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Of the three geographical regions, the oldest is Northern Vietnam, where the Vietnamese culture originated over 2,000 years ago in the Red River Delta, though Vietnamese people eventually spread south into the Mekong Delta.
Northern Vietnam includes 3 administrative regions, which in turn comprises 25 First Tier units.
|Administrative Region||First Tier Administrative Units||Area (km²)||Population (2015)||Population Density
|Northeast (Đông Bắc Bộ)||50,684.10||8,568,200||169.05||contains most of the mountainous provinces that lie to north of the highly populated Red River lowlands. Four of them are along Vietnam's border with China.|
|Northwest (Tây Bắc Bộ)||44,301.10||4,446,800||100.37||contains inland provinces in the west of Vietnam's northern part. Three of them are along Vietnam's border with Laos, and two border China (Dien Bien borders both China and Laos).|
|Red River Delta (Đồng Bằng Sông Hồng)||14,957.70||19,714,300||1,318.00||contains the small but populous provinces along the mouth of the Red River. The Red River Delta has the smallest area but highest population and population density of all regions. It is also the only region without any land borders with neighboring countries.|
Of all 25 First Tier units, 2 are municipalities and 23 are provinces.
- General Statistics Office (2017): Statistical Yearbook of Vietnam 2015. Statistical Publishing House, Hanoi