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Vietnam Demographics Profile

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Population102,789,598 (July 2021 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Vietnamese (singular and plural)

adjective: Vietnamese
Ethnic groupsKinh (Viet) 85.3%, Tay 1.9%, Thai 1.9%, Muong 1.5%, Khmer 1.4%, Mong 1.4%, Nung 1.1%, other 5.5% (2019 est.)

note: 54 ethnic groups are recognized by the Vietnamese Government
LanguagesVietnamese (official), English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer, mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)

major-language sample(s):
D? ki?n th? gi?i, là ngu?n thông tin co b?n không th? thi?u. (Vietnamese)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.
ReligionsCatholic 6.1%, Buddhist 5.8%, Protestant 1%, other 0.8%, none 86.3% (2009 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 22.61% (male 11,733,704/female 10,590,078)

15-24 years: 15.22% (male 7,825,859/female 7,202,716)

25-54 years: 45.7% (male 22,852,429/female 22,262,566)

55-64 years: 9.55% (male 4,412,111/female 5,016,880)

65 years and over: 6.91% (male 2,702,963/female 4,121,969) (2020 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 45.1

youth dependency ratio: 33.6

elderly dependency ratio: 11.4

potential support ratio: 8.8 (2020 est.)
Median agetotal: 31.9 years

male: 30.8 years

female: 33 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate1% (2021 est.)
Birth rate16.04 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Death rate5.78 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Net migration rate-0.23 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Population distributionthough it has one of the highest population densities in the world, the population is not evenly dispersed; clustering is heaviest along the South China Sea and Gulf of Tonkin, with the Mekong Delta (in the south) and the Red River Valley (in the north) having the largest concentrations of people
Urbanizationurban population: 38.1% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 2.7% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)
Major cities - population8.838 million Ho Chi Minh City, 4.875 million HANOI (capital), 1.703 million Can Tho, 1.341 million Hai Phong, 1.157 million Da Nang, 1.046 million Bien Hoa (2021)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.09 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.11 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.09 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female

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

total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Maternal mortality rate43 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 15.09 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 15.42 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 14.71 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 75.25 years

male: 72.67 years

female: 78.12 years (2021 est.)
Total fertility rate2.06 children born/woman (2021 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate76.5% (2018/19)
Drinking water sourceimproved: urban: 98.6% of population

rural: 92.6% of population

total: 94.7% of population

unimproved: urban: 1.4% of population

rural: 7.4% of population

total: 5.3% of population (2017 est.)
Health expenditures5.9% (2018)
Physicians density0.83 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
Hospital bed density2.6 beds/1,000 population (2014)
Sanitation facility accessimproved: urban: 96.9% of population

rural: 82.1% of population

total: 87.3% of population

unimproved: urban: 3.1% of population

rural: 17.9% of population

total: 12.7% of population (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.3% (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS250,000 (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths3,800 (2020 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, malaria, and Japanese encephalitis
Obesity - adult prevalence rate2.1% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight13.4% (2017)
Education expenditures4.2% of GDP (2018)
Demographic profile

When Vietnam was reunified in 1975, the country had a youthful age structure and a high fertility rate.  The population growth rate slowed dramatically during the next 25 years, as fertility declined and infant mortality and life expectancy improved.  The country’s adoption of a one-or-two-child policy in 1988 led to increased rates of contraception and abortion.  The total fertility rate dropped rapidly from nearly 5 in 1979 to 2.1 or replacement level in 1990, and at 1.8 is below replacement level today.  Fertility is higher in the more rural central highlands and northern uplands, which are inhabited primarily by poorer ethnic minorities, and is lower among the majority Kinh, ethnic Chinese, and a few other ethnic groups, particularly in urban centers.  With more than two-thirds of the population of working age (15-64), Vietnam has the potential to reap a demographic dividend for approximately three decades (between 2010 and 2040).  However, its ability to do so will depend on improving the quality of education and training for its workforce and creating jobs.  The Vietnamese Government is also considering changes to the country’s population policy because if the country’s fertility rate remains below replacement level, it could lead to a worker shortage in the future.

Vietnam has experienced both internal migration and net emigration, both for humanitarian and economic reasons, for the last several decades.  Internal migration – rural-rural and rural-urban, temporary and permanent – continues to be a means of coping with Vietnam’s extreme weather and flooding.  Although Vietnam’s population is still mainly rural, increasing numbers of young men and women have been drawn to the country’s urban centers where they are more likely to find steady jobs and higher pay in the growing industrial and service sectors.

The aftermath of the Vietnam War in 1975 resulted in an outpouring of approximately 1.6 million Vietnamese refugees over the next two decades.  Between 1975 and 1997, programs such as the Orderly Departure Program and the Comprehensive Plan of Action resettled hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese refugees abroad, including the United States (880,000), China (260,000, mainly ethnic Chinese Hoa), Canada (160,000), Australia (155,000), and European countries (150,000). 

In the 1980s, some Vietnamese students and workers began to migrate to allied communist countries, including the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and East Germany.  The vast majority returned home following the fall of communism in Eastern Europe in the early 1990s.  Since that time, Vietnamese labor migrants instead started to pursue opportunities in Asia and the Middle East.  They often perform low-skilled jobs under harsh conditions for low pay and are vulnerable to forced labor, including debt bondage to the private brokers who arrange the work contracts.  Despite Vietnam’s current labor surplus, the country has in recent years attracted some foreign workers, mainly from China and other Asian countries.

Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 95%

male: 96.5%

female: 93.6% (2018)

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on September 18, 2021

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