1. Introduction

Vietnam’s human geography is more homogenous than other Southeast Asian countries. Although a communist country, it has ambitiously entered the capitalistic global economy.

Photo: Wet market in Ho Chih Minh City (Creative Commons: Richard Allaway).

2. Ethnic Groups and Language

Viet 86 %
Others 14 %

Ethnic Groups of Vietnam

Ethnic Groups: The major ethnic group in Vietnam are the Viet (Kinh) people. They represent about 86% of the country’s population. The remainder of the population are represented by a variety of minority groups such as the Tay, Thai, Muong and Khmer peoples.

Language: Vietnamese is the official language of Vietnam. Other languages spoken include English, French, Chinese, and many minority dialects.

3. Religions

None 81%
Buddhism 9%
Christianity 7%
Other 3%

Religions of Vietnam

Religion: As a communist country, the vast majority of the population claim no religion – about 81% of the population. Buddhism is the major minority religion religion with 9% of the population. Christianity makes up about 7% of the population.

4. Demographics

Vietnam 86%
World 100%
USA 74%

Population Growth Rate Index (World = 100%)

The population of Vietnam is about 92 million people. Vietnam is the 13th most populated country in the world. The country has a population growth rate of 1.0% a year.  This is just slightly more than the United States (0.9%). The country has a relatively low population growth rate. Life expectancy is 72 years of age. This places Vietnam near the middle of the scale in comparison to other countries.

Most of the country’s population live in rural areas. The urban population is only about 30% of all Vietnamese. The capital of Vietnam is Hanoi which has a population of 2.7 million people. Ho Chih Minh City is the largest urban center with about 6 million people.

5. Economy

Structure of Labor Force

About half of Vietnam’s workforce is employed in the agricultural sector. Major agricultural products are rice, coffee, rubber, tea and pepper.

Major industries are food processing, the garment and shoe industries, and machine building. Major exports include clothes, shoes, marine products, and crude oil. Vietnam has a growing economy. Only about 15% of the population live below the poverty level.

6. Political

The official name of the country Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The country became independent from France in 1945. The capital city is Hanoi. The country is subdivided into 58 provinces and 5 municipalities.

7. Improving Your Reading and Thinking Skills

Think for a few moments. Try to recall the major ideas in this article. When you are done, click the box below for a list of main ideas.


How did you do? With practice, you should be able to identify many of the major ideas. You may even discover some important ideas that aren’t listed.

8. Bibliography

Asia: Human Geography, National Geographic.


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4 comments on "Vietnam’s Human Geography"

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Webster Gabiana

Vietnam ay ang ika-3 pinaka populated.

Webster Gabiana

Vietnam is the 3rd most populated.Most countries live in rural.The Vietnam is an country.

Ronand Abella

Ang mga vityam natao ay nag susugun nang maraming tao kada araw.Sila ay nag rami at ibat ibang relihiyon .Sila din ay mga tao na marunong ga mga ibat ibang mga gawa in.

Ronand Abella

86% of the population of the country is a Vit(Kinh) ethnic group.Only 7% of vetiam people are Christian.And 81% of Vietnam people are no religion.The population of Vietnam is over 92 million people.