List of ethnic groups in Vietnam

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Vietnam is a multiethnic country with over fifty distinct groups (54 are recognized by the Vietnamese government), each with its own language, lifestyle, and cultural heritage. Many of the local ethnic groups residing in mountain areas are known collectively in the West as Montagnard or Degar. The largest ethnic groups are: Kinh (Viet) 86.2%, Tay 1.9%, Tai Ethnic 1.7%, Mường 1.5%, Khmer Krom (Khơ Me Crộm) 1.4%, Hoa 1.1%, Nùng 1.1%, Hmong 1%, others 4.1% (1999 census). The Vietnamese term for ethnic group is người thiểu số or dân tộc thiểu số (literally "minority people"). One distinctive feature of highland ethnic minority groups in Vietnam is that they are in colorful attires whether at home, in the farm, on travel or in the town. Many of the ethnic groups elsewhere such as southern part of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, China, Papua New Guinea, and many other countries do not wear attractive clothes while engaged in their day-to-day activities. The clothes of one group is quite different from that of other groups that adds color to the social landscape.

List of ethnic groups[edit]

The population data taken from 2009 Census[1]

The total population number of Apr 2014 was 90.493.352,published in the Premier Minister Website.[2]

Group People Population
Total 85,846,997
1. Vietic Kinh 73,594,427 also called Viet, the largest ethnic group in Vietnam
Chứt 6,022 Cheut - related to the Kinh
Mường 1,268,963 - Closest to the Kinh, the other main part of the Viet–Mường branch of the Vietic subfamily
Thổ 74,458 Tho - Related to Kinh Vietnamese
2. Tai–Kadai Bố Y 2,273 Bouyei
Giáy 58,617
Lao 14,928
Lự 5,601 Lu
Nùng 968,800
Sán Chay 169,410 San Chay, Cao Lan
Tày 1,626,392 Tay - The largest minority in Vietnam
Thái 1,550,423 Thai
3. Kadai
Cờ Lao 2,636 Gelao
La Chí 13,158 Lachi
La Ha 8,177 Laha
Pu Péo 687 Qabiao, Pubiao
3. Austroasiatic Ba Na 227,716 Bahnar
Brâu 397 Brau
Bru 74,506 Bru
Chơ Ro 26,855
Co 33,817
Cờ Ho 166,112 Koho
Cơ Tu 61,588
Giẻ Triêng 50,962
Hrê 127,420 H're
Kháng 13,840
Khmer Krom 1,260,640
Khơ Mú 72,929 Khmu
Mạ 41,405
Mảng 3,700
Mnông 102,741 Mnong
Ơ Đu 376
Rơ Măm 436
Tà Ôi 43,886 Ta Oi
Xinh Mun 23,278 Xinh-mun
Xơ Đăng 169,501 Sedang, Xo Dang
X’Tiêng 85,436 Stieng
5. Hmong–Mien Dao 751,067 Yao people, also known as Mien, many speak Iu Mien language
Hmong 1,068,189 formerly known as Mèo, classified as Miao in China
Pà Thẻn 6,811 Pa-Hng
6. Malayo-Polynesian Chăm 161,729 Cham - Descendants of the Champa polities of Southern Vietnam
Chu Ru 19,314 Chru
Ê Đê 331,194 Rade
Gia Rai 411,275 Jarai
Ra Glai 122,245 Roglai
7. Chinese Hoa people 823,071 Overseas Chinese, not to be confused with the Ngái Hokkien, who are classified separately
Ngái 1,035 Hakka Chinese, classified separately from the Hoa
Sán Dìu 146,821 San Diu, Yao that speak Cantonese, though some know Iu Mien
8. Tibeto-Burman Phunoi 2,029 Cống
Hà Nhì 21,725 Hani
La Hủ 9,651 Lahu
Lô Lô 4,541 Yi
Phù Lá 10,944
Si La 709

Ethnic groups not included in official list[edit]


  1. Nguồn - possibly Mường group, officially classified as a Việt (Kinh) group by the government, Nguồn themselves identify with Việt ethnicity; their language is a member of the Viet–Muong branch of the Vietic sub-family
  2. Sui people (Người Thủy) - officially classified as Pa Then people.
  3. According to news from Dantri, an online newspaper in Vietnam, the Thừa Thiên-Huế People's Committee in September 2008 announced a plan to do more research in a new ethnic group in Vietnam. It is Pa Kô, also called Pa Cô, Pa Kô, Pa-Kô or Pa Kôh. This ethnic group settles mainly in A Lưới suburban district (Thừa Thiên-Huế) and mountainous area of Hướng Hóa (Quảng Trị).[3][4] At the present, however, they have been being classified in Tà Ôi ethnic group.
  4. Bunong/Pnong people. This ethnic group lives mainly in North East Cambodia, but during the American War many fled into Vietnam in the central highlands region around Buon Ma Thuot province. While most returned to their homeland in Cambodia after the war, a small number remain in Vietnam as evidenced by the story of Guin Thi. Though presumably the number of Bunong people remaining in Vietnam is very low. The Christian and Missionary Alliance have targeted this minority group in Cambodia and seem to be the only organization publishing much information about their history.


People of European, North American, Australian, and Asian (non-Vietnamese) origin. Many people of these origins are temporary residents in Vietnam as expatriate workers and some are permanently settled there, some through marriage. Included in permanent settlers are Europeans of French descent, who are descendants of the colonial settlers. Most of them left after its independence.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 2009 Census: Kết quả toàn bộ Tổng điều tra Dân số và Nhà ở Việt Nam năm 2009, Tổng Cục Thống kê Việt Nam. Retrieved 18/08/2015.
  2. ^ Trang Web Thủ tướng. Dân số Việt Nam. Retrieved 22/08/2015.
  3. ^ Việt Nam sẽ có dân tộc thứ 55?
  4. ^ Pa Kô được bổ sung vào danh mục các dân tộc Việt Nam

Further reading[edit]

  • Nguyễn Trọng Tấn; Viện khoa học xã hội Việt Nam - Viện dân tộc học - Tạp chí dân tộc học. 2005. Tổng mục lục 30 năm tạp chí dân tộc học (1974 - 2004). Hà Nội: Nhà xuất bản khoa học xã hội.

External links[edit]