Vietnam Population, People, Languages and Religions

By | January 21, 2022

Vietnam Country Overview

Where is Vietnam located? Vietnam, or the “Socialist Republic of Vietnam”, is a country located in Southeast Asia. Vietnam has a very long coastline bordering the South China Sea. The former French colony is located in a world time zone called “Indochina Time” on the time zone map. This time zone is characterized by a time difference of +7 hours to the coordinated world time (UTC). Even in the summer months there, this standard difference to the world clock remains, since there is no changeover to summer time.

Vietnam National Flag

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Vietnam is 98,721,275, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 98,721,275
Population growth rate 0.84%
Birth rate 15.50 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall life expectancy 72.65 years
Men life expectancy 70.20 years
Women life expectancy 75.40 years
Age structure
0-14 years 23.27%
15-64 years 70.38%
65 years and above 6.35%
Median age 29.60 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 1.00
Population density 298.06 residents per kmĀ²
Urbanization 25.70%
approx. 60 ethnic groups: approx. 87% Vietnamese (Kinh); Hmong, Thai, Khmer, Chinese
Buddhists 9.3%, Catholics 6.7%, Hoa Hao 1.5%, Cao Dai 1.1% Protestants 0.5%, Muslims 0.1% non-religious 80.8% (1999 census)
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.693
HDI ranking 118th out of 194

People in Vietnam

The Vietnamese people are young. More than 40 percent of people are not older than 15 years. There are more than 50 ethnic groups in Vietnam. The majority with 86 out of 100 are the Viet, also known as the Kinh. There are also many Chinese who, because they live abroad, are also called overseas Chinese.

Other minorities are Thai and Khmer. The Khmer live mainly in the south of the country in the fertile valley of the Mekong. These parts of the country used to belong to Cambodia and the Khmer come from Cambodia. Other ethnic groups also include the mountain peoples, who, as the name suggests, primarily live in the mountains. These minorities mostly speak their own language and live their own culture. Many of these minorities are not recognized in Vietnam and often have to live in greater poverty than the rest of the population.

The Vietnamese honor their ancestors

The ancestor cult is widespread in Vietnam. Ancestor cult means that the deceased are particularly honored. And it doesn’t really matter which religion the Vietnamese associate with. It is also possible that non-believing Vietnamese worship their ancestors. So there is an ancestral age in every household. On this altar one offers objects and food for the deceased. You honor them and ask them for advice when you don’t know what to do next.

The beliefs in Vietnam are also partly mixed. The followers of the different religions live peacefully with one another and do not fight each other. That would be a role model for many other countries.

Languages in Vietnam

The country’s official language is Vietnamese. But in business, more and more people speak English. French is still taught as the first foreign language in many schools because Vietnam once belonged to the French colony of Indochina. Some Vietnamese speak German very well.

Religions in Vietnam

The Constitution of the country guarantees people freedom of religion. But the country’s communist party views religions with a certain degree of skepticism. At least that’s how it was in the past. Many Vietnamese say that they do not belong to any religion. The Buddhism has spread even most, Christianity brought the Europeans. But there are also natural religions and Taoism. Confucianism and animism are added.