Vietnam Population: 97,040,334


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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military aid to South Vietnam grew through the 1960s in an attempt to bolster the government, but US armed forces were withdrawn following a cease-fire agreement in 1973.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 maintain tight control on political expression but have demonstrated some modest steps toward better protection of human rights. The country continues to experience small-scale protests, the vast majority connected to either land-use issues, calls for increased political space, or the lack of equitable mechanisms for resolving disputes. The small-scale protests in the urban areas are often organized by human rights activists, but many occur in rural areas and involve various ethnic minorities such as the Montagnards of the Central Highlands, Hmong in the Northwest Highlands, and the Khmer Krom in the southern delta region.

    Extending 1,650 km north to south, the country is only 50 km across at its narrowest point

  • Son Doong in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is the world's largest cave (greatest cross sectional area) and is the largest known cave passage in the world by volume; it currently measures a total of 38.5 million cu m (about 1.35 billion cu ft); it connects to Thung cave (but not yet officially); when recognized, it will add an additional 1.6 million cu m in volume; Son Doong is so massive that it contains its own jungle, underground river, and localized weather system; clouds form inside the cave and spew out from its exits and two dolines (openings (sinkhole skylights) created by collapsed ceilings that allow sunlight to stream in)
Location: Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, Gulf of Tonkin, and South China Sea, as well as China, Laos, and Cambodia
Geographic coordinates: 16 10 N, 107 50 E
Area: total: 331,210 sq km
land: 310,070 sq km
water: 21,140 sq km

Size comparison: about three times the size of Tennessee; slightly larger than New Mexico
Land Boundaries: total: 4,616 km border countries (3): Cambodia 1158 km, China 1297 km, Laos 2161 km
Coastline: 3,444 km (excludes islands)
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate: tropical in south; monsoonal in north with hot, rainy season (May to September) and warm, dry season (October to March)
Terrain: low, flat delta in south and north; central highlands; hilly, mountainous in far north and northwest
Natural resources: antimony, phosphates, coal, manganese, rare earth elements, bauxite, chromate, offshore oil and gas deposits, timber, hydropower, arable land
Land use: agricultural land: 34.8% (2011 est.) arable land: 20.6% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 12.1% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 2.1% (2011 est.) forest: 45% (2011 est.)
other: 20.2% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 46,000 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: occasional typhoons (May to January) with extensive flooding, especially in the Mekong River delta
Current Environment 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; air pollution; growing urban industrialization and population migration are rapidly degrading environment in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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Nationality: noun: 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%, Hoa 1%, other 4.3% (2009 est.) note: 54 ethnic groups are recognized by the Vietnamese Government
Languages: Vietnamese (official), English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer, mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)
Religions: Buddhist 7.9%, Catholic 6.6%, Hoa Hao 1.7%, Cao Dai 0.9%, Protestant 0.9%, Muslim 0.1%, none 81.8% (2009 est.)
Population: 97,040,334 (July 2018 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 23.27% (male 11,876,141 /female 10,704,895)
15-24 years: 15.81% (male 7,967,981 /female 7,371,016)
25-54 years: 45.67% (male 22,378,768 /female 21,939,925)
55-64 years: 8.9% (male 4,014,622 /female 4,620,177)
65 years and over: 6.35% (male 2,404,304 /female 3,762,505) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 42.5 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 32.9 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 9.6 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 10.4 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 30.9 years
male: 29.9 years
female: 32.1 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.9% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 15.2 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 5.9 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 35.9% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 2.98% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 8.145 million Ho Chi Minh City
1.444 million Da Nang
1.219 million Hai Phong
1.175 million Can Tho
1.075 million Haiphong
1.064 million HANOI (capital) (2018)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.1 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.11 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.87 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 54 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 16.7 deaths/1,000 live births male: 17.1 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 16.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 73.9 years male: 71.4 years
female: 76.7 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.79 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 75.7% (2015)
Physicians density: 0.82 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
Hospital bed density: 2.6 beds/1,000 population (2014)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 99.1% of population
rural: 96.9% of population
total: 97.6% of population

urban: 0.9% of population
rural: 3.1% of population
total: 2.4% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 94.4% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 69.7% of population (2015 est.)
total: 78% of population (2015 est.)

urban: 5.6% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 30.3% of population (2015 est.)
total: 22% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.3% (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 250,000 (2017 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 8,600 (2017 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 2.1% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 14.1% (2015)
Education expenditures: 5.7% of GDP (2013)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
total population: 94.5%
male: 96.3%
female: 92.8% (2015 est.) Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 7.3% male: 7.3% female: 7.3% (2017 est.)
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Country name: conventional long form: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
conventional short form: Vietnam
local long form: Cong Hoa Xa Hoi Chu Nghia Viet Nam
local short form: Viet Nam
abbreviation: SRV
etymology: "Viet nam" translates as "Viet south," where "Viet" is an ethnic self identification dating to a second century B.C. kingdom and "nam" refers to its location in relation to other Viet kingdoms
Government type: communist state
Capital: name: Hanoi (Ha Noi)
geographic coordinates: 21 02 N, 105 51 E
time difference: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 58 provinces (tinh, singular and plural) and 5 municipalities (thanh pho, singular and plural) provinces: An Giang, Bac Giang, Bac Kan, Bac Lieu, Bac Ninh, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Ben Tre, Binh Dinh, Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, Binh Thuan, Ca Mau, Cao Bang, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Dien Bien, Dong Nai, Dong Thap, Gia Lai, Ha Giang, Ha Nam, Ha Tinh, Hai Duong, Hau Giang, Hoa Binh, Hung Yen, Khanh Hoa, Kien Giang, Kon Tum, Lai Chau, Lam Dong, Lang Son, Lao Cai, Long An, Nam Dinh, Nghe An, Ninh Binh, Ninh Thuan, Phu Tho, Phu Yen, Quang Binh, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Quang Ninh, Quang Tri, Soc Trang, Son La, Tay Ninh, Thai Binh, Thai Nguyen, Thanh Hoa, Thua Thien-Hue, Tien Giang, Tra Vinh, Tuyen Quang, Vinh Long, Vinh Phuc, Yen Bai; municipalities: Can Tho, Da Nang, Ha Noi (Hanoi), Hai Phong, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Independence: 2 September 1945 (from France)
National holiday: Independence Day (National Day), 2 September (1945)
Constitution: history: several previous; latest adopted 28 November 2013, effective 1 January 2014 amendments: proposed by the president, by the National Assembly’s Standing Committee, or supported by at least two-thirds of the National Assembly membership; a decision to draft an amendment requires approval by at least a two-thirds majority of the Assembly membership, followed by the formation of a constitutional drafting committee to write a draft and collect citizens’ opinions; passage requires at least two-thirds majority of the Assembly membership; the Assembly can opt to conduct a referendum (2018)
Legal system: civil law system; note - the civil code of 2005 reflects a European-style civil law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Nguyen Phu TRONG (since 23 October 2018); note - President Tran Dai QUANG (since 2 April 2016) died on 21 September 2018

head of government: Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan PHUC (since 7 April 2016); Deputy Prime Ministers Truong Hoa BINH (since 9 April 2016), Vuong Dinh HUE (since 9 April 2016), Vu Duc DAM (since 13 November 2013), Trinh Dinh DUNG (since 9 April 2016), Pham Binh MINH (since 13 November 2013)

cabinet: Cabinet proposed by prime minister confirmed by the National Assembly and appointed by the president elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by National Assembly from among its members for a single 5-year term; election last held on 2 April 2016 (next to be held in spring 2021); prime minister recommended by the president and confirmed by National Assembly; deputy prime ministers confirmed by the National Assembly and appointed by the president

election results: Nguyen Phu TRONG (CPV) elected president; percent of National Assembly vote - 99.8%; Nguyen Xuan PHUC elected prime minister; percent of National Assembly vote - 91%
Legislative branch: description: unicameral National Assembly or Quoc Hoi (500 seats - number following 2016 election - 494; number of current serving members - 484; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 22 May 2016 (next to be held in May 2021)

election results: percent of vote by party -CPV 95.8%, non-party members 4.2%; seats by party - CPV 474, non-party CPV-approved 20, self-nominated 2; note - 494 candidates elected, 2 CPV candidates-elect were disqualified; composition - men 364, women 122, percent of women 26.6%
Judicial branch: highest courts: Supreme People's Court (consists of the chief justice and 13 judges) judge selection and term of office: chief justice elected by the National Assembly upon the recommendation of the president for a 5-year, renewable term; deputy chief justice appointed by the president from among the judges for a 5-year term; judges appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly for 5-year terms

subordinate courts: High Courts (administrative, civil, criminal, economic, labor, family, juvenile); provincial courts; district courts; Military Court; note - the National Assembly Standing Committee can establish special tribunals upon the recommendation of the chief justice
Political parties and leaders: Communist Party of Vietnam or CPV [Nguyen Phu TRONG] note: other parties proscribed
National symbol(s): yellow, five-pointed star on red field; lotus blossom;
national colors: red, yellow
National anthem: name: "Tien quan ca" (The Song of the Marching Troops)
lyrics/music: Nguyen Van CAO

note: adopted as the national anthem of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945; it became the national anthem of the unified Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1976; although it consists of two verses, only the first is used as the official anthem
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Ha Kim NGOC (since 17 September 2018)
chancery: 1233 20th Street NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 861-0737
FAX: [1] (202) 861-0917
consulate(s) general: Houston, San Francisco consulate(s): New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Daniel KRITENBRINK (since 6 November 2017)
embassy: 7 Lang Ha Street, Hanoi
mailing address: 7 Lang Ha Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi; 4550 Hanoi Place, Washington, DC 20521-4550
telephone: [84] (24) 3850-5000
FAX: [84] (24) 3850-5010
consulate(s) general: Ho Chi Minh City
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Vietnam is a densely populated developing country that has been transitioning since 1986 from the rigidities of a centrally planned, highly agrarian economy to a more industrial and market based economy, and it has raised incomes substantially. Vietnam exceeded its 2017 GDP growth target of 6.7% with growth of 6.8%, primarily due to unexpected increases in domestic demand, and strong manufacturing exports. Vietnam has a young population, stable political system, commitment to sustainable growth, relatively low inflation, stable currency, strong FDI inflows, and strong manufacturing sector. In addition, the country is committed to continuing its global economic integration. Vietnam joined the WTO in January 2007 and concluded several free trade agreements in 2015-16, including the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (which the EU has not yet ratified), the Korean Free Trade Agreement, and the Eurasian Economic Union Free Trade Agreement. In 2017, Vietnam successfully chaired the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Conference with its key priorities including inclusive growth, innovation, strengthening small and medium enterprises, food security, and climate change. Seeking to diversify its opportunities, Vietnam also signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Transpacific Partnership in 2018 and continued to pursue the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. To continue its trajectory of strong economic growth, the government acknowledges the need to spark a ‘second wave’ of reforms, including reforming state-owned-enterprises, reducing red tape, increasing business sector transparency, reducing the level of non-performing loans in the banking sector, and increasing financial sector transparency. Vietnam’s public debt to GDP ratio is nearing the government mandated ceiling of 65%. In 2016, Vietnam cancelled its civilian nuclear energy development program, citing public concerns about safety and the high cost of the program; it faces growing pressure on energy infrastructure. Overall, the country’s infrastructure fails to meet the needs of an expanding middle class. Vietnam has demonstrated a commitment to sustainable growth over the last several years, but despite the recent speed-up in economic growth the government remains cautious about the risk of external shocks.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $648.7 billion (2017 est.) $607.4 billion (2016 est.) $571.9 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $220.4 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 6.8% (2017 est.) 6.2% (2016 est.) 6.7% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $6,900 (2017 est.) $6,600 (2016 est.) $6,200 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving: 29% of GDP (2017 est.) 29.5% of GDP (2016 est.) 27.5% of GDP (2015 est.) GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 66.9% (2017 est.) government consumption: 6.5% (2017 est.) investment in fixed capital: 24.2% (2017 est.) investment in inventories: 2.8% (2017 est.) exports of goods and services: 100% (2017 est.) imports of goods and services: -101% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 15.3% (2017 est.) industry: 33.3% (2017 est.) services: 51.3% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products: rice, coffee, rubber, tea, pepper, soybeans, cashews, sugar cane, peanuts, bananas; pork; poultry; seafood
Industries: food processing, garments, shoes, machine-building; mining, coal, steel; cement, chemical fertilizer, glass, tires, oil, mobile phones
Industrial production growth rate: 8% (2017 est.)
Labor force: 54.8 million (2017 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 40.3%
industry: 25.7%
services: 34% (2017)
Unemployment rate: 2.2% (2017 est.) 2.3% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line: 8% (2017 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.7%
highest 10%: 26.8% (2014)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 34.8 (2014) 37.6 (2008)
Budget: revenues: 54.59 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 69.37 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 24.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -6.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 58.5% of GDP (2017 est.) 59.9% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: official data; data cover general government debt and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.5% (2017 est.) 2.7% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: $5.401 billion (2017 est.) $5.924 billion (2016 est.)
Exports: $214.1 billion (2017 est.) $176.6 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: clothes, shoes, electronics, seafood, crude oil, rice, coffee, wooden products, machinery
Exports - partners: US 20.1%, China 14.5%, Japan 8%, South Korea 6.8% (2017)
Imports: $202.6 billion (2017 est.) $162.6 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, petroleum products, steel products, raw materials for the clothing and shoe industries, electronics, plastics, automobiles
Imports - partners: China 25.8%, South Korea 20.5%, Japan 7.8%, Thailand 4.9% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $49.5 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $36.91 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external: $96.58 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $84.34 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $129.5 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $293.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $19.75 billion (31 December 2015 est.) $18.97 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $156.7 billion (29 December 2017 est.) $87.95 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $52.39 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange rates: dong (VND) per US dollar - 22,425 (2017 est.) 22,159 (2016 est.) 22,355 (2015 est.) 21,909 (2014 est.) 21,189 (2013 est.)
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Electricity - production: 158.2 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 143.2 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 713 million kWh (2017 est.)
Electricity - imports: 2.733 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 40.77 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 56% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 43% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 271,400 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 324,600 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 4.4 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 153,800 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 438,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 25,620 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 282,800 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 8.098 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 8.098 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 699.4 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 235.3 million Mt (2017 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 120,016,181
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 125 (2017 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: Vietnam is putting considerable effort into modernization and expansion of its telecommunication system; competition is thriving in the market place; mobile dominates over fixed-line; FttH market growing, as is e-commerce; govt driving force for growth; data sovereignty is a key driver for local centers; 4G licenses awarded to 5 major operators; Ho Chi Minh City to become the first smart city in Vietnam with cloud computing infrastructure, big data, data centers and security-monitoring centers (2018)

domestic: all provincial exchanges are digitalized and connected to Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City by fiber-optic cable or microwave radio relay networks; main lines have been increased, and the use of mobile telephones is growing rapidly; fixed-line 5 per 100 and mobile-cellular 125 per 100 (2018)

international: country code - 84; a landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3, the C2C, and Thailand-Vietnam-Hong Kong submarine cable systems; the Asia-America Gateway submarine cable system, completed in 2009, provided new access links to Asia and the US; satellite earth stations - 2 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region); VNPT cable landing station for the Southeast Asia-Japan Cable 2 (SJC2) in Quy Nhon, cable system connects to 11 landing sites: Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, mainland China, Korea and Japan
Broadcast media: government controls all broadcast media exercising oversight through the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC); government-controlled national TV provider, Vietnam Television (VTV), operates a network of several channels with regional broadcasting centers; programming is relayed nationwide via a network of provincial and municipal TV stations; law limits access to satellite TV but many households are able to access foreign programming via home satellite equipment; government-controlled Voice of Vietnam, the national radio broadcaster, broadcasts on several channels and is repeated on AM, FM, and shortwave stations throughout Vietnam (2018)
Internet country code: .vn
Internet users: total: 49.741 million
percent of population: 52.7% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 45 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 38
(2013) over 3,047 m: 10 (2013)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 9 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2013)
under 914 m: 3 (2013)
Heliports: 1 (2013)
Pipelines: 72 km condensate, 398 km condensate/gas, 955 km gas, 128 km oil, 33 km oil/gas/water, 206 km refined products, 13 km water (2013)
Railways: total 2,600 km
(2014) standard gauge: 178 km 1.435-m gauge; 253 km mixed gauge (2014)
narrow gauge: 2,169 km 1.000-m gauge (2014)
Roadways: total 195,468 km
(2013) paved: 148,338 km (2013)
unpaved: 47,130 km (2013)
Waterways: 47,130 km (30,831 km weight under 50 tons) (2011)
Merchant marine: total 1,863

by type: bulk carrier 83, container ship 38, general cargo 1266, oil tanker 114, other 362 (2018)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Cam Pha Port, Da Nang, Haiphong, Phu My, Quy Nhon container port(s) (TEUs): Saigon (6,155,535), Cai Mep (3,065,014) (2017)
river port(s): Ho Chi Minh (Mekong)
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Military branches: People's Armed Forces: People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN, includes Vietnam People's Navy (with Naval Infantry), Vietnam People's Air and Air Defense Force, Border Defense Command, Coast Guard) (2013)
Military service age and obligation: 18-25 years of age for male compulsory and voluntary military service; females may volunteer for active duty military service; conscription typically takes place twice annually and service obligation is 18 months (Army, Air Defense), 2 years (Navy and Air Force); 18-45 years of age (male) or 18-40 years of age (female) for Militia Force or Self Defense Force service; males may enroll in military schools at age 17 (2013)
Military expenditures: 2.19% of GDP (2017) 2.44% of GDP (2016) 2.36% of GDP (2015) 2.29% of GDP (2014) 2.18% of GDP (2013)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: southeast Asian states have enhanced border surveillance to check the spread of Asian swine fever; Cambodia and Laos protest Vietnamese squatters and armed encroachments along border; Cambodia accuses Vietnam of a wide variety of illicit cross-border activities; progress on a joint development area with Cambodia is hampered by an unresolved dispute over sovereignty of offshore islands; an estimated 300,000 Vietnamese refugees reside in China; establishment of a maritime boundary with Cambodia is hampered by unresolved dispute over the sovereignty of offshore islands; the decade-long demarcation of the China-Vietnam land boundary was completed in 2009; China occupies the Paracel Islands also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; Brunei claims a maritime boundary extending beyond as far as a median with Vietnam, thus asserting an implicit claim to Lousia Reef; the 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" eased tensions but differences between the parties negotiating the Code of Conduct continue; Vietnam continues to expand construction of facilities in the Spratly Islands; in March 2005, the national oil companies of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam signed a joint accord to conduct marine seismic activities in the Spratly Islands; Economic Exclusion Zone negotiations with Indonesia are ongoing, and the two countries in Fall 2011 agreed to work together to reduce illegal fishing along their maritime boundary; in May 2018, Russia’s RosneftVietnam unit started drilling at a block southeast of Vietnam which is within the area outlined by China’s nine-dash line and Beijing issued a warning
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
stateless persons: 34,110 (2018); note - Vietnam's stateless ethnic Chinese Cambodian population dates to the 1970s when thousands of Cambodians fled to Vietnam to escape the Khmer Rouge and were no longer recognized as Cambodian citizens; Vietnamese women who gave up their citizenship to marry foreign men have found themselves stateless after divorcing and returning home to Vietnam; the government addressed this problem in 2009, and Vietnamese women are beginning to reclaim their citizenship
Illicit drugs: minor producer of opium poppy; probable minor transit point for Southeast Asian heroin; government continues to face domestic opium/heroin/methamphetamine addiction problems despite longstanding crackdowns; enforces the death penalty for drug trafficking
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