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Vietnam is the eastern most country on the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. With an estimated population of 92
million people, it is Asian’s 8th most populous country and the 13th most populous country in the world. Its capital city
is Hanoi and its leading business city is Ho Chi Minh City in the south of the country. Since 2000, Vietnam's economic
growth rate has been among the highest in the world and achieved economic growth of 6.7% in 2015.
Vietnam and Its Geographical Statistics
Map References:
Southeast Asia
Climate:
Monsoonal in the
north and tropical in
the south
Terrain:
Elevation Extremes: Highest point:
Land Use:
Fan Si Pan
Lowest point:
South China Sea
Permanent crops:
6.93%
Arable land:
20.14%
Others:
72.93%
Natural Resources:
Coal,
manganese,
phosphates, bauxite,
chromate,
timber,
hydropower, offshore
gas and oil deposits,
rare earth elements
Natural Hazards:
Occasional typhoons
that
can
bring
extensive flooding to
low lying areas and
the Mekong River
Environment:
International
agreements:
Party
to
biodiversity, desertification,
climate change, endangered
species,
ozone
layer
protection and many more
Environment:
Current Issues:
Soil degradation, slash and
burn
agriculture,
water
pollution and overfishing
Others:
Political Geography
Vietnam is a country that is located near China with borders that include one near Cambodia and another near Laos.
South China Sea is located to the east of the country, and the Red River Delta is to the north. It also borders the Gulf of
Thailand and the Gulf of Tonkin. The country has a total land area of 127, 881 square miles or 331, 210 square
kilometers and has a coastline that is 2,140 miles or 3,444 km long. Total land area of Vietnam is comparable to the size
of New Mexico.
Landscape and Climate
Vietnam’s climate is varied, depending on where in the country you are located. Those located along the China coast as
well as those who are near the Gulf of Tonkin will experience monsoon winds from November to April. Temperatures
are usually lower in the mountains when compared with temperatures in the plains and lower in the north in comparison
with the south.
Political and Governmental Facts on Vietnam
Government Type:
Communist State
Country Name:
Long
(conventional)
form Socialist Republic of
Vietnam
Short
(conventional)
form Vietnam
Long form (local)
Cong Hoa Xa Hoi
Chu Nghia Viet Nam
Short form (local)
Viet Nam
Capital:
Hanoi
Constitution:
Constitution of April
15, 1992
Administrative
Divisions:
58 provinces and 5
municipalities
Executive Body:
Chief
of
State
(president), Head of
Government
(prime
minister),
Cabinet
(appointed
by
president)
Legislative Body:
Unicameral National
Assembly
Judicial Body:
Supreme
Court
People’s
Others:
Vietnam is a socialist republic or communist state that has the president as head of state and the military’s nominal
commander in chief. The prime minister is the country’s head of government and presides over the council of ministers.
This council is composed of the heads of all 26 commissions and ministries as well as 3 deputy prime ministers. The
unicameral legislature of the nation is called the National Assembly of Vietnam and is comprised of 498 members. It is
higher than the judicial as well as executive branches of the state and is headed by a chairman. All appointees to
government ministers are taken from the list of members of this National Assembly.
The country’s judicial system is handled by the Supreme People’s Court. This is headed by a chief justice. While it is the
country’s highest court, it is still under the control or is answerable to the National Assembly of Vietnam. Other lower
courts also exist in the country, and these include provincial municipal courts and local courts. In matters of national
security, the military courts hold special jurisdiction.
Vietnam’s Economy
GDP
(Purchasing US$299.2
(2011 est.)
Power Parity)
billion
GDP
(Official US$123.6
(2011 est.)
Exchange rate)
billion
GDP Real Growth 5.8% (2011 est.)
Rate
Labor Force:
46.48 million (2011
est.)
Unemployment
Rate:
2.3% (2011 est.)
Budget:
expenditures: $35.7
billion
revenues:
$32.8
billion (2011 est.)
Public Debt:
57.3% of GDP (2011
est.)
Others:
Others:
The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a country that recently had to recover from war, bounce back from loss of support
from its former ally the old Soviet Union, and overcome the rigidities of an economy that is centrally planned. With the
government vowing to support international integration and economic liberalization, it is well on its way to economic
stability. While the country was predominantly an agricultural nation pre-war, free market economic reforms in the
mid-80s helped the economy grow with the help of privately owned commercial, industrial, and agricultural businesses.
The national economy now has manufacturing, high-tech industries, and information technology to thank for its steady
growth in the new millennium. It also has its oil-producing capabilities to help increase its economic earnings year in
and year out. Due to this economic upturn, the poverty rate in the country is declining and is even lower than that of its
neighbors like India, China and the Philippines.
People and Culture
Vietnam has a population of around 85 million people, and majority of this, approximately 85.8%, is made up of people
belonging to the Kinh or Viet ethnic group. These people are found mainly around the coastal plains and alluvial deltas
of the country. Aside from this majority, the country also has 54 minority ethnic groups such as the Thai, Tay, Dao, and
Nung. The Muong minority is said to dwell mostly in the highlands and ethnic Chinese known as Hoa are seen mostly in
the lowlands.
When it comes to religion, people in the nation are mostly Buddhists, with 85% of the population following this belief.
Taoism and Confucianism are also practiced in Vietnam. Other religions you can find here include Christianity,
Protestantism, Hoa Hao, and Cao Dai. While a lot of Vietnamese believe in Buddhism, a vast majority do not practice it.
It is also said that a lot of Vietnamese do not subscribe to a particular religion and do not consider that there is a god.
Vietnam has become one of the major tourist destinations in Asia of late. Some of the most popular places people visit
inside the country includes Saigon, Hanoi, Nha Trang, and Ha Long Bay. The country is going into a
tourism-development-frenzy and the Binh Duong tourist complex is one prime example of a tourist project being built to
accommodate more visitors.
Cuisine in Vietnam is also making itself known worldwide with such dishes as the banh mi and pho becoming extremely
popular outside of the country. Traditional Vietnamese cuisine is similar to most of the dishes that are cooked around
Asia, with the main staple being either rice or noodles. These dishes are often cooked with soy sauce and very little oil.
Other common flavors found in these foods include fish sauce, sugar, basil, mint, lime, and Serrano peppers.
Holidays of Note
There are very few national or public holidays in Vietnam; however, there are a lot of special holidays that may or may
not be declared non-working days by companies in the region. Just like other Asian countries, holidays that occur over
the weekend are often observed during the coming Monday. This is to give people and extra day off from work. Here are
the holidays that are considered public holidays in Vietnam:
Name
Date
New Year’s Day
January 1
Vietnamese New Year (Tet)
Late January or Early February
Hung Kings Commemorations
Sometime April
Reunification Day
April 30
International Workers Day
May 1
National Day
September 2
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