Viet Nam is a multi-ethnic country with 54 ethnic groups coexisting peacefully, among which the Kinh people account for 86% of the population. Among ethnic minorities, the most populous are Tay, Thai, Muong, Hoa, Khmer, and Nung with a population of around 1 million each, while the least populous are Brau and Odu with several hundred people each. The Kinh people mainly inhabit in the low land and deltas. The majority of the other 53 ethnic groups are scattered over mountainous areas and the midland spreading from the North to the South. Most ethnic groups coexist in the same regions, particularly the ethnic minorities in Northern and Central Northern region.
The ethnic minorities have uneven development levels. In the Northern midland and mountainous regions, ethnic groups such as Muong, Thai, Tay, and Nung engage in paddy farming techniques. They also grow upland rice and raise cattle and poultry. Some go hunting, fishing and collecting while others make sophisticated traditional handicrafts. Ethnic minorities living in the South are more separated. Except for the Cham, Chinese and Khmer people living in the Central coast and Southern Viet Nam which have high development level, most ethnic minorities living in the Central Highlands reside in clusters of hamlets and subsist mainly on nature. All ethnic groups have their own diverse and unique cultures. Beliefs and religions of Vietnamese ethnic groups are also disparate.
Last modified 04-09-2007