two-thirds of its length, red background and a five-pointed yellow star in the middle. The red fl ag with yellow star appeared for the fi rst time in the Nam Ky Uprising (23 November 1940). This fl ag was recognized as the National Flag of Viet Nam by the Decree signed by President Ho Chi Minh on 5 September 1945 and was adopted as the National Flag of Viet Nam by the First National Assembly (at its first session) on 2 March 1946.

National Emblem:

The National Emblem of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam was approved by the First National Assembly (at its fifth session in September 1955). The National Emblem is circular in shape with red background. The five-pointed yellow star in the middle symbolizes the

revolutionary history of the nation. The surrounding rice ears symbolize agriculture. Half a cogwheel symbolizes industry and below is the inscription “Socialist Republic of Viet Nam”.   

Currency: Dong (VND)

Labor force by occupation: agriculture 51.8%, industry 15.4%, services 32.7% (April 2009)

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

Industries: food processing, garments, shoes, machine-building; mining, coal, steel; cement, chemical fertilizer, glass, tires, oil, paper

History Timeline

1010 The Ly dynasty and the Chinese are repelled

1226 Tran dynasty

1288 The Mongols are defeated

1887 Creation of the Indochina Union

1932 Bao Dai, the last emperor, begins his reign

1940 Invasion of Indochina by Japan

1941 Ho Chi Minh takes power

1945 Ho Chi Minh declares independence in Hanoi

1959 The communist party starts military operations in the South and construction of the Ho Chi Minh trail begins

1961 Kennedy increases US military aid to South Vietnam

1973 US military withdraw