Cộng ha x hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam
Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Flag Coat of arms

Motto: Độc lập - Tự do - Hạnh phc
"Independence - Freedom - Happiness"

Anthem: Tiến Qun Ca
"Army March" (first verse)

Map of Vietnam, see also; Atlas of Vietnam

Capital Hanoi
212′N 10551′E / 21.033, 105.85
Largest city Ho Chi Minh City
Official languages Vietnamese
Demonym Vietnamese
Government Socialist republic1
 -  General Secretary Nng Đức Mạnh
 -  President Nguyễn Minh Triết
 -  Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng
Independence from France 
 -  Date September 2, 1945 
 -  Recognized 1954 
Area
 -  Total 331,690 km (65th)
128,527 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 1.3
Population
 -  2008 mid-year estimate 86,116,559 (13th)
 -  1999 census 76,323,173 
 -  Density 253/km (46th)
655/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2006 estimate
 -  Total $262.5 billion (36th)
 -  Per capita $3,100 (123rd)
Gini (2002) 37 (medium) (59th)
HDI (2007)  0.733 (medium) (105th)
Currency đồng (₫) (VND)
Time zone UTC+7 (UTC+7)
 -  Summer (DST) No DST (UTC+7)
Internet TLD .vn
Calling code +84
1 According to the official name and 1992 Constitution.

Vietnam (pronounced /ˌviːɛtˈnɑːm/; Vietnamese: Việt Nam), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnamese: Cộng ha x hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam), is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea to the east. With a population of over 86 million, Vietnam is the 13th most populous country in the world.

Vietnam
was under Chinese control for a thousand years before becoming a nation-state in the 10th century. Successive dynasties flourished along with geographic and political expansion deeper into Southeast Asia, until it was colonized by the French in the mid-19th century. Efforts to resist the French eventually led to their expulsion from the country in the mid-20th century, leaving a nation divided politically into two countries. Bitter fighting between the two sides continued during the Vietnam War, ending with a communist victory in 1975.

Emerging from a long and bitter war, the war-ravaged nation was politically isolated. The governments centrally-planned economic decisions hindered post-war reconstruction and its treatment of the losing side engendered more resentment than reconciliation. In 1986, it instituted economic and political reforms and began a path towards international reintegration. By 2000, it had established diplomatic relations with most nations. Its economic growth had been among the highest in the world in the past decade. These efforts culminated in Vietnam joining the World Trade Organization in 2007 and its successful bid to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in 2008