National name: Công Hòa Xa Hôi Chú Nghia Viêt Nam
Languages: Vietnamese (official); English (increasingly favored as a second language); some French, Chinese, Khmer; mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)
Ethnicity: Kinh (Viet) 86.2%, Tay 1.9%, Thai 1.7%, Muong 1.5%, Khome 1.4%, Hoa 1.1%, Nun 1.1%, Hmong 1%, others 4.1% (1999)
Religions: Buddhist 9%, Catholic 7%, Hoa Hao 2%, Cao Dai 1%, Protestant, Islam, none 81%
Literacy rate: 94% (2003 est.)
President: Truong Tan Sang (2011)
Prime Minister: Nguyen Tan Dung (2006)
Capital: Hanoi
Largest city: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Currency: Dong
Economic summary

GDP/PPP (2011 est.): $300 billion; per capita $3,400. Real growth rate: 5.9%. Inflation: 18.7%. Unemployment: 3.6%. Arable land: 20%. Agriculture: paddy rice, coffee, rubber, cotton, tea, pepper, soybeans, cashews, sugar cane, peanuts, bananas; poultry; fish, seafood. Labor force: 48.23 million; agriculture 48%, industry 22.4%, services 29.6% (2011). Industries: food processing, garments, shoes, machine-building; mining, coal, steel; cement, chemical fertilizer, glass, tires, oil, paper. Natural resources: phosphates, coal, manganese, bauxite, chromate, offshore oil and gas deposits, forests, hydropower. Exports: $96.91 billion (2011 est.): crude oil, marine products, rice, coffee, rubber, tea, garments, shoes. Imports: $97.36 billion (2011 est.): machinery and equipment, petroleum products, fertilizer, steel products, raw cotton, grain, cement, motorcycles. Major trading partners: U.S., Japan, China, Germany, Singapore, UK, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand (2011).


Telephones: main lines in use: 10.175 million (2011); mobile cellular: 127.318 million (2011). Radio broadcast stations: 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). Radios: 8.2 million (1997). Television broadcast stations: at least 7 (plus 13 repeaters) (1998). Televisions: 3.57 million (1997). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 189,553 (2012). Internet users: 23.382 million (2009).


Railways: total: 2,632 km (2008). Highways: total: 180,549 km; paved: 133,899 km; unpaved: 46,650 km (2008 est.). Waterways: 17,702 km navigable; more than 5,149 km navigable at all times by vessels up to 1.8 m draft (2011). Ports and harbors: Cam Ranh, Da Nang, Haiphong, Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Long, Quy Nhon, Nha Trang, Vinh, Vung Tau. Airports: 44 (2012).


Vietnam occupies the eastern and southern part of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia, with the South China Sea along its entire coast. China is to the north and Laos and Cambodia are to the west. Long and narrow on a north-south axis, Vietnam is about twice the size of Arizona. The Mekong River delta lies in the south.


Communist state.