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The conquest of Vietnam by France began in 1858 and was completed by 1884. It became part of French Indochina in 1887. Vietnam declared independence after World War II, but France continued to rule until its 1954 defeat by Communist forces under Ho Chi MINH. Under the Geneva Accords of 1954, Vietnam was divided into the Communist North and anti-Communist South. US economic and military aid to South Vietnam grew through the 1960s in an attempt to bolster the government, but US armed forces were withdrawn following a cease-fire agreement in 1973. Two years later, North Vietnamese forces overran the South reuniting the country under Communist rule. Despite the return of peace, for over a decade the country experienced little economic growth because of conservative leadership policies, the persecution and mass exodus of individuals - many of them successful South Vietnamese merchants - and growing international isolation. However, since the enactment of Vietnam's "doi moi" (renovation) policy in 1986, Vietnamese authorities have committed to increased economic liberalization and enacted structural reforms needed to modernize the economy and to produce more competitive, export-driven industries. The Communist leaders, however, maintain control on political expression and have resisted outside calls to improve human rights. The country continues to experience small-scale protests from various groups - the vast majority connected to land-use issues, calls for increased political space, and the lack of equitable mechanisms for resolving disputes. Various ethnic minorities, such as the Montagnards of the Central Highlands and the Khmer Krom in the southern delta region, have also held protests.


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People And Society

Vietnamese (singular and plural)
Adjective Vietnamese

Ethnic groups
Kinh (Viet) 85.7%, Tay 1.9%, Thai 1.8%, Muong 1.5%, Khmer 1.5%, Mong 1.2%, Nung 1.1%, others 5.3% (1999 census)

Vietnamese (official), English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer, mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)

Buddhist 9.3%, Catholic 6.7%, Hoa Hao 1.5%, Cao Dai 1.1%, Protestant 0.5%, Muslim 0.1%, none 80.8% (1999 census)

Population World Ranking: 13
91,519,289 (July 2012 est.)

Age structure
0-14 years
25.2% (male 11,945,354/female 10,868,610)
15-64 years
69.3% (male 31,301,879/female 31,419,306)
65 years and over
5.5% (male 1,921,652/female 3,092,589) (2011 est.)

Median age
Total 28.2 years
Male 27.1 years
Female 29.2 years (2012 est.)

Population growth rate World Ranking: 113
1.054% (2012 est.)

Birth rate World Ranking: 119
16.83 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death rate World Ranking: 165
5.95 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Net migration rate World Ranking: 132
-0.34 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Urban population 30% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization
3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population
Ho Chi Minh City 5.976 million; HANOI (capital) 2.668 million; Haiphong 1.941 million; Da Nang 807,000 (2009)

Sex ratio
At birth 1.12 male(s)/female
Under 15 years 1.1 male(s)/female
15-64 years 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over 0.62 male(s)/female
Total population 1 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate World Ranking: 101
59 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate World Ranking: 95
Total 20.24 deaths/1,000 live births
Male 20.61 deaths/1,000 live births
19.83 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth World Ranking: 128
Total population 72.41 years
Male 69.95 years
Female 75.16 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate World Ranking: 141
1.89 children born/woman (2012 est.)

Health expenditures World Ranking: 73
7.2% of GDP (2009)

Physicians density
1.224 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Hospital bed density
2.87 beds/1,000 population (2008)

Hiv/aids - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 73
0.4% (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - people living with hiv/aids World Ranking: 21
280,000 (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - deaths World Ranking: 21
14,000 (2009 est.)

Major infectious diseases
Degree of risk High
Food or waterborne diseases
Bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne diseases
Dengue fever, malaria, Japanese encephalitis, and plague
Water contact disease Leptospirosis
Highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 70
0.5% (2000)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight World Ranking: 36
20.2% (2008)

Education expenditures World Ranking: 48
5.3% of GDP (2008)

Age 15 and over can read and write
Total population 94%
Male 96.1%
Female 92% (2002 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
Total 10 years
Male 11 years
Female 10 years (2001)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 World Ranking: 124
Total 4.6%
Male 4.4%
Female 4.9% (2004)


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Vietnam (Hanoi):
Country Flag
Country Locator

GPS points from Vietnam (Hanoi)

square Na Vang Vietnam (general)

square Ap Long Yen Tinh Tay Ninh

square Ngoi Le Vietnam (general)

square Siong Lai Tao Tinh Quang Ninh

square Ban Hung Vietnam (general)

square Lao Dao Vietnam (general)

square R"da Tinh Lam Dong

square Khoi Ma Vietnam (general)

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