Vietnam Background

France occupied all of Vietnam by 1884. Independence was declared after World War II, but the French continued to rule until 1954 when they were defeated by communist forces under Ho Chi Minh, who took control of the north. 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military aid to South Vietnam grew through the 1960s in an attempt to bolster the government, but US armed forces were withdrawn following a cease-fire agreement in 1973.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. Economic reconstruction of the reunited country has proven difficult as aging Communist Party leaders have only grudgingly initiated reforms necessary for a free market.

Vietnam Geography

Can ThoLocation: Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, Gulf of Tonkin, and South China Sea, alongside China, Laos, and Cambodia

Geographic coordinates: 16 00 N, 106 00 E

Total: 329,560 sq km

Land: 325,360 sq km

Water: 4,200 sq km

Area -comparative: slightly larger than New Mexico

Land boundaries:
Total: 4,639 km

Border countries: Cambodia 1,228 km, China 1,281 km, Laos 2,130 km

Coastline: 3,444 km (excludes islands)

Climate: Tropical in south; monsoonal in north with hot, rainy season (mid-May to
mid-September) and warm, dry season (mid-October to mid-March)

Terrain: Low, flat delta in south and north; central highlands; hilly, mountainous in far north and northwest

Elevation extremes:
Lowest point: South China Sea 0 m

Highest point: Ngoc Linh 3,143 m

Natural resources: phosphates, coal, manganese, bauxite, chromate, offshore oil and gas deposits, forests, hydropower

Nha TrangLand use:
Arable land: 17%

Permanent crops: 4%

Permanent pastures: 1%

Forests and woodland: 30%

Other: 48% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land:
18,600 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards:
occasional typhoons (May to January) with extensive flooding

Vietnam 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, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Nuclear Test Ban.

Vietnam People

Population: 79,939,014 (July 2001 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 32.13% (male 13,266,585; female 12,415,384)

15-64 years: 62.44% (male 24,357,343; female 25,556,187)

65 years and over: 5.43% (male 1,722,094; female 2,621,421) (2001 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.45% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 21.23 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 6.22 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: -0.49 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female

total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2001 est.)

Ethnic groups: Vietnamese 85%-90%, Chinese, Hmong, Thai, Khmer, Cham, mountain groups

VN Beach

Religions: Buddhist, Hoa Hao, Cao Dai, Christian (predominantly Roman Catholic, some Protestant), indigenous beliefs, Muslim

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

Literacy, Definition: age 15 and over can read and write:

Total population: 93.7%

Mle: 96.5%

Female: 91.2% (1995 est.)

Vietnam Government

Country name: 

Conventional long form: Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Conational 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

Capital: Hanoi

Administrative divisions:
58 provinces (tinh, singular and plural), 3 municipalities* (thu do, singular
and plural); 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, Can Tho, Cao Bang, Dac Lak, Da Nang, Dong Nai, Dong Thap, Gia Lai, Ha Giang, Hai Duong, Hai Phong*, Ha Nam, Ha Noi*, Ha Tay, Ha Tinh, Hoa Binh, Ho Chi Minh*, 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

Fan Si Pan Mountain

Independence: 2 September 1945 (from France)

National holiday: Independence Day, 2 September (1945)

Constitution: 15 April 1992

For text of Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Click Here

Legal system: Based on communist legal theory and French civil law system

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Elections: President elected by the National Assembly from among its
members for a five-year term; election last held 25 September 1997 (next to be held when National Assembly meets following legislative elections in NA 2002); prime minister appointed by the president from among the members of the National Assembly; deputy prime ministers appointed by the prime minister

International organization participation: ACCT, APEC, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN, CCC, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM , ISO, ITU, NAM, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Vietnam Economy

GDP: purchasing power parity - $154.4 billion (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 5.5% (2000 est.)

GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $1,950 (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
Agriculture: 25%

Industry: 35%

Services: 40% (1999 est.)

Population below poverty line: 37% (1998 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share: Lowest 10%: 3.5%

Highest 10%: 29% (1993)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): -0.6% (2000 est.)

Labor force: 38.2 million (1998 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: Agriculture 67%, industry and services 33% (1997 est.)

Unemployment rate: 25% (1995 est.)

Budget: revenues: $5.3 billion

expenditures: $5.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $1.8 billion (1999 est.)

Industries: Food processing, garments, shoes, machine building, mining, cement, chemical fertilizer, glass, tires, oil, coal, steel, paper.

Ha Long Bay

Industrial production growth rate: 10.7% (2000 est.)

Agriculture products: paddy rice, corn, potatoes, rubber, soybeans, coffee, tea, bananas, sugar; poultry, pigs; fish

Exports: $14.3 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)

Export commodities: crude oil, marine products, rice, coffee, rubber, tea, garments, shoes

Exports - partners: China, Japan, Germany, Australia, US, France, Singapore, UK, Taiwan

Imports: $15.2 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)

Import commodities: machinery and equipment, petroleum products, fertilizer, steel products, raw cotton, grain, cement, motorcycles 

Imports partners: Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, France, US, Sweden

Debt - external: $13.2 billion (2000)

Economic aid recipient: $2.1 billion in credits and grants pledged by international donors for 2000

Currency: dong (VND)

Currency code: VND

Exchange rates: dong per US dollar - 15,210 (January 2002), 14,020 (January 2000), 13,900 (December 1998), 11,100 (December 1996), 11,193 (1995 average), 11,000 (October 1994)

Fiscal year: calendar year

Vietnam Communications

Telephones - Main lines in use:
2.6 million (2000)

Telephones - Mobile cellular:
730,155 (2000)

Telephone system:
General assessment: Vietnam is putting considerable effort into
modernization and expansion of its telecommunication system, but its
performance continues to lag behind that of its more modern neighbors

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; since 1991, main lines in use have been substantially increased and the use of mobile telephones is growing rapidly

International: satellite earth stations - 2 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 65, FM 7, short-wave 29 (1999)

Radios: 8.2 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: At least 7 (plus 13 repeaters) (1998)

Televisions: 3.57 million (1997)

Internet country code: .vn

Internet Service
Providers (ISPs):
5 (2000)

Internet users:
Hanoi Hoan Kiem Lake 121,000 (2000)

Vietnam Transportation

Total: 2,652 km

Standard gauge: 166 km 1.435-m gauge

Narrow gauge: 2,249 km 1.000-m gauge

Dual gauge: 237 km NA-m gauges (three rails) (1998)

Total: 93,300 km

Paved: 23,418 km

Unpaved: 69,882 km (1996)

17,702 km

Note: more than 5,149 km are navigable at all times by vessels up to 1.8 m draft

Pipelines: petroleum products 150 km

Ports and harbors: Cam Ranh, Da Nang, Haiphong, Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Long, Quy Nhon,
Nha Trang, Vinh, Vung Tau

Merchant marine:
Total: 143 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 705,388 GRT/1,071,902 DWT

Ships by type: bulk 8, cargo 108, chemical tanker 1, combination bulk 1,
container 2, liquefied gas 2, petroleum tanker 18, refrigerated cargo 3 (2000 est.)

34 (2000 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
Total: 17

Over 3,047 m: 8

2,438 to 3,047 m: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 4

Under 914 m: 2 (2000 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 17

Hoa Lu in Ninh Binh

Over 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 7

Under 914 m: 8 (2000 est.)

Vietnam Military

Military branches:
People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) (includes Ground Forces, Navy, and Air
Force), Coast Guard

Military manpower -
Military age: 17 years of age

Military manpower -
Availability males age 15-49: 21,704,588 (2001 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 13,673,438 (2001 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Males: 961,124 (2001 est.)

Military expenditures -
dollar figure: $650 million (FY98)

Military expenditures -
percent of GDP: 2.5% (FY98)

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About Vietnam



About Vietnam

° Overview Of Vietnam
° History Of Vietnam
° Legend of Vietnam
° Vietnam Chronology
° Facts About Vietnam
° Vietnam Custom