Area: 331,114 sq. km. (127,243 sq. mi.); equivalent in size to Ohio,
Kentucky, and Tennessee combined.
Cities (2002): Capital--Hanoi (2.842 million). Other
cities--Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon; 5.378 million), Hai
Phong (1.711 million), Da Nang (715.000).
Terrain: Varies from mountainous to coastal delta.
Climate: Tropical monsoon.
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Vietnamese (sing. and pl.).
Population (2004): 82.1 million.
Annual growth rate (2004): 1.02%.
Ethnic groups: Vietnamese (85%-90%), Chinese (3%), Hmong, Thai,
Khmer, Cham, mountain groups.
Religions: Buddhism, Hoa Hao, Cao Dai, Christian (predominantly
Roman Catholic, some Protestant), animism, Islam.
Languages: Vietnamese (official), English (increasingly favored as a
second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer, mountain area
Education (2002): Literacy--91%.
Health (2003): Birth rate--19.58/1000 Infant mortality
rate--26/1000. Life expectancy--66.7 yrs. male, 71.4
yrs. female. Death rate--6.56/1,000.
Type: Communist Party-dominated constitutional republic.
Independence: September 2, 1945.
New constitution: April 15, 1992.
Branches: Executive--president (head of state and chair of
National Defense and Security Council) and prime minister (heads
cabinet of ministries and commissions). Legislative--National
Assembly. Judicial--Supreme People's Court; Prosecutorial
Supreme People's Procuracy.
Administrative subdivisions: 59 provinces, 5 municipalities (Can Tho,
Hai Phong, Da Nang, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh).
Political party: Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) with over 2
million members, formerly (1951-76) Vietnam Worker's Party, itself
the successor of the Indochinese Communist Party founded in 1930.
Suffrage: Universal over 18.
GDP (2004): $45.4 billion.
Real growth rate (2004): 7.7%.
Per capita income (2004): $553.
Inflation rate (2004): 9.5%.
External debt (2004 est.): 34% of GDP, $15.4 billion.
Natural resources: Coal, crude oil, zinc, copper, silver, gold,
Agriculture and forestry (21.8% of GDP, 2004): Principal
products--rice, maize, sweet potato, peanut, soya bean, cotton,
coffee, cashews. Cultivated land--12.2 million hectares per
year. Land use--21% arable; 28% forest and woodland; 51%
Industry and construction (40.1% of GDP, 2004): Principal types--mining
and quarrying, manufacturing, electricity, gas, water supply,
cement, phosphate, and steel.
Services (38.1% of GDP, 2004): Principal types--wholesale
and retail, repair of vehicles and personal goods, hotel and
restaurant, transport storage, telecommunications, tourism.
Trade (2004): Exports--$26 billion. Principal exports--garments/textiles,
crude oil, footwear, rice (second-largest exporter in world), sea
products, coffee, rubber, handicrafts. Major export partners—U.S.,
EU, Japan, China, Singapore, Australia, Taiwan, and Germany.
Imports--$31.5 billion. Principal imports--machinery,
oil and gas, garment materials, iron and steel, transport-related
equipment. Major import partners—China, Japan, Singapore,
Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Thailand. Exports to U.S.
(2004)--$5 billion. Imports from U.S. (2004)--$1.1 billion.