This article is about the demographics, demographic features of the population of Vietnam, including population density, Ethnic group, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population. Originating in northern Vietnam, the Vietnamese people pushed southward over two millennia to occupy the entire eastern seacoast of the Indochina, Indochinese Peninsula. Ethnic Vietnamese, or Viet (known officially as Kinh), live in the lowlands and speak the Vietnamese language, as opposed to the many ethnic groups of Vietnam who are known to occupy the mountainous regions. The Kinh group does represent much of the cultural and political landscape of Vietnam.


Historic estimates

UN estimates

Population pyramids

Census (1 April 2009) : Estimates (01/07/2014) : Census (1 April 2019) : Source:

Vital statistics

UN estimates of births and deaths

Birth, death and fertility rates

The total fertility rate of Vietnam has been influenced by the government's family planning policy, the two-child policy. Source: General Statistics Office of Vietnam.

Fertility rate by region and province

Source: General Statistics Office of Vietnam.

Ethnic groups

The Vietnamese government recognizes List of ethnic groups in Vietnam, 54 ethnic groups, of which the Viet (Kinh) is the largest; according to official Vietnamese figures (2019 census), ethnic Vietnamese account for 85.32% of the nation's population and the non-Vietnamese ethnic groups account for the remaining percent. The ethnic Vietnamese inhabit a little less than half of Vietnam, while the ethnic minorities inhabit the majority of Vietnam's land (albeit the least fertile parts of the country). The relation between China and Vietnam also declined following reunification in 1975, with Vietnam siding with the Soviet Union against China in the Sino-Soviet split, Chinese-Soviet split. Tensions peaked when Cambodian-Vietnamese War, Vietnam and Cambodia started a war, Cambodia lead by Pol Pot being a Chinese ally, resulting in a Sino-Vietnamese War, Chinese invasion of Vietnam in 1979. In 1978-79, some 450,000 ethnic Chinese left Vietnam by boat as refugees (many officially encouraged and assisted) or were expelled across the land border with China. In recent years the government has performed an about turn and is encouraging overseas Hoa to return and invest, but the ethnic Chinese population has been in continuous decline since the 1970s due to assimilation and low birth rates. The central highland peoples commonly termed Degar or Montagnards (mountain people) comprise two main ethnolinguistic groups--Malayo-Polynesian and Mon–Khmer. About 30 groups of various cultures and dialects are spread over the highland territory. Other minority groups include the Cham people, Cham—remnants of the once-mighty Champa Kingdom, conquered by the Vietnamese in the 15th century, Hmong people, Hmong, and Thai people in Vietnam, Thái.


Vietnamese language, Vietnamese is the official language of the country. It belongs to the Austroasiatic language family, which also includes languages such as Khmer language, Khmer and Mon language, Mon. Vietnamese was spoken by 85-90 million people in Vietnam at the 1999 census. In the early 21st century, around another four million Vietnamese speakers are found outside of Vietnam, mostly refugees from the Vietnam-American War. Thus Vietnamese is the most spoken language of the Austroasiatic family, being spoken by three times more people than the second most spoken language of the family, Khmer. Both languages, however, are extremely different: Vietnamese is a tonal, monosyllabic, phonetic language while Khmer has remained non-tonal. Vietnamese was heavily influenced by Chinese, with up to around 50-70% words having Chinese origins, whilst Khmer was heavily influenced by Sanskrit and Pāli, Pali, uses a abugida writing system, and has a great part of its vocabulary originating from Indian languages. Since the early 20th century, the Vietnamese have used a Romanized script introduced by the French, developed by Jesuit missionaries led by Alexandre de Rhodes and later on, refined by Vietnamese scholars to produce what is now known as the Vietnamese alphabet.


According to the 2019 Census, the religious demographics of Vietnam are as follows: *86.32% Vietnamese folk religion or non religious *6.1% Catholic Church in Vietnam, Catholicism *4.79% Buddhism (mainly Mahayana) *1.02% Hòa Hảo, Hoahaoism *1% Protestantism *<1% Caodaism *0.77 Others It is worth noting here that the data is highly skewered, as a large majority of Vietnamese may declare themselves atheist yet practice forms of traditional folk religion or Mahayana Buddhism. Estimates for the year 2010 published by the Pew Research Center: * Vietnamese folk religion, 45.3% * Unaffiliated, 29.6% * Buddhism, 16.4% * Christianity, 8.2% * Other, 0.5%

CIA World Factbook demographic statistics

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.

Sex ratio

: at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female : under 15 years: 1.08 male(s)/female : 15–64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female : 65 years and over: 0.63 male(s)/female : total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2008 est.) Source: Statista etc.

Life expectancy

Source: ''UN World Population Prospects''


: definition: age 15 and over can read and write : total population: 95.6% (2014 census); 95.8% (2019 census) : male: 96.9% (no records); 97% (2019 census) : female: 91.9% (2012); 94.6% (2019 census) Source: The Worldbank Database etc.

See also

* Racism in Vietnam * List of ethnic groups in Vietnam * Overseas Vietnamese


2006 Vietnam's population estimates

1999 Census results

Socioeconomic Atlas of Vietnam


{{Asia in topic, Demographics of Demographics of Vietnam,