Fun factual overview and information on Vietnam
General Information on Vietnam & Quick Overview
France moved in to Indochina as part of its worldwide expansion plans in the 19th Century.
Vietnam was occupied by France in 1884.
Afer the Second World War Vietnamese independence was declared, but the French stayed on as colonial rulers until 1954 when they were defeated at the battle of Dien Ben Phu by Communist forces under General Ho Chi Minh.
Communists then controlled the North of Vietnam.
The United States became heavily involved militarily in South Vietnam from the early 1960s in an attempt to support the pro-Capitalist government, but United States armed forces were withdrawn in 1973.
Vietnam is still under going economic rebuilding but is experiencing considerable growth.
Geographical statistics & Information on Vietnam
Southeast Asia, on the Gulf of Thailand, South China Sea, Gulf of Tonkin. Its neighbours are Cambodia, China, Laos.
Map Ref Latitude & Longitude
16 degrees 50 North, 105 degrees 00 East Total Land & Sea Area
330,000 square kilometres land area
325,000 square kilometres Sea Area
5,000 square kilometres Land boundaries Total
4,700 kilometres border countries
Cambodia 1,300 kilometres, China 1,300 kilometres, Laos 2,000 kilometres Coastal Length
3,450 kilometres (excludes islands)
Climatological Conditions & information on Vietnam
Tropical climate in southern regions; monsoon climate in northern areas with hot, rainy season from the month of May to the month of September, and warm, dry season from the month of October to the month of March.
Vietnam has low, plains and river delta areas in southern and northern areas; central mountainous highlands; hilly areas and rugged, forested mountains in far north and northwest areas.
Highest & Lowest Elevations: Lowest elevation
South China Sea at sea level Highest elevation
Fan Si Pan 3,150 metres Country’s natural resources
phosphate deposits, coal resources, manganese deposits, bauxite deposits, oil and gas reserves, forestry and timber resources, hydroelectric power resources.
Land use Ploughable land area
17 percent permanent crops
5 percent other: 78 percent (1998 estimate) Irrigated land area
50,000 square kilometres (1998 estimate) Hazardous Natural phenomena
The country is subject to occasional tropical storms, typhoons from the month of May to the month of January, with occasional periods of extensive floods, in particular the areas around the Mekong River delta.
Geographical Point of Interest
Vietnam is 1,600 kilometres in length from south to north, but at its narrowes point is 40 kilometres wide.
People-information on Vietnam
81,625,000(July 2003 estimate) Age structure under 15 years:
30 percent 15 to 64 years
64.percent Over 65
6 percent Median age of population
24 years male: 23 years female: 25 years (2002) Population growth rate
1.3 percent (2003 estimate) Birth rate
19 births per thousand population (2003 estimate) mortality rate
6 deaths per thousand population (2003 estimate) Net rate of migration
-0.5 migrant(s) per thousand population (2003 estimate) total population:
0.1 male(s)/female (2003 estimate) Infant mortality rate Total
31 deaths per thousand live births female: 27 deaths per thousand live births (2003 estimate) male: 35 deaths per thousand live births Life expectancy at birth
70 years male: 68 years female: 72 years (2003 estimate) Total fertility rate
2 children born/woman (2003 estimate)
Vietnamese 85 percent, Chinese, Thai, Khmer, Cham, other
Religious information on Vietnam
Buddhist, Hoa Hao, Cao Dai, Christian, indigenous religious beliefs, Muslim/Islamic faith
Languages & Linguistic Groupings
Vietnamese, English, some French, Chinese, and Khmer; mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian) Literacy
People over the age of 15 years that are literate (can read & write): total population:
94 percent male: 95 percent female: 93 percent (2003 estimate)
Government information on Vietnam Country name
Socialist Republic of Vietnam Government type
Communist state Capital city
2 September 1945 from Republic of France National holiday Independence Day
2 September (1945) Constitution
15 April 1992 Legal system
based on communist legal theory and French civil law system
Electoral & Voting System
Universal vote from the age of 18.
Head of State
Chief of Government:
Cabinet chosen by the PM and appointed by the president
Legislative branch Unicameral Quoc Hoi or National Assembly
Economy information on Vietnam
Economy - overview
A underdeveloped country that is experiencing areas of rapid growth.
The government is moving to put structural reforms in place to modernise the Vietnamese economy and to produce more export-based production.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
$USD180 billion (2002 estimate) Gross Domestic Product - actual growth rate
5 percent (2002 estimate) Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - per head of population:
$USD2,000 (2002 estimate) Gross Domestic Product - composition by sector agriculture
20 percent industry
40 percent services
40 percent (2001 estimate) Population below poverty line
40 percent (1998 estimate)
Rate of inflation 4 percent (2002 estimate) Labour force 40 million (1998 estimate) Labour force - by occupation agriculture 60 percent, industry and services 40 percent (2000 estimate) Rate of unemployment20 percent (1995 estimate)
Budget information on Vietnam
$USD5 billion spending
Industrial production growth rate
10 percent (2002 estimate)
Agriculture - products rice, grains, root crops and tubers, coffee, tea, legumes, rubber, soybeans, bananas, sugar; livestock, fruits, vegetables; fish
$USD16 billion Exports - commodities
crude oil, fish products, rice, coffee, rubber, tea, clothing and apparel, footwear
Exports - partners
United States 15 percent, Japan 14 percent, Australia 7 percent, China 6 percent, Germany 6 percent, Singapore 5 percent, United Kingdom 4 percent (2002)
$USD17 billion Imports - commodities
machinery, vehicles, equipment, fuel products, fertilizer, steel goods, raw textiles and fabrics, grain, cement, motorbiks
Imports -most important trading partners
South Korea 12 percent, China 12 percent, Japan 12 percent, Singapore 11 percent, Taiwan 10 percent, Thailand 5 percent (2002)
$USD14 billion (2001) National Currency
dong (VND) Currency Abbreviation
Communications information on Vietnam
2.5 million (2000) Radio broadcast stations
Amplitude Modulation 60, Frequency Modulation 8, shortwave 30 (1999) Television broadcast stations
Internet country code
Transportation in & travel information on Vietnam
Railroad networks Total
3,000 kilometres Roading System Total
93,000 kilometres Pipelines:
condensate/gas 430 kilometres; gas 200 kilometres; oil 5 kilometres; refined products 200 kilometres (2003) Airports & airfields
Military information on Vietnam Military branches
People's Army of Vietnam, Navy , Air Force, Coast Guard)
- $USD600 million (Fiscal Year98) Military spending : percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
2 percent (Fiscal Year98)
International Issues Vietnam Disputes - international Boundary disputes with China, Cambodia and Laos.
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Source: All info sourced and adapted from CIA Factbook
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