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Vietnam Ethnic Groups

Vietnam is a multi-nationality country with 54 ethnic groups. The Viet (Kinh) people account for 87% of the country’s population and mainly inhabit the Red River delta, the central coastal delta, the Mekong delta and major cities. The other 53 ethnic minority groups, totaling over 8 million people, are scattered over mountain areas (covering two-thirds of the country’s territory) spreading from the North to the South.

Among ethnic minorities, the most populated are Tay, Thai, Muong, Hoa, Khmer, Nung... with a population of around 1 million each, while the least populated are Brau, Roman, Odu with several hundred people each.

The Viet people succeeded in establishing a centralized monarchy right in the 10th century. The Cham people once boasted a flourishing culture early in the history. The Tay, Nung, and Khmer peoples had reached high levels of development with the presence of various social strata. The Muong, H’mong, Dao, Thai peoples... gathered under the rule of local tribal heads. Many ethnic groups divided their population into social echelons, especially those who lived in mountainous areas.

A number of ethnic minorities had mastered some farming techniques. They grew rice plants in swamped paddy fields and carried out irrigation. Others went hunting, fishing, collecting and lived a semi-nomadic life. Each group has its own culture, diverse and special. Beliefs and religions of the Vietnamese ethnic minority groups were also disparate from each other.

However, a fundamental solidarity among ethnic groups has been established on top of this difference as a result of a centuries long cooperation on the soil of Vietnam. Right in the first century of the history, a mutual supplement in economic relationship between lowland people and mountainous people was formed. This solidarity had been unceasingly strengthened during wars of resistance for defending the country. Through the shared struggle for defending and building of the country and the mutual assistance for co-existence and development, a common community between the Viet people and other ethnic minority peoples had been established and continuously consolidated and developed.

Nonetheless, an evident gap in the material and moral life has indeed still existed between peoples living in the deltas and those living in mountain areas as well as among ethnic minorities themselves. The Vietnamese government has worked out specific policies and special treatments in order to help mountainous people catching up with lowland people, and made great efforts to develop and preserve traditional cultural identities of each ethnic minority group. At present, the programs of providing iodized salt for remote villages, equipping village’s health care and hygienic station, fighting malaria, building free schools for ethnic minority children, settled agriculture and fixed residence, and projects of creating new writing scripts for minority peoples and studying and developing traditional culture of each ethnic minority group... have obtained satisfactory results.

Composition and Distribution  

of the Vietnamese Ethnic Minority Groups 

No.

Name

Population

Other names

Sub-groups

Locations of inhabitation

1

2

3

4

5

6

1

Kinh

55,900,000

ViÖt

 

All over the country

2

Tµy

1,190,000

Thæ

Ng¹n, Ph¸n, Thu lao, PadÝ

Hµ Giang, Tuyªn Quang, Lao Cai, Yªn B¸i, Cao B»ng, Lai Ch©u, B¾c Th¸i, Hµ B¾c

3

Th¸i

1,040,000

Tµy

T¸y Khao (White Th¸i), T¸y §¨m (Black Th¸i), T¸y ChiÒng or T¸y M­¬ng (Hµng Tæng), T¸y Thanh (Man Thanh), T¸y M­êng, Pu Thay, Thæ §µ B¾c, T¸y Méc Ch©u (T¸y §eng)

S¬n La, Lai Ch©u, NghÖ An, Thanh Ho¸, Lao Cai, Yªn B¸i, Hoµ B×nh, L©m §ång...

4

M­êng

914, 000

Mol, Mual, Mäi

Mäi Bi, Ao T¸ (¢u T¸)

Hoµ B×nh, Thanh Ho¸, VÜnh Phó, Yªn B¸i, S¬n La, Ninh B×nh

5

Hoa

900,000

Kh¸ch, Tµu, H¸n

TriÒn Ch©u, Phóc KiÕn, Qu¶ng §«ng, Qu¶ng T©y, H¶i Nam, X¹ Phang, Thoßng Nh»n, HÑ

Kiªn Giang, H¶i Phßng, VÜnh Long, Trµ Vinh, Qu¶ng Ninh, §ång Nai, HËu Giang, Minh H¶i, Ho Chi Minh City

6

Khmer

895,000

 

Miªn, Cur, Cul, Thæ, Khmer-orrigin Viet, Khmer Kr«m

HËu Giang, VÜnh Long, Trµ Vinh, Kiªn Giang, Minh H¶i, T©y Ninh, Ho Chi Minh City, S«ng BÐ, An Giang

7

Nïng

705,000

 

Nïng Xuång, Nïng Giang, Nïng An, Nïng Phµn S×nh, Nïng Lßi, Nïng Tïng Sl×n, Nïng Ch¸o, Nïng Quý

Cao B»ng, L¹ng S¬n, B¾c Th¸i, Hµ Giang, Tuyªn Quang, Hµ B¾c, Qu¶ng Ninh, Ho Chi Minh City, L©m §ång, §¾c L¾c, Laos

8

Hmong

556 000

Mèo,

Meo, Man, Mieu Toc

Meo Hoa, Meo bleu,

Meo rouge, Meo noir, Na Mieo, Meo blanc

Ha Giang, Yen Bai, Lao Cai,Lai Chau, Son La, Cao Bang, Lang Son, Nghe An, Thanh Hoa, Hoa binh, Bac Thai

9

Dao (Zao)

474 000

Man, Dong, Trai, Ziu, Mien, Kiem, Kim Mun

Zao Dai Ban, Zao Do (rouge), Zao Coc Ngang, Zao Coc Mun, Zao Lo Giang, Zao Quan Chet, Zao Tam Dao, Zao Tien, Zao Quan Trang, Zao Lan Tien, Zao Ao zai

Ha Giang, Tuyen Quang, Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Cao Bang, Lang Son, Bac Thai, Lai Chau, Son La, Vinh Phu, Ha Bac, Thanh Hoa, Quang Ninh, Hoa Binh, Ha Tay

10

Giarai

242 000

Moi, Chrai

Cho, Hdung, Arap, Mdhur, Tbuan

Gia Lai, Kong Tum, Dac Lac

11

Édé

183 000

De, Moi

Radé, Rhadé, Edé Ega, Anak Edé, Kpa Adam, krung Ktul, Dlié, Rué, Blo, Epan, Mdhur, Bih,Kdrao, Dong Kay, Dong Mak, Ening, Arul, Hning, Kmun, Ktlé

Dac Lac, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa

12

Bana

137 000

Bnam, Roh, Kon, Kdé, Ala Cong, Kpang Cong

Tlo, Glar, Rngao, Krem, Geloeng (Yloeng)

Kon Tum, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen

13

San Chay

114 000

Man, Cao Lan San, Chi, Hon, Chung,

Son Tu

Cao Lan, San Chi

Bac Thai, Tuyen Quang, Quang Ninh, Ha Bac, Lang Son, Vinh Phu, yen Bai

14

cham

99 000

Chiem Thanh, Cham

Pa, Hoi

Cham Hroi, Cham Chau Doc, Cha Va, Ku, Cham Pong

Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, An Giang, Ho Chi Minh Ville, Binh Dinh, PhuYen, Chau Doc, Khanh Hoa

15

Sdang

97 000

Kmerong,

Hdang,

Konelane

Brila

Steng, Tra, Mename, Halang, Casong, Chau, Tatché, (Tatchi)

Kong Tum, Quang Nam, Da Nang, Quang Ngai

16

San Ziu

94 630

Tchai, Tchai Dat, San Zo, Man Kwan Cok, Man Vay Xer

 

Quang Ninh, Ha Bac, Hai Hung, Bac Thai, Vinh Phu, Tuyen Quang

17

Hré

94 000

Moi Da Vach, Chamré, Moi Luy, Thach Bich, Moi Son Phong

 

Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh

18

K'ho

92 000

 

Sré, Nop (Tu Nop), Kzon, Chil, Lat (Lach), Tring

Lam Dong, Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, Khanh Hoa

19

Raglai

72 000

Orang, Glay, Roglay, Radlay, Moi

Raclay (Ray), Noong (Laoang)

Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, Khanh Hoa, Lam Dong

20

Mnong

67 000

 

Gar, Chil, Rlam, Preh, Kuenh, Nong, Bu Dang, Prang, Dip, Biet, Si To, Bu Deh

Dac Lac, Lam Dong

21

Tho

51 000

 

Kuo, Mon, cuoi, Ho, Dan Lai Ly Ha, Tay Poong (Con Kha, Xa La Vang)

Nghe An, Thanh Hoa

22

Xtieng

50 000

Xa Dieng

Moi, Ta Mun

 

Song Be, Tay Ninh, Lam Dong, Dac Lac

23

Khmu

43 000

Xa Cou, Bu Thenh,

Tay Hay,

Viet, Cang, Kha

Quang Lam

Son La, Lai Chau, Nghe An, Yen Bai

24

Bru Van Kieu

40 000

 

Van Kieu, Mang Koong, Tri, Khua, Bru

Quang Binh, Quang Tri

25

Zay (Giáy)

38 000

Nhang Giang, Sa Nhan, Pau Thin, Chung, Cha, Pu Nam

Pu Na (Cui Chu ou Quy Chau)

Lao Cai, Ha Giang, Lai Chau

26

Ktu

37 000

Katu, Katang, Moi, Cao, Ha

Phuong, Kantua

Quang Nam, Da Nang, Thua Thien Hue

27

Gietrieng

27 000

Giang Ray, Brila, Katang, Moi, Doan

Gié (Dgieh, Tareh), Trieng (Treng), Ve, Lave, Panoong (Bnoong)

Quang Nam, Da Nang, Kong Tum

28

Taoi

26 000

Toi Oi, Tahoi, Ta Oih, Ta Uat (Atuat)

Paco, Bahi, Cantua

Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue

29

Ma

25 000

 

Chau Ma, Cho Ma, Moi

Lam Dong, Dong Nai

30

Co

23 000

Trau, Cua,Moi, Col, Cor, Khua

 

Quang Ngai, Quang Nam, Da Nang

31

Chro

15 000

Chauro, Zro, Moi

 

Dong Nai

32

Ha Nhi

12 500

U Ni, Xa U Ni, Ha Nhi Gia

Ha Nhi Co Cho, Ha Nhi La Mi, Ha Nhi Den

Lai Chau, Lao Cai

33

Xinh Mun

11 000

Puoc, Pua, Xa

Za, Nghet

Son La, Lai Chau

 

34

Churu

11 000

Chru, Kru, Moi

 

Lam Dong, Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan

35

Lao

10 000

Lao Boc,

Lao Noi

 

Son La, Lai Chau

36

Lachi

8 000

Tho Den, Cu Té, Xa, Lati, Man Chi

 

Ha Giang

37

Phu La

6 500

 

Bo Kho Pa (Xa Pho), Mun Di Pa, Phu La Den, Phu La Hoa, Phu La Blanc, Phu La Han, Chu La Phu La

Lao Cai, Lai Chau, Son La, Ha Giang

38

La Hu

4 000

 

Khu Sung (Co Sung), Kha Quy (Xa Quy), Xa Toong Luong (Xa La Vang), Xa Puoi

Lai Chau

39

Khang

4 000

Xa Khao,

Xa Don, Xa Tu Lang

Khang Xua, Khang Don, Khang Zong, Khang Hoc, Khang Ai, Khang Bung, Khang Quang Lam

Lai Chau, Son La

40

Lu

3 700

Lu, Zuon, Nhuon

 

Lai Chau

41

Pa Then

3 700

Pa Hung, Man Pa Teng, Tong

Tong, Meo Lai

Ha Giang, Tuyen Quang

42

Lo Lo

3 200

Mun Zi, O Man, Lu Loc Man, Zi, Qua La, La La, Ma Zi

Lo Lo Den, Lo Lo Hoa

Ha Giang, Cao Bang, Lao Cai

43

Chut

2 400

Xa La Vang, Cha Cui, (Tac Cui), Tu Vang, Pa Leng

Sach, May, Ruc, Ma Lieng, Arem, Slang, Umo

Quang Binh

 

44

Mang

2 300

Mang U, Xa La Vang, Nieng O, Xa Mang,Xa Cang Lai

Mang He, Mang Gung

Lai Chau

45

Klao

1 500

 

Klao Blanc, Klao Bleu, Klao Rouge

Ha Giang

46

Bo Y

1 450

Chung Cha, Trung Gia, Pau Y, Pu Zi

Bo Y, Tu Zi

Ha Giang, Lao Cai

 

47

La Ha

1 400

Xa Khao, Xa Cha, Xa La Nga

Khla Phlao, La Ha Ung

Yen Bai, Son La

48

Cong

1 300

 

Xam khoong, Xa Xeng, Xa, Xa Coong

Lai Chau

49

Ngai

1 200

San Ngai

Xin, Le, Dan, Khanh Gia, Hac Ca (Xec)

Quang Ninh, Ho Chi Minh Ville, Hai Phong

50

Si La

600

Cu De Xu

 

Lai Chau

51

Pu Peo

400

Ka Beo, Pen Ti Lo Lo, La Qua, Man

 

Ha Giang

52

Brau

250

Brao

 

Kong Tum

53

Rmam

250

 

 

Kong Tum

54

Oedu

100

Tay Hat

 

Nghe An

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