Country: VIETNAMvietnam

Capital: Hanoi

Geographic Coordinates: 16 00 N, 106 00 E

Population: 89,571,130 (July 2010 est.)

Main Religion: Buddhism, Roman Catholic 

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

Government Type: Communist state

Head of State: President Nguyen Minh TRIET (since 27 June 2006); Prime Minister Nguyen Tan DUNG

Main Industries:  food processing, garments, shoes, machine-building; mining, coal, steel; cement, chemical fertilizer, glass, tires, oil, paper 

GDP in US Dollars (per capita): $2,900 (2009 est.)      

Currency Code: Vietnam dong (VND)                 

Life Expectancy: 72 years (men), 76 years (women) (UN)

Environment - current issues: Logging and slash-and-burn agricultural practices contribute to deforestation and soil degradation; Water pollution and overfishing threaten marine life populations; groundwater contamination limits potable water supply; Growing urban industrialization and population migration are rapidly degrading environment in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City    

Issues facing Women and Children: 

  • Gender discrimination continues to undermine the well-being of women and their children.  In Vietnam, women and children are trafficked to China, Cambodia, Taiwan, and South Korea for sexual exploitation, forced marriages, labor in sweatshops, and/or domestic servitude;  the number of trafficking victims increases annually. 
  • Even when these victims manage to return to Vietnam, they face tremendous difficulty in reintegrating into their communities. Stigmatized by society and traumatized by their experience, they generally do not have the education and skills necessary for gainful employment. These women are at a high risk of being re-trafficked.

Land Mine Ban Signatory: N

Local Media: Press: Nhan Dan, Vietnam Economic Times, Le Courrier du Vietnam; Radio and TV: Television VTV - Vietnam Television, Voice of Vietnam

Interesting Fact: In 1975, 200 Vietnamese babies were adopted to the US in Operation Babylift. Adoptions of Vietnamese babies by American families were not resumed till 1995, when bilateral relations were resumed.  

Famous for: Halong Bay, Hue, Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta, nem  (spring rolls), pho (soup), "Doi Moi" policy, the Trung Sisters (Trung Trac and Trung Nhi), Thich Nhat Hanh ( monk, activist and writer), Maggie Q  

Official Tourism Website: