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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Asia: Human Geography, National Geographic.