Vietnam Demographics

What is the population of Vietnam?

Population 98,721,275
Population Growth Rate 1.03%
Urban Population 31%
Population in Major Urban Areas Ho Chi Minh City 6.405 million; HANOI (capital) 2.955 million; Haiphong 925,000; Da Nang 834,000
Nationality Noun Vietnamese (singular and plural)
Nationality Adjective Vietnamese
Ethnic Groups Vietnamese 85%-90%, Chinese, Hmong, Thai, Khmer, Cham, mountain groups
Languages Spoken Vietnamese (official), English (as a second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer; mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)
Language Note Vietnamese is the official language. There are distinct northern, central, and southern dialects and accents. The most popular foreign languages taught in schools are English, Russian, and French.

Vietnam Health Information

What are the health conditions in Vietnam?

Contraceptive Prevalance Rate - female 15-49 77.8%
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 5.94
Diseases - note 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
Drinking Water Source - percent of rural population improved 93.6%
Drinking Water Source - percent of total population unimproved 5%
Drinking Water Source - percent of urban population improved 98.2%
Food or Waterborne Disease (s) bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Health Expenditures - percent of GDP 6.8%
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.4%
HIV/Aids Deaths 11,700
Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population 2.2
Infant Mortality Rate - female deaths/1,000 live births 19.19
Infant Mortality Rate - male deaths/1,000 live births 19.97
Infant Mortality Rate - total deaths/1,000 live births 19.61
Major Infectious Diseases - degree of risk very high
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 59
Mean Age for Mother's First Birth 22.6
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 1.7%
People Living with HIV/AIDS 280,000
Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population 1.22
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of total population unimproved 25%
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of urban population improved 93.1%
Sanitation Facitlity Access - percent of rural population improved 66.6%
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 1.87
Underweight - percent of children under five years 12%
Vectorborne Disease (s) dengue fever, malaria, and Japanese encephalitis

Vietnam Life Expectancy

How long do people live in Vietnam?

Life Expectancy at Birth 72 Years
Life Expectancy at Birth - female 75 Years
Life Expectancy at Birth - male 70 Years
Median Age 28 Years
Median Age - female 29 Years
Median Age - male 27 Years

Vietnam Infant Mortality - per 1,000 live births

Vietnam median age, birth rate and death rates

Birth Rate - births/1,000 population 17
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 5.94
Median Age 28 Years
Median Age - female 29 Years
Median Age - male 27 Years
Net Migration Rate - migrant(s)/1,000 population -0.33
Population Growth Rate 1.03%
Sex Ratio 0-14 Years - male/female 1.11
Sex Ratio 15-24 Years - male/female 1.07
Sex Ratio 25-54 Years - male/female 1.01
Sex Ratio 55-64 Years - male/female 1
Sex Ratio at Birth - male/female 1.12
Sex Ratio of Total Population - male/female 1
Sex Ratio Over 64 Years - male/female .62

Vietnam Medical Information

What are the health conditions in Vietnam?

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Medical facilities in Vietnam do not meet international standards and frequently lack medicines and supplies. Medical personnel in Vietnam, particularly outside Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, may speak little or no English. Doctors and hospitals expect immediate cash payment for health services. International health clinics in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City can provide acceptable care for minor illnesses and injuries, but more serious problems will often require medical evacuation to Bangkok or Singapore. Although you can purchase many medications at pharmacies without having a prescription, some common U.S. medications are not available in Vietnam. You should bring adequate supplies of medications for the duration of your stay in Vietnam. You may obtain lists of local English-speaking physicians from the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi or the U. S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City. Neither the Embassy nor the Consulate may recommend specific medical practitioners or hospitals. Emergency medical response services are generally unresponsive, unreliable, or completely unavailable.

Be cautious about drinking non-bottled water and about using ice cubes in drinks. You may wish to drink only bottled or canned beverages or beverages that have been boiled (such as hot tea and coffee).

In July 2012, the Government of Vietnam reported outbreaks of rabies in the northern mountainous provinces of Son La, Lai Chau, Dien Bien, Lao Cai (Sapa) and Yen Bai. Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. The most important global source of rabies in humans is from uncontrolled rabies in dogs. In Vietnam, monkeys also pose a risk. Children are often at greatest risk from rabies. They are more likely to be bitten by rabid animals, and are also more likely to be severely exposed through multiple bites in high-risk sites on the body. Travelers in Vietnam should exercise caution around unfamiliar animals and seek immediate medical attention if bitten.

Avian influenza (H5N1) continues to be a concern in Vietnam. In Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries affected by avian influenza, you should avoid poultry farms, contact with animals in live food markets, and any surfaces that appear to be contaminated with feces from poultry or other animals.

Vietnam Education

What is school like in Vietnam?

Education Expenditures - percent of GDP 6.3%
Literacy - female 92%
Literacy - male 96.1%
Literacy - total population 94%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write

Vietnam Literacy

Can people in Vietnam read?

Literacy - female 92%
Literacy - male 96.1%
Literacy - total population 94%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write
Predominant Language Vietnamese (official), English (as a second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer; mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)

Vietnam Crime

Is Vietnam a safe place to visit?

Crime Information

Pick-pocketing and other petty crimes occur regularly. Although violent crimes such as armed robbery are still relatively rare in Vietnam, perpetrators have grown increasingly bold, and both the U.S. Consulate General and the U.S. Embassy have recently received reports of pipes, knives and razors being used in attempted robberies in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Thieves congregate around hotels frequented by foreign tourists and business people and areas such as Hanoi’s Old Quarter and Ho Chi Minh City’s Ben Thanh Market, and assaults have been reported in outlying areas at night. Do not resist theft attempts and report them immediately to local police and to the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi or the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City.

Motorcyclists are known to snatch bags, cameras, and other valuables from pedestrians or passengers riding in "cyclos" (pedicabs) or on the back of motorcycles. Serious injuries resulted when thieves snatched purses or bags that were strapped across the victim's body, resulting in the victim being dragged along the ground by the thief's motorcycle.

Passengers riding in cyclos (pedicabs) may be especially prone to theft of personal possessions by snatch-and-grab thieves, because they ride in a semi-reclining position that readily exposes their belongings and does not allow good visibility or movement. Some cyclo drivers have reportedly kidnapped passengers and extorted money; it may be risky to hire cyclos not associated with reputable hotels or restaurants.

The use of motorcycle taxis (known as “xe omsâ€) is strongly discouraged. Motorcycle taxis are unregulated and unsafe, and the helmets provided to riders offer little to no protection against injury in the case of an accident. In one instance, a U.S. citizen was sexually assaulted after hiring what was believed to be a legitimate motorcycle taxi near Ho Chi Minh City. Keep your passport and other important valuables in your hotel in a safe or another secured location at all times. You should carry at least two photocopies of your U.S. passport. Hotels are required to obtain a copy of your passport (please refer to "Special Circumstances" below), and you should carry a photocopy of your passport with you. You should immediately report the loss or theft of your U.S. passport to the local police and the U.S. Embassy or the U.S. Consulate General. You must obtain a police report from the local police office in order to apply for a replacement passport and a Vietnamese exit visa.

You should take precautions in choosing ground transportation when you arrive at the airport in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Some travelers reported being robbed by drivers who greeted them upon arrival with a placard showing the traveler's name. If you are expecting to be picked up, ask the company for the drivers name, phone number, and license plate number before you travel. You should use only airport taxis (currently Noi Bai taxi in Hanoi and Mai Linh or Vinasun in HCMC) or vehicles provided by hotels. Several times in the past year in Hanoi, taxi drivers detoured travelers en route from the airport to flophouses masquerading as hotels. You should be familiar with the basics of the hotel you have chosen, such as address and neighboring landmarks. This information can be found on the Internet. We have received complaints of taxi drivers overcharging fares by using rigged meters. In one case a driver locked the passenger in the cab to extort a higher fare. You should try to write down the name of the taxi company, plate number and any other identifying information in any incident so that it can be reported to the local authorities.

Some scams target tourists. Specifically, tourists have been victims of gambling scams in the Pham Ngu Lao neighborhood of Ho Chi Minh City. This scam usually starts with a friendly invitation to someone's home to meet a relative interested in visiting or studying in the U.S. While waiting for this individual, a casual game of cards will start. Victims have reported starting the game with only a small wager but losing thousands of dollars over the course of an evening. Be aware that gambling outside of licensed casinos is illegal in Vietnam.

The U.S. Embassy has also received occasional reports of incidents in which an unknown substance was used to taint drinks, leaving the victim unconscious or in a state similar to inebriation and unable to make appropriate decisions. To date, reports have included theft, but sexual assaults are also possible. Do not leave drinks or food unattended, and don't go to unfamiliar venues alone. You should also avoid purchasing liquor from street vendors, as the authenticity of the contents cannot be assured.

Recreational drugs available in Vietnam can be extremely potent. Three U.S. citizens died in 2010 from accidental overdoses of drugs. Drug suppliers will often misrepresent the substances they are selling, such as heroin for cocaine and vice versa. Penalties for possession or use of drugs of any kind are severe (please refer to the Criminal Penalties section below).

Some U.S. citizens have reported threats of death or physical injury related to personal business disputes. The U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Consulate General cannot provide personal protection services. If you do not have confidence in the ability of the local police to protect you, you may wish to depart the country as soon as possible.

Do not buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.

Vietnam Penalties for Crime

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Vietnam, you are subject to the laws of Vietnam even if you are a U.S. citizen. The Vietnamese legal system and some Vietnamese laws can be vastly different from our own. While you are in Vietnam, U.S. laws do not apply. If you do something illegal in Vietnam, your U.S. passport will not help.

In some places in Vietnam, you may be taken in for questioning if you do not have your passport with you. In some places, it is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings (see Special Circumstances below). Driving under the influence of alcohol in Vietnam can result in fines, confiscation of your driving permit, or imprisonment. There are also some actions that might be legal in Vietnam but still illegal in the United States. Be aware that you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods, engage in child pornography, or have sex with minors.

Notification and Access: A 1994 agreement between the United States and Vietnam provides that Vietnamese officials should notify the U.S. Embassy of the detainment of a U.S. citizen within 96 hours of the arrest and that they give U.S. officials access to those citizens within 48 hours after notification of the arrest. For purposes of notification and access, the U.S. government considers a U.S. citizen to be anyone — including a U.S. citizen of Vietnamese origin -- who enters Vietnam on a U.S. passport. Therefore, we encourage you to carry photocopies of your U.S. passport data and photo pages at all times so that, if questioned by Vietnamese officials, you have proof of your U.S. citizenship readily available.

Despite the 1994 agreement, Vietnamese officials do not always notify U.S. consular officers in Vietnam in a timely manner when they arrest or detain a U.S. citizen. There have also been very significant delays in U.S. consular officers obtaining access to some incarcerated U.S. citizens. This has been particularly true when the U.S. citizen is being held during the investigatory stage, which Vietnamese officials do not consider covered by the bilateral agreement. The investigatory stage can last up to one year, and often proceeds without the formal filing of any charges. U.S. citizens should note that the problem of access has been particularly evident when the Vietnamese government considers the U.S. citizen to be a citizen of Vietnam, irrespective of proof of U.S. citizenship. According to the 1994 agreement, U.S. citizens, even dual citizens, have the right to consular access if they were admitted into Vietnam as a U.S. citizen with their U.S. passport. If detained or arrested, U.S. citizens should insist upon contact with the U.S. Embassy or the U.S. Consulate General.

Based on the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, bilateral agreements with certain countries, and customary international law, if you are arrested in Vietnam, you have the option to request that the police, prison officials, or other authorities alert the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate of your arrest, and to have communications from you forwarded to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Vietnam Population Comparison

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