Vietnam is officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
The country is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest and Malaysia across the South China Sea to the southeast. Its capital city is Hanoi and its land area is: 331,210km2.
With an estimated 90.5 million inhabitants (in 2014), it is the world’s 14th-most-populous country.
The official language is Vietnamese, a tonal Mon-Khmer language spoken by the majority of the population.
According to an analysis by the Pew Research Center, in 2010 about 43.3% of Vietnamese were part of indigenous religions, 16.4% of buddhism, 8.2% of Christianity, 0/4% of other faiths and 29.6% of the population isn’t religious.
Vietnam was part of Imperial China from 111 BC to AD 939 when Vietnamese became independent with the victory of the Battle of Bach Dang River.
French colonized the Indochina Peninsula in 1862 and were expelled in 1954 after a Japanese occupation during the First Indochina War.
Thereafter, Vietnam was divided politically in two sides which turned into the Vietnam War with the intervention of the United States.
In 2011, Vietnam had the highest Global Growth Generators Index among 11 major economies and it is forecasted by Goldman Sachs to have the world’s 21st-largest economy by 2025, with an estimated nominal GDP of $436 billion and a nominal GDP per capita of $4,357.
Vietnam has two World Natural Heritage Sites, Ha Long Bay and Phong Nha-Ké Bang National Park, and 6 biosphere reserves, including Cần Giờ Mangrove Forest, Cát Tiên, Cát Bà, Kiên Giang, the Red River Delta, and Western Nghệ An.
It is one of twenty-five countries considered to possess a uniquely high level of biodiversity, being home to approximately 16% of the world’s species with 15,986 species of flora and 10,045 species of fauna, including 310 mammals.