According to localtimezone, the Vietnamese group represents 86.2% of the country’s population overall; they occupy the flat lands of Tonkin, coastal areas and Cochinchina. In the northern and central-northern areas live, in a marginal position, the minor ethnic groups, the Tay (1.7%), the Hoa (1.7%), the Thais (1.7%), the Nung (1.1%)), the muong (1.5%), the meo (1%) etc., while in the South an important group is that of the moi, settled in the central-southern highlands. They are all populations that practice itinerant agriculture and represent the crop stage prior to that produced by agriculture based on irrigated rice cultivation. Despite the ever deeper contacts with the Vietnamese, they have generally preserved their ethnic peculiarity, recognized and respected even by the central government. In the North, in particular, autonomous regions have been created that gather the main minorities of the mountainous areas. The number of Chinese is also conspicuous, who entered Viet Nam following an immigration process that began in distant centuries but which became massive in the century. XIX with the establishment of commercial activities induced by European colonial expansion. The Chinese, who for a long time played a prominent economic function, Thanh Phô Hô Chí Minh. The Chinese community now has about 500,000 members, although they have declined sharply in the years immediately following the establishment of the unified republic, since it is estimated that approx. 300,000 Chinese fled Viet Nam in 1978-79 alone. The population of Viet Nam was approx. 22.6 million in 1943: up to 2000 there was an annual population increase of 4% which, however, decreased between 1960 and 1970, especially in the North, following the serious loss of human life caused by the war. not well calculated but certainly very high numerical consistency; since 2000, growth has settled at around 1.3%.
The internal and external migratory balance is difficult to establish with certainty since the movement of Vietnamese from N to S was huge, and in 1975 hundreds of thousands of citizens fled to other countries in Southeast Asia and the West, whose regularization and subsequent repatriation followed a troubled path. China, the United States, France and Germany in 2005 still hosted a high number of Vietnamese refugees (300,000 in China alone). In 2006 it also continued, with the support of UNHCR, the repatriation of the “ montagnards ” (According to the definition of the French), people of the central highlands in conflict with the government since the 1970s and refugees in Cambodia. Only 27% of Vietnamese live in the city but up to the 1980s the percentage was even lower; the abandonment of the countryside to reach the cities is a recent phenomenon, linked to the new economic course undertaken by the country at the end of the twentieth century. The population lives for the most part in villages gathered along the rivers or among the rice fields, surrounded by wooded patches. The settlement structure is more similar to that of the Chinese rural world than to the Indochinese one; the houses are grouped together, sometimes joined along the roads and are never on stilts; they are mainly built of wood with a thatched roof. The social structure of the villages is based on family clans, which are also distinguished from each other by the activities carried out (agricultural, artisanal). But the village thrives on close relationships between the various family groups, relationships that apply to all activities that benefit the community. On this social basis the collectivist organization of the communist type was easily imposed in the North, which brought together the numerous small owners (few were the large owners). In the South, on the other hand, the situation was the opposite, with the predominance of real estates, especially in areas with plantation agriculture. The population density of Viet Nam is 260 residents / km², but the highest values are recorded in Tonkin, where the villages follow one another in the plain one after the other: here the human densities are among the highest in the Monsoon Asia, even equal to 1000 residents / km². High values are also recorded in the flat areas of the coastal strip of central Viet Nam and in the deltaic areas of Cochinchina, also in relation to the land regime in force until the end of the war.
On the reliefs, on the other hand, it drops to values of less than 50 residents / km². This distribution is obviously linked to the forms of land conquest and related historical events. Therefore, the This distribution is obviously linked to the forms of land conquest and related historical events. Therefore, the This distribution is obviously linked to the forms of land conquest and related historical events. Therefore, the urbanism, which in ancient times took on the same characteristics as in China, where the city was the seat of royal power, a symbolic and cultural center rather than an animating center of economic life. This is the case of Hue, which with its square plan, within which the imperial city was located as in the old Chinese cities, is the most vivid testimony of this ancient urbanism. It was the Annamite capital, a role that it soon lost with the enhancement of the most favored commercial centers, such as Thanh Phô Hô Chí Minh and Hanoi., both developed in colonial times at the outlet of the two main areas of the country and both connected to maritime traffic: Thanh Phô Hô Chí Minh is located on a branch of the Mekong, while Hanoi is almost joined with Haiphong, an active port located on a terminal branch of the Red River, in the center of the Gulf of Tonkin. Hanoi, capital of the new unified republic, was the seat in ancient times of the dynasties that ruled over Tonkin (Thang Long is its original name) and is therefore a historic city; however, its development is entirely recent, in relation to its economic functions (it is also the seat of numerous industries) and cultural, as well as political and administrative functions. Haiphong, its satellite city, almost entirely rebuilt, has good port facilities as well as being the largest industrial center in Northern Viet Nam. Thanh Phô Hô Chí Minh, the old Saigon, is the most populous city in Viet Nam, as well as one of the largest urban agglomerations in Asia; its port, a river, is accessible to ocean-going vessels. Founded in 1859, it developed thanks to colonial policy, which made it an administrative center, a metropolis of the entire French Indochina. It is therefore a city with little history, while the nearby Cholon is older, founded by the Chinese, a center of commercial and industrial life. The two cities, which form a single conurbation, experienced an impressive growth during the war, serving as a refuge for peasants fleeing the insecure countryside, and even before for refugees, Catholics and anti-Communists, from Northern Viet Nam. In central Viet Nam, the main city is the port center of Đa Nang valued by the Americans during the war, near the ancient city of Hue. The other centers, the largest of which are located on the coast at the mouth of the valleys or inland basins, all have local functions and are the headquarters of commercial and administrative activities in the surrounding rural areas.