Provinces of Vietnam
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politics and government of
On the First Tier, Vietnam is divided into 58 provinces (Vietnamese: tỉnh) and 5 municipalities (Vietnamese: thành phố trực thuộc trung ương). Municipalities are the highest-ranked cities in Vietnam. Municipality are centrally-controlled cities and have special status equal to the provinces.
The provinces are divided into Provincial Cities, Towns and Rural Districts as the Second Tier units. At the Third Tier, Provincial City and Town is divided into Ward and Commune, while Rural District is divided into Townships (thị trấn) and Communes.
Vietnamese provinces are controlled by a People's Council (Hội Đồng Nhân Dân), elected by the inhabitants. The number of councilors varies from province to province, depending on the population of that province. The People's Council appoints a People's Committee, which acts as the executive arm of the provincial government. This arrangement is a somewhat simplified version of the situation in Vietnam's national government. Provincial governments are expected to be subordinate to the central government.
The People's Committee (Uỷ Ban Nhân Dân) is, as mentioned previously, the executive arm at provincial level, and is responsible for formulating and implementing policy. It may be thought of as the equivalent of a cabinet. The People's Committee will have a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman, and between nine and eleven ordinary members.
The People's Court (Tòa án Nhân dân) is the judiciary branch at provincial level and responsible for judiciary trials. The People's Court is headed by a Chief Judge.
List and statistics
According to the census results of April 1, 2009, the population of Vietnam is 85,789,573 people. The most populous top-level administrative unit in Vietnam is Hồ Chí Minh City, one of the five centrally governed cities. It has 7,123,340 people living within its official boundaries. The second most populous administrative unit is the recently expanded Hà Nội with 6,448,837 people. Prior to the expansion of the capital city, this rank belonged to Thanh Hóa with 3,400,239 people. The least populous is Bắc Kạn, a mountainous province in the remote northeast with 294,660 people.
The following is a table of Vietnam's provinces broken down by population and area, April 1, 2009.
See also List of postal codes in Vietnam
The Vietnamese government often groups the various provinces into eight regions. These regions are not always used, and alternative classifications are possible. The regions include:
|Geographical region||Administrative region||Provinces included||Area (km²)||Population (2015)||Population density
|Northern Vietnam (Bắc Bộ, Miền Bắc)||Northwest (Tây Bắc Bộ)||44,301.10||4,446,800||100.37||contains inland provinces in the west of Vietnam's northern part. Two of them are along Vietnam's border with Laos, and three border China (Dien Bien borders both China and Laos).|
|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.|
|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.|
|Central Vietnam (Trung Bộ, Miền Trung)||North Central (Bắc Trung Bộ)||51,455.60||10,472,900||203.53||contains the coastal provinces in the northern half of Vietnam's narrow central part. They all stretch from the coast in the east to Laos in the west.|
|South Central Coast (Duyên hải Nam Trung Bộ)||44,376.80||9,185,000||206.98||contains the coastal provinces in the southern half of Vietnam's central part. One province borders Laos.|
|Central Highlands (Tây Nguyên)||54,641.00||5,607,900||102.63||contains the mountainous provinces to the west of south-central Vietnam. There are a significant number of ethnic minorities in the region. One province is along Vietnam's border with Laos, and four border Cambodia (Kon Tum borders both Laos and Cambodia).|
|Southern Vietnam (Nam Bộ, Miền Nam)||Southeast (Đông Nam Bộ, Miền Đông)||23,590.70||16,127,800||683.65||contains those parts of lowland southern Vietnam which are north of the Mekong delta. Two provinces border Cambodia.|
|Mekong River Delta (Đồng Bằng Sông Cửu Long)
or Southwest (Tây Nam Bộ, Miền Tây)
|40,576.00||17,590,400||434.00||is Vietnam's southernmost region, mostly containing small but populous provinces in the delta of the Mekong. It is sometimes referred to as the Southwest region (Tây Nam Bộ). Four provinces border Cambodia.|
Historical provinces of Vietnam
- Hà Nam Ninh - then divided into three provinces: Hà Nam, Nam Định and Ninh Bình
- Hà Sơn Bình (divided into Hà Tây and Hòa Bình - then on August 1, 2008, Hà Tây and 4 communities of Hòa Bình became a part of expanded capital city Hà Nội)
- Hà Bắc Province - divided into Bắc Giang Province and Bắc Ninh Province
- Châu Đốc
- Long Hồ
- Nghệ Tĩnh (divided into Nghệ An and Hà Tĩnh), most noted for being the site of the Nghe Tinh Soviet Republic declared September 1930 and lasted into 1931, a short-lived bastion against colonial French rule.
- Minh Hải (divided into Cà Mau and Bạc Liêu)
- Vĩnh Phú (divided into Vĩnh Phúc and Phú Thọ
- Hà Tây - annexed into Hà Nội since August 1, 2008.
- ISO 3166-2:VN
- General Statics Office of Vietnam
- General Statistics Office (2017): Statistical Yearbook of Vietnam 2015. Statistical Publishing House, Hanoi